When we first looked at our home we were immediately drawn to this space. Well, parts of this space. We always liked the idea of a split-level home but the ones we had seen previous to this were just so dark in the lower level. This one, while the decor AND paint AND carpet were not to our taste, had tons of light and very little sub-level feel about it. The idea of having a whole level of our home for hanging out and watching tv was so exciting (being the 900 square foot city dwellers that we were).
I set out to transform this space as soon as we moved in. I wouldn't even say it's totally finished but I like the feel of it finally and I'm comfortable sharing it in it's current state.
To start, I had the entire space painted white, top to bottom. I'm not sure I'll stick with the white forever but it's a great place to start and adding color to the upper portion over the wood paneling would be an easy fix. For now, the white works well with all of the other color going on in the space. Henry's play area adjoins this space so you'll get what I mean when I get around to sharing that. So. Many. Toys.
Next, we tore out the old carpet and replaced it with a simple loop carpet in a light sort of mist color. I'm not a huge fan of carpet but for economical reasons we went with it. It actually makes the space very cozy, so I'm ok with that compromise. The space, though bright during the day, did feel more cavern-like as evening hours approached so we also had recessed lighting installed. Isn't it amazing what good lighting can do for your mood?
Once we had a clean slate, we started to talk furnishings. At first we wanted a GIANT sectional so I taped out a spot for the one we were eyeing. We quickly realized that Mike's beloved leather recliner would then not have a home so we scratched that plan and settled for something smaller. We custom ordered this guy from Interior Define. What we like about this sofa, aside from it's budget friendliness, is how low profile it is for being so large. Since we're sub-level in this space and the ceilings are a tad lower, something that sat lower to the ground felt more appropriate. What we don't like about the sofa is the stiffness. There are pros and cons to this. A squishy sofa can collapse on itself pretty quickly while a more firm structure will last longer before that happens. I feel like it's starting to get more comfortable but Mike thinks I'm just getting used to it's level of discomfort. Either way, there is a 365 return policy so we'll see if we are motivated enough to do something about it soon.
For styling, as with most stuff in our house, it's a little random because budget, duh. I had been drooling over that rug from Pottery Barn for a while and saw it marked half off one day so I immediately ordered it. I like the color it brings into such a stark space (that was the point). I snagged the cinnamon-y pillows and the kilim one from our ever-evolving bedroom and the rest are from where else? Target.
Much of the other furnishings were also beg, borrowed and stolen from other areas of the house. The mid-century chair is one of the unused captain's chairs from our dining room set and the coffee table was an old purchase from Kane County Flea Market. The media stand (Crate & Barrel) was brought over from our condo in the city. It's sentimental because it was our first big purchase after we got married. I still really like it which is good because in the Phillips family sentimental pieces die hard, i.e. we ain't never getting rid of it.
That weird little niche next to the media stand stumped me for a while. I would LOVE more than anything to put some reclaimed wood built-in shelves there but there are just so many non-fun projects to spend money on in the first year of homeownership (and probably forever, right?) For now, it's a perfect little music area.
The space above the tv was also driving me a little mad. I don't normally care if something goes over the tv but this was a pretty big bare spot given the white paint. I found this neon guy at Target. I like it because this space is our hang out space. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. I also really like that when I turn it on, Henry starts running around like a crazy man yelling "dance party!" I mean...
I love to see this space so polished and finished looking. What you're not seeing is the madness that accompanies it – Henry's play area which, of course, migrates to the adult side of the room. The perfectionist design nerd in me wants to keep it like this 24/7 while the mom side of me knows these days are short and I just need to embrace his chaos... at least from 6am to 7pm and then I can clean it up and feel like I'm still winning a little. Of course, I made his space as pretty as possible. Give me a minute to clean it all up and I'll share that side soon!