Gearing Up for Den Changes!

I just sat down to write this post and realized it felt oddly familiar. Turns out that’s because I wrote a very similar post about how, no REALLY, we were going to be doing stuff with the den….back in February.

But! We didn’t do any of those things, and now I want to do completely different things! Or, more precisely, I’ve realized we don’t have the time or budget to do all those things at the moment, and yet the den is still making me completely crazy, so we must do something. Something! Anything!

The main thing I talked about doing back in February was ripping down the ostentatious fireplace and putting up something more reasonable:

And then wallpapering around it. And then after I wrote that post, I started to get super crazy ambitious and think we should go ahead and put in some built in cabinetry. Yeah.

As much as I would love to see that fireplace go, it exhausts me to think about trying to do anything that dramatic about it right now. But then, awhile back, I had a sudden epiphany and thought, “what if we paint the fireplace the same color as the walls!?” What if?! Perhaps it would just sort of fade into the wall and stop being such an attention hog?

I googled, and it turns out this is a real thing that people have actually done. Like here.

Perhaps what you’re thinking right now is that the fireplace and the walls are actually fairly similar colors already. Yes, but I want them to be the same AWESOME and dark color. I’m leaning toward Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy:
Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy

Our dining room table is Hale Navy, and I’ve always felt like it’s such a nice color that it deserves to be on an actual wall somewhere. And maybe on a fireplace, too.

And once I thought of Hale Navy, things started to fall into place (in my head that is. Certainly not in the actual den. Where things are such a huge disaster right now I’m too embarrassed to show you pictures. Imagine a tornado lifted up a toy factory and a Nintendo factory, whirled them all together, and then dropped them down in my den. Then you’ll pretty much be able to picture it).

I’m going for moody cozy. That’s a thing, right?

I have a ton of paintings and prints that I’ve picked up here and there that have never really had anywhere to live before, but that all seem to want to be together. So I’m thinking massive gallery wall all around the fireplace, with the TV (or a bigger TV? We could use a slightly bigger TV) also on the wall, to the right of the fireplace.

The Karlstad and the rug I’m still totally in love with, and both will be staying right where they are.

That little mid century dresser that’s holding the TV in the picture? Astute readers will recall that that’s up in Abe’s room now (it’s removal is responsible for a lot of the disaster going on in there right now). I just measured the other day, and realized that this dresser that used to be my great grandmother’s will fit perfectly in that space:

I always planned on moving it into this room eventually, but it never seemed like the perfect fit until I changed all my plans. I can really see it with the Hale Navy and with the (heavy on vintage/traditional) gallery wall.

The other big issue in the room, besides what to do with the fireplace, is what do with all Abe’s toys (that’s sort of a big issue in our house as a whole right now, really). I mentioned in February’s post that I was planning on a couple of big storage ottomans instead of a coffee table. And I’m still planning on it! Maybe teal ones. I like teal and hale navy together. And those are probably the only big things we’ll need to buy to get this room together.

We’ll need something else (probably something that gives us more toy storage) on the other side of the fireplace. I have some ideas. And I’ve always thought of family pictures on the wall above the sofa (opposite the fireplace), but I’m worried about the walls getting too cluttered with 9 million tiny framed pictures. Maybe it’s time to do a few nice, big family portraits on canvas.

So there you have it. I’m really hoping to get most of this knocked out before next year. Normally the Thanksgiving to Christmas period would seem like an absolutely crazy time to attempt a big room makeover (well, a biggish room makeover, but not nearly as big as originally planned), but this year it’s when Dave has a break between semesters from working on his master’s, so it seems like the perfect only opportunity. And finally having a den I love hanging out in would be a really fabulous Christmas present to myself.


Gearing Up for Den Changes! — 20 Comments

  1. I love that dresser; it would look wonderful anywhere.
    In pictures that room always looks dim, but with that window I don’t see how it can be IRL, so maybe the dark wall would work for you. (I hate dark. Am planning to have a party to celebrate finally getting my bedroom painted white after three years of living with dark blue with black trim after moving in a hurry. I don’t DO ceilings, so I had to find someone I could afford.) The couch and rug are definitely meant for each other.
    Good luck with your time frame! (And with toy control.)

    • Your impression from pictures that the room looks dim but shouldn’t be with that window is, in fact, exactly my experience with living with the room in real life ;). That said, I’m really drawn to darker colors and like them even in rooms that don’t get a ton of light….especially in this room which is mostly a TV room, honestly, since we use the sunroom as more of a family gathering spot. I was actually more worried about the lack of light when I was thinking of a lot of white in here–I was afraid it would look dingy without enough sun hitting it. Anyway, the nice thing about it being a cheap and maybe short term solution is that not much is lost if we don’t like it and want to change it out!

  2. I think painting the mantel to match the walls is such a good call! I can see why you don’t like it now, but I think once it blends a little more, it will actually be a great element! I love the moody navy idea – can’t wait to see it painted!

  3. That rug with the dark room and the wood tones on that dresser! *heart eyed emoji* It’s going to look so good in there.

Like all human bloggers, I love comments :)