Progress in the Den! Slow and Erratic Wins the Race.

We’ve been watching The Crown on Netflix because the politics that happened 60 years ago in another country are easier and less scary to think about than the politics that are happening here and now….and it’s become very clear to me that the royal family has fancier gallery walls than I do.

I’m a little embarrassed about my own gallery walls now, to be honest. I bet they didn’t buy ANY of their paintings at the thrift store.


I’m not at all royal, so I still love the gallery wall in my den, so much, in fact, that I added some stuff to it the other night.

Also, there’s a shelf here now:


Let me tell you more about what you’re looking at and assure you that it’s not finished yet.

Eventually there will be three shelves there; wrapping around from the fireplace to the doorway that leads to the library. And by “eventually” I hope that I mean next week. The next shelf is almost finished being built and just needs paint and primer and polycrylic; the last one is all cut out and just needs to be assembled.

We used this “round the corner bookshelf” plan from Ana White.

For a long time, we went back and forth between white and stained wood for the shelves. Then one day, Abe said, “no! I want to paint it green!” And I thought, “hmm.” So we did. I had been worried that white would stand out too much, and I was worried that stained wood would 1. require more expensive wood than we wanted to buy and 2. not cover up the flaws in our woodworking abilities well enough.

At first I thought the green was going to be more of a teal, but then after I spent an afternoon obsessing over colors, it turned out into this: it’s a Behr color called Green Agate. So far I’m loving it. I’m in a green phase. And a green and blue together phase. Good call, Abe.

Also wrapping around the corner now is the gallery wall, which used to end at the end of the end of the fireplace wall. I’ve been collecting pieces for it here and there and I finally had enough:


The lamp was a $9 clearance find at Target.


I’m excited about the rest of the shelf being finished, so I can get all of the stuff in those boxes onto them.

My big goal is to have this room completely finished by Christmas. More precisely, in time to decorate for Christmas. This mantel will get Christmasified for the very first time, since this is the first Christmas since we painted it. If you squint, you can see my new brass sleigh and reindeer sitting up there right now.

Most of finishing the room means finishing the shelves. But taking a look in the other direction:


We’re planning on wall sconces on either side of the picture ledges there (and maybe some updated pictures. Abe is turning one in the most recent one). So far the front runners are all from World Market: here, here, or here. The only overhead lights in here are two weird spotlights shining on the fireplace, so some more light in here will be very nice.

And then over on this wall, I’m thinking of finally getting some of the portraits of all four of the kids that I’ve taken over the past couple of years printed out (maybe on canvas? fancy! like something royalty might do!)


And over in front of the bay window is where our Christmas tree is going to go when this room is ALL FINISHED!

Ari and Abe wanted me to take their picture with Fergus:


And speaking of Fergus, he just got groomed, so I made him pose on the couch for me:


I think he looks like a dog who could belong to the royal family, even though he’s not a Corgi. Purple harness even! Look at those regal ears!

Okay, I’ll stop now.





Progress in the Den! Slow and Erratic Wins the Race. — 17 Comments

  1. I just love your style, Gretchen! Green probably wouldn’t have entered my mind, but it’s such a wonderful pairing with those dark walls and the colorful vintage paintings! I can’t wait to see the finished shelving! You know I love a good corner wrap! 😀

  2. i love how this space is looking. and i am LOVING the green- way to go abe on that choice!!! and fergus…. love him! and that name,

  3. Yeah I’d much rather watch different politics too. I can’t take it anymore. Anyways, I really think this is my favorite room in your house. I can’t get enough of your fireplace and the gallery wall around it. Loving the green too

  4. The green is perfect. Abe is brilliant, indeed.
    As far as printing your pictures, try to channel Lord Snowden.
    Fergus clearly _thinks_ he should belong to royalty.

    • It occurred to me after I posted that Scotties are a more Democratic kind of dog….like FDR’s Fala and….some other president had Scotties, too. Now I have to go look it up….oh. George W. Bush. I guess I should have been able to remember that on my own. And Lyndon Johnson is beagles. Very presidential dogs, I have 🙂

Like all human bloggers, I love comments :)