Saturday, November 07, 2009

Creative Help Needed!

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Hello! We've had a busy week here as you can probably tell by the lack of posts. :0) I had a few questions about what will our current living room will be used for once our garage is finished being converted into a family room. The TV won't be in the room anymore, so the focal point will be the fireplace, along with some comfy chairs (where the TV is now) and lots of books. So, it won't be a formal living room, just a nice room to sit and relax in and the extra space will be great for entertaining.

I'd love some help about another spot in the living room though. The picture shows our 1980's style wet bar that is being used to store DVD's. They will be moved to the new family room and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the space. I really don't want to put glasses or knick-knacks up there because it gets so dusty. Here are some other options:

1. Put a bookshelf in front of the whole thing and nail it completely flush against the wall.

2. Have bookshelves custom built inside the opening.

We had a quote of $2,000+ for the custom built shelves and I'm guessing since it's such a large area we'd have to get a bookshelf custom built, as well.

These options are way too expensive, so now I'm thinking of staining the wood shelves holding the DVD's to match the walls as closely as possible, and space them out better. Display books and greenery. Take out the sink and lay another stained board on top of the marble counter. Add a basket for mail, a small lamp, and a few knick-knacks.

Phillip's idea is for him to build a simple bookshelf on top of the marble, close to the front and stain it to match the wood.

Help! What would you do?

32 comments:

Melinda said...

I am thinking a DIY job: remove the sink, build a desktop over the existing countertop and use the area as a small correspondence desk or quiet writing spot?

I hope you can come by and visit Shore's End. I just posted an update yesterday and hope to get back to blogging now that we finally have Internet in our home again.

Poppy said...

I think I'd make doors for it, and use it for storing things away. Maybe a pair of doors with just frames and chicken wire and pretty fabric behind. Would that match your existing furnishings?

jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Y said...

Is it deep enough that you could rip out the existing cabinetry and turn it into a reading nook? I think I see a light above the space. You could build a "window seat" bench with storage space underneath for afghans and quilts. Then put a cushion on the bench and some throw pillows to lean against. I bet your kids would love such a cozy reading spot!

Kristina said...

I like Phillip's idea!!! Wow...$2000+? Crazy! :-)

Anonymous said...

We had a wet bar in a home one time that was behind folding doors. It was wider than yours is, but we pulled out all the stuff and made it a desk/computer area. It was still in a family area, but we could shut the doors on it if we wanted to.
We really enjoyed that area.

Brooke H. said...

I don't have any recommendations for the space, but for that large dvd collection I did want to recommend an awesome storage system our family uses. It's DiscGear, and we found it on QVC. It's their item #V26214. I absolutely LOVE and could not live without these things! :) Something to think about.

Becky said...

Well, I told you my idea for a simple solution --- pull out the sink, build in shelves on the top, and leave the bottom alone. You can even put in a small piece of solid marble for pretty cheap if you wanted.

Second choice --- add doors on top, too, but if they don't match exactly, it will look goofy.

BUT, if you do for some reason end up spending big money on it, remember my suggestion to bump that built-in out completely flush to the existing wall, and give yourself that extra space in the kitchen on the other side of that wall for extra space for a pantry, cabinets. whatever.

If you cannot match that beautiful pattern in the oak paneling, you can avoid that like this: just bump it out ALMOST all the way, and fill it floor to ceiling with a shallow built-in bookcase.

Lady Farmer said...

All the ideas sound great, but I think I like Melinda's idea about a desk/writing area or someone's idea for a computer area the best!
Blessings!

Sharlotte said...

I always go for more storage...I would extend the shelves and enclose it with doors.
Keep us posted!

Heather said...

Hmmm this is a toughie. I would probaby build doors and make it a butlers pantry of sorts as well. Or you could rip out the sink and the shelves use the storage below and place a nice lamp and maybe use it like a niche??

BTW I would LOVE to have all your gorgeous paneling....lol

Heather said...

OK I totally have been studing the picture. It looks as if it was added at a different time. The paneling is different. There are a few inches in the front in front of the sink. Perfectly enough room to add doors and even continue to use as a wet bar when entertaining.

Melyssa R said...

I like the idea of taking the sink out (maybe just redo the entire counter??) and covering with a slab of some kind, put a couple shelves above for plants or basic decor. Or rip out the whole thing, install doors, and turn it into a closet.

SarahF said...

My husband and I threw out all our dvd cases as they were taking up a ridiculous amount of space in our small flat. We stored the discs in 2 cd storage cases which now fit neatly in a drawer! I got this idea from a blog. (My dad was *not* impressed and was horrified by the idea - he likes to see his dvds on display :)

Love Bears All Things said...

