My Daring Design Decision and a Tour of My Front Room

Front Room… Sounds so official, right?

Well, it’s not… sorry for the letdown.

I call it my front room because it’s not a family room where the family hangs out and it’s not a living room that’s a formal space, it’s just simply, the front room.  Anyhoo, if you remember back to a month ago, this room was in the midst of some rearranging.  I had been wanting and needing a larger desk – three small desks randomly positioned around the house just wasn’t cutting it.  Last year I had created a Mom Cave / Craft Area in the basement, but I never used it (I like natural light much better than being cooped up in a basement), so I had this AH-HA, bright idea moment to bring the desk upstairs.

But “where?” was the clever question my husband asked.

My answer? “Well… I’ll put it in front of the window, the tall bookcase can move in front of the other window, the sofa will slightly move down, the chair will go to the other corner, my other desk will move to the family room, and the other bookcase will remain in place” (scary how fast my brain thinks)…

His response… “What the heck did you say??   Did I hear a bookcase was going in front of the window?

“Ya, what’s wrong with a bookcase in front of the window?”…  that’s not odd, is it???

And while at work one day (meaning the mister), the rearranging of the front room began…

If you remember, the room looked like this before –

Then during –

And now this –

Who would know there is a bookcase in front of the window?!  Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box and trust your instinct that it’ll work.  And in this case, it really did!

Thankfully the bookcase is about the same width of the window, so it’s completely covered, along with the moulding.  The top of the window can be seen slightly on top, but I’ve added some accessories above, so you really can’t tell.  And don’t worry, our neighbors can’t see the back of a bookcase.  There was a blind on the window, which is now permanently pulled down.

“The Window” was always a pain and I don’t have $$$ to board it up, so this was my resolution.  Now the bookcases flank my large desk, while the sitting area (sofa, chair, and coffee table) is more intimate and flows so much better.

Many of you have commented on the rug in previous posts.  It’s very pur-tay and I purchased it at Target.  The desk I created using (2) 30″ wide x 30″ high x 12″ deep white shelves purchased from Walmart.  Then for the desk top, I purchased a piece of MDF board and had it cut to 60″ long x 30″ wide.  I covered the board with linen-like fabric and had a piece of glass cut to size to lay on top.  The sofa is from Crate and Barrel, which was purchased about 8 years ago (it’s the Cameron style and I think they still sell it today).  The coffee table is also from Crate and Barrel and was purchased at the same time as the sofa.

The white shelves are turned, so the storage / shelves can be accessed underneath the desk.  The shelves allow for so much storage and they are slightly hidden, so I don’t have to worry about the mess.

Let me show you more of the space…

Remember the spoon rack that I just revamped and showcased earlier in the week?  There it is and it fits great within the space!  See that lamp over there? …I’ve got a story behind that, but before I share it,  it needs a makeover (desperately).

I really enjoy this space because of the pops of color and pattern.  With a few interesting pillows (which I made) and accessories like books and pictures, this room has so much depth and intrigue.  It truly is an enjoyable and inspirational space to work (and I love looking outside versus being in the basement).  I finally have a space (my own space) that I call home (in my home, lol).

It’s amazing how one element in a space, can completely throw off the perfect arrangement.  Since having this furniture when we moved into our home, arranging it in a way that works best, was quite challenging.  “The window” was always an issue and a pain to design around.  By working around it and in my case, ignoring it, I was able to create a solution that really works to make the room function properly.  Sometimes you simply have to be daring or think outside the box!

Have you ever made a daring design decision?  If so, did it work?

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  1. says

    I love your space! It’s so comforting and inviting! It’s such a variety of colors I’d typically steer away from because I’m a wuss like that but I just love seeing them all integrated together in your space.

    The bookshelf works perfectly and I love that it kinda helps set the tone of that area next to your desk. It helps divide that that’s the “office space” and the rest is the living space.

    Love it!

  2. says

    I love your room, especially your desk. Could you answer a couple of questions about it? Does the MDF have rough edges when cut? If so, did you wrap the grass cloth around the edges and secure some way, or is it just a cut to size piece of grass cloth under the glass on top?

    • Jenna says

      Sorry for the delay in answering this, Dana. MDF does NOT have rough edges when cut. MDF stands for medium density fiberboard, so it isn’t wood and instead made up of fibers, so when cut, there really aren’t rough pieces. I wrapped the linen-like fabric (not grass cloth) around the edges, then stapled it to the back of the board. Once complete, I flipped it over and added the glass on top of the finished surface. It was very easy. If you have any more questions, let me know! Jenna

  3. says

    Love this! What a great idea and I think working in front of that window will be inspiring and will also force you to keep that area neat and tidy (I’m sure you would anyway though!) I can actually think of one window in our master bedroom that might be getting the “bookcase” soon!

  4. says

    Love the light from the window for working….and what a clever decision to move the bookcase in front of the window. It’s funny….I didn’t even notice “the window” in the before picture.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Cynthia for the comment. “The Window” isn’t even noticeable now and there is still plenty of light in the room. Somestimes stepping out of the box is the way to go!

  5. says

    Oh my goodness! It took me a few minutes to figure out what you were talking about in regards to the book case b/c I didn’t even notice it was in front of a window! Great job! And I love the DIY desk with shelves. Brilliant!

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Melody for the sweet words. I’m sure it did take a few minutes to figure out what I was talking about int he pictures – that’s how much the room now works better and you would have no idea that ‘the window’ is even there. I’ve had family and friends come into my home and they don’t even realize what I’m talking about until I actually point it out and say, “remember there was a window there?”. -Jenna

  6. says

    I found your blog through Thrifty Decor Chick and am so glad I did – I’m already inspired by the first post I read! I love your daring decision, and even love the part of the window that peeks over the shelf – it looks like a small custom window. I’m a new follower!

    • Jenna says

      You’re so sweet, thanks Beth! So glad you found me through TDC and for taking a look at my daring design dilemma! -Jenna

      • Amy York says

        Hi Jenna
        I love your space! Great job! I have been eyeing your rug on Targets website, but have been hesitant about buying it bc of the orange. My accent color in my living room is red. Do you think it os too much orange?
        Thanx Amy

        • Jenna says

          The rug definitely doesn’t have alot of orange. There is really a mix of red, cream, greens with a background of brown. Do you live by a Target so you can see it in person?

    • Jenna says

      Ha, yup, the bookcase is in front of the window. Many people miss that, so congrats for catching that. Sometimes the crazy design decisions are the best! xo Jenna

  7. says

    Love it! I need you here, asap. Outsider, looking, I’m thinking paint the black potpourri holder on the coffee table the same color as your spoon rack or possibly another shade from your rug. If you could find 2 cheap frames from Goodwill or Dollar store, that fit on the sides of those shelf/desktop holders, paint them glossy white and glue them to the sides of that thing as though they were architecture, add the CUTE geometric brown or chevron brown pillow fabric to the chair bottom at your desk or paint the chair the same color as the spoon rack, AND last but not least, try to find a cheap frame, somewhat thicker than the oak colored molding above the bookcase. Lightly tack it (painted rug red or putty or ??) to the molding. Then the little bit of light coming in there will still come in (which is like a cool window!) and it will look framed rather than blocked. Oh, and will hubs move the curtains all the up to the ceiling? Nate absolutely swears by it and its so true… I can’t do a thing with my room but I can add 5 touches to yours. WHYYYY!!!

  8. says

    Love, love, love that desk by your big window! What a wonderfully bright place to work. I’m in the basement too, and you are right, it’s very dark and basementy. I’m going to do this very thing in my home! So glad I read your post!