Monday, January 14, 2008

Design Remix

Can someone explain to me the allure of appearing on a show like Design Remix? The premise of the show is to redesign a room in your house with furniture you already have in the room “plus surprises from other parts of the house.” I don’t get it. Was Candice Olsen busy? Why would you want to use your own furniture? You picked it! And you applied for a design show! I’m going to guess that what you picked most likely sucks, or at the very least doesn’t work well in the room because, I repeat, you applied to appear on a design show. I thought the whole point of essentially admitting on national television that you have no style was the promise of a newly furnished room. You give them permission to humiliate you, and they give you free stuff. Seems like a fair trade, no?

By the way, I should talk. I shouldn’t be too rough on HGTV. The show’s concept inspired The Mister and I to remix our own living room in hopes of reclaiming some adult space from the boys and their toys. Two years ago, we moved from a newly built tract home to a mid-century ranch. We had all sorts of renovation plans that we quickly put on hold after I decided to quit my job and stay at home with Mikey.

One of those plans included a new fireplace and furniture for the living room. Our old furniture looked lovely in our previous home, but in our older, more compartmentalized ranch house the furniture is the wrong scale, color, and style. The fireplace? Well, it’s a bit imposing. We put the mantel in right after we moved in so we would have somewhere to hang stockings for Santa, thinking it would be a temporary fix. We placed the furniture in the room and left it, hoping to replace everything soon. It never happened, and before we knew it the entire living room and entry way was overrun by toys.

Toys, Toys, Toys

Who's house is this, again?

A total redesign is currently out of the question so, right before Christmas, The Mister and I set about moving some furniture. We redid this room for $0. Like an episode of Design Remix, we used everything we already owned.

We started off by repositioning our ginormous sectional. We tried every conceivable configuration and finally settled on this one. It’s still too big for the room (it’s pretty much all you see when you come in the front door) but I think it turned out ok. I don’t love the heavy piece of carved wood above the television unit, but it serves a purpose. That’s a little “surprise” from the garage I dusted off to hide a 2.5 inch hole in the wall we couldn’t avoid if we wanted to watch TV in this room. Something lighter would look better (maybe even a plant) but it didn’t fit with my $0 budget.

It's All Wrong!

Before the Remix.


After the Remix. Better, no?

Of course we also moved every single toy into the den. The den is now a mess, but you can't see it when you first walk in the house, and with everything in such a small room it is fairly easy to clean everything up on a moment’s notice.

From the front door

No toys!

After--No More Toys!

Better. Much better.


We have children. They require toys. I prefer laughter over a clean house. Usually.

The Culprit

The culprit.

We moved the large mirror to the dining room. I want to redo this room, too, only with money. For starters, I would love to find a round table, replace the light fixture, and put down a rug. I’ve also thought of papering the wall behind the mirror or painting it a different color. We’ll see. For now, I’m just happy I can walk into my house without being blinded by a sea of toys.


Hello, I'm beige. How may I bore you today?

Dining Room.


Have any of you remixed a room? I’d love to see before and afters, so link away in the comments if you’re up to sharing!