Remember back in March when we finished re-doing our master bedroom and I promised to do posts on the rest of the house? Well as usually the time flew and now that the year’s over halfway over (can you believe August is here already?!), I’m just going to go with the better late than never motto, lol. When we first moved in, this was the room that really had us stumped as it’s basically a really wide hallway. Instead of attempting to explain the wackiness that is the layout, I’ll show you the downstairs floor plan of our house:
As you can see from this pic, we had one and a half walls to work with because the dotted line that joins the kitchen and the living room is open area, the back wall of the house is sliding glass doors and the “wall” closest to the front of the house is two sets of stairs that lead upstairs to the second floor and down to the front foyer. You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to arrange furniture when there are so many things to work around and hardly any walls! The first two years we lived here, we had a giant sectional couch that cut the room in half and our tv was half in the kitchen (it was a terrible set up, lol). I would assume it would have stayed that way if not for a happy accident that happened last summer while we were at Ikea. We spotted THIS entertainment center and got so excited that we stood in the middle of the store planning how we could bring up a couch that was in our basement and rearrange the whole living room. My husband swore we had a 55″ tv (which was the max size for the entertainment system) and so we picked it up and made the trip back home. You would think the first thing we would have done when we got home was double check the tv size, but we got excited and got to work. We took the sectional couch apart, moved it to the basement (um, did I mention the couch was so big we had to take it out our back patio, through the side yard and in our front door to get it there?), brought the other couch up and then spent over an hour putting the new entertainment system together. As we stood there all proud of ourselves, we went to put the tv inside the system and quickly realized – our tv is 58″.
I literally could have cried at that point as not only was I mentally ready to change the layout of the living room, we had already done it. We started running through the options and the one that made most sense was to take the thing back to Ikea (which, mind you, is in another country and over an hour way) when we went to our friends CFL game the next week. As we defeatedly began taking the thing apart, my mind starting racing and I looked at my husband and said “Would we be tools if we put two tvs in our living room?”. We had a 42″ tv in the basement that was mine from college that would fit inside the new unit and since our 58″ tv had been sitting on a coffee table (seriously) since we got it, we would have to get a different entertainment unit for that. We decided it make be tool-like, but since we love sports so much and playing video games, it would also be practical and we certainly had the wall space for it. Here’s the result:
We went to Best Buy and got the only tv stand that would hold our size tv, THIS one. Though it said it only held up to 46″, the guy at Best Buy checked the weight limit against the weight of our particular tv and so far it’s still holding! We got lucky because it fit our stuff perfectly and also happened to be the super dark brown that matched the rest of the furniture we already had. We put the 58″ tv on that stand and filled it with our DVR cable box, Xbox 360, PS3 and record player. The drawers hold our computer chargers, video game controllers and blankets. We lined the Ikea entertainment system flush against the other one and moved the 42″ tv up from the basement into that one. The video game systems are hooked up to that tv along with another cable box so we can watch two football games at once in the fall. I had fun styling the cubes on this one, which is probably why I was so excited when I saw it in the store… I love furniture pieces that are functional AND a fun way to decor. I wanted to style them in a masculine and “sporty” way since this is a shared space and the room my husband spends the most time in.
To the right of the tv there are four vertical cubes. The top one has four vintage books that we collected over the years along with this cool round gold-leaf box that holds coasters. The cube underneath that has a silver elephant that reflects the light from the sliding glass doors in a really cool way. Under that is a stack of books that are either sports related or written by athletes. You’ll start to notice as I post more on the rooms in our home, I almost always take the dust jackets off our books. Ninety-nine percent of the time, books look cooler underneath and also with how old a lot of the books we have our, the jackets are ripped and worn anyways. On top of that stack is a mini helmet signed by Aaron Williams that we recently won at a Bill’s team event.The bottom cube in that row has a silver Buddha head, a glass bubble paperweight and a really cool metal airplane sculpture on a wooden base.
The next cube along the bottom houses some of our records and some books. Next to that is a football I got my husband one Christmas before we started dating that’s signed by the Dallas Cowboys. It was in a case similar to THIS case before but it wouldn’t fit inside the cube. I took the little round base it was sitting on in the case and set that in the bottom of the cube with the football on top and then swung the top of the case over it. It’s a tricky process and it really is a pain but with the light overhead (We installed LED strip lights, find them HERE, in the tops of four of the cubes in the system) it looks AWESOME and is really worth it! The next cube has a brown linen box with leather handles that holds different things as needed. Next to that is a stack of Vogues and my DIY Louis Vuitton Pumpkin (get the tutorial HERE). The two smaller slots under the tv hold more magazines and our cable box.
When we decided to change the layout of the room, it involved moving our wall bar (see the original post on that HERE) which may not seem like that big of a deal but it was a huge production. We had to take all the glass ware and bottles off, remove the shelves from their brackets, remove the brackets from the wall, knock the anchors back into the drywall, patch the enormous holes that were left in the wall and paint over them. After all that, we still had to install them in the new spot (in between the Ikea entertainment system and the wall with the sliding glass doors. We kept the same layout, two of the wineglass shelves pushed together on the bottom with one of the wine bottle shelves (find both kinds of shelves HERE) centered above that. I still can’t say enough good things about these shelves because they store SO MUCH while taking up very little space (and they look cool!).
We moved the chair that used to be in my office to the corner where the bar is just because we lost so much seating when we took out the sectional couch. I don’t love it there but it’s convenient and sometimes practicality wins out! The wall coming off the bar is almost completely made up of sliding glass doors that lead out to our patio and the tee box to the tenth hole of a golf course. These doors are great for many reasons, the most important being that it’s the only source of light in our living room! The dogs love laying in the sun while still being able to be on the lookout for squirrels, birds, kids playing at the country club, etc (lol).
The tiny wall that separates the sliding glass doors and the kitchen is home to the dog’s crate, which they spend more time on top of than in it. We cover it with a blanket (to block out the light in the morning so they stay asleep) and the top has a huge pillow, blankets and their toys. They spend most of their days trading places sleeping on top of the crate and in front of the sliding glass doors (because god forbid they shared either space at the same time! haha).
You’ll notice above Weezy’s head we have a big landscape frame hanging on that short wall in between the doors and the kitchen. It was a wedding gift that I still love… the woman who made it spelled out our last name spelled using different objects to look like letters!
Perhaps the world’s most random thing to have in a living room is a china cabinet but trust me I have racked my brain to find another place to put it in this weird layout and there just isn’t one. We have this random little alcove coming off our kitchen on the side of the built-in where our fridge is and THIS cabinet fits perfectly in it. Even though it’s in a random spot, I still love it… like the wall bar I love that it stores a ton while looking cool and putting our items on display at the same time. After all, you spend hard-earned money on these items… why not show them off!
Then we have another weird nook-like area created by the wall off the half-bath thats at the top of the stairs from the foyer. We put the couch that was previously in our basement in this spot.
The wall behind the couch in the picture above is where the wall-bar used to hang, so after we patched it up and re-painted it we hung floating shelves. The decor on the shelves rotates… if we have good blooms in our hydrangea bush out back, the shelves look like this (day-time & night-time shots):
If not, I load the shelves up with flameless LED candles that I’ve wrapped with twine for a decorative touch. Next to the couch is Weezy’s birthday present (find it HERE) that I’ve mentioned in a few Instalife posts that’s been moved from under my husband’s cube table. The two trunk cube tables (see them and get the DIY HERE) sit in front of the couch and their decor changes from week-to-week. Right now the top of mine now looks like the pic below and the bottom of my husbands has changed too since we moved the dog bed. The top of his cube is still home to our succulents terrarium (see it HERE).