House Tour: Movie Night Room
Have I mentioned before that our house is big? Sometimes I miss how easy it was to clean a smaller house… No, I don’t say this to brag, but I tell you this because I feel silly when I say “this is the movie night room” when taking people through the house. It’s not a movie theater or anything like that, it’s just where we have our TV and watch movies on family movie night.
After talking to some of the former residents of this house, we found out that a portion of the upstairs was once used as a home for the family’s grandparents. They didn’t have a kitchen, or it was a dry kitchen…but the big room was their living room, so the second floor of our home essentially has a second living room. Since we pretty much stopped watching TV when we moved here, we put the television in this upstairs living room, and what was originally called the “family room” eventually became known as “the movie night room” by the kids…and then everybody else.
As you can see from the picture below, the room was really dark, with it’s wood paneling and not the prettiest (unless that’s your kind of thing…which it isn’t [my kind of thing]…). The trim didn’t match the paneling, and the doors didn’t match the trim. I know we just watch TV in there, but it was depressing to me. So I painted it the December after we moved in.
I do this thing that drives Scott nuts where I take leftover paints that we have from other projects and mix them together to get a color that I love…well, I did that in this room and ended up with a color I absolutely love. And despite my efforts to resist painting trim in the house, this trim was so orange, and it looked terrible against the color I painted the walls…and I just really wanted an excuse to have white trim somewhere in the house.
I mixed some aqua-hued paint with an off white for the walls, and I used some old off white paint that I then turned into chalk paint to do the trim. I had never made chalk paint, so that was a new experience, but I was pleasantly surprised by the results.
The bed in the room was left here by the previous owners, and has seen better days, but it works well enough with the room. Someday I’d like to replace it, but I won’t hold my breath. It’s our guest bed though, so really…the mattress could be better. We prop pillows up against the wall, and use it as our couch when watching movies.
The tall cabinet was a wedding gift from my sisters, my sister-in-law, and one of my best friends, and it is now home to a few spare blankets and my collection of classic literature (such as the complete works of Jane Austen). The recliner belonged to Scott’s great-aunt, but she didn’t need it when she moved, so it was given to us, and it works in this room. Scott wishes it was bigger, but it works for the rest of us 🙂
On the wall above the bed is an old window frame that I found in the granary, and the quilt that is in it was the first “fancy” quilt my mom made me when I was growing up. My mom now quilts for people for a living, but when I was little, she was still learning. She gave it to me when I was in kindergarten or first grade, and it was a HUGE deal to me. It stayed on my bed until I was a senior in high school and it started to deteriorate. I’ve held onto it all these years because I didn’t want to just get rid of it, so when I found something similar to this on Pinterest, I got inspired. I had to cut blocks apart to make it work since so many blocks were frayed or terribly faded.
Beyond the head of the bed is an old chest that I revamped to work in this room. Scott salvaged it from his brother who was going to toss it during his last move, and I asked if I could have it for something I wanted to do. I wanted to put at least one window seat in the room for the kids to sit at and read, so I made a cushion for it with a piece of foam that was left in one of the closets of the house and some new fabric, and I painted the body of the trunk. The straps and hardware were left alone, and I just painted the body with some of the homemade chalk paint. Right now it is the home to all of the kids sleeping bags, and the kids love sitting over there to play.
The windows needed something, but I was too in love with the lighting in the room after painting to want to put up blinds or regular curtains, so I opted for some off-white sheer curtains, and some “fancy” but cheap curtain rods. It was just what the wall needed. The door between the windows leads out to a little balcony, but we don’t really use it much because I may or may not have some mischievous little children.
The wall opposite of the bed is home to the TV. We originally had a smaller TV, but Doodles accidentally (?) hit the TV with a remote and the screen cracked. We got this beast from Scott’s parents, and they had gotten it from Scott’s grandma after she was moved to a nursing home several years back. Since they already had a TV, they offered it to us when ours broke. It’s fairly fitting to have such a huge TV in a room called “The Movie Night Room,” don’t you think?
Okay, so I’m totally not proud of that TV stand. It has been slowly sagging under the weight of our previous televisions, but this one is really doing a number on it. Somehow the kids managed to break a door off, and they like picking at things, so the veneer is coming off. Guess I’m going to have another project to tackle sometime in the next year. To be honest, the TV is NOT what I care about in this room…it’s everything else! On the wall next to the TV are head shots of my grandparents, and then their wedding picture. We want to be able to have similar compilations of all of Scott and my grandparents, but we still have to find and print those first.
I think my favorite part of this room are the pictures on the wall of the door when entering/exiting the movie night room. Scott found these prints in the attic of the house when he was working on putting insulation in, and I fell in love with them. They were dirty and tattered, and in need of a little TLC, but they were so neat, and there’s just so much history in them. One is from 1898, and the other from 1912 I believe (I could have those years wrong, but I don’t want to pull them out of the frames and risk damaging them). I tested a small corner of each picture before working on them, and cleaned them first with a wipe of a tissue, and then washed them with a barely damp cotton ball until they were no longer dusty and all of the fly excrement was removed. They were torn, so I had to do a little taping to get them into the frames in one piece. The one of the battle was in pretty bad shape, the other one not so much. I did look into their value prior to working on them, but came across nothing. I was glad because I’d feel funny having super valuable prints up on our walls when we have debt to pay! After they were cleaned, I framed them and then hung them up, and now I often stop to stare at them when I walk past.
Someday I would like to find a nice wing-back arm chair and upholster it in a fabric that works for the room, and I would like to either find or build a writing desk to have near the window, closer to the TV.
One of these rooms leads to “The Faust Laboratory,” but it reads more like “The Laboratory Faust” because of the way the words are positioned. And no, it’s not lavatory, that’s a bathroom. It’s LABoratory…a lab. It hasn’t been used much in the way we would like in the past year, but hopefully it can be next year. I have big plans for that room, but it’s just such a low priority right now. Basically it’s a specialized second classroom for learning about sciencey things. Whenever that gets completed, I’ll share that, but don’t hold your breath!
If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now. Most of the quilts you see in our house were made by my mother. I do a little quilting here and there, but it’s pretty rare. Mostly because I don’t have the time. She loves quilting and I think she is always working on something. If you ever need somebody to quilt for you (the stitching that holds all of the quilts together, not the piecing…though she sometimes does that), let me know, and I’ll pass the info along to her!
Well, what do you think? What’s your favorite part? What would you change? Do you love those lithograph prints as much as I do? Don’t forget to comment!
That’s so funny that you mix colors and end up with something you like!!! I could never do that 🙂 but in this house we painted red yellow and blue….. so maybe I could make a nice green… I love the color you ended up with!!!
Spring Lake Homestead
Well, I like the colors that I’m starting with, so I know I’ll probably like the end results. I also have some special mixing buckets I got from my dad that have measurement increments on them, so I can do a pretty reliable ratio and know exactly how I mixed it, because chances are I don’t dump in two equal parts. If you are thinking about playing around with the colors, you can do small scale mixing in something like a baby food jar to see if you like your ratios before painting. Thanks for reading 🙂
I love your movie night room and your thriftiness and creativity in decorating it. I love big, old houses, so thanks for letting me peek inside! The upper print reminds me of the story behind “The Star Spangled Banner” by Frances Scott Key. Could it go with that? Oh, and I love the way you displayed the old quilt, too!
Spring Lake Homestead
Thanks 🙂 I see what you are saying about that print, but no, I believe it was a battle that took place in 1898, though I can’t recall just what. The Star Spangled Banner is based on a battle from the War of 1812.