Wednesday, February 19, 2014

House tour - great room

It's been quite a while since I've put up a new blog post.  We have been in our new home for almost a year, and I figured it was way overdue to continue our house tour.

Welcome to our great room!  

Great room fireplace with white built in cabinets and shelving.
I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality.  It was difficult working with the bright sunlight and using an iPhone 4s to take pictures probably doesn't lend itself to the best quality of picture.  With that being said, this blog was never meant to be a professional blog with professional quality photos.  Rather, it was a place for me to chronicle building our dream home and allowing people to search for experiences and products.  

As you can see, our great room has 2 small windows and custom built in bookshelves flanking the fireplace.  This is the room that we do most of our living in.  It's the room where guests congregate during holidays or dinner parties.  It's also the place where we relax at night, kick our feet up on the oversized sectional and curl up with a good book.  

When designing this room, we had 2 objectives.  One: have a wall to house the antique secretary that has been in my family for 3-4 generations.  Two: Have built in cabinets and shelving for hidden and display storage.  I think our architect hit the mark on both (with one small issue, which I'll touch upon in a moment).  

One of my favorite features in this room is the reclaimed wood beam above the fireplace.  If you're a regular reader, you may remember how we decided to style this room around the fireplace in this great room fireplace post.  The fireplace beam adds quite a bit of character and rich color to the room.   
Custom wood fireplace beam style mantle.
One of the things that I love the most about this piece of wood are the imperfections created by the knots and the bug holes.  I didn't want a "perfect" piece of wood - in this case, the more imperfections, the better.  Our finish carpenter did an amazing job listening to our ideas and coming up with a piece of wood to match, custom stained to match our Kentwood Originals Maple Del Rio flooring.
Close up of custom wood fireplace beam with knots and bug holes.
I consider our built in great room bookshelves to be a work in progress.  They're not quite where I want them to be style wise, but I think that a well styled look is something that happens over time.  As you can see, we have quite a few books on this grouping of shelves.  I also have a few antique glass insulators, with turquoise being one of my favorite accent colors throughout the house.
Built in bookshelves styled with turquoise blue accents.
The wooden toolbox you see in the following picture belonged to my great grandfather, a Swedish carpenter.  It used to hold his nails and tools.  The glass floats come from a dear friend's personal collection.  Her husband travels to Alaska and collected these floats on a remote beach.
Antique tool box, glass floats and a small plaque from the region in Sweden where my great grandfather was raised.
While I love thumbing through design catalogs and looking at the pristine, well styled shots, that sort of living just isn't conducive to living with a child.  I decided to dedicate one shelf for all of his books.  The red antique food scale comes from a local salvage store, and it was originally made in my hometown of Chicago.
Built in bookshelves
Antique red food scale

As you can imagine, living by the water provides us with easy access to nautical antique stores.  This lobster buoy comes from a local nautical antique store.  The glass floats are my personal collection, and they were purchased from an independent antique dealer.

Like I had mentioned, one of the requirements in designing our great room was a solid wall to house the antique secretary that has been in my family for 3-4 generations.  This piece was handmade and you can still see some of the imperfect detailing of the wavy leaded glass in this shot.  The wooden bucket next to this piece is a maple sap bucket, also a family heirloom.  

Antique wooden secretary
If you're designing your home from the start, I would strongly recommend putting in an electrical outlet near your built in bookshelves.  An outlet adjacent to your bookshelves might seem strange, but it's nice to have a spot to charge small electronic or plug in tools and extension cords when the need arises.  
Electrical outlet adjacent to built in bookshelves.  The switch is used to control the gas fireplace.

The piece of furniture that gets used the most in our home is our Pottery Barn Comfort Slipcovered 3-Piece L-shaped Sectional.  While I initially was drawn to the coastal look of white slipcovered couches, I realized that it wasn't a practical option for our family.  We settled on the Metal Gray color and have been really happy with the color.  The slipcover has been a different story.  After being in the house for about 3 months, we noticed some pilling of the cushion covers and some wear along the piping.  I thought I was going to be stuck with a defective slipcover, but decided to bring the issue to Pottery Barn's attention.  I was shocked and utterly impressed when Pottery Barn decided to send me a brand new slipcover, at no charge, assuming I would provide them pictures of the defective slipcover.  I can honestly say that after that experience, I will be a lifetime customer of Pottery Barn.  Their customer service was impeccable with regular e-mail updates from their customer service team.  Since the new slipcover was custom made from a new lot of fabric, it did take a while for it to arrive on my doorstep - but the Pottery Barn team kept me well informed every step of the way.

The couch itself is amazing.  The Comfort sectional has a deeper seat cushion.  I would say that it's deep enough to be extremely comfortable without getting stuck in the couch.

Without further adieu, here is our Pottery Barn Comfort Slipcovered 3-Piece L-shaped sectional in Metal Gray!  It's worth noting that I have yet to put the new slipcover on.  Since Pottery Barn graciously allowed us to keep the defective cover, I'm going to let that one wear out first before putting the new one on.  If you notice any pilling when zooming in on the slipcover, it's because the defective cover is still on the couch.
Pottery Barn sectional in Metal Gray

Pottery Barn Slipcovered Comfort Sectional in Metal Gray
 I mentioned that we had one small design issue with the great room.  Initially, our windows behind the couch were framed at about 30 inches.  Thankfully I noticed that issue right away and had our framers frame the windows high enough to allow for the couch to comfortably fit under them.  You can see that the actual sill sits at about 36 inches and the back of the sofa comes to 31 inches.
Window sill framed to approximately 36 inches.

Back of couch comes to 31 inches.
As always, thanks for reading!  It should be said that Pottery Barn didn't ask me to write a review of our couch or the experience with their customer service department.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Antique secretary: family heirloom
Maple sap bucket: family heirloom
Couch: Pottery Barn
Small side table: World Market
Small table lamp: Target
Coffee table: Ethan Allen
Rug: Target
Fan: Monte Carlo

Paint colors:
Wall: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Revere Pewter
Bookshelves, cabinets & millwork: Sherwin Williams SW-7008 Alabaster

No comments:

Post a Comment