Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Big Swap - Part 3

I decided not to sit on my re-vamped living room until it reached a state of "perfection" because it'll be awhile given my high standards and limited free time. So, here is the result of all my cleaning and hard work. Click on any picture to see a bigger version which has easier to see details.

The corner of the room which I revealed as a filthy mess with dust climbing up the walls in a previous post is now my desk area. The walls really do look fairly clean now though there are still "smog patterns" near the top which wouldn't come clean. I only lost the desktop real estate on the right which the PC now occupies. Two DVD burners and a video capture box are stacked on it. The black one is a new dual layer burner my husband brought back from the U.S. in May. The other is my old one which now mainly functions as a reader for the PC which has always had a wonky drive. My former desk set-up is pictured here.

The main change I had to make was the arms from my chair had to be removed so it could be pushed completely under the desk during my lessons. While the room has more space now than before (and feels bigger), the clear floor space doesn't work so well with two huge chairs and a table. Frankly, I don't miss the arms much except for when I pull the chair in and out. The back has never worked properly (the back always reclines and won't stick in place) so I tended to yank the chair around by the handles. Now, pulling it out by it's flexible back rest is more troublesome.

I plan on painting the framework my stuff is stacked on as soon as the humidity drops and I have the time. I figure I'll paint it ivory so it'll be lighter but not shockingly bright.

My favorite part of the change to my area is how the top looks with the Buddha and tea candle holders as well as a special spot for my Skull plushie. The Buddha is from the gardening section at the 100 yen shop and the candle holders from the "interior" section of the same shop. One thing I've realized is that you get better decorative objects from the gardening section in cheap shops than in the "interior" sections which seem to have a lot of cheesy-looking, hyper-colorful crap.

The orange speakers, incidentally, are a leftover from my tangerine iMac days. They now serve my Mini (which has horrible internal speakers). The nicer-looking but just as cheap black speakers are for the PC.

One casualty of the move was poor old Sammy the Hammy's ear. I knocked him over so many times while setting things up that I chipped his ear. I gave him his own iMac to make up for it and he seems just as happy as ever.

My attempts to control cord spaghetti were pretty unsuccessful as you can see. The yellow pillow is my foot rest. The orange iBook is for use in lessons so I don't have to print two copies of lessons and the black box has my digital camera and cables. The teal basket has printer paper.

While the set-up with two desks next to each other is the same as it was before, the main difference is my husband actually uses the desk now. That's his notebook PC on it in this picture though he often takes it to work with him. Since his desk is smaller than mine and I've taken all the shelves for my own purposes, I mounted a small rack that you can hang little baskets off of for him to put his things in at the end of the day. The set-up for this desk previously is shown here.

When we're both home and using our computers, his chair is right next to mine. We're somewhat close together, especially when he reclines, but we're both much happier being next to each other in this way and he's better off at a desk than lying on the bed all the time.

My new printer (with the already lauded front-loading cassette) and scanner take up the lower shelves. The scanner is quite old and I'm figuring it's the next piece of computer equipment that is going to croak on me (that or my aging PC).

The wall space above the T.V. is still tasking me. I have a plan to put something decorative there but it's going to take awhile to make. I also want to paint the stand the T.V. is on but I know that's going to take a long time to get to (if ever) so I covered it with woven fabric from India to add in some color and undermine the feeling of the right side of the room being a dark pit. The old T.V. set-up is pictured here. On the bottom shelf, I also put some gold tea candle holders I've had for almost two years but never found a good place to put them. They were part of a huge pack of wonderful-smelling Christmas candles my husband bought. They're the only thing I have left from it and add some nice sparkle to the lower shelf.

The clay figure on top of the DVD shelf, which sort of reminds me of something from South America, is another garden section find from the 100 yen shop.

I ditched the dark sofa cover and pink pillowcases and decided to change to a color scheme with light blue and gold because of the darker carpeting. Click here to see the old look of the sofa and carpet. I also swapped my kitty tile clock for the blue Apple one to add in more blue and a bigger decorative element. I went with blue and gold because they're the main colors in the Month Python and the Holy Grail poster above my husband's desk and it's the biggest decorative element in the room.

This bookshelf was transplanted from another corner of the room and I cleared out some of the shelves and re-arranged them. The old shelf set-up is pictured here. The Easter Island type figure on the top is yet another garden object. You can't see it but the trash can is a planting pot. I wanted a clay one and a bigger one but couldn't find one on the cheap.

When I see the pictures of the room, I think it actually looks better in person than the shots indicate. Part of the reason for this is that I can't get just any camera angle I'd like because of the size of the apartment and the difficulty of shooting back as far as necessary to get a good angle.

Another reason is that, unlike all the glamor shots of homes you see in magazines, I don't remove all the everyday stuff from the shots to make them look nicer or shoot in such a way that only select areas show. It's amazing how every time you see a picture in some magazine of someone's gorgeous home that these people never have things like trash cans, phones, televisions, or any sort of wiring. Apparently, all their gorgeous lamps are wired directly through holes in the floor or end tables they sit on. On rare occasions, you'll see some impeccable home that hides the T.V. behind a screen or concealing cabinet but, for the most part, they seem to lack a lot of the types of things we can't avoid (like cables from a PC to a monitor or a power supply cable).

When I finish up the bedroom, I'll post a tour of it.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out except for the things I've mentioned. :-)


terrance said...

The setup looks good. Congratulations, i guess, in keeping your sanity.

and Hurray for fellow PVP readers.

Shari said...

Thanks, Terrance. Everyone should be reading PvP!