Steve and I often comment that we’re living in our dream house, however, we enjoy thinking about the little things we’d change had we been the original designers.
Our chimney is very wide and creates a concrete wall on one side of the deck. It’s not unsightly, but Steve and I both think it would be cool if it had an outdoor fireplace/grill/wood storage area on it. We hate not having an outdoor fireplace and a firepit on the deck just scream “fire hazard.”
I have long had an obsession with sunken living rooms and I think, in a way, that’s what we got with this house. However, I’d really love a conversation pit. I told Steve it would be cool to have a three-sided pit with built-in cushions that faced the fireplace. The cushions would be dark orange and I’d have needlepoint pillows with the Zodiac signs on them. We’d have a built-in center table too.
Speaking of the fireplace, sometime in the decorating disaster decade known as the 80s, a previous owner thought shiny peach tile would be a good idea for the fireplace. The only saving grace is that the grout is charcoal grey and the tile doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. Bottom line is that we are living with it for now. In dreamland, we would either restore the fireplace front like the original, which we think had a narrow shelf, or create a whole new facade with fieldstone. I like mixing rock/slate/stone with the natural redwood in the house.
The bar is the last area we’d fix. First of all, it was never a bar but a small area for reading or watching tv (although I’m not sure there was a tv in it). It had one wall of bookshelves and the other two walls were plain. This is an extension of the living room with a lowered redwood ceiling with lighting. The same genius who installed the peach tile converted the area into a bar. The work was actually done well, but the bar itself needs to be redone. When we moved in, the old bar refrigerator was still in place (and working) but we removed it and replaced it with our wine refrigerator. The newer cabinets and shelves were built to match the old ones and the storage is great. The only problem I have with the area is that it doesn’t really serve a purpose other than storage. Yes, the sink is convenient, but I hate wasting all the floor space. We’ve discussed putting a table and chairs there for casual dining or games, but we’re afraid it would seem crowded. Until then, we’ll just leave it the way it is and hope inspiration strikes someday.
All in all, we feel like we’re living in our dream house. If nothing ever changed, I think we’d be ok, peach tile and all.