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Show & Tell Saturday: The New Den

Part of the reason I have been holding off on showing you the remodel of our den is because I have had a hard time finding before pictures. You would think, at this point in my blogging career, that I would have been smart enough to have taken photos before we started this remodel. Before we ripped out the existing window. Before we replaced the ceiling. Before we put down new carpet over the old and ugly yellow linoleum. Before we took down the green & blue plaid wallpaper that was falling off in spots anyway.

But no. I did not.

I did, however, manage to find a blog post and it shows the room at the mid-point of the last redo.

Here – go look at it. I’ll wait.

You’re back already? I know, my pictures weren’t great in those days. Whatever. Now that you’ve seen photos of the room let me tell you a few things that were different by the time we changed it again. For one, there was wallpaper. Also, we moved the green thing and the chair from Ikea into the guest room and a piano was against that wall instead. The bench that held my fiber had been moved upstairs to my craft room as had the yarn that was on the shelves. The floor was the same, the window was the same and the computer desk was the same.

As I have mentioned briefly already, we gave the piano away and we got Dale a laptop and that basically gave us an empty room to play with. We wanted to keep the shelving but we wanted to ditch that window so that we could put a small couch there without it having to be right in front of the window. And have I mentioned that this room is tiny? As in 8 feet by 10 feet tiny.

Okay, ready?

den wide shot for carole knits

Here’s the shot of the room from the dining room doorway. Where you see that white table is where the computer desk used to be. And the wood paneled wall at the end is where the green thing and chair were in the post from 2006. Got it?

new window for carole knits

So, the window was removed and replaced by this custom (read: expensive) window. And it was worth every penny. It lets in beautiful morning light and both windows crank open. It’s got a perfect little windowsill for displaying seasonal things and more. And I love it.

That ugly yellow linoleum was covered by a very pretty and neutral berber carpet. We also got much needed new carpet in our living room and bedroom. Hooray!

couch corner for carole knits

The couch is from Lay Z Boy and we got it on a great sale they had this summer. As in, 33% off all furniture, even custom pieces, which this happened to be. Now. I am not one to be very picky about furniture. Every other piece we have has come from Jordan’s Furniture and has been selected from the showroom floor. But. I wanted a denim couch for this room. And denim furniture? Not very easy to come by unless you’re willing to spend $4000 on something from Pottery Barn. I might have even been tempted to do that if I could have found a piece small enough to fit in this room but apparently everyone who buys furniture at Pottery Barn lives in a house the size of, well, a barn. But I digress. My point is, the couch was on sale and I got it in denim and it’s l-shaped and that’s just what I wanted. We originally planned to put it right into that corner but for now I like it centered under the window. One one side of it is an end table from L.L. Bean and on the other is that white tray table piece that I got from Target.

light fixture 1 for carole knits

The other thing I truly love about this room are the lights. Can I just take a moment and say, holy crap but lighting is expensive! These were 1/4 of the price of the ones I originally wanted and Dale still thought I was crazy. But really – just look at them and their silver-y vintage-y goodness.

light fixture 2 for carole knits

I mean. C’mon.

bookcase for carole knis

The bookcase got updated with a coat of white paint and a complete culling of all books and other junk that had a tendency to accumulate there. I painted the baskets black and bought some nice black storage boxes for DVDs and photos and once we put everything back we found that we even had room for a few extras like a picture I took in Gettysburg and some other interesting pieces.

old window for carole knits

The artwork is sorely lacking at this point as all that is up is the sign about meeting me at the raw bar (anytime, just say the word!) and a Thanksgiving quilted wall hanging (which will be coming down in 2 weeks) and this window that we hung on the wall to the right of the doorway. This came from our attic and I saved it for just this purpose. My plan is to have a couple of my pictures printed up to hang behind the glass and change seasonally.

I owe so much to our awesome contractor, Billy, and our mad skilled electrician Shawn, and my very patient husband who put up with my plans and ideas and didn’t say a word when this went over budget a bit. We have found this to be an excellent spot to go to at the end of the day to share a drink and a snack and catch up. Or for taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon. Or as a place to hang out and read when the TV in the other room is on. And now that it’s finished it was all worth it — the darkness when the old window was pulled out and the hole was boarded up for weeks waiting on the custom window to arrive. The dust when the new ceiling was installed and the old walls were re-coated and sanded.  The hours of painting and sanding and shopping.

All worth it.


This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. wow! it’s gorgeous! comfortable and bright…and oh-so-stylish! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy spending lots of time there all year round!

  2. Definitely worth it! I love the big things and all the great details – especially the lights and your window. Enjoy all the relaxing time you spend in your great den!

  3. Gorgeous! That sofa looks so incredibly comfortable, and the fixtures are beautiful. (Have you discovered We have one of their fixtures in a powder room, and I covet more.)

  4. It’s lovely, well done. I can’t tell if your post has inspired or intimidated me regarding the remodeling we desperately need to do.

  5. It all looks fantastic. I LOVE the lights and the denim. I have been wanting a denim couch for years. The white looks so crisp and clean. Great job. Enjoy!

  6. The room looks really lovely and inviting Carole. I hope that you and Dale enjoy it for many years.

  7. The room looks night and day different from the room I saw years ago. This room is elegant, yet cozy, beautiful, yet homey, and it looks like the perfect place to find comfort and friendship! Love it, Carole! You did a fabulous job.

  8. It is absolutely worth it if its a space you’ll use alot. There are rooms in my house that we always use, and rooms that we use rarely (sadly, the Fiber Room is one of the more unused ones).

  9. I also love your lighting fixture. I’m hankering for some of those old-timey looking light bulbs. P.S. Pretty please come to my house and help me sort out MY books?

  10. It looks nice! My MIL would love your new couch: she slipcovered over all her old couches in denim, but I know would love the actual thing instead.

  11. Oh my, ain’t remodeling fun…at least at the stage where you are now. It looks so cozy and functional. We are, as we speak, preparing for the installation of a new wood floor in the living room. In the process of removing old tile and carpet, we uncovered some truly ugly linoleum from the 70’s. Gold, green and white…bleech! At least we are not the perps who installed that ugly stuff! Have a great weekend!

  12. It’s the perfect cozy spot for some best friends to hang out and talk over a nice glass of wine 😉

  13. Beautiful room. I love that sofa!! Your window is wonderful. And I want to find an old window just like yours for above my fireplace.

  14. Carol I love your new family room. Everything is so fresh and at the same time warm and inviting. I especially love your new couch. I might be off to lazy-boy this weekend and see if I can find this sofa. I love denim sofas and the two I purchased 17 years ago are finally giving up. Denim is so adaptable, as you can do anything with it from country to modern to traditional and it looks good with every thing. One thing i should warn you about, watch out for sun as denim does fade as we know. I have very faint horizontal lines on mine from my plantation shutters which are open all the time.

    Enjoy your new room.

  15. It’s wonderful!! I have seen the before and I love, love, love the after! Tell me more about the lights! You will see my in the midst of construction picture today and lighting is on my mind. 🙂

  16. Truly gorgeous, Carole! Congrats on a job well done… and for only going “a bit” over budget!! I know you’ll enjoy that room for a long, long time.

  17. It looks great Carole! I get a “Cape Cod” kinda feeling from the furniture, new window and the table. It looks like a very relaxing space.

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