The den

Our kitchen and den are one big open space in the back of the house. Our house was originally your classic shotgun bungalow, with a living room, dining room and kitchen on one side, and three bedrooms and a bathroom on the other, all separated by a generous hallway that ran the length of the house. At some point, that last bedroom in the back of the house was opened up to the kitchen and now we have one big open space facing the backyard, which is great.

The problem is that when the previous to last owners did their own kitchen remodel, they laid wood floors on top of the original ones and a layer of linoleum tiles on the kitchen side, and they just put carpet in the den (old bedroom) section. I of course promptly removed the carpet when we moved in. In fact, I dislike carpet so much, that I didn't mind that the wood floors underneath were painted black. I figured this was a temporary measure and I just painted the floors brown to sort of match the ones that were already in the kitchen area to "trick" the eye into thinking, at first glance, that it was all the same floor. But the floors of course are not the same and there is a little step down into the den. Not enough to call it a step really, but high enough that the furniture needs to be placed squarely on one side or the other, otherwise it tilts.

At any rate. Originally we had high dreams of replacing the floor in the entire back of the house, something rustic and lovely, and done right - meaning, removing the old flooring so that all of the floors in the house would be the same height. However, we've decided not to spend that kind of money, and rather the plan is to now hopefully match the existing kitchen floor and run it into the den. In part, this is because we'd really like to put a little wood-burning stove in the fireplace (which at the moment has gas logs that are not hooked up), and that will take money too.

So. I think we're ready to have the floors in the back of the house match. But, old houses are complicated that way. Nothing is ever simple, and one action might trigger another 327 other things that need to happen before the original issue can be addressed, and of course our old house is no exception. So, in order to (try to match and) finish the existing floor from the kitchen into the den, we have to cut a gas line that is capped and sticks out from the floor and is currently hidden under the couch. (I am completely mystified by this, and have absolutely no idea why it is so.) And since we want to put a stove in there, it would make sense to have the stove guy take care of the gas line when he's installing the stove. But it's not even that simple. The chimney is not tall enough, because the people that lived here in the 30's expanded the attic and so the roof line is now higher than the chimney - not up to code if we want a wood-burning stove. So we need to take care of that too.

So... Now we're talking about a couple of thousand dollars, even if we are planning on putting the floor down and maybe even dropping the liner for the stove ourselves. Oh, and we'd also have to remove the mantel and re-invent it because as it is, the top would be too close to the stove. Oh, and also the couch, in its current position, would be too close to the stove. (Combustible sources, couch and house going up in flames, blablahblah.)

Anyway. Since the idea of all of this was completely daunting, I contented myself with hanging these IKEA curtains last weekend, just to make me feel better about the room. I had purchased the curtains a while back and stashed them away for when the floor and stove were in place, and the couch was moved to the center of the room facing the mantel... I have no idea why I didn't do this before. The room looks so much more finished now, and I love the way the dusty blue in the curtains brings out the blue in the ceiling....

So. Deep breath in. The floors will be done. Some day we'll have a cozy fire warming our stockinged feet. It's going to be all right.

**See the new and improved (I think) version of the den here.**


  1. This room is gorgeous!! I love the fireplace and hardwood floors. And does that pillow have petals? Beautiful.

  2. Isn't that pillow adorable? It makes me smile every time I look at it.

  3. i've had my eye on those very same curtains...they look great in your room!

  4. your curtains look great....and you are so will all work out and be fantastic! :)

  5. it all looks amazing.....
    it can be so overwhelming when one thing leads to another to another....but i love, love the curtains, and the room really does looks fabulous :)

  6. I like the slip for the couch!

  7. Absolutely LOVE your home...All of it! I can't stop looking!
    You've inspired me out of my post holiday blahs!



Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Know that I appreciate your thoughts, even if I may not always get the chance to reply. Thanks again!