February 23, 2012

The House of Many Angles

I'm linking up with Jules every Thursday as part of her 2012 William Morris Project.

 I live in a tract house in a "planned community," meaning there are pathways (or "paseos" as they're called here), and tot lot parks and a swimming pool and a tennis court. We pay a modest monthly HOA fee for all these amenities. I tell you this, because sometimes I really, really wish that I could go back in time about thirteen years to when this tract was first built, and tour the Model Home version of my particular floorplan.   Because I'm very curious how a Professional Decorator would have dealt with all the random angles and cut-outs in my house.  My house has a LOT of weird angles, and the majority of them are in the entry-way and stairs area.  And the upstairs landing. And the bedroom walls. You get the idea.

Over the years, I've struggled with how to decorate and best utilize the spaces in my home. And this past week, I sort of threw in the towel on a couple of my old ideas. First, is the entry way. I talked about my pesky shelves before, especially here, where I say that basically the shelves are ALL form, and only 1% function. I'm tired of dusting them and arranging them to be "seasonal." Here they are in half-hearted "Valentine" mode this month.
Well, enough of all that.  Out they went. Leaving holes. Big holes, from the anchor bolt-thingies my husband used to hold up the weight of the shelves.  Oh well.  (My husband has a good system for covering up all the holes I leave behind: spackle, then re-texturize to match the orange-peel wall texture, then dab with leftover paint that is hopefully still hanging out in the garage.) This is my entryway now, the first thing a visitor sees (next to the Useful Hook): 
Then there was this area upstairs, right outside our double-door master bedroom, and across from my office nook.  I put two leftover Lack side tables up here, as a place for Tucker to sit and draw, usually while I'm on the computer and he wants some company.  Except that lately, he sits there maybe one or two days out of the month. The rest of the time, these tables and the area around them become just another landing spot for random kid-junk.  It was looking worse than usual this past week, which I guess was my inspiration to Deal With It.
I cleaned it all up (well, the Lack tables are down in the kids play room, waiting to be dealt with. One is trash and the other goes in the donate pile).  I unscrewed the magnet strips that held kid art (kid art that never really rotated out), and now it's nice and empty.  I WAS planning on screwing yet more things into the wall here, with some ledge shelves purchased at Ikea this weekend.  I was going to put some kids books face out, and put the bean-bag next to the shelves, as a kind of reading nook. But as of today....I dunno.   I think it's another "fake" area that I'm creating, that won't really be utilized.
Let me add, standing right here is one of my favorites spots in the entire house: I really love all the windows, and though you can't tell here, there are several large pine trees out the windows, giving the space an airy, treehouse kind of feeling. 

So this is where these areas look as of today. No brilliant "After" photos yet.  Maybe the upstairs area won't have an "After," and it will just stay clean and empty. Because that's probably how the Professional Model Home Decorator would have it, right? 

Some more views of the upstairs angles:

One of the things I liked most when we bought this house was all the natural light and the high windows in the stairway.  I still like those things very much, but did the architects really have to create all these angles in the name of "visual interest?"  I don't think so.


  1. Interesting. I onder if your builder ould have the name of the original decorator still on file. I onder too, if your spec home version didn't have railings there instead of solid walls--that ould definitely cut don on all the perceived weird angles, if not the actual angles. Your balcony area--where you had the lack tables-- reminds me of being up in the second floor area of an old church. That's the feel of it for me. It is beautiful.

    Good call to live with blank spaces for a hile. Let them speak to you.

  2. I'm sorry the w doesn't work well on my laptop!

  3. Funny about the "w," Alana! I don't think the model had railings...I've seen too many other homes in the neighborhood, all with the same floorplan. And it wouldn't really fit the house, either. Thanks for your comments about my upstairs area. I like it too. :-)

  4. You certainly have some challenges, but the space is also really beautiful. I agree with both of you, that landing area is great. The entry might do well with something {one thing} that is larger, to match the scale of everything else, like a giant plant, or a large leaning mirror with a cool frame, or something like that...A mirror by the door is always handy-to be able to double check your teeth before you answer a knock, or to inspect your outfit before leaving home in it. I think your progress is great-can't wait to see what you end up with!

  5. I love all the natural light! The space at the bottom of the stairs might be perfect for some art or maybe a large mirror. I really like the upstairs area without the tables and magnet strip. Good call to take it away & leave it as-is. I also really like the blue walls upstairs - makes it even more airy.

  6. I kinda like those little shelves. I find little nooks and crannies intriguing.:) However, you really DO have an anglelicious house. You must have flawless agility walking around them all the time!
    -The Clydewoman

  7. Alice & Amy: thank you! And for the suggestions, too. I'm planning on putting either a small console table or narrow dresser/credenza in the space, with a mirror above. That space is quite narrow, so it's a challenge to find something that fits.

    And Clydewoma: anglelicious! Love that. :-)

  8. I was going to suggest a small console table and mirror! :) I think it looks great, and the empty area upstairs is actually quite soothing!

  9. I love all the angles, even though they're hard to work around, they reflect the light really well, and are quite stunning. The console table and mirror sound like a great idea - maybe even a nice tall plant that crosses some of the different angles (like a fiddle-leaf fig), adding an organic element to the angles.
    The spot upstairs is so nice without the art section, nothing like some blank space to calm the mind.
    Good luck!


Thanks for commenting! :)

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