I haven’t posted much for progress downstairs lately. Mostly because it still isn’t finished, but also because we change our minds so often that it has been hard to keep up.
We knew what we wanted to put downstairs, and which area we wanted to put each designated room (office, playroom, family room, etc). But it was such a blank canvas when we moved in that we had no idea what we were doing for layouts. And for us, it’s always been a trial and error type thing.
I’m going to provide a little update on what is currently downstairs and how we got to that stage. Mostly to hold myself accountable to creating more blog posts, but also so you know I haven’t been slacking off all this time in between posts.
If I’m not mistaken, these would have been the last photos posted of the space, and a lot has changed since then. We struggled with where to put the TV. There was an outlet and a cable plug on the side wall seen in the photo above. So we automatically put the TV there, with a cheap kijiji fireplace underneath. Then we had two couches and a loveseat placed in an awkward “U” shape around it. It seemed like a good idea at the time because it accommodated a lot of people (perfect for entertaining), but it was terrible for movies and watching TV.
I had purchased some short bookshelves from IKEA to use for our DVD’s, a couple accent pillows, but we still weren’t in love with the design idea.
We decided that we couldn’t get our desired look or feel downstairs with this layout. And we basically went back to the drawing board and started over. We sold both couches and the loveseat, sold the fireplace, corner cabinet and even the large decorative pier 1 wooden cabinet and started again.
The first thing we decided to do was place the TV. Although the previous homeowners had it all set to go on that end wall, it just didn’t seem like the best place to put it. It turned the “family room” into a bowling alley that seemed small and closed off. Instead of the large entertaining space we wanted it to be. The IKEA shelves got moved to the larger wall with the TV, so we could continue to use them for DVD storage. But now that wall seemed empty with the large gaps on either side. And the space on the sides became wasted and useless. Another IKEA order was placed as we continued to transform the space.
To avoid losing the wall space on the sides of the TV to wasted space we opted for extra storage. I grabbed 4 cabinets that were the same width as my DVD shelves. I went with tall bookcases to make it feel more like a built in. Now, at first glance, all of the shelves and DVD’s make it feel busy and cluttered. Don’t worry, we found a pretty good solution for that too.
We picked up 8 doors for the tall bookcases. I chose a solid bottom door with a glass display on top. I have quite the collection of “display” items so I thought it would be the best of both worlds. I’d get the opportunity to put some of my favorite pieces on display, and also have the bottom of the bookcases to hide all the not so attractive items.
We set up the surround sound, cable, DVD player, and we were in business!
Instead of looking for another couch and loveseat combo, we opted for another Costco sectional. This one has all individual pieces that can link together any way you want! You can link the ottoman as a chaise, you can separate the set into two love seats, or add them all together for an extra long couch (which is what we did). We linked all 4 backing pieces together to create the best, family movie night, cuddle spot ever. And the great thing is, all seats have the same view! Which means no fights over who is closer or who can see better. Just like a movie theater. All we need now is a ceiling and some lighting.
We’ve already had some pretty great movie nights down here with the kids. And the nice thing is, even when you are on the other side of the room, you can still hear the music, see the show, or chat with your guests sitting down.
I told you we’ve been busy 😉