Friday, January 22, 2016

Home Improvements (Den/Library)

Den remodel—note the old heater vent being disassembled
next to the closet on the right
Now that Tim and I are retired, we've decided to reorganize and de-clutter the house, room by room. First up: our guestroom/den, where guests were invited to sleep on our semi-comfortable queen-sized sofa bed. This is also the room that houses my Arthurian fiction* collection, which I've collected for 40 years. Numbering now around 1000 volumes, the collection reached critical mass several years ago with books piled up all over the den in no particular order. It was driving the librarian in me crazy. So I suggested removing the sofa bed—which was taking valuable wall-space—and buying more bookshelves. After all, in the nearly 20 years we've lived here, only a handful of people had ever spent the night. Tim agreed: my books, which are with us 24/7, won-out over the occasional family member or friend, who might want to sleep-over. We would turn the guestroom into a full-blown library.

Not mold, but 70 years of various paint coats on the ceiling, 
including dark green

 Removing the old paint coats, now on the floor (yikes!)
The den was also in desperate need of repainting. In the house's 70-year history, its rooms had been painted countless times. So many times, in fact, that big pieces of the latest ceiling coat had chipped and fallen off, revealing multiple layers of pink and dark green paint. We decided to hire professionals to remove the former coats and repaint the entire room. While there, they also dismantled an old wall-heater we were always too scared to use. Thus making room for even more books, should the need arise.

No more wall-heater

IKEA furniture in boxes

Tim building the new loveseat, while our cat Jack

Taking a break

Covering the loveseat cushions—no wonder IKEA 
furniture is so inexpensive—and, yes, that's Jack 
supervising once again
While the painters worked, we took a field trip to the Burbank IKEA to look for shelves and a possible loveseat. I had estimated the need for two 6-foot shelves: one for my book overflow and one for my Disney collectibles, which were strewn all over the house. After spending Christmas night shelving all the books in a nice, neat order (finally!), there still wasn't room for seven books (ack!!) and so back we went to IKEA on December 26. Now, after a month, our new library/den is our favorite room in the house. Next project: the nightmare that I call my office!

 Our wonderful new library!

More books

Disney collectibles
*Arthurian fiction: novels and short stories that are set in Camelot and/or feature characters and/or themes from the Arthurian legend.


Florecita Farm said...


Cyn said...

Thanks, Karen! We're thrilled and looking forward to doing the rest of the house. Every room, closet and cabinet is being scrutinized--very liberating!