Since we've re-worked the living room, I've yet to actually be able to sit down and enjoy it. But I live with someone who spends A LOT of time on the sofa, and he loves the set-up so I have reason to believe it's functioning quite nicely! Let's start at the beginning with the before...
Pardon all the stuff - this is a before pic in it's truest, realest form! This living room arrangement wasn't bad. All the shelving was mine, carried over from when I lived alone in a tiny apartment. 10-years-old now, it has served us well. The bookshelves were from Target, and the TV stand came from Ikea. A little feminine but overall the all-white arrangement didn't look bad against our grey walls. The problem was really just the size.
Collectively, this was a massive arrangement in an already small living room. It became the focal point, and as you can see from the pictures, there's not much worth focusing on. We knew when the time came for us to build a new media stand that we'd need new bookshelves. The hunt for new bookshelves turned out to be the motivating factor in this redesign.
We picked up these ladder-back bookshelves from The Container Store back in August when they were having their Annual Shelving Sale. I'm embarrassed to say they sat in their box for two-months until we had a chance to assemble them. When you spend a majority of your free time tackling furniture projects for other people, your own furniture projects have a tendency to sit, unfinished, in the basement! We talked about building our own ladder-back inspired bookshelves, but ultimately even we couldn't beat the price of these guys on sale. The open shelving is what drew us to these particular shelves. Still a relatively big piece of furniture, but it appears less so in the design.
I knew I didn't want nearly as much shelving in our media bench as we'd had previously. I wanted to keep it very simple and minimalistic. However when you live with someone who considers our DVD collection to be a "conversation piece", it turns into a struggle as to what to do with all our DVDs and CDs. Enter the vintage luggage media storage!
These guys are the PERFECT fit for our media collection. DVDs and CDs are still at arms reach and accessible, however now they live in a home that's a little more visually appealing. With the frequency of which we watch our DVDs (never) this is the perfect arrangement.
And now, on to Merle.
We measured all of our media components, so Merle was built specifically to accommodate our receiver and other media devices I don't know how to use. The galvanized tub? Filled with dog toys! Before it sat out in the middle of our living room. Now I have the option of tucking them under Merle when needed. This also helps prevent small Chihuahuas from dragging out all the toys I just picked up prior to vacuuming.
Dipped painting close-up!
And finally, here's a shot of the full wall.
It had to use my panoramic filter, so I apologize if the picture is a little wonky. I assure you our living room wall is not bowed. Also, Frito is the perfect model when he doesn't know he's in my shot.
We need to work some floor to ceiling curtains in behind the TV - those short curtains cut the room off. Given my inate fear of fabric, maybe I'll get to that next year. But overall, Merle's been fun! Our living room looks bigger and I'm pleased we finally tackled it.