photo credit: kate renyi KER Photography
the whole reason we took on this project was to make better use of the space - before we had the tv on the left wall and a sectional that eventually made it's way down to the basement. i was anti-hanging the tv above the fireplace but it made for a tight squeeze out to the porch through the doors on the right. oh and not to mention the YELLOW walls courtesy of the builder and those red red RED stripes i put above the fireplace. i kind of can't believe i'm sharing this - seriously a hot mess and i hope you don't hold it against me :)
i then came to my senses a little and painted the stripes gray and the walls a blue gray. also changed out the light fixtures which made a big difference.
before we started on the work we changed out the rug, moved the sectional downstairs and added new chairs and a sofa from restoration hardware. but the chairs only exacerbated the space issue with the doors behind because they're even deeper than the sectional.
so i decided to make a plan:
1. rip off the existing mantle which was really too high to accommodate a tv at a decent viewing height and rebuild the mantle at a lower height and with a less traditional feel than the old one.
2. shiplap the back of the bookcases and wrap it around the fireplace. also replace the raised panel cabinet doors with recessed shaker style doors and restain the tops of the built ins which was a very traditional cherry stain. (it's little details like those that create a cohesive look)
3. paint paint and more paint! the existing built ins were a frumpy off white and as much as i liked the blue gray walls, i needed something more neutral to bring the space together.
4. move the chairs to the opposite wall and turn the rug 90 degrees to create easy access outside to the porch.
*all photos by kate renyi, KER Photography*
if you know that we have 4 year old twin boys you had to be wondering, where are the toys? see that gray bookcase thing? that's where. and also inside the console behind the sofa in the first photo, in the built ins, and on that side table next to the sofa too. ;)