We redid the living room!

Yes we re-did the living room - but it was touch and go for a while. 

I am linking up to A Slob Comes Clean and the Sprucing Up Challenge she's participating in. 

My mother in law showed up early, I guess since she knew Christopher was off work today.  So they hung out and talked while I slept for a while.  The dogs woke me at 1pm and he informed me she was there, and that he had started dinner in the crockpot. I asked if we were not going to move furniture because she was there, and he said we still could. I told him not to move anything heavy til I was dressed and ready to help.  By then he seemed to have changed his mind. He said he'd made plans to work on his gaming stuff online with our friend in the UK, but I reminded him I'd put this on his weekly to-do list Sunday night. He finally conceded when the friend wasn't online afterall. 

Here are some old before pics I found.  I didn't take any before pics today since my mother in law was sitting right in the middle of the room.  (don't pay attention to the dates on them, the camera was set wrong. This is from Christmas 2010.) 
The massive couch with my equally huge Christmas wreath I got from Mom's funeral. I love that wreath. 

The antique side table. First thing you see and possibly run into when you came in the front door.

View from front door. This was all the same except the dining set wasn't there. It was on the other side of the room, in front of the buffet. Gerald's cage was in front of that window with the orange wingback next to it.  That big round coffee table NEVER stayed there in front of the couch. It was ALWAYS found pushed back in front of the front door, and it drove me crazy and started this whole re-arranging thing.  Also, that's a 31" TV that was huge in its day, but weighs the same as a small elephant.

The orange chair and ottoman weren't there when we started today. They were switched with the dining set. 
And here's some pics that show what life in this house used to look like all the time:
This was when the couch was setting angled and stuff was piled behind it and the house was just always a mess. 

I don't remember how long those dresser drawers sat on the couch.  Can you see behind the couch.. I think that's a daybed mattress - for a broken daybed we'd already thrown out. 

And here's one from when we had the huge dining table and were never quite sure how it should sit. Oh and those sad chairs. One I got on freecycle and one from a  thrift store.  I finally got rid of them when the kids managed to break the swivel things in BOTH chairs.

I didn't get any pics of the *during* due to things being a little tense.  Christopher *really* hates change and he's quite OCD, so things had to be perfectly aligned and worked out in his head.  

We came to an impass with the bookshelf.  He was adamant that he did not want the bookshelf on the wall next to the buffet-now-tv-stand. All because he liked the arrangement of wall hangings we'd collected over the years. And he liked it where it was and refused to let anything be moved. Oookay then.  So, the bookshelf moved down the wall a bit instead. I'm actually kind of OK with it now. The antique side table was too big for the space in the conversation area by the window, so I put it into that corner where the bookshelf would have gone.  I displayed more of our collections and antique books and it looks nice.  So yeah it's ok.  

Also he decided the old TV stand would be perfect to put Gerald's cage on, especially since it was just on an old plastic play table before (well just for a week or so. He used to sit on the teens' dresser, but they didn't take care of him well, and I felt he needed more socializing.) I hadn't even considered that, and it was a great idea. I had planned on taking that table and the round side table out of the room to reduce clutter, but they actually came in useful afterall. 

Gerald our cavy (aka Guinea Pig). He's a rare color and is long haired, and spoiled rotten.
This is what most pics of Gerald look like. He's a ball of energy!

The round side table fit nicely where I'd planned to put the antique one, by the window in the conversation area. It gave us an extra place to set drinks, and the lamp looks great on it.  In fact it plugs into the socket controlled by the light switch by the door, so we can actually turn on the light when we come in with just a flick of the switch instead of pulling the chain on the overhead. I like that. It's a 3-way bulb too, so on low it's a pretty soft warm glow. 

I have the windows open tonight and there's a nice breeze blowing the curtains. If you notice, there's a mix of curtain styles on this window. I used the tier from one set to block the neighbors looking right into our home, but I wanted to keep the top of the window clear so I can see out, especially when in the kitchen. You can see some really nice sunsets through that little window space while doing dishes or cooking dinner. The silky curtains are just panels and close right over the tier, and I usually close them at night.
Don't look at the dirty dishes!
The couch was a perfect fit for this space.  We'd had it on this side of the room before but had angled it, and it was awful. Clutter got thrown behind the couch because no one could see it. It was just bad. Thanks goodness I have started de-cluttering and I hope to never be like that again. Anyway, I like how this is kind of a defined space. It's really cozy and looks like you can really carry on a conversation with people here.  But also, everyone sitting here can see the TV. Same with the people in the dining area on the other side...
Look there's daylight in this photo!! That hardly ever happens on this blog lol.  It was Family Dinner Night so the family was playing cards.  I took this really quick when I came to the kitchen to get a drink during work. Worst part of working this shift is missing out on moments like this. 
Ah there's some texting going on too apparently. 

Daylight on this side! Pardon the mess, this was before it was straightened up after dinner.

I LOVE all the space! However, Christopher doesn't. He says it bothers him a lot that it's unbalanced. There is something on one side of the buffet but not the other. 

We agreed on a live plant, like a palm or something.  I think a palm would look nice with our eclectic pieces. 

I'm not crazy about all the stuff under the buffet, but the inside of it is stuffed. I blogged about that a few weeks ago actually.  
Ideally I'd love to have a basket to put all the Wii stuff in that would hide it completely. I have an idea of the kind of basket I want.  It's taller and larger and has a lid. Kind of like this:
I think having it on the right of the buffet near the plant will help the balance as well.  Then maybe I can use the basket under the buffet already to hide all the electronics and cords etc. 

And a couple last pics of the space...

Christopher told me tonight he really likes the change and it feels much more open and comfortable. He just needs that balance issue fixed.  All the kids like it and Corina and Tyler even came over and they liked it and made themselves comfortable in the seating area while the rest were playing cards.  Later they played Just dance on the Wii and no one had to move anything!  They did fight with each other about being in their way, but they do that anyway. There's a LOT of arm movements in Just Dance. 

Oh and he did have to wait til he'd rested before putting the goliath old TV on our dresser in the bedroom. It weighs a TON. I know he wants to replace it with another flat screen, but not til we're debt free and I have the cash to buy it without financing it. Maybe for Christmas. We'll see. 

Overall, I think this is the best layout for the living room.  I've thought it was almost there in the past, but this time it's really good. The only thing I'd like to change now is to replace the old couch and the wingback chair with two nice comfy loveseats that match, or maybe even a couch and love seat set. Just somewhere to seat more people and do it comfortably. Oh and of course nicer looking storage for the electronics stuff. 

So, that project is done, yay!  It feels good too!