Hey ya’ll! So (they are telling me) summer has arrived in Dallas – it’s been over 100 for the past few days and good gravy, the sun is so mouthy down here! Up in Minneapolis, it was all about the humidity, but down here it’s all about the sun and its relentless assault on my poor, pale skin. I’m positively brown (for a redhead.) Mr. Bug and I went swimming tonight after it was already dark out and our unheated pool felt like bathwater. I loved it.

SO! I’ve already posted about my tricky TV nook a few times. This has been a little bugaboo in my side since we moved in. To recap: our house came with the mounting hardware for our TV already attached to the fireplace in the living room. We took advantage of that and hung our TV on up there. There is a little alcove next to the fireplace that had the most horrible white laminate shelving I have ever seen. I took those shelves down before we’d here more than two weeks.

See what I’m talking about?? Here’s a picture I took when we were house hunting –

My first thought was to build out a little window seat. I wasn’t sure on the mechanics, though. I had parts from our windowseat in Minneapolis that I thought might work with some trim from Home Depot and a little paint. We set the potential window seat out while we considered our next move. It was… a little, well, junky looking…

And thus began the out-of-control, spiraling process of trying to decide what to do next. One minute I wanted to finish the built-in windowseat, so off to the googles to research doing built ins. But, ugh, all that cutting and us without our table saw. Maybe some sort of cabinet? I’ll check out craigslist. Found the perfect thing, but it’s WAY too much $$. But wait, that dresser has the perfect look! Oh, but the drawers, where will we put our cable box? Off to research infrared remote boosters. Or maybe upgrade to a harmony remote? But that’s $300, so for that price we could get the pie safe I saw at the antique shop the other day…

I was exhausted. Mr. Bug was ready to hang the horrible white laminate back up. I had passing thoughts of moving back to Minnesota, as I could NOT live with those white shelves….

Determined to stop the insanity, we headed out to garage sales a few weeks ago with open hearts and open minds (clear minds? strong hearts? can’t lose? Anyone else a big fan of Friday Night Lights?) At our very first garage sale we found a good-enough cabinet. Not quite the size/shape we had in mind, and a bit on the dark/Texas/rustic side (rather than bleached/Swedish/primitive side), but it was solid wood and most importantly was only $40. We crammed it in the back of the Rav4 and skedaddled home…

I’d been hoarding my favorite wood mirror for this spot – in Minneapolis it was white.

This is one of those SUPER heavy, old wood mirrors. Part of the scrollwork is broken and the original bronze paint was a bit scuffed up, so I got it for $35. I spraypainted it white and hit it with the sanding block so some of the bronze and wood showed through. I was ready for a change, though, so I used some leftover paint from my door project to paint it black.

Ugh – I like the results, but brush-painting this type of mirror is WAY harder than spray painting it. The scrollwork isn’t flush to the mirror, so you have to get the paint up in there, otherwise it reflects the previous color. Hard with a brush, but I used a snazzy tip I’d never thought of from the Annie Sloan’s book, Quick and Easy Paint Transformations – instead of taping to protect the glass, I just had a stack of printer paper handy and I held paper in place to protect the glass – WAY easier than taping!

I rubbed off a LOT of the black paint so the white, gilt and wood would show through. It’s very Addams family. I love it.

I like to try to reflect pretty things (as opposed to the ceiling) in my mirrors. This one was a bit tricky, since it’s so high up on the wall. I moved the eyebolts where the piano wire is strung down a bit, so the mirror would tilt down rather than hanging flat against the wall.

Circle shows where the eyebolts WERE, arrow shows where I moved them too. I wanted to move down a bit farther for more tilt, but when I flipped over the mirror I saw that there were already holes in that lower location. Being naturally lazy, I decided to reuse the holes.

The other thing we had to deal with was cord management. Since the TV mount was already there, the sellers had rigged up a solution to pass the cords back into the wall behind the TV, then snake them out of the side of the wall. I think that’s awesome, because I didn’t like the idea of the cords wrapped around the front, but I didn’t really like the black cords showing – since the cabinet is so narrow, there’s a lotta cord!

Oooo! Blurry picture! I had been planning on making a burlap cord cover like this one from Pottery Barn, but who wants to deal with all those snaps and/or velcro? And hemming burlap? Ick. Instead I just cut a super long strip of burlap 3″ wide and wrapped the cord up.

Mr. Bug, incidentally, took this little project as a further sign of my insanity. When I showed him, he just started to laugh. Harumph.

Oh! By the way – the new TV cabinet had a solid back, so we had to drill a hole for the cords. We used a hole saw sort of like this little guy –

[image familyhandyman.com]

It was really easy – you drill a pilot hole, then attach this sucker to the drill, stick that protuding part on the right into the hole (to center the hole where you want it) and drill away. The back of the cabinet was relatively thin, though. I think this would be more difficult if we were putting a hole through something thicker!

Since the cabinet is so narrow, I looked around for something interesting to help it seem more wide. I was super STOKED to find St. Francis waiting for me for twenty bucks at Home Goods! He’s the real deal – cement and weighs a TON, but I’ve been wanting the patron saint of animals to come live in our house for a few years, but they always seem to be $50 or more!

I sort of wanted him to go on top of the cabinet, but since he’s so heavy I put him on the floor instead!

Since the door on the left is usually open for remote usage, this all balances out pretty nicely!

Sooo…. while we were still in Minneapolis, after we were under contract, but before the move, I spent HOURS scouring the googles for ideas on how I wanted the house to look. You can check out the whole inspiration board here – it’s called Robin Hood because the name of our subdivision is Sherwood Forest and all the street names are from Robin Hood, precious, right? This picture was one of my favorites – not in furniture placement or type, really, but in the general feel, colors and vibe.

[image Cote de Texas]

Ah, professional photography! Let’s see how I’m doing so far, shall we?

The starting point – photo taken with the seller’s stuff still in residence…

Cleared out, ready for Snugbug belongings…

As of yesterday…

And the inspiration photo again…

Not TOO terrible! I’d still like it a bit lighter. I’m not gonna lie, I totally want to paint the fireplace brick white, but so far have been vetoed by the boy-bug. Our stuff veers a bit more country than the inspiration photo – partially because it’s what I like, but also because of cost. Severe, simple, primitive pieces like the bench, tables and horse are hard to come by in the craigslist/garage sale spaces I’ve been cruising. Also, white leather Barcelona daybeds aren’t that common. I might lighten the mood by sanding down the new TV cabinet eventually, but if I do, that will be a ‘second round’ project… first I have to finish that poker room!


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