Tuesday, 13 November 2012

An honest look at the home of a decorator


The weird shelf-mantel-thing above our fireplace has plagued me since we moved in here almost four years ago.  It is off-centre, and meant to hold a TV, but it is too small and too high to hold any decent-sized TV, and it wouldn't work with any proper furniture arrangement anyway.  I prefer having the TV in the basement.  So I haven't known what to do with this awful space.  If I had my way I'd either build walls to make it even, or completely tear out the awkwardly-placed gas fireplace.

Any decor I chose to place there has to look nice from both front and the side.  And to make matters more difficult, that's the only place to put our sound system.  The shelf just ends up collecting random junk and looking awful all the time, under its layer of dust.


I was looking at that shelf today, and suddenly I had to do something about it.  I think I have finally found a solution that looks good from all angles: Books!  I needed to move my vintage books collection anyway so that I can paint the shelves this week.  My husband might not be 100% enthusiastic about this solution because he can't turn the speakers toward the kitchen when he wants to, but I say he can just turn up the volume instead.


I still hate the shelf, but at least it doesn't look so bad any more.


This is the view from the front door, the first thing guests see when they walk in the house.


And this is the view from the stairs.  Even that view is not so bad.


As lovely as this looks, I do have to keep things honest and show you what the other side of the room currently looks like.  One shelf conquered--moving on to the rest of the house!  My mother-in-law is coming to visit next week!  But first I have to make supper...



6 comments:

  1. I like the piles of books. It masks the sound system nicely. That's an honest look at marriage, too. I have to decorate around my husband's stuff. If I want to live with him, I have to live with his stuff, too! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never quite thought of it that way, Patty! The stuff comes with the man. I guess I'm just glad he no longer insists on hanging his hockey paraphernalia in our bedroom any more.

      Delete
  2. The books are a brilliant idea. I love how you incorporated the speaker into the row of books so they really aren't so obvious. The only thing that caught my eye was the second row of books on the right that you can see from the entry way. If I were you I would get rid of any books in behind the front rows of books to keep things nice and neat. If you are worried about the wires being visible from the stairs then I would plop a basket in behind the books (might help to keep them lined up as well) and put your keys in the basket or fill the basket with dried hydrngeas or ... The builder sure gave you a challenge with that shelf configuration so well done on finding a solution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your tips, Grace! I admit, the second row of books needs work. I was kind of going for a tiered look, but didn't take the time to find a box or something to raise the books behind properly. Instead, the few that can be seen are just on top of stacks of other books. I'll keep tweaking it, I'm sure. Unfortunately, I'm way too short to make use of a basket on that shelf...I've tried ;-) The shelf is about nose-level for me. I don't really care about the view from the stairs. I did pop my husband's ukelele up there behind the books because it needs to be out of reach of the kids.

      Delete
  3. Decorating isn't my strong point... but books are a great idea! :) I wouldn't know what to put on that shelf either.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great solution, Jo. The only other suggestion I might have is to put something taller (maybe put the ukelele on a stand upright) in the corner to bring your eye up. I like the heaviness and colours in the books - it really grounds the shelf making it more substantial looking. Is there no way you could move the stereo over to your bookcase on the far wall? Or are the shelves too narrow?

    Anyways, I think you're headed in the right direction!

    ReplyDelete