Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Project House Update: The Jolly Green Giant Wall

We've been getting A LOT done on the house lately. Our big "End of Summer" bbq is coming up in mid-September and last time we held this party, it was two weeks after we moved into the house. Realizing how much we wanted to get done by party time and how much progress we wanted to show for having worked on the house for a full year, we started to panic. We wrote out a list of everything and it was almost a full page. So, the result is lots of progress!

When I revealed the paint changes to the living room, I outlined what was left to do. The biggest task that fell under my umbrella of "design and management" (not Dan's practical umbrella of "muscle and skill") was the naked wall.

The three things that needed to be done (In addition to this, Dan had to finish routing all the cables so it wasn't just a big, tangled mess):
  1. Find an entertainment center that fits our needs
  2. Hang mirror above the entertainment center
  3. Make frame collage wall
We had very specific needs in our entertainment center. First, we needed something that could house Dan's electronics. The shelves needed to be wide and deep enough to house his stereo and his homemade DVR (See? So smart!), especially for the connectors coming out of the back. Secondly, any cabinet doors needed to be glass or porous so that remotes and controllers would work on any equipment stationed inside. Third, we wanted this entertainment to seem like a piece of furniture. Most of the entertainment centers we looked at were very short so a TV could be placed on top. We wanted something at least 30 inches tall so the piece would feel more like a console table or a buffet. Lastly, we wanted a piece that matched the existing wood in the living room, somewhere between a walnut and cherry color.

Apparently those are really difficult criteria to meet. I looked for months at almost any store imaginable. Target, Ikea, Best Buy, Walmart, you name it. Nothing met all four constraints. And then, I found it.

World Market had it. The only problem? It's World Market. While I love World Market for their decor and food, their furniture is very hit or miss. Anything cheap will fall apart very quickly (and I can state this as fact because my sister worked there for way too long), but the expensive stuff can be pretty nice. And as you can see from the picture above, it wasn't cheap. It was actually double what we'd hoped to pay. But since this was the first one that came anywhere close to what we needed, I called my sister to get her opinion and we pulled the trigger (but we did use just about every internet discount and rebate we could find so it wasn't too bad. Gotta love the internet).

The second thing was the mirror. This one was probably one of the luckiest things to happen to us in a long time. When Dan started renting his last house, his parent's brought him a bunch of furniture they no longer wanted. We used most of it, but the giant mirror that had once graced their former formal living room long ago in Texas was now residing in our guest bedroom closet. And guess what? It's the exact same color as the other wood in the living room! And second miracle? It is the EXACT same width as the entertainment center.

While the mirror isn't exactly our style, we're calling this one a win and moving on.

Lastly, the collage wall. It seems to be more common to use all white frames, but that just wouldn't work with the colors in the room. Also, I hate when whites don't match and I knew I'd never be able to find all the frames in the exact same shade, black's easier.

We based the collage around one large picture of the map of our travels on our honeymoon. When we were in Rome, we traced our path every day on the city map and it became our favorite souvenir. Throw in a shot from our engagement session and two from the wedding and you've got most of our romantic milestones covered!

  1. Honeymoon map of Rome
  2. Engagement session image
  3. Wedding canvas
  4. "Nerds in Love" sketch (I love that it's the same pose as our wedding picture.)
  5. I still need to find something, hopefully a good pic of the kittens
  6. Map of the Reid Park Zoo, the zoo in Tucson
  7. Sweet pea water color my mom painted for our wedding
  8. Sunset from our first trip together, to Disneyland
  9. Clock image my sister gave Dan (I totally found this frame again last night when I was cleaning. It'd been missing since the move.)
Here's the wall now in all it's glory. The living room is really coming together now! (See where my jug ended up? Isn't it pretty like this? I just looooove cherry blossoms!) And it feels much less GREEN now. Not that I don't like the green, but sometimes, it's A LOT of green

Yes, I watch reruns of "Two and a Half Men". The joys of no cable.
A little bit of design advice: NEVER do a tile surround of carpet. It used to be the cool thing back in the day (and cats love to sit on the tile border), but NONE of your furniture against the wall will be level, ever. We had to make these little cellphone-like pieces of wood to attempt to stabilize the entertainment center.

Just don't do it.

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