I have a secret. We have a room that I’ve kind of kept hidden from you.
Meet our den.
Being that this is the room Pablo spends most of his time in, it’s the closest thing we have to have a man cave. Granted, it’s the most well lit man cave in history but still…it’s his. And it’s super hard to decorate! Why? Well, for starters he insists we leave the wood paneling in place. (Seeing some cool wood paneled rooms on Pinterest has shown me that it’s possible.) Plus it’s long and narrow and has a weird layout: a sliding glass door at one end, a fireplace at the other end, a wall of windows along the back, and finally a wall with a doorway and a weird opening to the kitchen.
The room was an addition that the previous owners built and it’s a full service space for us: a den for lots of TV watching, an “office” for Pablo (this is where his laptop lives), a music room (his piano and guitar hang out in here too), a casual dining area (though we eat most meals in the dining room, we do like to eat here at our Ikea Docksta sometimes), and now it’s become a storage space for me with the addition of a new credenza (which I’ll tell you about in a minute)…oh, and it’s our fireplace room, too! And if that weren’t enough function for such a small space, it’s also the room that you walk through to get to our deck and backyard so we can’t pack it too full of furniture.
I’ve given you a couple peeks into the room before. Like, remember when I told you about the thrift shop chairs that I painted red?
And you learned all about our Suzani-covered ottoman recently, too.
But I haven’t revealed much else because…well, I’m still working on it. For a couple of years, it was seriously just the couch, piano, and TV in here. (Side note: Looking at this pic now, I see how badly that blue table in the back needs a lamp. With so many windows and recessed lighting, we just never needed the light but I think we just need the shape.)
But I’m thrilled to say it’s finally coming together. Hey look, there’s something hanging on the wall (details in this post)! Lots more art should be coming soon. I promise.
And the mantel is an embarrassment. That one frame is hung way too low. (I think I stuck it on the nail that was already there! Sad.) Or maybe it should just be propped up and not hung at all? Thoughts?
Pablo has a nice view from his spot on the couch into the land of not-wood-paneled dining room and living room.
We’re on the fence about the TV. Tell me: do we hang it on the wall above the piano? (Which is certainly convenient because the cable cord is over there.)
Or does it go above the credenza where the tape marks are? (This was our preferred spot but after I realized it would be a cable cord nightmare, I’m pushing for above-the-piano.)
Oh! And let’s talk about that purty credenza, shall we? It’s vintage but we had it refinished and painted white. I know some people think it’s sacrilegious to paint such a beautiful vintage piece but with wood walls and a wood floor, we didn’t need any more natural wood. We got it from Forgotten Furniture. (They’ll deliver so check them out online here.) We also got the mid-century dresser in our bedroom and a new headboard for Sophia from them. Their prices are amazing.
I had been looking for a mid-century credenza for this space since we moved in 2 1/2 years ago. The problem wasn’t finding something I liked, it was finding something I liked and could afford. Nice vintage credenzas that I had seen were in the $900-$2000 range. Another option is this mid-centuryesque one from BDDW that sells for a whopping $11,800. (Umm…I don’t think so.) We actually got pretty close to getting the Dumont from West Elm but I know with shipping, that $699 price would have blossomed so I’m glad we didn’t do it. This one came to us by luck. The sellers had something similar but they sold it so when we went to see them to get Sophia’s headboard (solid wood, Depression-era for $75!) I asked if they had anything else similar. Rich showed me a picture of this one on his phone (before it was painted and refinished) and told me he would sell it for $300 “as is” or $400 painted. We bought it on the spot, sight unseen! He delivered it to our house two days later looking as good as new and we were both thrilled. I’m now using it to store some of the “office paperwork” that used to live in the attic. (Remember, I don’t have an office or desk of any kind so my papers and office supplies are all over the place. A girl needs a place to put her washi tape!)
But let’s be real, this room is far from done. There are still plenty of things wrong in here. Like this eyesore of an air conditioner that’s stuck into the wall. We rarely use it but don’t want to be left with a whole in the wall if we take it out. I’m thinking about sticking a big plant in front of it. Or building something to hide it, like this genius DIY.
And then there’s this ugly tile that’s in the little windowsill into the kitchen. Ick.
Oh, and I think worst of all is the whitewashed paint job on the window trim. It just looks dirty and gross.
Now let’s talk about the serious lack of decorating. Poor Pablo gets stuck with my cast offs from other rooms, like this weird grouping. (I hate that little man but he’s been with Pablo for years so we’re stuck with him.)
I don’t mind this vignette but it could use a little love. The coral is from Aruba so it holds a special place in our hearts. (Remember when Lily used it to make some art for her room?)
And of course, he has to store all his man stuff in this room. Those weird things in the back are push-up paddles. (Ya know. Cause you can’t do a push up without a twisting paddle? Whatever. He looks hot so I shouldn’t sweat the technique.)
And now here’s another little secret: I took these pictures a month ago and I’ve actually fixed one of the problems already. Reveal coming soon!
Hint. Hint. Consider this the “before” shot.
For more den-spiration, follow my Mid-Century Man Cave Inspiration board on Pinterest.
Sue at Home
P.S. It’s the time of year to start thinking about yummy pumpkin baked goodies so check out one of my favorite recipes ever. Click below to be taken to the deliciousness!