First of all, I DID get a great new little camera for Christmas and I LOVE IT! It’s exactly what I was looking for and I’m thrilled to get to dive into learning how to use it this next week. I’m gonna grab my daughter's and husband’s photography and technology skills and hopefully, be able to start churning out some great images on my own. :-)))))
So, I’ve been playing around, shooting the house and my Christmas decor, which I shared a little of in this post last week.
I think I see my next project.
Okay, so I was looking at all my images and well, a designer is never finished with their own house. We also tend to dissect and criticize our own work to death. To top that off, we all know that when you look at projects in a photo or image, you can really see things differently than you do in person. When I turned my critical eye on my own home, I really saw some things that I would still love to “finish”.
We’ve done just about everything over in this house.
- New kitchen and breakfast room
- New master bathroom
- New upstairs bath
- New home office enclosed with new built-ins, new wood flooring and a redo of the stairs
We’ve also redone the powder room and the other upstairs bath, but those haven’t been posted here.
We’ve done a lot of work on the exterior too and on the guts of the house. We built our pool, put in the sprinkler system, planter beds, trees, new roof, replaced A/C, new windows, etc. Ugh…..gee we’ve spent a lot. We’ve lived here since 2000 though, so it’s been spread over 16 years. And well, this is what I do for a job, so my home is kind of my playground with remodeling and design projects.
(See future clients? You've got nothing on me. I often get clients telling me how they can't spend much on their upcoming project because they've already spent so much on their house already. :-)
After we finished our kitchen remodel last year, my husband said, “We’re done.” He doesn’t think we need to do anything more here.
Wellllllllll, I disagree, especially after I took a close look at my photos. I have a few more projects on the agenda that really came to light as I was reviewing my images AND I found out my daughter snapchatted me singing in front of the tv to her brother! His comment to me last night......
"Gee Mom, with everything you've done to that house, you've still got that deep ancient tv niche with the little tv there in the corner of the living room." :-\
The gauntlet has been thrown. This is the one I want to do next.
New tv / entertainment center
We have all new cabinetry in just about every place in this house except for this ugly, dated built-in beside our fireplace. Yes, the tv placement is awkward with the furniture layout and if I were my own client, I’d tell myself to mount that tv above the fireplace and redo the fireplace by cladding it in a stone material that would climb up almost to the ceiling. It’s just better overall for tv viewing and gives a better option for furniture placement. It would take advantage of the real attribute of this room, the ceiling height.
You can see, I've done this on several jobs. This remodel, below, had a similar two story space with a tall fireplace center segment.
See how, with this remodel below, we played up the center fireplace section with stone cladding going to the ceiling and then centered the tv for best viewing in this big open space.
This remodel involved installing the tv behind bi-fold doors in a shallow cabinet box above the new mantel.
Below, I have a before and after of one of our projects where the tv was mounted a little too high for the homeowner. The details of all the moulding looked rather fussy too, so we cleaned up the look by cladding this fireplace in some stacked stone. We were able to move the tv down a bit to a more comfortable viewing angle.
If you are troubled by how high the mounting would be over the fireplace, they do make these brackets that will drop the tv down to a lower level. Here's the link.
I’m not willing to make that big of an investment by locating the tv above the fireplace in my case. With just the two of us living here now, we don’t need a place for 4 people to sit and watch tv, not that we ever really did that much when our kids were younger. Also, I’m kinda tired of having construction going on, so I want small projects now, not big ones that would take a long time.
(Well, at least I think that's what I want. I do have a tendency to go bigger. ;-)
Here’s what I’m thinking. I hate that eyebrow arch….don’t let me go on about builders that slap up “architectural details” just for the sake of having them. When you look at this elevation, there are two arched openings….I’ve always hated….at two different heights and widths. I’ve always dreamed of flattening that one at the tv out so that it didn’t call attention to itself. After all, I want my fireplace to be the focus, after the view to the backyard, not that weird arched opening for the tv. (Forgive the unstyled look on that shelving! It was the holiday and I wasn't really on point with bookshelf styling!)
I also hate the dated cabinet door style and especially the shelving brackets with that little strip of moulding that I think was just put there to hide the recessed standards (hardware for adjustable shelving that is outdated and not used anymore).
New tv / entertainment center for a client
I’m doing this built-in for a client, under construction now, where the ET center was also a side feature in the room. Their fireplace was on a different wall, along with their windows, so we just want this niche to sort of fade from focus and the tv to nestle in there nicely with all the equipment below. We expanded the width of the niche as much as we could for a bigger tv and we’re just painting it the color of the wall, so the niche doesn’t stand out.
I’m kind of thinking I want to do something similar, sans the shiplap. I want to open up the width of the niche a bit so we could get a bigger tv if we ever wanted it (or our buyers after us) and definitely mount it on the back wall so we can pull it out and adjust the positioning with an articulating arm.
The back wall here is about 12" from the front of the cabinet in this one we designed for my client. It’s a false wall with wiring running down behind it. Those deeper niches, at 24" deep especially, definitely read from “before” flat screen tv times. I also want to do speaker fabric below in the cabinet doors, because I loathe that sub-woofer black box hanging around on the floor with all the cords lying around. Ugh!
While I’m at it, I’m going to use some of my left over limestone floor tile from my kitchen that I still have in the garage and replace the existing slate on my fireplace surround. I’m kind of not liking the warm toned variation of the slate and want my more solid look limestone that relates to my kitchen. I just love it when design details and materials are repeated around a space.
I think that will tidy up the wall and make it more up to date, to go with the rest of the house.
There are definitely a few more items I would love to do…..a dining room update and some drapery panels for this living room. I also wanted some new ottomans, those were $50 apiece from Tuesday Morning about 12 years ago and they are kind of popping some seams. I'd bought them for another room and they ended up down here. I love the small ottoman idea, just need to find the right fabrics. :-)
So, stay tuned for my home’s updates in 2017. I’m planning ahead so I can get things accomplished and not put them off.
I want to encourage and inspire you to tackle some of your design projects in your home. I have a new offer coming up in January, so check back for my next post. I’m bundling some of my pdf downloads, the budget ones and the kitchen remodeling secret….and will offer those together at a reduced price starting Jan 1. They should help you organize your projects for next year too.
Looking forward to 2017!
Whether you have a mother of a tv to house in a custom cabinet or a smaller, more trim model to tuck into a corner, remember that we can design a special place for that in your home.