This would be a great place for a desk. I don't know how handy your husband is but you could just take out the sink and add another top there as you said. If you wanted to keep the doors, you could just open them when sitting at the desk to have space for your knees.
CDs and DVDs take up a lot of space.I don't know how attached you are to the crystals. I have bought the binders for mine. I removed the cover art, cut it to fit in the space for the CD in the binder and recycled the crystal. The binders take up so little space as apposed to the crystals. Each one will hod 20 or so.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope you'll share it with us.
Mama Bear

Dianne said...

Some pretty doors would be nice-even like stained glass ones. I have some in my kitchen (bought at Home Depot, but we had our kitchen remodeled). If you had a light in there, that would be pretty. It would make a nice spot for a quiet desk.

Marianna said...

What's on the other side of it?? Is your husband handy? If he is, and you could open it up on both sides you could end up with two built-in bookshelves. If not, then Becky's idea is a good one. You might consider calling around to some cabinet shops and see if they have any small countertops they would sell you.

Hootin' Anni said...

Well, I think what I would do is tear OUT the bookshelves and finish the wall with drywall...paint it [the wall] add a small hanging light fixture from the ceiling and then find a wonderful, simple canvas painting...frame it. And, hang it on the new finished, recessed wall. As for the marble...if it's a 'sink'...get a huge boston fern, fill the sink with potting soil...plant the fern in the sink!!

Amy said...

These are really good ideas!! If you cant find the exact wood for the doors you can always use glass doors for the top!

Mrs. N. said...

If you are planning to entertain in this area of the house it might be very nice to have mini kitchen right in the room. Is there an electrical outlet? You could have an electric teapot to heat water and a selection of teas, cocoa, and other instant drinks decanted into pretty containers. A tray or two with cups could be lovely and you wouldn't have to miss out on the conversation to provide refreshments. Sneak a mini-fridge in the cabinetry and you are set for cold drinks in the summer.

Elizabeth said...

You could also use the existing plumbing to have a water feature there. It's nice to have the trickling water sound while you read. By the way, I found your blog when I did random search for Anne Of Green Gables after I had completed my fall watching of the two movies and I've been following ever since. This is great!

Mrs. Michele B said...

Wow, there have been lots of great ideas shared already that I have nothing new to add. I really like Melinda's idea or Julie Y's idea as well as Anonymous 6:46 p.m.'s idea. (o:

Blessings,
~Michele

Anonymous said...

I like Phillip's idea the best. If the space is too deep for books, use it for photographs or crystal or something large.

Barb

Anonymous said...

I like Phillip's idea the best. If the space is too deep for books, use it for photographs or crystal or something large.

Barb

jeanne said...

At the realsimple.com website, if you do a search for closets, the second article listed is "3 Ways to Transform a Closet". The 3 transformations they show are for a space about the area that you would have if you tore out the shelving/sink. Their "after" photos offer a space transformed into a desk nook, a bar area, and a book nook -- the book nook is my personal favourite. Check it out if you have time ...

Sara said...

OH, Mrs. N had the same suggestion I was going to make. Just think, a cozy chair, a nice fire, a good book and a warm cup of coffee, tea, cocoa!

Clare said...

I have a very cheap way of building a bookcase .
Measure pieces of wood that would match your room decor, to fit the the nook. And use bricks, the nice pretty ones for garden features etc to support each shelf. You can even find the right shade of brick to suit room.
Its super strong, very robust and I think it looks very rustic.
And its sooo cheap.
You could vary shelf height by amount of bricks used.

Jackie said...

Kelli, I think that I would put a stained board over the marble and fill it with greenery or plants that match the season.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelli!

I love Mrs. N's idea of using the space for entertaining guests with refreshments. If you don't want to do that, I would probably take out a few shelves (leaving about 3
or 4) and use the space for picture frames filled with photos of your family, stacked books, decorative pieces like crystal and some greenery/floral arrangements for texture. I know whatever you do, it will be beautiful!

God Bless,
Hillary

Heather said...

How about narrow louvered bi-fold doors either stained to match or painted in black or chocolate brown as an accent and keep it functional for hot water or tea - you could even install an instant hot water tap and save the steps to the kitchen!
Whatever you do will be wonderful, I know!

Sarah @ Different Dog said...

You could put in a wine refrigerator there underneath and keep it as an entertainment area...or possibly turn into built ins for books and photos. A mini library type place...

Teresa said...

I quite like Poppy's idea. You could put a matching door onto the space as if to another roon, keeping the wet area and the storage which is always a bonus plus also giving the dimension and feeling of another room beyond, if you see what I mean.