Thursday, March 7, 2019

Living Area v0.9

Family room. View from the staircase leading to this floor.It’s now been almost 8 months since we’ve moved into our new house. All this time has been well spent on making it truly ours. We didn’t bring any furniture with us. Now we had a chance to start and style our house anew. It changed quite a bit from where it has started.

This is another post in series of posts about how we set everything up, following the recently published update on our kids’ rooms. I’ve taken these pictures several weeks ago and in that time they’ve became slightly outdated — we’ve finally put a bunch of art and paintings up.

Family room. Looking from the fireplace in the opposite direction. Hallway leads to all the bedrooms.The centerpiece of our family room is our enormous orange leather sectional. This was one of our purchases on Wayfair and one downside buying furniture online is that you can’t really test how comfortable the piece will be. Turns out it’s not, because of the shape of the backrest. However it was easily remedied by a couple of puffy pillows.

The ottoman was also not attached, so it was sliding out of our preferred place, so we screwed it together with a couple of brackets underneath. However it does look stellar and after a few modifications that we have done it’s very functional. We use this place as our main evening TV watching location.

Looking from the family room into the dining room.Speaking of TVs — we’ve ended up mounting them on the wall and are not using any additional furniture. Our old TV is mounted in our kitchen eating area, and our newer one is in our family room right across from our orange sectional. Both TV are powered by Apple TVs hidden behind the screens themselves. No wires, no nothing. Family room TV has Philips Hue Play bars attached to it.

Originally we were trying to hire somebody to put them up, but eventually gave up on that and I mounted them up myself. We’ve probably saved a bunch of money and did them perfectly to our liking.

Dining room. Looking at the opposite wall.I’ve written earlier about our fireplace, but since then we’ve done yet another thing to it. We’ve actually installed glass doors onto the opening. The problem was that after we would make a fire we would end up keeping the flute in the chimney open all throughout the cold nights because the fire would still be still smoldering. And we end up losing all the warm air that we generated and then some.

So now we can close the glass doors and leave the flute open. Another thing that we discovered was that even with the flute closed there was a major draft happening that became very apparent after the doors were installed, but before they were sealed on the sides. So overall it’s a good investment for winters and summers, even when the fire is not going.

Living room, temporary loaded with patio furniture set.Another thing that we did soon after moving in was changing really old-fashioned chandeliers to a set of very modern ones. In fact we’ve got a ton of compliments on them. These were a “new house” gift from our parents.

And we also put up the curtains on all our windows making the space so much more cozy. The family room curtain was an old one from our Brooklyn apartment that we eventually replaced, but it’s found its place on our window again. And the living room curtains were a gift from our parents in Belarus.

Living room from another angle.For the dinning room we originally ordered a set from Wayfair for quite a bit of money. And then a day after we did that we went to IKEA. And out of a ton of furniture stores that we actually visited IKEA had the best looking modern wooden table that we’ve seen for a really good price. We were slightly disappointed about that.

And then Wayfair delivered their furniture. Beside the fact that more than half the pieces were completely broken during shipment and the fact that half the set got delayed by three months the actual quality of veneer on this furniture was paper-thin. And then they sent replacement for the broken parts that also came in broken.

Living room, showing the door leading to a covered porch.So we were glad to just cancel the order at that point and order a table and a set of leather chairs from IKEA. Couldn’t be happier. And then on another trip to IKEA we bought the final touches to our dining room — big round mirrors done in the same color of wood as our table. Initially we were thinking of putting up a big rectangular horizontal mirror, but a pair of these ended up looking much more interesting, we think.

Our living room was originally fairly empty and Alёna actually liked the idea of a lot of open space, but when the winter came around we moved our patio furniture — sofa, table and the armchair — indoors. And it ended up being very useful and comfortable in its current location. For the summer we’re going to move it back to the patio and are going to buy something more permanent for our living room.

Living room, looking toward the dining room and kitchen bar.We also managed to find a large pot for a plant in orange-teal theme that we have going. This plant used to be tiny when we originally got it — it would fit in a tea cup. This is the second time that we had to replant it and we’re hoping its going to go through this move OK.

And the kitchen bar is the place where we eat our breakfasts, lunches and dinners, unless we’re hosting somebody. It ended up being extremely convenient. Much more better than a set up we had in our apartment — eating everything on a living room coffee table and moving all the plates and dishes back and forth between that and the kitchen. The granite counter is much easier to clean among other things.

The bar chairs were left by the previous house owners and we’re fine with them for the time being. We might update them to something more modern looking when we have a chance. We did remove that metal contraption from the wall and replaced it with a painting.

We’re loving how it all came out and are enjoying our house and all this space very much.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Living Redesign

IKEA wall unit, Giormani leather sectional sofa.Big day today. Had two deliveries of new furniture and then we had a pickup of a donation of our old stuff to a Jewish organization. The new sectional sofa and a table are awesome. Huge upgrade. We really lucked out on the sectional deal1, I think.

New Giromani leather sectional sofa and coffee table.Our old couch, armchair, TV and the stand are gone. It’s somewhat sad, but I’m glad I’m not the one who had to move that stuff out. Poor guys barely moved that TV and then I saw2 poor bustards unload it on the wrong floor, before reaching the bottom level, by mistake. But they seemed to be laughing when they realized.

  1. 25% cheaper than all other places, and when the price is in the thousands it really means a lot. []
  2. Internal building video feeds. []
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Galactica, Furniture and More

Battlestar GalacticaThe weekend flew by so quickly. On Saturday we were chain-watching “Battlestar Galactica”. I know it sounds somewhat pathetic, but at least we did the laundry in the process (I always dread this chore). ) We felt so glued to the couch, that we even ordered pizza in as opposed to going out for dinner with some friends.

New winter jacket.Sunday was much more productive. We went hunting for furniture again — and as a result we are now the proud owners of a brown wooden coffee table and a brown leather couch. We also bough Danya a warm winter jacket which looks very stylish on my handsome husband. )

The new furniture will be delivered at the end of the next week, so now we need to quickly get rid of our current one. We’re thinking of simply donating it to one of the organizations which can pick it up — this way we’ll be able to at least write something off our taxes (unlike in case of just throwing it away).

Propolis and honey.The weather is pretty chilly. It was really cold at my work on Friday — I was literally shaking half the day. I’ve noticed that when I’m cold I become twice as whiny as normally. ) In hopes to stay healthy I’m taking propolis-honey paste twice a day — my mom believes it can strengthen immune system, so why not try it?

"Falcon and Swallow" book.I’ve started reading the newest B. Akunin’s novel “Sokol i Lastochka” (“Falcon and Swallow”). I used to like Akunin a lot, but this book seems a bit too simple. I guess, he just offers something to kill time and to relax without thinking too hard about philosophical questions or your own humanity. From what I see, the story here revolves around hidden treasures, corsairs and all such nonsense. )

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