Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bachelor Pad - Part 2: Living Room

Hello Viewers!

Last time we met, we explored the upgrading of my son Majors' bedroom. The problems of the "boy's" shared apartment were touched upon, and now we get to take a look at what used to be a dismal eating area.

This dining area was really a greater problem than the bedrooms: definitely on the small side for something that has to double as a living room; only one, narrow, strangely placed, window; and with an overhead fluorescent light fixture that made us all depressed. There is something about that dead, colorless, shadow-less “light” that always makes me feel like I am in some very low-budget production of “The Night of the Walking Dead”. My sons feel the same way. 

According to Major the worst eye-sore was the floor, which he wanted covered and hidden. To me, the worst eye-sore was not the floor but the walls, papered in an elegant shade of Vomit. An over-the-door coat rack intruded further into the limited space. The door to the left leads to the rest of the apartment - the part which they cannot use.

Turning around, with one's back to the window, one gets the pleasure of an uninhibited view of the actual kitchen. What a thrill!

The archway barely glimpsed to the left leads to the bedrooms and bath.                     Below, more kitchen...

And finally, full circle, with the entry door to the left in the back. A sad story.

“It looks like nobody is living here” Major complained, which I took to mean that the whole place was lacking in what we decorating professionals call “the home comforts”. Again – repainting was not an option, and the prospect of a new ceiling light also involved too many complications and had to be abandoned. I would have to adopt a “Divert and Conquer” strategy. 

First of all, I went foraging in the storage part of the apartment and found - a green armchair, still sweating in its plastic cover, which had remained untouched since the 1950s. Liberated therefrom, and wiped down, it looked quite nice, and perfectly complemented a small side table (a former sewing machine table) that I had just discarded from my own lair, and which Minor had requested for himself. The little green ottoman we had already found in a closet - nothing much to look at, but together with the chair it wasn't so bad.

Then, as previously mentioned, we set off to IKEA. The most important item on the shopping list was a rug that would provide coziness and deflect attention from the floor. Helsinge certainly does that. It kills floors! It also provided a color scheme, picking up the green from the chair, underscoring the yellow undertones of both the kitchen table and the wallpaper, and injecting some red for much-needed warmth and energy; we are now dealing with a green-yellow-red living room!

Light, white curtains called Hillmari let in light even when they are drawn, something that is important in this room with only one window (even though it gets indirect day light also through the actual kitchen). 

The table lamp belongs to the house and was brought in from Minor's desk; instead I bought him a more functional - and masculine - black desk lamp.

The greenery in the corner is on loan from me for the time being, providing a bit of coziness, while also temporarily solving one of my little storage problems.

The patriotic poster looks much better here, with a frame, and the little oil painting - well, look above (3rd photo from the top) for "before" and here below for "after"...  All right, it will never be great art, but with the frame touched up, and hung in the right place, where it echoes the greenery in the floor vase, and the glow of the lamp is replicated in the sunset, it almost looks charming.

Turning slightly to the left, we encounter the dining table. It had originally been filling up the whole room, but when I revealed to the sons that it was an expandable table, and we removed the leaf and moved it up against the wall, it became a nice size for two - with space for me to visit! 

We now have an eating area, and a lounging area - only one lounger at a time, though. 

We tried valiantly to make space for a second armchair, but it just wasn't possible, however we turned and moved around the furniture. Even so, it makes the room homier and more inviting.

The wall mirror is meant to compensate a bit for the missing second window, and I wrestled for a long time with shapes and sizes. I finally chose this one, for its decorative and strong frame, and for the shape that echoes the wave in the curtain - and I am still unsure of whether I chose right! We all like it, and it does make the room look great, but is it the ultimate in mirrors? Should it have been larger? Would a rectangle, being more of a parallel to the window, have been better? I guess we shall never know...

More circles on the table - Pannå place mats and Hyfsad bowl make the table fun and young; the lamp, Fillsta, makes it cozy. It is absolutely adorable in this context, looking like a space ship from the Moomin Valley. I really recommend putting a table lamp on the dining table - it feels very intimate and fun; you gather around the light as if around a camp fire. 

Continuing the left turn, we have another of those light strings for more mood and ambiance and what not. The coat rack is gone, and the glass door has been hung with another piece of Bollkaktus panel curtain (see Major's bedroom, above). Neater, and more grown-up-looking ("Not too grown-up!" though.)

When I look at this picture, I realize that those chair seats need covering up... Badly!

And finally we swivel towards the entry door - that is where the coats belong, on a neat little coat rack called Hjälmaren!

Enough for today, but there will be more to follow; we shall look more at the kitchen, and there have also been one or two more little improvements in what is now officially dubbed "the living room". I'll be back when I have more photos!

Till then,
Regards from Rosebud!