My eventual plan, which Jeff is on board for, is to move the two cabinet bookcases to one side of the fireplace and purchase another set of them for the other side. The mantle flares out a couple of inches farther than the fireplace surround, and we can't fit two cabinets on either side with it there, so we're going to remove the mantle above the fireplace surround. At first I thought this was sacrilege - remove the mantle? Is that even allowed? I know you see it all the time on the HGTV home improvement shows, but this is a perfectly nice mantle. It was Jeff's idea, and the more I thought about it, the more I agree with it. Along with fitting in a wall of cabinets without having to have them custom made, we can also mount the TV above the fireplace without it being too high. I want to free up that one wall in order to change the seating in the room. One thing I loved about this house when we bought it was all the light brought in by the windows, along with the trees and natural state of the backyard...and yet most of the time we are sitting with our backs to the windows in the living room!
When we do the house updates, I'm also going to buy new living room furniture. As much as I like the style of what we have in there, it doesn't lend well for my back and hips when it comes to sitting and knitting; I'm tired of the backaches. Oh - and a while back I had new matching grayish slipcovers picked out for the two loveseats, but coincidentally, the price of the slipcovers was the same as two airfares to Orlando, so you can see what won out.
Here's the newest version of my living room, with the two previous years below:
2017 - I can knit in several spots, but my rolling cart isn't always the easiest to access unless I move it in front of the seating area when I'm ready to knit.
2017 (yet another view)
This go-round, along with doing the deep vacuuming that comes with moving everything, I dusted all of the treasures in the cabinets and even moved some things around:
The penguins were on a shelf in my office but got displaced when I put all my yarn in bins, so they made the move the the living room.
I love all of our mementos - I can tell you where everything came from, even the things that go waaay back.
I think this will hold me for another year - and then, all bets are off as I'm really looking forward to making some big changes!