Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Downstairs Big Room

So, let's go downstairs to the big room for the remainder of the downstairs tour.

Down the stairs we go. The corner shelf was a left over from my mother-in-law. I love it. I consider it my last vestige of a woman's touch before you get to the bottom of the stairs. 

Now, I won't be able to help myself from stopping along the way and telling the stories of life, so here is the first one. You see this lovely cross stitch?

I didn't stitch it, but I can appreciate good stitching! My hubby's old girlfriend did this. It was framed poorly and had her initials and 2-14-19??. I simply pulled out those initials and framed it properly.... and here it hangs 31 years later. Her mother had a great spaghetti recipe that we use too:)

There are two other pieces of cross stitch at the bottom of the stairs. 

Now, at the bottom of the stairs you see three doors.

To the left is a door that leads to what we call the fishing room. It is a room that has a door that leads to the outside. It is not heated and cooled, but it is a wonderful room. It has a shower, the loud engine to the house vacuum, and holds what seems to be an infinite amount of fishing poles. I can't really say anything about the number of them, because Hubby would probably say that kind of thing about my sewing room. 

The door straight ahead leads to a storage closet that I wrote about here

To the right is the door that leads to the big room.

As you enter the big room, if you turn back to your right there is an unbelievable amount of storage. It contains a closet that holds Christmas decorations that I shared here, and then an "under the stairs" closet. My mother-in-law knew what she was doing on the closet thing.

Ok, if you are still with me, we enter the big room. You can see why anyone would want to be in this room. The view alone is amazing. 

Taken in the early morning light. The octagon shapes are in the same locations upstairs. 

I can't even tell you how many kids have spent time down here. Mostly boys, but not always. When my daughter was a senior, her IB (International Baccalaureate) class all came here after the prom. They had a blast. I had quite a few parents who helped out, and to say it was a success would be an understatement. Evenings like that with those kids will give you great hope.

The room looks quite a bit different now. The sofa and recliner are relatively new. There is no way they would have survived the boys.

I was able to locate an old picture with the white tile and the ping pong table.
This was probably the only time it was clean enough to photograph. I think this was right after we moved in.

Side story: I think it is funny that bloggers share their sweet little darlings bedrooms, but when they reach teenage years you see much less of that area of the home. It is real life and we would rather no one saw that. Teenage years are tough, but part of the whole package. I for one wouldn't trade it. Yes, it was messy and the amount of kids here drove me nuts at times, but it was the best way to be "in the know." I couldn't always say that at all homes.

The octagon alcove that is empty is for a Christmas tree downstairs. I always put one down here with ornaments that the kids picked out an ornament for each year. It also houses plants that need to come in when it is really cold outside.

The baskets in the area contain rocks. To say my son loved rocks as a kid would definitely be an understatement. I wish I had somehow labeled them from all the places he collected them from, but we were living life.

The green one is painted and came from Metropolis, Illinois, home of Superman. We went there once when Hubby was coaching basketball for a tournament.

The decal above the couch is new. I rearranged some pictures down here. The fish up high are from a positioning of furniture a very long time ago. I just didn't want to move them, so they will be there forever. I needed something to tie it altogether. I found an Etsy store that sold decals.

To the left in the big area is a table, bookcase, and my new arrangement of furniture to give me a reading corner. The ping pong table was here at one time.  It had seen better days, so I ditched it a few years ago. I think everyone kind of misses that!!!!, so that may have not been my best decision ever.

Yes, those are dirty screens on the windows. Pollen just hugs those windows for some reason. Cleaning them is on my list as soon as it cools down. 

More rocks and trophies. The only one he cares about is the one where they actually one the district or area in All-Stars baseball. I hate that we give them all a trophy for everything. A post for another day.
Oh, and more baseball caps...

The bookcase has a story to it. When we married and moved in our first home which was a townhouse, I showed Hubby what we REALLY needed.... a bookcase that would hold the TV, stereo, and that I could decorate. He made this. I was so proud of it. It held its purpose well for many years. Just recently I moved it over to this area, and now it no longer holds the TV.

