Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Before and After: The Dining Room Wall

What were they thinking? When our house was being built, someone made the executive decision to place the doorbell speaker, thermostat, and light switch "kind of-sort of" on the center of the dining room wall. At best, this layout made picture hanging difficult. At worst, it eliminated the possibility of ever putting a china cabinet in this otherwise perfect location.

When the house was under construction, I gave this issue absolutely no thought. At the time, I had bigger concerns. Would the floor tile get laid out to my exacting specifications? (Yes.) Was the right countertop ordered? (It was, but now I hate it.) Was the leak at the front yard hose repaired? (Yep.) Would we be able to afford the higher mortgage payment? (So far, so good!) The location of the thermostat and doorbell was simply not on my radar screen.

Q pointed out that these items--the thermostat, in particular--needed to be in the center-most location of the first floor. And for the most part, they are. But would it have killed them to fudge it a little, and put them on one of the short, adjoining walls...neither of which are large enough to place a piece of furniture?

For the longest time, I never really knew what to do with this wall. Everything I tried looked wrong somehow. Even my attempt to camouflage the doorbell speaker by painting it to match the wall looks chintzy. Anyway, after 8 years in this house, I think I finally got it right:

I placed the shelves in a way that would allow the framed pictures to lean against the thermostat and doorbell speaker. The pictures can be moved when adjustments need to be made. They look nice, but their main purpose is to hide the ugly.

The shelves also give me more display space for my dishes. The top of the server was getting somewhat crowded...and it probably will again.

The light switch doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it. But if it did, I could always hide it behind a platter.

And to illustrate just how nitpicky I am, I went to the trouble of taping the lamp cord to the back of the server so it wouldn't be seen sticking down.

I have a feeling I'll be changing this display often. At minimum, the mangoes will get eaten.