Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What a Great Room!

When Matt moved into this house over two years ago, the downstairs was arranged in a much different way than it is now. Isn't it amazing to watch a space evolve over the course of several years? It took a while to get our bearings about how to use our space in the best possible way. We do not have a large house (it's fairly small compared to most other houses in our area). We have 1573 square feet plus a 2 1/2 car garage man cave. When Matt moved in, he arranged the family room in a similar way to the previous owner: a single couch in the family room, next to the fireplace, and across from the television.

The living/dining combo room housed two stormy blue chairs (and a Christmas tree).  Then, I fell in love with a table. It was a cold winter evening at Ikea and I was meandering through the as-is section when I stumbled across my table. He was a handsome table; perfectly fitting the description of tall (er, large), dark, and handsome. His name was Bjursta, but we'll just call him Buster. Buster was marked down 30ish% off his original price because he had been put on display and had a scratch to show for it. The scratch was hardly noticeable and everything was intact, so I had to take him home.  They were also having a sale that took an additional 25% off all as-is items, so I only paid $173ish for him; tax included.  But, what I noticed was that he seemed a little bigger than his supposed dimensions, so instead of being the $299 version that seated 6-10 people, he was the $399+ version that could comfortably seat 10-16 people!  I still lived at my parents' home, so I stored Buster under my bed until we decided to host both of our families for Christmas.  We enjoyed a day-after-Christmas feast with 16 people at that table, in the dining/living combo that only held a Christmas tree, two chairs, and the commotion of 16 well-fed people.

Matt wasn't sold yet on the table, noting that while it fit in the space, he was hoping to have a sofa in that room, too.  So, when I was in Mississippi during Spring 2011, Matt replaced the floor downstairs with laminate wood flooring.  When I came home, we discussed the possibility of turning his family room into a dining room and his living/dining combo into a great room. We both liked that idea (we were almost engaged by this time) and went ahead with that plan. Our goal was to have three spaces that served a single function instead of having three spaces that had to multi-task.  So, we removed the table from the breakfast nook (we have plans for an island eventually), turned the small family room into a large-capacity dining room, and moved the television and couch into the new great room.

Fast forward about a year. We are now married and wanted to finish off the haphazard family room.  When my parents' neighbor offered us their old set of couches for free, we jumped at the opportunity. The couches are in great condition and fit the room well.
However, the way that the room was set up didn't allow for the couch and loveseat to sit next to each other, so Matt and I started playing with the room configuration and settled on this:

Well, on my birthday, my mom and I went shopping (my parents weren't sure about what to get me for my birthday) and we came across the rug in the picture above.  It was the right colors, right size, and right price, so we snatched it up and brought it home!  It is PERFECT for this space, which is now a comfortable sitting area for 6-10 people, thanks to added sofa space and several ottomans that are strategically placed throughout the room.  Our room that was once closed off and dark is now light and welcoming!
Eventually, I would like to paint the walls in a cooler tone, but that's a project for another day.  Our master closet is nearing completion, so stay tuned for the big closet reveal.
What little tweaks have you made around your house that have vastly improved the functionality of your house?

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