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Cord Control

That was Tuesday’s task for the January Cure 2013.  Personally, I’m not one of those people that freaks out if their cords are showing.  It’s just part of life.  I cart my laptop all over the house and I don’t bother to hide the cord every time.  I do try to tuck lamp cords away so they’re not super obvious.  Otherwise, I’ve made my peace with cords.  I’ve had to.

So far, I’ve only posted pictures of three sides of my living room.  I’ve never shown you the fourth side because that’s where J’s “studio” resides. He finally got a new computer last weekend which he’s been saving-up for a long time.  He also sold some of his equipment to partially fund the new computer and to thin-out his gear.  This required taking everything apart and putting it all back together again.  He still has more to put away sitting in the middle of the living room, so you’re seeing the cleaned-up version.  After he got all of his gear back into their mounts, etc., he took this picture of his set-up and asked me to post it.   He said “ask them if they think this is an eyesore”.


I will say there is a valid reason it’s in the living room.  We do have a full basement but it’s had some water/humidity issues that could seriously harm this equipment.  J has spent years collecting these pieces and building his studio bit-by-bit.  It could not easily be replaced.  Also, my “office” is in our living room and we spend a lot of time here.  It might not be a traditional living room, but it’s how we live, so the use is appropriate.  However, that brings me back to J’s original question – is it an eyesore?  I’ve lived with it since we moved-in and I know there’s a good reason for it to be here, so I haven’t given it much “design” consideration.  He’s asking me a serious question because we’ve worked really hard to make everything else look nice and he wants his studio to look as nice as possible, too.  What could we do to make this as visually pleasing as possible?  Do you have any ideas?  Do any of you have rooms that aren’t exactly “traditional” in function?  Let us know because we’re a little stumped on this one.

P.S.  In a moment of over sharing, let me say that J normally keeps dust covers on all of his equipment that he made out of his old cut-up boxer shorts and crappy t-shirts.  Now, that is an eyesore.  We take those off when we have company, though, because we’re classy like that.

PPS.  Here are a few pictures of the other sides of the living room for reference. The equipment is the left, just out of view.


In this picture, the equipment is now to the right.DSC01430


About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

12 responses »

  1. Personally, I think it’s an eyesore! But I can tell it’s taken care of with love and it’s as organized as possible : ] I think it’s sweet that he’s asked your opinion of it in an effort to bring functional and beautiful design to every element of the house. Electronics are tough! The only thing I could think of is spray painting every part that can be spray painted (I know, gasp!) to give it uniformity. Or getting or making some sort of desk so that every piece has a home. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I don’t know about spray painting. I, personally, think that’s a good idea but that would probably give J a heart attack, ha ha. Also, believe it or not, the desk in the picture is a custom piece that has rack mounts on the back for the instruments that are vertical in the back and the big box to the side of the desk is for when he takes the equipment out of the house. He had the cube stand that it’s sitting on custom built by a welder friend of his, as well. I have looked at music magazines and things for desks/gear that look less utilitarian and they just don’t make them. Honestly, none of them look like they’re made to sit in the middle of the living room, though. Ugh. I’ve thought about giant shoji screens but they would really take-up a lot of room and would probably look weird. He is sweet, though 😉

      • Yup, I fully expected the spray paint idea to get shot down : ] So new approach: what about creating a little nook out of this setup? It sounds like they’re not going anywhere so what if you put a rug underneath to unify all the parts, a floor lamp, art on the wall above, etc. so it gives it a home rather than making it feel displaced? In my office, we had to create an office in the lobby but we didn’t want to lose the flow. So we got half sized cubicle walls. We also contemplated the idea of half sized soji screens. So while the screens wouldn’t cover everything, at least it would give slightly more coverage.

      • Ha ha, yes spray painting got shot down. I did suggest it for one particularly super bright blue piece, but that was a big no. I like your new approach. I was sort of thinking along the same lines myself. In fact, I’ve already ordered a Charley Harper print to hang to the right for balance. I asked J to thin-out the items behind his desk. Some of the things, like the cd rack, serve no purpose there and can be stored in the basement. He agreed to that, which will make things less cluttered. I do have a short shoji screen downstairs that we use to conceal the litter box. I’ll bring it upstairs and take some pictures so we can see how that works. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. My first question is how may bedrooms do you have? Any kids? (sorry I havent had time to snoop around your blog yet). Second, do you have a garage? We used to have a garage that I could just pull in, close the door and get into the house… BUT now that I have a “SHOP” I don’t miss parking in the garage. I have way more fun in my garage now that it is a shop than any enjoyment I had to not get my head wet when it rains. Could you turn the garage into a “studio”? what about a spare room? If not, then it sounds like you are making do with what you have. If you are not the traditional family….whatever that is….then just go with what works for you. Not everyone has a recording studio in their living room…embrace your unique life and enjoy the music. 🙂

    • We have three bedrooms and two kids, a 10 year old boy and 14 year old girl, so no extra rooms at the moment, unfortunately. We do have a garage, but there is a 1988 Lincoln Town Car, protected from the elements, birds, etc., in there. If J had to save one in a fire – Lincoln or studio – it would be a toss-up, ha ha. You’re right – having a recording studio in the living room is unique and definitely makes for interesting party conversation 😉 I’ve never minded it being in the living room and never even really thought about it being an eyesore, until J brought it up. I’m glad you found a space for your shop and I agree with you – I’d rather have the space to use for myself, rather than the car.

  3. First off, I can’t STAND cords. My husband, who is usually the OCD neat freak of the fam, says he doesn’t even notice them. They drive me batty. BUT. As far as the equipment goes, I think it’s super cool. Not the old t-shirt covered stuff, as I’d probably change my tune quickly, but I don’t think that it’s an “eyesore”. I can’t tell you how many friends homes I’ve been into lately that have hubbys that work on computers and their WHOLE living space is full of monitors, CPUs, etc etc etc and I don’t know how they can take it. My boys, on the other hand, are always talking about how awesome those houses are as we’re leaving so….??? 🙂

    • Yes, I agree – I have friends whose husbands work on computers and I couldn’t stand it either. I had one friend whose husband had taken over the basement, spare bedroom and dining room with computers he was refurbishing. At least J’s equipment is contained to one area. Also, he thinks it’s cool that you think it’s super cool 😉

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