Archives February 2020

Art, Light Fixtures, and TV Progress

Over the past several weeks, I’ve taken delivery of and installed a variety of new pieces of art, light fixtures, and TVs. First, I got two metal sculpture pieces for the upstairs hallway.

The second piece was a silver leaf that ended up being too reflective for the lighting the hallway, so I painted it bronze to match the other piece and the other frames and fixtures.

In the guest bedroom, I’m waiting on some larger pieces to be delivered, but in the meantime two smaller pieces arrived to go on either side of the window. I used a level and masking tape to make sure they were at the same height and distance from the window.

In the lower level, I replaced a variety of light fixtures. I added two floor lamps (one in the library and one in the lower level living room). I also installed five sconces: one in the lower level stairs, two in the lower level, and two in the master closet.

I also bought a new TV and console table, and mounted the TV on the wall in the lower level living room. It opened up and really improved the look of the room.

Finally, I ordered a new light fixture for my office, which I’ll install this weekend.

There are also numerous new pieces of art still being shipped; there will be at least one more post in this series as they arrive and are installed.

Range Rover High Snow

It was a pretty mild winter in Wisconsin through Christmas, but January and February brought a ton of snow. I don’t usually post about weather on this blog unless it’s flooding impacting the lake house or things of that nature, but I took a photo the other day of snow piled almost as high as the Range Rover outside of the house and thought it was noteworthy.

As much as I’m not a huge fan of the snow, it is beautiful to look down the valley from the windows on the top floor of the house. The huge pines with the snow look gorgeous.

Hopefully the snow melts soon and we have an early spring, but while we’re stuck with it at least it’s pretty to look at.

Pottery Barn Chairs

Two of the last pieces of furniture to finalize for the current remodeling phase (lower level living room, upstairs guest bedroom and upstairs hallway) were the chairs in the lower level living room. I wanted a classic leather chair, and wasn’t completely happy with the choices that I’d found before. I finally found a chair that I really liked, the Irving Leather Swivel Chair from Pottery Barn.

It is incredibly comfortable for sitting by the fire in the lower level, it swivels to allow whoever is sitting in it to face the fire or face other people in the living room and bar if we’re hosting a party in the bar area, and it has a classic look with nail studs that tie it to the wingback chairs in the sitting room on the main level of the house. I think it will complement the look of the flooring, rug, and couch in the lower level living room and be an awesome addition to the house!

Closet Shelves Completed

Two weekends ago, I built all of the IKEA closet wardrobes and installed them in the guest bedroom and my wife’s office. They fit perfectly, and with the combination of shelves and drawers, they made both closets significantly more useful for storage. The six wardrobe frames I build meant that I’ve now assembled 20 of them between the master suite closet and my wife’s makeup room in the master suite. I can do them from memory very quickly at this point, which I found funny.

After all of the units were assembled and installed and the items that were originally in the closets were put back, everything fit easily with tons of room to spare.

Now the only closet left in the house with the older style clothing racks is in my office, and it’s being used to hold all of my Arsenal kits and other sports jerseys, so I might keep it as is. Having the rest of the closets all have matching shelving units is great from a design perspective, and a huge improvement over how things used to be.

New Light Fixtures

In addition to the art, I ordered new light fixtures right away for the rooms being redesigned. I replaced the generic dome lights in the guest bedroom and my wife’s office with new chandeliers.

I also ordered a new light fixture for my office to replace the old ceiling fan, which wasn’t really necessary anymore since the office is not being used a bedroom.

Lastly, I ordered five new sconces to replace the old white clamshell style sconces that were on the walls of the stairs down to the lower level, in the lower level living room and bar, and in the master suite’s primary closet.

With that, all of the generic contractor-grade light fixtures in the house are gone!

New Art

After repainting the walls in the lower level, guest bedroom, and the upstairs hallway, the next step was to get new art. Just like the main level redesign, I wanted to use a combination of existing and new pieces, and a combination of framed art and sculpture. I also wanted to eliminate some of the stock art I had before; the lower level was especially filled with a lot of generic alcohol-related pieces that were much cooler when I was 22 than they are now. Below is a partial selection of art that I’ve ordered so far:

One of the first pieces to arrive so far was the four panel map of London, which looks incredible in the base of the stairs to the lower level.

It also pairs well with some of the vintage maps I have hanging on the walls of the stairway, including a smaller map of London from 1836. As the rest of the art arrives, I’ll post more photos. I’m looking forward to everything coming together!

Guest Bedroom Closet Redesign

A side project to all of the spring redesigns in progress is redoing the closets in the guest bedroom and my wife’s office. As with the other closets in the house that I’ve redone, I’m using IKEA’s wardrobe line of products, which fit well in the space and have proven both good looking and durable. The first step was taking a trailer out to Oak Creek before a weekend in Milwaukee and picking up all of the items from IKEA. I used their new service to order and pay in advance, making it easy to load the trailer as soon as I got there.

Next, I removed all of the existing closet hardware in the closets, and next weekend I’ll assemble all of the wardrobe frames and install them in the closets.

Winter Painting

The first step in implementing the redesign of the lower level, guest bedroom, and upstairs hallway was repainting the walls. I did all of the walls in the same base color as the living rooms on the main level, and used the same accent color for the lower level as the living room and the sitting room.

I also repainted the brick and mantle of the lower level fireplace in similar fashion to the fireplace in the sitting room.

Next up is new art for all of the walls, along with new flooring in the upstairs hallway and rugs in the lower level living room and guest bedroom.