Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Nook

Like a hounddog, I have been on the search for the perfect bookcases. My goal - to improve the den. My sad little den is really a transitional zone in the house. It has the most architectural details (read: the fireplace) but it really isn't a focal area in the home. It's most important role is that the den connects the kitchen to the living room (read: the food to the TV). The den also serves as an overflow room when we have too many people to seat around the kitchen peninsula.

Originally we had red accents going on in there - but the globally inspired crimson accents didn't flow with the rest of the rooms. And since the adjoining living room has green spots of color throughout, my boyfriend and I decided that this room should be like Paula Abdul and be completely statement-neutral but still make you smile.

My biggest beef with this room is that the leather chairs didn't balance out the microfiber chair because they were pushed back too far. In order to center all the chairs on the fireplace, the club chairs had to be floating out about two feet from the window wall. And let's face it, random brown floaters only are good in one place...and we are working on the den. (Gotta love some potty humor!) So we decided to buy two of these bookshelves. The problem was no store carried them. After a few weeks of fervent Target-stalking, we finally landed two of the espresso colored cases for flanking our window....on sale for $64 a piece.

After assembling the new shmancy bookcases, we called it a day. I stuffed some books in the bottom and threw some old pieces on the shelves but really wasn't digging the vibe. It wasn't putting out a neutral mojo, was it?

So we decided to begin accessorizing. Bringing in a small lamp ($2 Mexican thrift store find) and a few $1 books from the flea market (all with brown, beige, and white covers) helped create a little reading zone on the center table. The Pottery Barn photo albums took their place on the bottom shelves. The rest of the shelves got a few scattered items for now but will need to be adorned in the near future. I definitely want to paint the gold mirror white and place above the bookshelves (don't worry, I have two!). Any other suggestions? If ya;ll find links to neutral hued items that you think I might like - please let me know. A girl is nothing without her accessories :)

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, the bookshelves really help my floaters to not look crappy (heehee) pushed out in the middle of the space. In fact, I can just imagine dumping (haha) my junk on the floor and popping a squat (ok, I'll stop) on one of the leather thrones (sorry, I can't help it).

A little makeover that happened by chance. This is a chest I scored at Goodwill for $35. On top it had a bit of that red we were phasing out. Naturally it had to go.

Obviously this isn't done yet. But just so I can keep you guys up to speed, I did a quick change to make the chest accessories a little more neutral too.

Ok now here is what I really want to share. I have FIVE different wood finishes in the den. All different. It's driving my boyfriend bonkers. He is so matchy matchy :) So over the next month or so, be prepared to see some of these wood colors change...yup, Bower Power is gonna digest these suckers and you are not gonna believe what comes out the other end :) Seriously though, potty humor is a stinky habit and I am trying to get it outta my system...pun totally intended.


Freckles Chick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freckles Chick said...

Best indirect references to poop in a post EVER. You set the bar high, Katie!

I love the direction your den is going! The pops of white are fantastic. I'll be on the prowl for neutral accessories for you. Excuse me while I drool over your Ikea ribba frame.

Lisa said...

I love the paint color on the walls in this room. Do you mind sharing who makes it and the color?

*claire* said...

i really like the neutral direction. we are talking about doing the same for our living room- phasing out the red accents, and green walls ('s not that Christmassy!) for more subtle colors

by the way - i'm sure you already posted about this - but where are the brown chairs from? we saw some at ikea this weekend that were just like that (and on sale!), and we considered getting them... if they happen to be the ikea ones - do you like them?? are they comfy and functional or just look great (which yours do!)

Heidi said...

OMG, you can plunk down more potty humor than anyone I know.

Katie said...

Lisa - the paint color is called Dusty Trail. It is Olympic Brand which is very inexpensive. I love it because I am very sensitive to yellow undertones (they always seem to sneek in!) so this hue is defintiely a warm beige without the golden feel.

Claire - yup you got it! These chairs were at Ikea for about $200 a pop. They do look great but the comfortability factor is still low. We are currently in the process of breaking them in...I tell my 4 year old nephew to jump on them whenever possible :) We tested the ones at the store (which were much more broken in from a gazillion hineys giving them a try) and those definitely gave more cush on the tush.

Hope this helps!

XO - Katie

Jen M said...

Okay I am like a 12 year old boy because I always find potty humour funny :oP

Love the makeover so far and can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve!

queenbee said...

Your potty humor is tooo funny. I actually like all of the wood tones, but hey matchy matchy is good too. love the bookcases and i will keep my eyes wide open for some fab accessories.

Anonymous said...

does your husband know you have a bf?!?

Bayjb said...

Love all of the photos. Very relaxing space. I might have to hire you as a decorator :)

Joi said...

Love the way the room is headed!

Sherry said...

Those new bookcases are lookin' fiiiiiine, girl. Love the light & natural accessories on top. And speaking of the top, your potty humor was the cherry on top of the sundae that is this lovely post. Hee-larious.


Kristina with a K said...

Room is coming together nicely!

I decided to redo my bedroom (your bedroom completely inspired me, so I stole a few idea ;))The redo started this weekend {pictures to come!} While I was at Lowe's the kind paint man told me that you don't have to strip and sand finished wood! I was always under the impression that you had to strip and sand etc., and you began to resent whatever piece of furniture you were sweating over. He said there is a product made by a major stain (ha)manufacturer that all you have to do is paint it on and bam, color totally changed and it looks great. Even on finished wood. I'll get back to you on the exact details. I think it might be worth a shot on your multi-tinged woods.

I'm redoing my kitchen cabinets next ;)

Katie said...

hmmmm...very interesting Kristina! I wonder if what you are talking about is gel stain! (which happens to be my prefered method of stain-changing) I guess we will find out :) I love a good mystery...

XO - Katie

SweDaisy said...

You are definately a stinker!!! Too funny!
I love what you have done with the place. I find the neutral tone is very calming, great for a reading den. Can't wait to see what's next.

Take Care,

I love the mixing of woods.

Anonymous said...

I really like the way this is coming together. I agree that the round mirror should go above one of the bookcases since they are shorter, just to visually help draw the eye up toward the height of the ceiling. Above the fireplace I would put something larger than what the mirror is but still use your great candlesticks. The "golden rule" is usually no more than 3 different woods BUT from the picture I think with everything being so neutral, it visually adds character. Something a little larger on the coffee table may look better because of the chunky furniture. You are doing great and once you decide on the kitchen rug you could add small accents of that color, even if it is small textured pillows with that color, not needed but would help flow from the one room to the next. Looking great!
Michelle L

koopermom said...

I love love love that big microfabric chair. What brand is it? I think I need a few! :)