Here’s my inspiration picture for our den:
It’s the family room from The Brady Bunch!
Okay, so maybe SOME details will be different. Okay, maybe all of them. No paneling or plaid sofas or sliding glass doors. But it kept popping into my head when I was thinking about how we use our den and the sort of general mood/feeling we’re going for. Our den’s tucked in the back corner of the first floor, separated from all the other rooms, and usually it’s just our immediate family hanging out in there. The library and dining room and foyer are what people see when they first walk in. The kitchen and sunroom are where people tend to hang out when they come over. The den is where we watch TV and hold very serious family meetings led by our earnest patriarch, Mike Brady.
Except not really the last part. Just the TV part.
So, basically, we want a fun, casual, comfortable space. With a TV.
The den, formerly known as the saddest, most neglected room in our house, has gotten a little bit of attention over the past few months, with a new rug and our beloved Karlstad. And, truth be told, it’s probably going to be a little while longer before much else happens. Our basic plan for the next few months is to finish up the basement, finally get our shelves put up in the kitchen, finally finish the master bathroom (sense a trend?), and THEN get to work on the den. With some other, smaller projects thrown in here and there. I’m both excited and overwhelmed about all of it, pretty much.
But I thought I’d spend some time talking about what we hope to accomplish in here when we do get around to it.
First off, here’s how the den’s looking right now. I have a really hard time taking pictures of this room, by the way. I’ll have to figure out how to do better when it doesn’t look like crap. Anyway, this is the view from the door that leads to the center hall:
We used to have a big green TV cabinet in here, but that moved out right around when we got the Karlstad. The little dresser was in my garage for months.
Here’s the view looking back towards that same doorway:
And here’s the corner you can’t see in those pictures, opposite the bay window and next to the arched opening to the library:
That campaign chest isn’t staying. I think it’s moving up to the bathroom.
Okay, so! Plans/ideas/things we’re still trying to figure out:
1. That fireplace. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
As you can see, this is where we keep our collection of brass animals that don’t have anywhere else to live. We might actually need to pare down this collection a bit. Though it pains me to say so.
Our plan until pretty recently was to just paint the ridiculously ostentatious fireplace dark gray or something and hope that it would kind of fade into the background. But, I mean, LOOK at that thing! It’s not going to fade.
I came to realize that I pretty much hate the fireplace. It’s totally out of proportion in this room, particularly given the 8 foot ceilings. It looks especially silly now that we’ve moved that small dresser in there next to it. So. I think we’re going to attempt to…..take it down and put in a new fireplace surround. Gulp. This sounds kind of hard. But maybe fun? Not sure yet if we’ll look for an existing one (on Craigslist?) or build one. It might depend on what shows up on Craigslist. I’m still collecting ideas, but I’m thinking something very simple and streamlined. Dave likes the idea of one with dentil molding to mirror the molding in the the front of the house. I kind of like the idea of something more Craftsman-y.
2. The Walls: Awhile back, when I talked about our new rug, I also talked about wallpaper. I want to do wallpaper either just on the wall with the fireplace, or in the whole room. I’d always envisioned it just on the fireplace wall, but then Emily Henderson was talking a few days ago about how a lot of times that makes it look like you just can’t afford to wallpaper the whole room, and…now I’m not sure. But I fear some of our top wallpaper choices might be a little too….exciting for the whole room. Of the ones I linked to back in that other post, I still really like:
And then the other day, Wallpaper Direct posted this on their instagram:
Dave really loves paisley, but this paisley is special, because if you look really closely, there are things like houses and bikes in the design. So quirky and fun! Although neither of us loves how the design repeats and looks all stripey like that.
Those are actually the big things we need to think about. But a few smaller things:
3. What to do with that dresser that the TV’s on: Assuming it stays. It’s a nice little mid-century piece, but it’s just laminate and nothing super special; it need some kind of fun paint job and probably to be converted somehow to make it more media cabinet friendly.
4. The corner where the campaign chest is: And also the wall on the other side of the arch. I’m actually thinking of more Billy shelves here like we have in the library. But maybe some other kind of shelves instead? or??????
5. Should the rug be going the other way?!
6. Coffee table situation: I don’t think an actual coffee table is what we want in here. I’m thinking a couple of storage ottomans that we can move around as needed and that can hold Abe’s toys (you know, those ones that are currently in a pile in front of the TV stand) would work best. Maybe we will make them. Maybe they will be blue velvet.
7. Sofa table? I think we need something back there to bring the sofa off the wall slightly and to give us a space for putting glasses and remotes and whatever.
8. Wall behind sofa: I mean, and all the walls. But I’m thinking maybe a family picture gallery wall back there. We already have the picture ledges with some photos on them; maybe leave those and add more hanging on the walls around them?
So there’s where we are. This post took me weeks to write, by the way. I mean to get around to writing. I couldn’t figure out how to start it until I realized how much I want a room like the Brady’s family room. Then everything just fell into place!