February 14, 2013 by Decorum DIYer
Happy Valentine’s Day, all!
Today I am sharing with you a few little tweaks that we have made to our living room. Since revealing my wish list for the living room a few weeks ago, here, we did something HUGE!
“Did you paint the living room?” – No
“Did you buy new furniture?” – No
“Did you get started on that massive built-in project?” – sadly, NO.
We (and by we, I mean, my husband) kicked to the curb the huge, monster of a television that we have had for years. It was a hand-me-down from my parents after our last huge television bit the dust.
Thanks to my parents, we inherited their old flat panel television. The old beast was a 36″ and this one is a 31″, but no matter, as I am not a fan of televisions larger than me (I’m five feet even) and we have a small living room, so 31″-36″ is proportionate.
The best thing is that the flat panel takes up much less space and can easily be mounted to the wall – safe from little fingers.
The best Valentine’s gift to me was that my husband (against his will, I might add) lovingly got out his tool kit and hung the television on the wall to my exact specifications. (I would say he mounted the television, but it just sounds odd and I giggle just saying it in my head. I know, I have a 15 year old boy living in my brain.)
It really took an entire day to get this television hung on the wall. I’d provide a tutorial, but really, we read the instructions and sort of ‘winged’ it.
- I knew I wanted the bottom of television between 36″ and 40″ from the ground. I arrived at this figure by ascertaining the distance of my eye level while seated on the couch and eye level while standing.
- I knew that I would be placing a dresser (30″ high), as well as components (the highest 6″ high) on top of the dresser, so I needed clearance for the television above.
- I also knew that I wanted the television to be at an angle to clear the corner of the fireplace.
We first thought the best place to mount the television hardware was the wall adjacent to the fireplace, but soon realized that the front wall perpendicular to the fireplace wall was ideal.
Screwing the mount (*giggle*) into the wall required that we ideally screw the mount into a stud. So, we got out the trusty ‘stud’ finder and marked off the stud closest to the corner, but not ‘the corner’.
After marking and using the wall mount as a template, my husband simply used a drill for pilot holes…, the problem? Well, there was not a stud there at all! You can imagine how quickly this went from a quick little project to an all day problem after problem marathon.
Sensing my husband’s irritation that I made him mount a flat panel television ‘right there’, I suggested he drill in the center of the two stud finder locations. And voila! We’ve got stud! Unfortunately, this left our wall looking a little like swiss cheese.
No matter, after some spackling, we were back in business and feeling more optimistic about the whole thing.
I had a dresser in the basement from Craigslist that I begged my husband to pick-up on his way home from work one day. For $10, I received the dresser (below), the lesser quality white dresser on which I practiced my ombre’ painting skills, and the storage cube that I used in my master closet reorganization. You can see the ombre’ dresser tutorial here, and the master closet reorganization here.
Sure, it isn’t the built-ins for which I dream, but it is a major improvement. The kids even commented that there is so much more room in the living room, now that the other television is gone.
Of course, after this
little HUGE change, we needed to tweak a few other things. What I didn’t show you, nor tell you, when I griped about my living room, was that we had a slightly different arrangement after the holidays that we were trying, but it wasn’t working. And no, I don’t have a picture. It was that bad.
So, the filing cabinet used as a computer desk was placed back into the corner on the opposite side of the fireplace:
The other change, that makes me smile the most is that I found a little nest for my thrift store birds to cuddle. I placed our console/foyer table behind our sofa and stole my painted lamps from my master bedroom to create ‘the nest’. I’m smitten with the cross-stiched birds, but not too sure about the new arrangement. I’ll keep you posted.
Aren’t they ‘tweet’? During this musical chair project with my living room furnishings, I realized why I have an affinity for birds in general. It isn’t just that they represent nature, but that they represent something in nature that is usually found in pairs, as most bird species are monogamous. I treasure and respect couples that that don’t ‘fly the coop’, even when things get difficult. Both my husband and I are lucky enough to have parents that have been married forty years plus. We are also fortunate to have found each other. Another person in this world that is compatible with our own foibles, but doesn’t mind too much. After all, birds of a feather flock together. (Come on, I had to put a corny reference in there just to keep the tears from flowing.)
I guess my point is, that although it is Valentine’s Day and my husband and I have no plans to officially celebrate (actually he’s staying home with the kids, while a dear friend treats me to a girls’ night at the theatre), nor do we exchange gifts, we honestly celebrate Valentine’s Day every day.
My husband thinks of me while he as work and calls just to say, “I love you”. He picks up odd pieces of furniture that we really don’t need, but just because I say that it is something I Iike and a very reasonable price (or free). He mounts televisions (hehe) on his only day off, just because I asked. He does the seemingly ‘little things’ everyday just because he cares.
I, too, do the same for him everyday, but in my own way. Although my husband and I aren’t spending this evening together to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we cherish and respect each other and expect that we will be together forever until our last breath. And even then, who knows…? Maybe we will see each other on the other side?
So, happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. I hope that you have found your love bird and that you are able to spend the day together. If not, remember, treat your loved ones as though every day is Valentine’s Day, with love and respect.