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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Presto! Change-O! A Monday Metamorphosis

In the seven homes Howard and I have shared, we've always had a room full of books and comfy seating, warm and cozy and informal, where we read, talk, and fall asleep in front of the television.

Here at That Old House, choosing that room was easy. It's in the original, ca. 1832, part of the house. It is a rather busy room. It has 6 or 7 windows (depending on how you count them), 3 doors, some built in bookcases, a 3-sided windowed bump-out that is the perfect spot for my old desk, and it is right off the conservatory and the front hall.

This is mid-painting, back in April 2008.
(An embarrassing confession about the painting near the end of the post!
It's a good thing I am among friends.)

This room was the house's original dining room, before a bigger dining room was added in the late 1800s.

I wanted to dub this room the snuggery, but my family rebelled. They were already indulging my whims by agreeing to call the living room the parlor (in my defense, it is a parlor!), and the sunroom the conservatory (well, it is a conservatory -- glass ceiling!).

But they drew the line at snuggery.
"Family room
," said they. "Too modern," said I. We compromised. It is the study. Well, at least I call it the study. Relatives can be so stubborn.

For today's Metamorphosis Monday --
I present our partially-finished Study, featuring a happy union of mod and odd!

Thanks to Susan of Between Naps On The Porch, for hosting this meme.
Click here for more sparkling transformations!


We put our big comfy tapestry covered dog-and-kid-proof seating from our former house into this room:

We picked up an old display unit from a defunct antiques shop (you don't want to know our adventures getting this monster home from the middle of a cornfield!):

And while I started looking for old, quirky, vintage furniture for this room,
Howard went shopping for a big flat panel TV.

(Keeping it real, Howard's TV when we first moved in:)

Oh my.

Can this marriage be saved?

And the good news is, yes.

On Ebay, I found an old credenza for sale.
Excellent quality -- it was sold originally by the high end
B. Altman department store in NYC -- still has the brass tag.

It is probably about 60 years old, and has some lovely burl veneer:

It was plenty deep to hold the television.
But what about the inevitable cable box and DVD player thing-a-ma-box?

At first we just piled them next to the TV, which was off center on the credenza.
This drove me nuts. I started looking for something which would hold
the television above the credenza, and leave room underneath for the boxes.

I found a couple of options in catalogs and online, but they all cost money.
Like, more money than I had paid for the credenza.

I am not an inventor's daughter for nothing.

I stared at that credenza, television and two boxes. . . then got a pre-made shelf at Home Depot for about $3, and a length of 4 x 4 lumber that Howard chopped into several lengths, and came up with this:

We were almost there.

Out came the 4 x 4s from under the shelf, to be primed:

And then they were painted flat black (thank you, Anne!)

And presto, change-o, alla-kazam!

All sleek and nifty looking. At least, I think so.

Like so many places in That Old House, this room is also a work in progress, which is why you aren't seeing the entire room.
No window treatments yet.
The wicker chair, above, is from my grandmother and is probably migrating toward the master bedroom.
And worst of all ... confession time -- the painting in here isn't quite done
but shush ... don't tell; it's too embarrassing!

At one end of this room is an old Edwardian library table, my desk, also from my grandmother, who was a thrifter and scrounger extraordinaire. She claimed this library table came from Sagamore Hill, the Oyster Bay, Long Island home of Teddy Roosevelt.
I have no reason to doubt her.

It just fits in the alcove in the study. I love my view out over my printer:

You can't sneak up on me! I can see the front porch from my computer.

Happy Monday to all -- Cass


  1. I'm loving it.

    I know what a credenza is - - - have one (not NEARLY as gorgeous nor old as yours) in my classroom at school.

    I ADORE the wall color/paint job, but I need to go back because I just realized I like totally MISSED the embarrassing paint story at the end - - - -

  2. What a great room. I am with you in that rooms seem to never be finished. They are always changing. Love it so far. Hugs, Marty

  3. Great job on the Snuggery! Looks like a great place to hang out.

  4. Great transformation - I am impressed with your creative thinking on solving some of your problems (who would have thought that painted bricks would blend in so beautifully?).

    I love the name snuggery....I also love the word conservatory. I grew up in a house with a conservatory, so it makes me smile to even read that word.

  5. I vote for "snuggery" also..I love the wood on that credenza and would love to know the story on your father the inventor (or was it your mother :)?I am glad Howard "chopped" those pieces for the shelf--perfect and I love the window view--really, I just want your old house :)

  6. I love that credenza and the thingie you made for the other electronics is a great idea.

    Check out my blog, I've got mine next to my TV and I'll be working on my husband to make something like what you've got!

    How is the ventilation on those?

  7. The credenza is gorgeous ... everything turned out beautifully. Great creative mind. Snuggery & conservatory is so perfect. TTFN ~Marydon

  8. The room looks terrific! I love the credenza ... and Howard's TV!


  9. Snuggery, giggle. Sounds wicked.
    We watched HGTV Sarah Richardson redoing a cabin/beach house and when they were building the extra sleeping quarters...what we call the bunkhouse...she kept calling it the bunkie. I thought my Big Burly guy would throw up. I

  10. Beautiful! Love your wall color! Everything looks Fantastic!

  11. What a great room! I love the color you chose and every detail! :)

  12. The room turned out great. Wished I had a view like that from my computer.

  13. Love your desk in front of the window; it looks like such a nice room.


  14. Cass your are so cute and funny!
    I think your "snuggery" is just perfect! ~Wonderful job! ;)

  15. Oh, Cass! This room is a snuggery! I love that word! The credenza looks awesome and aren't you clever to think of the little shelf and pieces of wood? Who would know you didn't buy this for the TV? Your huge bookcase is marvelous! Oh, I just love where your desk sits, too! I just love seeing your house and all the projects!
    bE a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  16. Cass, that is a great idea for the flat panel and that room is looking wonderful!

