Category Archives: Living Room

Rearranging is my middle name.

I don’t know if I was born this way or if it something I developed, but I have a real and abiding affection for rearranging our house all the time.  Like last Friday at 9:00 at night.  JT is trying to watch a music documentary and I’m buzzing around the house, looking for something to tinker with.  Sometimes I just can’t stop!

Since Cameron joined the household, we needed a lot of clear floor space in the bedroom for dog lounging (the sleep in there in dog beds on the floor).  Well, I still hadn’t gotten around to putting together that art wall and the large canvas was leaning against the wall . . . . until one night when (we think) Sophie knocked into it and toppled the whole thing over.  Being the neurotic dog that she is, she was TERRIFIED.  That canvas tried to eat her and she had to sleep on top of me that night to make sure it wouldn’t come back for her later.

So I found a place for it in the living room!  Yep, the before I’m about to show you I had labeled as an “after” all of two weeks ago.  Hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


There already was a substantially hung nail there from before (still hadn’t gotten around to removing/spackling/sanding/painting) and so I thought I would try the big canvas there.


I think it’s working.  At least I like it and so does Husband.  Although I need to get another indoor tree since I shuffled this one over here and now the other corner where it was living looks sad.  Fiddle leaf fig for the win this time?


The great thing about this arrangement is how great this works as a “landing strip” (Apartment Therapy’s words, not mine) or stuff containment zone.  When we come in the front door (right there to the right), we can put down our work bags, slide our shoes under the tables, drop our keys on Paul.  It’s all working out great.  The modem is also under the tables as well — they had to drill through the wood floor (so horrible, but before the days of wireless stuff and we used to have our TV there back forever ago when we had cable).  It’s hiding in the turned over basket.  The basket is pretty open weave and a lot bigger than the stuff under there so it seems to be “breathing” all right.


Anyone else keep an extra house-worth of furniture in their basement so rooms upstairs can be rearranged at a moment’s notice?  There are some advantages to hoarding!  Cheers – CT

Where did Paul go?

The new music station caused me to once again shuffle everything around in the Living Room but have no fear, folks, Paul is staying.

J:HOME Model (1)

(An updated furniture floor plan.  I don’t know what happened to those poche walls but it looks kind of cool.)

There are some pieces in the house that I really want to hold on to, others I keep around because they fit in for now or I’m still hunting down that amazingly-perfect-but-so-cheap-from-a-thrift find.  “Paul”, as I call my McCobb Planner Group secretary is a keeper.  He was holding up the ledges wall but has now moved over here to greet visitors at the front door.


This wall is looking a little bare but I’m slowly moving in artwork as the furniture continues to shuffle around.  What’s great about this setup is it gives us the “landing strip” they’re always pushing for over at Apartment Therapy.  The salon-style vinyl chair is a great place to drop my purse or my work bag and Paul gladly holds the day’s mail and the contents of JT’s pockets.


(View from the front door above.  That’s my Martin Sigma that I still don’t know how to play yet.)  Ironically the salon style vinyl chair and the four wood chairs we have around the tulip table were the things I thought for sure would sell at the Green Shag sale last year but didn’t.  Then I had each posted on Craigslist  and now I’m pretty glad they’re still here.  Go figure.

In the (much larger) world outside our living room, Google decided to close down its Reader.  I liked Reader so much that I even blogged about it (almost two years ago!  yikes!)  So what is a blog-addicted girl to do?  I tried out Feedly and liked the iPhone app but it wouldn’t work on the required Internet Explorer browser we have at work.  No blog reading all day long?  Not happening.  So I switched over to Bloglovin.  (Kind of wish they had a better name, makes me think of McLovin from Superbad).  It has a much more image-oriented format, which I am enjoying so far.


(Yep, that’s a screenshot from my Bloglovin account and I am a major blog addict!!!)

In the blog world, I’m afraid we may have lost JT from this site forever.  He set up a great new site for his band, Grand Beauty, here.  We haven’t all the way decided on things but I think he may start posting his guitar raids and fixes on the band website.  We’ll see.


At any rate, you should check it out.  He’s uploaded a bunch of their recordings.  That’s my husband singing “Beast of Burden” and if it doesn’t make you want to take your clothes off and dance around, you may need to have your head examined.  Cheers – CT


Ledges: Painted & Hung

Projects move in fits and starts over here at Living Analog and nothing ever stays in the same place for more than two months.  That’s the peril of living with an interior designer.  One of our friends at our Sweetheart Dinner commented that our house is like a kit of Legos — we always take it apart and rearrange it.  I’ll take that as a compliment (albeit a nerdy one!) — we love to reimagine our space and have chosen flexible furniture pieces to accommodate my need for change.

So, change.  Here’s one wall of the dining room over the last few months:


And then, I drug home a bunch of lumber, convinced JT to hammer it all together for me and  — voila! — an art wall!


The real impetus for change here came from my New Year’s resolution to make it easier to listen to music in our house.  I knew I wanted to move the record player, tuner and speakers to a more central location.    So while I was at it, I thought why not add some storage and display space above.  At first I was going to use our Ikea floating shelves but those got repurposed for the Wall of Wine.


