Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dreaming & Scheming - The Built-Ins Part 2

This second built-in of this week's edition of Dreaming & Scheming is also in the living room. Originally when I first walked into the house when our Realtor showed it to us I instantly thought I would put built-ins on either side of the big doorway in the living and dining rooms and was surprised they weren't already there.  

I figured the living room side would be bookcases and the dining room side would be like china cabinets to display nicer serving dishes and glasses.

And I stuck to that plan all the way up to hanging the mirror and coat rack in November of last year.  I was struggling with how the have the mirror over the coat rack without the mirror being awkwardly high or the coat rack being awkwardly low (there's a light switch over there that makes things more difficult).  Then Corey blew my mind with a simple "Why don't we put it over here?"

I hadn't even considered putting it on that wall behind the front door because that was where a bookcase was going.  But there were going to be some problems with putting it there anyway.  The left side of the entryway is really roomy (in terms of depth) and has plenty of room for a bookcase, but the right side is right behind the door and it is really really skinny.  And if we allowed there to be some space for the door handle when the door is all the way open the bookcase would only be like 3 inches deep.

But I have what I like to call "symmetry issues" where I always prefer things to be the same on each side or generally balanced in some way (which is how I was talked out of one of the wedding dresses that I tried on - it only had a strap on one side and not both "it's not bothering you right now, but it will when you see the pictures").  How could there be a bookcase on the left and NOTHING on the right????? THE HUMANITY.  

But it did make a lot of sense to have the mirror over there so I started thinking about other non-bookcase options that could visually balance out the right side.  And I think I have come up with something that will give that wall a "heavier" feel, look traditional, and be useful as an entryway.

Enter: wainscoting

Before we bought this house I had wanted to put it in the dining area of the new house that we built.  Now in this house it doesn't really work and I hadn't thought of a new area to put it in.  VOILA the right side of the doorway. 

It will be made of the same dark stained wood that we use on the bookcase and hopefully give the wall a more textured, heavy look like the bookcase on the left will.

Here is another professional charmingly childlike Paint drawing to show you.  Hey I'm keepin' it real here on Crafty Homestead because I don't know how to use Photoshop, but I did notice the little line drawing tool for the first time on Paint.  Ahem.

The top will hold books and the bottom will be a storage cabinet.  I'm thinking it'll hold gift wrapping supplies at the moment.  My books are almost all packed away in the basement and I can't wait to get them all back. 

The real cabinet will have a bit more pomp and circumstance, some crown moulding on the top, maybe some routed trim to separate the bookshelf from the cabinet.

So the mirror will stay where it is and the wainscoting will be under it.  I want to continue the wainscoting to under the coat rack to further define the "entryway" area and to help protect the wall there from inevitable abuse of coats & shoes & boots.

Also note the little hooks in the drawing.  I want to put hooks along the top of the wainscoting to add more usefulness (but not the part under the coat rack).  Even with just the two of us and the puppies the coat rack is basically always full (in the winter at least).  It'd be nice to have room for expansion and a place to hang up my purse.

The best part about my wainscoting idea is that the carpet is not an issue which means it can happen way sooner than the other built-ins :D

Now the only thing I'm worried about it that the bookcase will be taller than the mirror and I don't want the left side to feel top heavy.  I think all I can do is forge ahead and if it feels weird when everything is built I'll try to add some art or something above the mirror to even it out.

I wish I was as obsessed with balance in my actual life and behavior as I am with visual balance.  Sigh.   (See this post for more on my balance issues)


  1. I laughed when I saw Banjo with the sign labeling him. :) These line drawings look so much cleaner. Glad you found that option.

  2. You could have a knick knack shelf over the mirror with the same stained wood. The shelf over the mirror could balance out the height of the bookcase. Just a thought.

  3. Hee hee, the shelf will be for hats. A fedora or two to make it look classy?
    When I use paint all is free hand so I do not use it much. Good to know it has a straight line drawing feature.
    Jumping from one post to another, is that wall at the end of the dining room where the chimney to be removed is now hidden? Where you will open up between kitchen and DR? You can see how my skills with 3D need much helping along.

    1. Yes you're right about the hidden chimney and the wall to be knocked down. I can't wait for that to happen!