My Old Kentucky Home: Mid-Century Den & Laundry Room Renovation
We are now to the most utilized room in our newly renovated mid-century home – our Den. This was an addition to the original house so it has two walls of fabulous exposed brick. It has become a versatile den, including a nook that my husband Tom uses as his office.
This room is pretty challenging because it is long and narrow, and the majority of one wall consists of 4 glass doors. I wanted a very monotone color scheme in this space so I incorporated grays, browns and blacks. I used red as an accent color in some of the fabrics to tie in with the adjacent Living Room & Dining Area, but did so sparingly.
For the flooring, we went with 20×20 ceramic tiles in a charcoal gray color. We did this for several reasons. There is a step down into this space, so a change in flooring does not feel choppy. This room is also the living quarters of our two precious labs so I wanted something that would not show dirt and would be easy to clean.
Make it a Grid
We actually wanted to do plank tiles but there was a slight level change in the floor between the versatile Den and Office Nook, and our contractor was concerned that over time the tile would crack. He recommending laying the tile in a straight pattern so that the grout line would fall directly on the level change.
My only regret with the renovation was that we did not add a radiant heat system under the tile. With the wall of doors, this room gets pretty cold in the Winter. We did add a cow hide rug for softness, texture and color. We call her Bessie, and our dogs LOVE her!
Adding Some Texture
I really wanted to hang grasscloth in this room, but quite honestly, I ran out of money. I love the texture of grasscloth, and as God as my witness, one day I will have grasscloth! In the meantime, we painted the walls Sherwin Williams’ Tyler Taupe, and it blends nicely with the grout in the exposed brick. I had cornice boards made for the 4 doors and installed them over woven shades. This is such a great layered look.
Furniture placement was another challenge in this room. We wanted to utilize as much of our existing furniture as possible. We brought in our super comfortable leather sofa that was rarely used in the Basement Family Room of our old house.
Get it Reupholstered
I also reupholstered an existing chair & ottoman, a round ottoman, and a swivel tub chair. I did make a mistake in my fabric selection for the round ottoman. Although I love the light fabric, my precious pups love rubbing up against it so I will have to go to Plan B. I don’t know what I want to do for Plan B so until then I have a large rattan basket sitting on top of the ottoman to distract from any problem areas. (Maybe that is Plan B until I figure out Plan C?!?!). We purchased a 55″ television and placed it on our existing gray media cabinet – which looks amazing against the exposed brick.
Adding a Ledge
We removed two built-ins and replaced them with our existing bookcases. I knew I wanted to replace the mantle so once again I put on my research cap. I found that most homes built in the 50s did not have mantles, and those that did had a simple ledge type mantle. Our contractor built the new mantle which runs the length of the fireplace and is stained to match our bookcase.
I try not to look in the Office Nook because my husband is a collector of things – papers, office supplies, knick-knacks, etc. – and these things tend to sit out on his desk. We did replace the existing air conditioner wall unit with a small window which lets lots of light into this area. I added a small valance over a woven shade to tie the two spaces together.
This room originally had a small closet which backed up to a recessed work bench area in the Garage. We combined both spaces and converted them to a 10 x 6 Laundry Room. The original Laundry Area was located in the Basement, and we converted that area into a new work bench area for my husband. I love our Laundry Room. We changed out the door to one with glass so it would feel less like a closet.
Tom wanted me to add cabinetry for storage, but I felt like the space was small enough so I had a floor-to-ceiling curtain made to hide all of my supplies behind. The fabric adds lots of warmth to the space. The walls are painted Accessible Beige, and I added a grouping of bird canvas that I already had for even more color. The graphite finish of our washer & dryer look ultra sleek in the space. I was also able to reuse a rack that serves as a hanging bar, laundry basket and storage bin – all in one!
I am a firm believer in packing a lot into a small space, and as you can see, our Den feels much larger than it is. Tom can be working at his desk while I am doing laundry and our girls are watching TV. However, in the end, this is really our dogs’ room – they just let us hang out here!