When my husband started making plans to replace the floors in our living room, I took it a step further and opened discussions on how we could take this opportunity to de-clutter the room. Our front room had become a catch-all for all sorts of shit. We downsized when we moved here and just plain had too much furniture - and my husband, as a rule, doesn't like to get rid of anything he spent money to acquire. So too much furniture, multiplied by too many knickknacks accumulated from inheritance and various vacations, plus a never-ending expanse of dog accouterments, equaled a cluttered, stress-inducing mess. Just look at this.
Two mismatched rugs. Two sofas, one of which is a giant sectional. Broken blind. TV trays. A completely unnecessary screen. A super-uncomfortable chair that I bet you didn't even notice among everything else. The white blankets on the furniture are pet protection, FYI.
Facing the other direction, we have a mantle just crammed stuff. Pillows and blankets piled up on a superfluous bench. A huge print that doesn't match the decor of this house and also is just too damn big to hang anywhere, so it's propped up in front of the fireplace.
Then I went to Memphis for work for a week. The week the floors were scheduled. And thank the gods because all of our furniture was piled up in the kitchen for five days and I believe that would've made me insane. We were also replacing the marble around the face of the fireplace with stone. So I was expecting all of those changes when I got home Friday.
But turns out my husband was actually listening to all my other complaints about the room. This is the "after" room I found when I returned:
He got rid of the chair, one rug and one end of the sectional. Pulled that sofa away from the front wall to face the other sofa, with the coffee table and the one rug I told him I wanted to keep in between them. He hung up the prints of Shelby and Bandit that I bought him for Christmas. The new blinds actually went up the week before I left. You can't see it, but on the other end of the white sofa is a wooden plank end table that matches the coffee table. It had been up against another wall before. The matching one is next to the sectional and holding the lamp. Our two really great pieces of art (a black & white photo of Silky Sullivan's on Beale Street in Memphis, and the 2016 Jazz Fest poster) finally get the focus they deserve.
The new floors are actually ceramic tile but with a wood finish - virtually indestructible by the dogs. We replaced some awful fake wood floors. I mean, they're still technically "fake wood" I guess...but they look GOOD.
He put away a lot of the stuff on both the mantle and the little green chest that came from his parents' house. The new fireplace is A+ and, in my opinion, makes the room. Cleaned the clutter off the coffee table. Hung the TV and pushed that shelf back against the wall. Ignore the pile of dog toys that...can't be helped. It's like having three toddlers in the house.
I am so pleased by my new room! It's probably been two years since I even felt comfortable and relaxed sitting in this room and now suddenly I feel like I'm in a whole new space. Like one of those make-over HGTV shows came in while I was out of town this week.
Mostly, I'm just really impressed by my husband who went WAY above and beyond getting the floors and stone fireplace installed, per plan, and really hearing my concerns and taking action on them. That's probably the best gift he's given me in years.