  17. I love the color in that room!!

    Thanks for coming by.

    Barbara Jean

  18. The cradenza is beautiful!

    Great paint story.

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥

  19. One minor point of order. The reason the pieces of wood all came out exactly the same perfect length is I let the man with the big scary, yet totally awesome, saw at Home Depot make the cuts.

  20. Well done, Howard, for getting a word in!

    I really, really like this room. Would love to snuggle down on the great big, comfy sofa, plus I like the green walls.

    Well done both of you, and Anne, with the credenza, great big tv and the "black solution" for the bits and bobs and cables that go with today's viewing/hearing gear.

    Does Dion get to snuggle on the sofa?

    Loving the visits to your home, hope your Summer continues to be glorious,

    Michelle (and my daft darling Zebbycat) in Wellington, NZ

  21. Hi Cass! Your study is looking so beautiful! I'll not tell aobut the painting. I have one room that has been in the works longer than I care to tell! lol I LOVE your credenza! Terrific solution to the box problem! Great post!...Debbie

  22. I love your view out the window! Wish I had one instead of a wall. You did good, girl! Who's going to know that isn't some built-in system for all your husband's tv thingamabobs? (And why do you think it is men must have all these thingamabobs? I don't get it.) Great job!

  23. What a beautiful room! I especially love the bookcase with all the books!!! And I love what you did to the credenza/TV stand...clever! Linda

  24. I am in LOVE with your house! In my imagination, I live there and have for a long time (just didn't know it was yours until today).

    Thanks for sharing and keep the posts about it coming - so I can renovate in my head too. lol

  25. Very nice study and thank you for your wonderful comments on my unfinished master bedroom that never seems to be done either! My favorite is the invention to house those little black boxes! I need to come up with something to hang under the T.V. in our room but the problem is it can not stick out very far! All of your furniture pieces are so nice!Luanne

  26. I love it....also love books everywhere....always within arms in every room in our house there is a book nook....

  27. I enjoyed every minute of my visit!
    I also enjoyed watching you figure out a place to put those pesty items that go to the TV. What a great fix! It looks like something made for them...oops! It WAS made for them! :)
    GREAT job! I think I will just follow along and see what you are up too!

  28. What a cozy room! Nice job on the TV stand, very creative. Thanks for stoppping by my blog!

  29. Hello Hello!
    My first time visiting you and I am in LOVE!!! You are a hoot and I can't wait to have some time to sit down and read backwards!
    You did a wonderful job with your tv dilemma.
    And I agree - i your defense, it IS a parlor!
    I'll be back! Thanks for visiting me so I could find YOU!

  30. Love your house, and Great idea for the TV problem. Necessity is the mother of invention! (well, a better looking nest usually brings it out of women.)
    Did I say I loved your house? It's my dream house. Even down to the yellow color!!! I have always DREAMED of living in the Country in a Farm house, with big gardens and a menagerie of animals. But that has not happened so far. Been married 27 years and my 4 kids are 15 to 22. I tell myself "There's still time!!" Maybe empty nesters will see us there....
    Either way, dreams are good, Hope is great and life is wonderful.
    Thanks for blogging about your adventures! What a super Nest you have to feather.....

  31. You are living in the house that I've dreamed of FOREVER. That house was just never in the right place for me. My husband has always said that it would "gobble-up" all our money - doesn't stop the dream. I love your home and all the things you've done to it and for it!! PAM

  32. I have a big over-sized chair in my bedroom that I call my snuggie, maybe I should call my room the snuggery!

    Whatever you call it, your room is warm and inviting.

  33. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! You are not alone in wanting vintage, quirky pieces for your home while your husband just cares about his flat panel TV- it's the story of my life! And I think you did a great job working around it with that stand you created.

  34. I like what you've done with the TV and the electronics! Looks like it came with the TV. I can't wait to see what else you're up to!

  35. Now that is just lovely. And I like snuggery. It's a great word. I think you should wear Snuggies in the snuggery.

  36. It's amazing how one's inventive side is aroused by the sight of a 52" television. It was The Great Dane's pride and joy and my particular object of despair. A black hole on the wall of a sunny room. I'll have to blog about how I solved it - you'll have started something!

  37. After seeing your home,I understand your horror at seeing my painting
    Your home is so lovely! All that I could go for...My dear one likes cookie cutter homes.ughhhhhhhhhh
    You must do a picture tour for us...
    Thanks for the visit

  38. Beautiful melding of the old with the new. That credenza looks fabulous with the flat screen on it, and your idea for the "boxes" is genius! laurie

  39. I'm sorry, but I am stealing your house. The towing truck will be there the day after Thanksgiving. (See, I'm not unreasonable! You and your 31 friends can still have your holiday dinner!!) However, Friday morning just stand by quietly while they jack the house up off the foundation and no one will get hurt! I am not leaving you homeless, so do not worry. I am giving you my 20 year old, one story, porchless, conservatory-less, plain ole kitchen with lovely OAK cabinets AND delightful non-stone, non granite, even non-freaking Corian, must be FORMICA counters.

    I think its a pretty fair trade. Thanks for all your hard work on MY old house! My family will love it.

    (I wish!)


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