Guess what is behind those doors?

Did you guess right? Yes, the album collection that I can't force myself to get rid of. My 45's collection is in the closet. I don't even have a turntable anymore. I know...I have a problem with holding onto things. 

Oh, and the palm tree was in my classroom for almost my whole career. I showed a picture to Hubby and he made it for me.

When we moved in to the home in 2002, we really struggled with which kid would get downstairs. It really worked itself out in the best way possible. The door right next to the sofa leads to the bathroom, and then the bedroom is past the TV table. I just couldn't wrap my mind around Lindsay having to come out of her bathroom when the kids got older to teenage boys. She agreed. It was the best decision ever, because she is so disciplined. She likes to go to bed at the same time every night whether kids spent the night or not. If she had been in that bedroom, they would have fought ALL the time.

IT just worked out for the best.

I am not sure what the purpose of this room will be going forward, but for now, I guess it will be a quiet location for me to go read and for Hubby to clean guns or get ready for a fishing trip and put line on his fishing pole.

The table has a rubber mat covering the whole table. I didn't move it off for the pictures. It is used when Hubby is cleaning  a gun or repairing line of a fishing rod to protect the table.

I think my mom will want to spend time down here when she visits. It is clean enough now! 

Did you notice the end tables?

They have been with us a long time. A few years after we married, Jeff's granddad died. We got those end tables from his grandparents' house. Jeff says he could remember them for as long as memory goes back being in their home. We used them in our family room until we moved in this house and used some that his parents had. These moved downstairs. They are very old and are definitely showing their age. I really like them because of the story and uniqueness. The top lifts up for great storage. I have thought about refinishing them. That is my very far into the future to do list. They match the table and adjoining bedroom furniture really well. I could maybe paint them to match the table, but I have a really hard time covering wood with paint. I am a stained wood kind of girl.

The last wall is the TV wall. The bookcases were on this wall when we had a ping pong table in here and actually for even longer. Paul Allen took the TV that went here with him, so for now, it holds the TV that we won't get rid of because it has a VHS player in it:) I suppose if Mama ends up liking it down here that Jeff will buy her a TV for down here. For now, it will be TVless.

My to do list in this area includes:
1. touch up painting
2. cleaning the windows on the outside when it cools down. They are simply nasty with pollen.
3. Hang the curtain over the closet door that you saw in the bedroom tour.

Time does fly! I miss those ping pong days.


  1. What a great room! What is it with boys and rocks? My son loved them, but I thought it was because we really don't have that many down here on the coast. To have a shower as you enter the living space is divine! What a fun place of fun memories!

    1. The rocks thing is quite funny. When he was between 3 and 5, we would visit my uncle in Alabama. He had a gravel drive and we would always stand around to talk before getting in the car to leave, Paul Allen was on the ground packing his pockets.

      There are lots of great memories down there. It has been kind of funny to watch him when he comes over, he goes down to check on the area to see what I have done. He told his sister the other night, that I had fixed it up really nice now that he was gone. He is sentimental like me, because I do things are going well with his move.

  2. Sandy you are a better woman than me as that cross stitch would have gone right in the trash! Lol I think your downstairs will be a perfect grands playroom when they come along! I do love your octagonal windows! They are so unique! You have accomplished a lot in a short time! Retirement suits you!

    1. You cracked me up with the cross stitch in the trash. It is funny..I don't even think about it anymore. I just thought it was pretty good and fit with our decor in our first home, so off to the framers' it went.
      And you are right, downstairs will be great for grandkids. I have tons of picture books in the closets that can come out and put a craft table down there. I can be a teacher all over again, but with a lot less stress. Only the fun stuff.
      The octagonal windows are really cool. My mother-in-law drew the house plans with the three sets each a little further out for a view from all rooms. She was really quite talented and a lovely lady.
      I gotta tell you...I am busy, but I am loving retirement.


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