going all bill-nye on my den

it occurs to me that i’ve been nitpicking at a space that’s batting 800 when i have a whole separate room screaming in an angry-child-at-the-other-side-of-costco kind of way.  you hear a quiet doppler-shifted din in the distance which is easily ignored while deciding between charmin ultra soft and charmin ultra strong.  as you inch your shopping cart into the same aisle, though, you are slapped with its hideous fury.

emphasis on hideous.

our den functions as an office, a second tv lounge, a guest room, and a reasonably arranged dumping ground for the furniture syed and i have dragged with us through post-college singlehood and transitional newlywed-hood.  hold my hand as we skip along on this journey down memory lane…

my philadelphia bachelorette apartment in july 2007, uberspacious 1bed 1bath with charming parquet floors at the heart of chestnut hill on the R8 train, $1100/mo:


i was, and still am, proud of what i accomplished as a fresh college graduate with furniture raided from the target-ikea-parents’ basement trifecta. $150 couches ftw!


on to our michigan boonies 2bed 1bath basement apartment in september 2008, $550/mo:


yeah that’s chappelle.  trust.


and now, our uber useful rarely used den in detroit:






why do i hate it?  it reminds me of 2007:  black finishes, behr classic taupe walls, a bunch of orange crap, mismatched staples office furniture assembled from a flat box (throwing syed under the bus for that), bland sofabed purchased in a fit of impatience (throwing myself under the bus for that).

why does syed hate it?  the office area is cramped and cluttered, the sofabed is uncomfortable, and the workspace doesn’t capitalize on our marvelous detroit/detroit river/canada view.

we need a comfortable, functional, inspiring office space.  (for cheap.)


1.  peninsula the desk off the window.  no-shit, sherlock.

2.  keep the ugly couch.  it’s just not worth the effort to replace it with a pending move in 18 months.  we can stuff it against the entry wall so you don’t see it unless you’re sitting at the desk, in which case the glory of hart plaza’s noguchi fountain will draw your gaze away with Design Hero superpowers.

3.  make the taupe walls work.


after scouring my brain for vision to no avail, i scoured houzz for vision.  turns out they’ve published on this topic:


their article includes fresh! new! inspiring! photos such as this:

Picture 87


the taupe has to go.  i really really really don’t want to paint again.  but here’s a thought:  before we leave the apartment, we are under contractual obligation to return its wall color to white anyway.  so here i am, eating my words:

i’m going to use white walls.

4.  floor to ceiling gallery wall.  we have reams of art without a home in this apartment, and i’ve never tried a gallery wall.  eager as dr. frankenstein for the experiment.

5.  new desk.  maybe this $95 used one, refinished?

Picture 88

it has a massive surface but is still lightweight enough for easy moving.  mama like.

6.  colorful rug to hide the carpet, perhaps yoinked from my in-laws?  will have to investigate their stash.

grabbed from houzz to offer them a little redemption after the taupe disaster, here are the moods i’m envisioning:

Picture 89

laura u, inc / houzz

Picture 90

vintage renewal / houzz

though you’d never know from the pics i posted, our den has GORGEOUS unobstructed 22nd floor lighting.  this vision is not fantasy.  that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

i would love to hear input, hit me.


2 thoughts on “going all bill-nye on my den

  1. Pingback: the ongoing adventures of captain den reno | raging sea. cool eye.

  2. Pingback: an office goes under the knife for pennies | raging sea. cool eye.

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