When we lived in Grand Rapids, I loved our 100 year old house, but there was definitely a struggle with designing a space that leant itself to a certain era. Especially when a lot of the work we did to that house was superficial, I always felt like I was just trying to “make it work” when we renovated each room.
I find myself falling more in love with our Colorado home than I ever did with our American Foursquare home in Michigan as I’ve gotten a chance to push my creativity and create a home from scratch. The den was the first room we’ve ever truly “gutted” so this was also the first time I had a chance to design an entire room exactly how I wanted it. Above are just a few of my favorite inspiration images that helped in the initial design process of our den renovation. The feel: minimal, a little rustic, with a dash of mid mod. It is my version of a Scandinavian cabin.
With the wood burning stove and large windows as our focal point for this room, we wanted to split the room in half, similar to how the previous owners had arranged it. Considering we had doorways and windows to compete with, it really left only so many avenues to rearrange furniture for the optimal view outside and allowing space for walkways. We chose to put the sectional close to the fire and TV and leave the other half for a quasi-office. Once the slate tile and walls were finished, I knew I had to do something about the horrible boob lights. I had been eyeing all the amazing and expensive lights from Cedar & Moss, especially their Alto Surface series, but knew we could never justify purchasing these. So naturally I did what I alway do – DIY it. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t very hard at all to replicate these beauts when I found A Beautiful Mess’s blog post for a similar look. I was able to make both of these for under $140! As the search for the perfect sectional continued, I happened to score an amazing find on craigslist… a 7 foot cactus for $60. For those who don’t think that is a steal, go to any nursery and I dare you to find one that tall for under $500. I instantly brought in our snake plants to add more greenery to our beetle kill pine ledge and a co-worker sold me her beautiful Kevin Russ prints to complete the “moment.” After waiting for a few months our couch from Scandinavian Designs finally arrived! I brought in this super inexpensive chunky jute rug to ground the area and began to think about the killer wood stump I got off of craigslist and how I could turn it into a beautiful coffee table. The desk was yet another craigslist purchase (I seriously do not know what I’d do without craigslist) that instantly helped bring the room together. For some reason it took us forever to decide on a stupid desk chair, but eventually we just purchased one from Amazon and called it a day. Once we finally got a free weekend, Zach and I started working on the wood stump coffee table. The bark had to come off, so I delicately chiseled away the sides of the stump until most of the bark was gone. To even it out, Zach had to chainsaw one side as level as he could. I then took a planer to even out the top before grabbing a hand sander to finish off the rest. After a few hours of hand sanding, Zach drilled holes in the bottom to install wooden dowels with a little wood glue. I finally got to my favorite part, sealing the wood. I love how quickly the grain and colors come out once you start this process. After a few coats I called it good and added our brass caps to the bottom of the wood dowel legs after it was all dry. By far, my favorite DIY to date! The den has now become a place where we can relax in the evenings and congregate with friends. Now all we need to do is wait for winter to finally enjoy the best part of this room – the fireplace!
Eventually I will have to paint our door out to the backyard, but besides that, I’m SO happy with how it turned out. It’s just the right amount of simple + cozy that I love. What do you think?