Friday, September 30, 2011

Ready for a Home Tour?

This morning, the most brilliant idea struck me. What better way to keep track of what we've accomplished and what's still to be desired in each room than to write a room-by-room house tour??? So over the next few weeks, I'll take you through each room in our house to showcase the improvements we've made and to highlight what I'm still looking for to make the room complete.

Ready? Go!

I decided to start with the family room for a few reasons: 1) It's nearly complete. 2) It's probably where we spend the majority of our waking hours. 3) We host a small group in our home once a week. 4) It's also nicely picked up right now.

Walking into the family room from the hallway

(Picture tile laid and cute sitting chair with adorable table)

Looking at the family room from the other direction

I've mentioned this before, but our house had huge built-ins on two of the walls in the family room when we moved in. When we first looked at the house, I wanted them gone. Once I moved in, I started thinking maybe they could stay and be of use. The week of the wedding, Jon, his parents, and his brother tore down the cabinets and took them out. Decision made. After living with this decision and seeing the room come to completion, I'm so so so glad that the cabinets are gone. It opens up the room so much, and gives us more space to work with! We also moved in with a $5 Craigslist table, $20 Ikea rug, and Ikea Kivik sofa (found in the As-Is section with no damage!)

Pretty early change - Adding the Kivik loveseat to our furniture line up for the room. We were planning to add the chaise lounge at the same time, but the cover we wanted was out of stock. We decided to go ahead an put the loveseat together, so we could have that seating space. The loveseat went along the west side of the room, the sofa along the south side, and the round table (wedding present!) in between the two.

First permanent change in this room - paint. It's amazing, what a little paint can do (or in this case, a lot of paint). We primed and painted the family room and adjoining dining area in a light grey (which I accidentally bought 3 gallons of instead of 2 - so I'm thinking about where else I can put this color). I was really pleased with the color, even though it's a bit lighter than I anticipated. I thought I had purchased the next shade darker for the fireplace, but when I got the paint out I discovered I bought an extra gallon of the wall color. So off to Home Depot I went. Picking out paint is such a painful process for me. It seems like such a permanent decision, and with the price of paint, it kind of is! But after lots of time in the aisle debating with myself, pro-con lists, and the opinions of Home Depot employees, I bought a gallon of paint and was ready to take on the fireplace.

Painting the fireplace was a much larger job than I anticipated. It took nearly a week and was grueling work. But seeing the fireplace completed made me forget all about the soreness! The color is perfect and I realize now that only going one shade darker would've been a huge mistake! The contrast is so much better than I could've dreamed. I also made the fireplace cushions for additional seating.


Chaise cover finally came in - Yippee! After building the chaise, covering it, and attaching it to the loveseat, we did a little rearranging to the current layout. I'm still on the fence about the chaise, but it's working well and it provides good seating. I just don't LOVE it yet.

Another change - found these lamps (sorta). When we bought these lamps at our local ReStore, they were brassy and gold-ish. They had ivory lampshades with burnt orange trim. A couple coats of glossy navy blue spray paint and some white muslin fabric later and this is how they look.

Be-a-u-tiful!

So what's still to do?

  • Sand and re-paint the coffee table. I love the shabby chic look, but the current state of the coffee table is a little sad. I would like to sand it and re-paint it the same color (white).
  • Sitting chair in the corner. I really want a sitting chair to make the room more about conversation than the TV. The size and scale of such a piece are going to have to be spot on...so I'm still diligently scouting this piece out.
  • Place to put the lamp. As you can see in the pictures, one lamp is sitting on the fireplace - which means if someone sits on the fireplace, it becomes a little precarious or that the light is at a really low level. Point is: we need something to put the lamp on!
  • Finish tiling. After the cabinets came out, we were left with bare concrete. We have matching tile, we just need to learn how to tile and make the time to get it done.
  • Curtains or blinds - maybe. Currently, there are no window decorations, but I'm good with that for now (I think).
  • DVD storage. We are still working on how to store DVDs, so this is another maybe item.
  • Some more fireplace decoration. Ultimately, I can see a collage above the fireplace or maybe a mantle built. But since I'm still not totally sure what I want, it's going to have to be lower on the priority list.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Over Facebooking

I'm not sure if the title of this post is a foreshadowing of my future with Facebook or my conclusion about the amount of social networking currently happening. In the last few days, the updates of Facebook have been quite the hot topic in my Senior Government class during "Current Events." Today, one of my students raised his hand and summarized a blog he had read about how we can be consumers of a computer, but we are products of Facebook. This created quite the firestorm of comments ranging from "the Facebook updates are stupid" to "Facebook = drama, the end."

So I posed the question to my students, "Has Facebook taken away our ability to interact with people in a face to face setting?" Quickly, the consensus was that no, they still prefer hanging out with people. But the caveat was Facebook is available as an app, meaning someone isn't tied to their computer in order to "facebook"(as a verb). This brought me to my next point (I always like to make them go beyond their initial answer and refine their opinions). The other night, while I was out to dinner with my husband, I noticed a table full of women who were obviously close friends and excited to see each other. However, I was disturbed by the amount of time each woman was spending on her own phone, essentially excluding herself from that moment with her friends. I've tried to tell myself that I'm a good multi-tasker, but the truth is I'm terrible at it. And watching these women, I realized that most people can't exist in two realities either (digital and physical).

Facebook has obviously changed the world we live in. Local events become international news almost instantaneously. I can now show and tell (electronically speaking) all of my "friends" what I'm eating for lunch or baking at home or currently crafting. Every relationship has a sounding board and a forum from which to sprout. But what else has Facebook done? I heard a story on NPR today about how terrorist groups have used social networking sites to spread false rumors to incite chaos and to create opportunities for themselves. I wonder how many accidents have been caused or nearly caused by someone trying to update their status while driving. I wonder how many friendships have been ruined by passive aggressive statuses being misinterpreted.

How would our world be different without Facebook? I don't necessarily have an answer, but simply am posing a question. Am I over Facebooking right now? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm certainly not sure how I feel about being classified as a product of Facebook. But it is a valid point that we have been shaped by Facebook and the world view each of us holds has been influenced by some sort of social networking. So is the world over Facebooking (in the sense of using too much)? Maybe. Maybe not. But it is something we should consider.