Living room metamorphoses

Author: fraise

Thursday 17 May 2012, in Home improvement, Journal

Four years ago, the living room in my newly-purchased apartment was empty and floored with cheap tile.
Living room looking south (before)

I set up what little furniture I had.
Living room, couch nook, after organizing

In December, I was delighted to discover traditional terracotta tomettes beneath the tiles, and started the long floor restoration project.
Uncovering the living room

Once finished with the living room the following June, I had a little more furniture.
Living room looking towards sofa nook

Early 2010, I created a reading nook, repainting the recessed area.
Reading nook, mostly finished

Near the end of 2010 I had finished repainting the main wall, and had the lovely Art Deco couch and chairs set.
Living room from kitchen (1)

I never photographed the PC area, planning for it to be temporary. I wanted to find a nice, good-quality, yet affordable multimedia center that could bring disparate elements together. I browsed every store I could think of, but nothing worked. So it was that I ended up living with a multimedia area looking like this for almost three years.

Then, this April, one of my favorite stores, Habitat, had a big sale on furniture. As always, I checked it out… and this time, found two pieces I liked. The first was a long black multimedia center with three drawers. I put it in the shopping cart, went to check out, and was told it was out of stock. So I went for my second choice, a similarly wide, but taller and, I thought, somewhat clunkier, solid oak piece with straight, squared lines, two doors, and an open shelf. It was half off, making it less expensive than similarly-sized Ikea pieces. Once I had finished putting it together and settled on the best reorganization of elements (I had wanted to put my PC on the shelf, but it was just too large, so I stood it to the side), I could hardly believe how well its color and simple styling went with the rest of the living room. It looks like it was meant to be there.
Living room, May 2012

No more need to hide this side of the living room! You may have noticed that these two recent photos have different coloring than all the previous pictures – before, I used a flash with the kit lens on my Nikon D40 camera. Recently I started using my 30-year-old prime lenses, without flash. Thus the colors are warmer, since there’s no blue flash to override the yellower ambient light.
Living room with new cabinet

4 responses to “Living room metamorphoses”

  1. DC Generals Says:

    The floor seems to fit well with your personal style. I was surprised at first because many people like tile, but after seeing the finished product everything seems to fit together nicely.

  2. Jameson Says:

    You have done a terrific job!

  3. Bruce Says:

    Wow, thanks for all the progress pix. You’ve come a long way since you moved in. Looking at your space, I was thinking: you don’t have unlimited space. ;) (Well, d’oh!) And you’ve still got your DIY PC box (I was impressed when you showed how you put it together), I’d like to offer a suggestion. How about considering getting a small (I mean, they’re *really* small) Mac mini and a bluetooth keyboard/trackpad combo. The Mac mini is a lot more powerful than your current PC, you can run all your Windows apps on it (you can boot into Windows if you want, or run Windows alongside the Mac system), it’s a tiny fraction of the physical size, and it’s fairly cheap (I think the top of the line is 700-800€). The bluetooth combo means no more wires, and with the trackpad, no more mouse. I’ve got one, and it’s *really* convenient (as long as you’ve got some extra rechargeable batteries at the ready, but I still haven’t needed to change).

    To see what it looks like, here’s the one I bought (and I don’t have any interest in the company or their products, I’m just a satisfied customer):

    That would free up just a little floor space and get rid of the need of the wired keyboard (and the wires).

    Just some thoughts about getting rid of a little bit of “clutter” for your next “serious purchase”… ;)

  4. fraise Says:

    I have considered it, actually :) And I run Ubuntu, haven’t used anything Microsoft in years. I have a wireless mouse, and want this keyboard in particular because it’s an older Dell QWERTY that’s robust enough to stand up to my pianist-strength typing and be taken apart and put back together for cleaning.

    The case is the only thing old in my PC, I’ve upgraded the innards over the years.

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