Hey, remember this space? And Curious Andy, scoping out the neighborhood?
I figured it's probably time to take stock of the living room, seeing as it's considered the gathering space in most homes. A place to come together, share how your day went, and, of course, watch your roommates play endless rounds of Tecmo Bowl on the Nintendo. (It's football. I'd never heard of it, either. I stick to my Donkey Kong.)
The real hero of this room is Andy — or, Andy's relatives, if you want to get technical, because a lot of the big pieces were hand-me-downs from them. Andy might not show much interest in decorating, but the stuff he brings to the table is choice: that massive antique rug and the kick-ass old school desk are both his, and I LOVE them. In fact, it's because of Andy (I'm not just buying into the trends, I promise) that I'm kind of obsessed with perfectly aged, faded Persian rugs. As you'll see, he brought a couple more with him.
The sofa and loveseat were acquired through a carefully orchestrated Craigslist deal that I set up a good month before we even moved into the apartment. This pretty much never happens and I'm not sure how it did this time, but what matters is that we scored two major pieces for a couple hundred bucks, and I got to watch Andy and his friend, George, try to maneuver them up three flights of stairs. God bless them. There was a lot of pivoting involved.
The Mission-esque coffee table (and to think, when I bought it, I didn't even know what Mission style was!) was another Craigslist score. I think in the first two months that we lived here, new things would appear so often that my roommates stopped even asking. I was a Craigslisting machine. (Fun game: drink every time I say "Craigslist" on this blog. Have fun blacking out.)
In a rare instance of Pinterest not misleading me, I got that huge black and white picture printed up at Staples using the engineer print option. It's a shot from my trip to Glacier National Park, and I like that it works both if you take a second to decipher what it's a picture of, and also if you just take it in as an abstract mess of shadows and shapes. $7, people. It's not forever, but it's a nice place-holder until something better comes along.
Look at that rug! So evenly faded. Such a lovely variety of colors — not too red, which is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to Persian rugs. And while the pattern is, yes, floral, it has a geometric quality that keeps it from feeling too precious. I've been hunting for something similar to put in the dining room for...oh, probably six months, now. No luck yet.
This is the iron base of the old green school desk that belonged to Andy's dad (possibly grandfather?). In the middle, there, you can see initials crafted in with the whirls and flourishes. Awesome.
Also, we randomly have a wooden duck figurine. I don't know why or who it even belongs to. There's a llama floating around somewhere, too.
So if the rug and desk are Andy's major contributions, Nathan is responsible for everything music-related that you see. The guitar, the mandoline, the...other...instrument that's hanging on the wall — those are all his, and they're gorgeous pieces. I may or may not have enthusiastically encouraged the idea of him displaying them in the living room.
Also, if you can kind of make out the speakers that are in the left and right corners of the frame (the right one is sitting on top of the record stand), as well as the one that's visible in the previous picture, underneath the desk, those are all part of the surround-sound system he rigged up around the room. Using speakers he got at thrift stores, white electric tape, and plastic grommets for holding wires in place, he wired the whole room for sound. And if you were in the room yourself, you probably would never notice that it was all done old-school DIY.
Oh, and those pillows are Nathan's, too. He'd never heard of HomeGoods, and when I told him to check there for a rug for his bedroom, he was gone for more than THREE hours. From the sound of it, he was overwhelmed by all the stuff and suffered a décor-induced blackout. The only evidence of this trip are those pillows.
One last example of Nathan's ingenuity:
Yes folks, what you see mounted above the doorway between the living room and Andy's office is a homemade projection screen.
(The light in the living room is one of those string globe pendants that I attempted a few year back. There are zillions of tutorials online for them if you look; I didn't follow any one method.)
When unfurled, it provides us with a movie screen the size of the doorway, and to this day, I still think it's the coolest thing ever. We may not own a TV (a fact that baffles everyone I tell that to), but we have a digital projector that lets us play movies (there's a DVD/stereo setup in the dining room that I'll show one day), online video, and even video games. I know it's officially winter when someone caves and breaks out the Nintendo or Super Nintendo.
The black geometric wreath thingy is a craft project I did a few months ago while Nathan was exploring the tundra. When he came back and saw it for the first time, he thought it was made of metal, but it's actually just cocktail straws and floral wire. Ta-da!
Just for funsies, here's our entryway, which is practically part of the living room, itself.
Another awesome rug. The table and chair are all Andy, too.
Hooray! Another space I'm not ashamed of.