OK so I got some stuff done on the 'stop procrastinating.....' list. I've made some curtains, cushions, added some fake photos to our fake photo frame but the big changes happened in the living room, (or as I call it 'the front room' even though it's at the back, I can't help it, I'm Northern).
Since we moved in March, we've never been able to get the front room looking cosy. It's twice the size of our room back home but in Phoenix standards it's unusual. Most of the houses we looked at when buying had much more open plan 'grand rooms' (yep, that is what they actually call them). But this is why we liked this house - it's much more quirky, with rooms divided off a bit more and much more us.
Yep, you can guess I hate the brown and hate that fireplace.....I miss my old fireplace, the one Father Christmas used to come down every year and leave 'snow' on our carpets:
The one we used to snuggle up in front of during one of the many snow/flood related power cuts:
So anyway, other than the obvious browness of the room (which I'm still not quite ready to paint, we're having an Indian Summer here now, 106F/41C yesterday and today) there were some other obvious things about the room I didn't like:
1. The back wall:
2. Our house 'intercom'/radio/cd/tape player/doorbell:
....not only is it installed ALL AROUND the house (and out on the patio), its once white plastic cover is yellowing and is just a large eyesore on my wall (and walls). I know our house is bigger than our one in the UK, but it's not so big that if I shout "come and get your tea!" up the stairs the kids can't hear me......there's no way I'm using the intercom into their bedrooms......though Melchett had great fun using the intercom to send us 'orders' from her room when we first moved in, until I turned down the volume on this one so I couldn't hear her, except I could because she's only upstairs and Melchett was named because she shouts, shouts and shouts again.
The Nutone intercom/media player wouldn't be as bad if a) there were any decent FM radio stations available in Phoenix I could play on it, b) I could hook up my computer iTunes or an ipod to it.....I have no idea how you hook up 'tapes' to it.
OK rant over. One day we'll pull them all out and install a wireless doorbell instead.
I thought by putting two pics at the other end of the wall you'd look at them instead of this eyesore....it didn't work.
3. The old stained carpet left by previous owners, possible renters and being bank-owned:
4. The holes in the wall for tv, dvr, dvd player etc and yukky gas fire and concrete mantel (see above for pic).
So this is what we've done to start making a cosier, more 'us' room:
(Admittedly some of this I did whilst in the world's brownest house to help counteract it's browness, but they've transferred well to our new home).
- Made two glitter flags for our homeland and our new home country (two basic canvasses from an craft shop, pencilled design of the Stars & Stripes and the Union Flag on them, then 'painted' on glue section by section before adding glitter and shaking off excess very, very carefully). I'm going to paint the background wall to these two white in the near future to make it more of an 'installation'. These are making headway into detracting from the fireplace:
- Tried to fill the holes in the wall with colourful stuff we love and bought an IKEA tv storage unit which we built in two pieces rather than as it's supposed be to raise the tv (filling the big hole better) and 'frame' the holes better:
And no, we don't always have the Cybermen on the telly.....just most of the time ;)
When we first put the telly in the top hole, and our dvd players, dvr, computer in the bottom hole, without the storage units there was tons of empty space. This is a definite improvement. And we love out little Wenlock and Pride the Lion.....can't wait for London 2012, even if we can't be there.
- Made curtains for the holes in the walls they call windows ;)
- Colour blocked the bookshelves
- Moved a bigger picture from another room, my favourite Klimt.....and matched it up in the centre of the wall with other two smaller Klimts we already had in the room, previously hanging listlessly at the end - but not before spraying their frames with a metallic paint to match the big frame (and actually the greens on the paintings look far better with silverish frames than the original pine ones):
- Buying some cosy standard lamps from IKEA - although the central ceiling fan/light does a wonderful job when it's really hot keeping us cool, because of the maximum allowed wattage and us using energy saving lightbulbs, the light it gives out is pathethic.....and definitely not enough to sew with on settee if I need to make stuff along to an episode of Doctor Who or Torchwood or Alphas or The Colbert Report (you get the picture)
- Buying some greenery for the room
- replacing the yukky stained beigey brown carpet with a new gorgeous red one.......and it's green too because it's made out of recycled plastic bottles, no really it is, I know I can't quite get my head around that one either - I think the people in the shop thought we were mad buying this, they kept telling us wool-based stainmaster carpets would last longer (possibly 20 years) but a) we might not be living in this house in 20 years (we might be in the UK or somewhere else) and b) we might get bored of the colour/texture before then too. And AS for trying to get a colourful carpet.........I wish I'd taken some pics of the colours available here, there's brown, lighter brown, brown with a hint of brown, a green that's really brown etc etc....but luckily there was also, down at the very bottom of the swatches, hiding in a corner obviously being bullied for not being brown: our ideal 'ruby'.
So now we have this:
There are still things I want to change -
- I WILL get rid of the intercom/media player thing but at the mo it's hiding behind a nice lamp so not too bad;
- I AM going to paint the hole/dent in the wall behind the glitter flags white;
- I MOST DEFINITELY AM going to paint the walls a different colour though I'm not sure what yet (any suggestions gratefully received);
- I AM going to do something with that fireplace - first temporary fix might be painting the concrete mantel a darker brown to be a slight contrast with the wall colour it's currently painted, but then I'd like to try 'boxing' it with some nicely stained wood....and eventually pull it out and put in something prettier.....but that's WAY in the future.
But as things go, this wasn't a bad start :)