That left me scrambling for a new plan and I decided on these ledges from Ana White.  They were affordable and easy to customize — we have about 5′-3″ of wall there so we made the ledges 5′ long to max out the space.  And by going with these ledges rather than just hanging our picture frames right to the wall, it gives us flexibility to change things us as the mood strikes (which, as you know, with me is often!)


Right now I’m displaying some of JT’s record collection along with some art pieces we’ve collected or been gifted over the years.  I still need to get some things all the way into their frames and finalize that mysterious blank canvas.  I’ll be back with more as I tweak it along the way.  This wall has been surprisingly difficult for me to photograph (wah wah) so I’ll try to get some better pictures for the ol’ blog too.


I’m off to spin some more vinyl and dance around in my sock feet with the dogs. What have you been changing up around the house lately?  I find that all home renovation projects go better with some loud tunes, especially of the Rolling Stones variety and now we finally have a spot to really “tune in”!

Cheers – CT

Super Bowling.

What did you during the “Big Game”?  Watch the commercials and cheer for the Murder Birds?  JT and I decided to build some shelves! (This is the normal activity during sporting events, right?)  I set the plan in motion by picking out a bunch of lumber and once we dragged it home, it seemed best to just go ahead and put it together right away since otherwise it would be still junking up the music room.


We got the plans/idea from Ana White (originally found via Young House Love), carpenter extraordinaire and we used the living room as our workshop.


The dogs cowered in front of the TV while we worked.


We’re not really a sports house, so we sawed and glued, clamped and drilled during the game and paused for the commercials.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the familiar curly grey locks of Wayne Coyne early on in the broadcast.  See the commercial on YouTube here. 


{Image via Google Images from here}

I immediately imagined the hipster revolt to follow.  “The Flaming Lips sold out!” they will cry.  Here’s my take: with the sad state of current music being marketed like lunch lady slop to the masses, if the Flaming Lips go quote unquote “mainstream”, isn’t that a good thing?  Wouldn’t this signal a return to good taste – to true artistic expression and not contrived trite designed to sell records?  And while, by definition, the Lips did “sell out” by allowing their song to be used in a commercial that is selling a car, this clip is pure Flaming Lips.  Robots, confetti, inflatable hamster-wheel balls, galactic travelers . . . methinks the Lips had complete artistic control if not a huge say in this video.

I listen to Pandora at work occasionally and they have a really well-written bio of the Flaming Lips — my favorite part is the beginning: “Even within the eclectic world of alternative rock, few bands were so brave, so frequently brilliant, and so deliciously weird as the Flaming Lips.”  {Jason Ankeny, Rovi}  So even though we didn’t have a team in the “Big Game” race, I still feel like we won.

(And more pictures when we get these shelves sanded, primed, painted and hung.   We originally got enough lumber to make three but one of the 1x4s was  so warped that we didn’t end up fabricating the third shelf.  These ledges are destined for the new music “listening station” I’m creating in the living room.

Cheers – CT

Is this the lamp for me?

You guys, I had a folder all set up on my trusty little thumb drive, on which I transport around all my precious blog cargo, to post about my desperate quest for a lamp.  I figured if I posted up on the inter-webs what I was looking for, it would magically appear at my house.


Our living room has no ceiling light fixtures and so we rely on lamps for all of our light in this space.  Next to the “Man Chair” there was a space that needed some illumination.  But we also need a table there to set important things like wine glasses and remotes.  So I began a quest to find the perfect lamp, looking for images or items to add to my little blog folder and post for your perusal.  Items like these:


#1 Similar to a walnut one I spotted at Treasure Aisles Antique Mall.  It was too expensive . . . we left it behind. (Example image from 1st Dibs).  And it would still need a table . . . .

#2 Designed by Jonathan Adler for Lamps Plus . . . really too expensive, although it does have a drink holder.

#3 My retro dream – a tension mounted light fixture that would span from floor to ceiling.  With such a small footprint, I would find it a nice table.  Doesn’t it already look like it was photographed against our new dark grey wall? Sigh.

And then while scouting around the internet one day, I found this on World Market’s site.


Simple , clean lines and on sale for $50?  Includes table and lamp shade?  We went Friday night and scouted it out — we found it way separate from all the lighting, almost into the kitchen department.  So we scooped it up and brought it home before I ever had a chance to post my plight on the blog.

I like a lot of things about it (price, function, overall aesthetic) but I’m not 100% sold.  It’s just a teeny bit too tall and I worry that it competes with the other light fixtures in the room.


(Oh and that’s JT’s latest eBay item just lounging in the living room, like guitars do.)

Here are the other major light fixtures :

1) Pendant above dining room table, just adjacent.  These two shades actually play well together.


2) Brassy arc lamp with pretty wood base across the room.


My other thought rather than ditching the new light is maybe to hit brassy light with some nice black spray paint . . . is this sacrilegious?

So — let’s vote!  Either we A) Return the World Market lamp and keep looking and hope that tension pole retro fixture magically is delivered to our front door or B) spray paint the arc lamp black that I scored at auction last year.  Or maybe you have a write-in ballot C option for me?  Thanks for playing!  Cheers – CT