Interior design challenges

posted by Jeff | Sunday, July 31, 2016, 5:17 PM | comments: 0

We went through a pretty serious HGTV phase, lasting through our 18 months or so back in Cleveland and into our first year in the new house in Orange County. It was the makeover and renovation stories that we liked, because it was amazing to see how beautiful these living spaces were. We don't watch the TV shows that often anymore, but we do go through the model homes in the neighborhood as new ones pop up (I think there are 10 builders now). They make me feel like we really suck about furnishing and decorating, especially after being in the house for two years.

I do have some excuses though, not the least of which is that we let Simon kind of stretch out all over the place. He has toys in five places right now, or six if you count the one or two things that end up in my office. The level of room engagement varies, and I admit that we've let him have a little too much at times. There's a part of me that wants to say, "This is your area, and the living room stays clear," but as an only child, that would mean he would be playing alone a lot of the time.

At some point between the holidays last winter, we decided to go all-in with an Ikea BESTÅ renovation for the TV and such. I wanted to ditch the old stand that we had with doors because it was baking our Xbox, and everything else in it. I also really wanted some display shelves mounted to the wall, so when it went on sale, we did that. Some people think the Ikea stuff looks cheap, but I think if you do it right, it's pretty solid. Mind you, I felt good about it until I saw my brother-in-law's custom built-in that he did at his new house. It's completely beautiful. I have to remind myself that he's an architect. Combined with some custom curtains and pillows that Diana made, the living room is definitely comfortable. We still would like to get some better light fixtures, a coffee table and a new chair.

The dining area, which is really all the same room, still lacks a good table. We've just not found one that we like. We did add a wine rack and cabinet that matches the kitchen pretty well. Diana has added accents above the cabinets as well. We still think we want a backsplash in there, but again, haven't found anything we like.

Simon spontaneously said he wanted his room to be Star Wars themed, and Diana responded by jumping into action. She just finished painting the walls in a two-tone, with a dark blue in the top two feet, and glow-in-the-dark star decals. She even painted over the cheap dresser that once doubled as his changing table.

Unfortunately, we hate our room. It's the room with the most expensive floor, too. We originally were going to do a light blue that looked terrible, then ended up doing the whole thing a dark blue. We have nothing on the walls. We want an accent rug, but haven't found the one we want. And it occurs to me that our light furniture may clash with the floor. I really wanted the tray ceiling, but we had upgrade fatigue when we ordered the house. I did see in a model a way to simulate that depth, by framing off part of the ceiling and painting up to it. We may still do that.

The one bright spot is that my office is comfortable and decorated, mostly with stuff we already had. I bought some picture frames to match some others I already had, and it's a wonderfully comfortable place. Since I work from home a minimum of 70% of the time, that's a good thing. I still would like to get a big closet to hide all of my crap, but otherwise it's a functional space.

I give us slack because on TV, they pay people to do this stuff. Heck, so do the builders in their models. Assuming that we aren't going anywhere, we've got time. It's not a race.


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