Thursday, May 5, 2011


You know that visual of a tiny snowball rolling down a snow covered hill and becoming a snow boulder and then finally causing an avalanche?

This is what our kitchen remodeling job is doing. Short of doing a whole house renovation, which I am on board for but my husband is not, we may be looking at a significant overhaul in how we use some of our rooms.

The rooms mostly in question are our living room and office. Our living room is big. Here is the space before we moved in:

This photo shows about 60% of the room. It is a long space that requires a thinking cap for furniture placement because there are windows and door openings scattered around, and it is screams screams screams for furniture groups. A seating area. Two seating areas. A dining area?
Right now it has two furniture groupings: A regular living room grouping with a sofa across from a television that is housed in an armoire, and a completely useless little grouping of chairs on that slanted partial wall (staircase on the other side). Well, not completely useless. Once a year when we actually invite more than five people over at once, it gets used.

We also have our office (also pictured before we moved in):

It is a smaller room, and is adjacent to the Living Room via double doors.
Our house has a fairly open floor plan, and a first level entry without a buried basement. In other words, there is no basement family room to house the junk we don't want our guests exposed to. I'm not aiming for a pristine house for company, but I would like to have a glass of wine with my friends without the presence of a multi-colored plastic toy. Right now, we aren't able to shove all the toys into a room and close the door. We can't hide them in a basement playroom.

A basement playroom, hidden from the world, would require an extensive renovation to bring our entry to the second floor, or... some rethinking. So I was wondering:

What if our office became a den? A playroom/den? What if our television lived in there? What would become of the living giganta-room?

What if we did built in shelves throughout the living room, so we could remove our books from the office?

What if our living room, which is not a formal living room (we don't need a formal living room) became... a library? With seating and a place to have a snack and entertain?

Photo by Todd Selby

Anseley McAleer

This idea had been swirling, unformed, in my head, and then I saw this photo in a Washington Post article:

This is the home of  Jo Neesbo (pictured), a Swedish author who is read by something like 40% of the Swedish population. I'm sure he's a great writer and I will check out his books, but what I really want to know is:

Who built those bookshelves, man? I need a referral. :)

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