Renovation: The Living Room and Cocktail Corner (Pt 1)

Part One – The Living Room Area

Back to the renovation!

Living room: Before - "The Mountain Cabin" look

Part of the “alpine” look of the original living room were some fake beams along the ceiling. These were just for show (the building was built in the 60’s), hollow and only extended across one room. So with the decision to remove the doorway between the living and kitchen areas, the fate of the fake beams was decided as well. That led to a domino effect that resulted in all the knotty-pine cupboards and matching “mountain” furniture going too**.

Gone: Wood paneling, ceiling and cabinets, and all the furniture too.

The new cupboards are intentionally more neutral: white matte doors with an oak border. We chose the exposed wood borders to keep things warm and natural feeling, and we purposely shied away from anything too faux farmhouse or super dominant in looks.

Up until this room, all the furnishing for the apartment had to be built by a local carpenter. Ikea is more economical but way too big for a place this size. In this room, we finally got to go shopping.

1. A pretty sofa bed is hard to find. An attractive and affordable leather one proved to be impossible. I found a few in the US, but the shipping scared me away. We settled on this Ikea model just in time for Christmas vacation. The shape was good and the color fit the room. We hope to replace it in the next few years, but it will do for now and has the bonus that we can buy extra covers should this one get too cat loved or stained.

2. The coffee table is Scandinavian, purchased from a local dealer in Nürnberg. We’d initially come to look at something else but then spied this in the corner. I like the mid-century look and the surfboard curve to the top (better pic of this below). It was hard not to keep this one for our ‘real’ living room.

3. The cow skin rug was something Oliver had been wanting a long time. I was sure the cats would eat or abuse it. Instead, they loooove rolling around on it. Cat-approved. Oliver found this one on eBay.

4. The lamp is Ikea (discontinued now I think). I liked its shape and the way the shade actually glows gold from the inside when lit. Oliver gave it the green light because it was one of the few lamps that Ikea sold with a dimmer switch. He’s big on the dimmer switch.

5. People either love or hate the living room area ceiling lamp. It wasn’t an easy decision. With a flat screen TV on the wall, we needed something that didn’t get in the way but nevertheless added some light to the room. I wanted something here that dangled. I stumbled across Nud. I think they’re awesome. I loved the cloth-covered cord and the ceramic base. We chose pink with a white “jewel”  to match the wall, but the cord can be somewhat easily switched out in a few years if we change our mind. Nud has a wide range of cord color choices.

The leather butterfly chair is a search in progress. We love the look, especially the thin legs which make the chair seem smaller than it really is. Now it’s just a matter of finding one at a price we can afford. Patience…

The coffee table

The coasters are a collection from bars we’ve visited all over. We always try to grab a few when we’re on a business trip or vacation. The ones above are, starting with the red one: The Shelter and The Kingfischer, both in Tuscon, AZ and Michael Mina’s Clockbar in San Francsisco (home of my favorite summer cocktail, Desmond’s Pleasure).

The deer motif is one that will repeat itself throughout the apartment – it’s one of our little nods to the mountain location. These were a gift from my sister-in-law. The grandma doily they’re standing on is salvaged from the old place, in honor of the previous proprietress who really really believed in doilies.

Next up – the Dining Nook / Cocktail Corner…

**Tossing all this stuff hurt a little because everything was in such good condition. It felt like such a waste, but there aren’t flea markets or salvage yards here. Later we were quite happy to learn that our entire living room had been adopted by the proprietors of one of the Hüttes (or lodges) on the mountain. They’d dismantled everything and partially re-furnished the rental apartment in their top floor. I was invited up to have a peek. It was a perfect fit. Even the tassels on the cupboard doors are still there.  They treated us to dinner as a thank you (Franz makes the best trout on the mountain). They were thrilled at the free upgrade and we were really well fed and happy that everything got a second lease on life.

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5 responses to “Renovation: The Living Room and Cocktail Corner (Pt 1)

  1. Your place is adorable and as a native city girl, I appreciate the little SF touches of style. Remodeling our place in Nuernberg to have a little bit of America represented has been a challenge (like my never ending quest to find a Schreiner who is able to incorporate my Anthropologie doorknobs into German doors). As for Michael Mina, I just have two words: Butterscotch Custard.

  2. Nice job getting the older furniture off to another family. I HATE throwing things away – especially perfectly good stuff that you just don’t want anymore. We’ve moved a lot and Freecycle has been a great resource and I think they have “chapters” in Germany too. Although doubtful about the mountain region.

    Congrats on the new place – looks so good!!

    Jen

  3. I LOVE that coffee table. I swear, if you find yourself missing tables, you probably should come knocking on my door.

  4. Pingback: Life List – Another One Checked Off | Still here, Still foreign

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