Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Our dining area, which was the original living room of the house, has been a little lacking. It has been described as, "a room with furniture in it". These are strong words for people who host at least 9 at dinner on a weekly basis. We had our wonderful table and newly refurbished chairs, a large area rug, and.....

that was about it.

It was pretty bare.

To make it worse, we have a couple of mismatched Walmart bookcases that were scattered about, holding only a few of the books we wished we could display (the others were in the attic). The other junk that piled into the room only made matters worse. (That wooden stand was our cake stand for our wedding.We are still trying to find a place or use for it now!)


After a good ol' browse, though, my interest was perked by the thought of a wall of built ins. Our dream would be to have shelves on top for displaying objects while cabinets on the bottom added storage for kitchen items, serving plates, and board games. Here are some examples that made the designer in me perk up.

The cost of these items weren't really doable, though. We are currently working on a budget that doesn't allow us to tackle something this big yet, so we just let that room fall to the wayside.

The other day, I had a wonderful epiphany. It was one of those, "Duh" moments. We all have them. Sometimes it's Wrapping Things In Bacon because "Duh" and sometimes it's Moving Bookshelves From One Room To Another because...well..."Duh".

Obviously before the second couch, but you get the idea.
Being a night owl, the epiphany hit me right after dinner, before dessert. We took everything off of the shelves that had previously flanked our TV and moved them into the dining room. This left our living room feeling quite open and wonderful.

That's not Bob Marley, it's Vikings on History. Everyone should watch that show. It is amazing. 

It also left our dining room feeling a little more loved.

Notice that we moved the desk between the shelves. This is how I had mentally pictured the room when the epiphany struck. We want to place two floating shelves above it for my old antique camera collection.

As for the desk itself, I decided to give it some much needed attention. I moved the record player to one of the shelves (where it shall now live) and removed the table runner I had thrown over the dehydrated wooden top of the desk when we first moved in. I then wiped it down with some Murphy's Oil Soap, allowed it to dry, then gave it two coats of poly before accessorizing.

I decided that with all the warm wood, the 50's feel of the room, and the fact that it's probably the most formal room of the house, a good ol' Kentucky Bourbon bar would be the most effective use of the space.

This gave a wonderful opportunity to display some of our nicer bar items, such as our six Woodford Reserve martini glasses and our bartender books.

There was still something missing, though. The light over the dining table was a great light for intimate dinners with friends and family, but with the bar over to the side, it needed it's own light source. The obvious choice was my favorite lamp in the house. This stain glass beauty was made one summer by my parents and I and has been one of my most beloved belongings ever since. My Dad and I turned the base on his lathe ourselves while Mom and I soldered the stain glass. It always makes where ever it is feel like home.

Aside from the shelves for the cameras, this room is feeling pretty good now. We would still love to have built in shelves in there someday, but for the moment, at least the room isn't so bare. Scott and I also appreciate being able to see which books we have again since they haven't really been displayed since moving into the house almost a year ago.

As for the living room that these shelves left behind, we were able to spread out some of our seating and take advantage of the space a little more. We did get rid of our DVD/game storage when we removed the shelves, so we are going to add some either industrial or floating shelves on the right side of the television, like so.

Not only will this add storage, but it will also visually balance the white window on the other side of the room.

For the moment, it's just nice to know that the first room people see when they enter the house is a little more cozy. I keep wanting to call it the 'Wood Room' because of, well....the overabundance of a certain building material in one area of the house. It really does have a nice welcoming feel, though, and it reminds me a lot of my grandparents house (which is a good thing). Of course, the best part of this entire post is that it cost us exact $0. Sometimes moving around things you already have can make a huge difference!


  1. It really has improved both rooms. the second sofa fits in there really nice.


  2. Like! here's an idea: when you hand the shelves for your camera collection, install the wire wine glass hanger below the shelf to hold your glasses. Will keep them cleaner and less likely to break. and gives you more bar space.