Before (December 2013) ~
Although we liked this room, it was awkward for both movie watching and guest hosting, feeling crowded and busy. (But the dog's comfortable!)
During (January 2014) ~
We removed all the books and shelving so Jeff could build risers to raise the bookshelves above the arms of the new couch. We never could get at the books in the lowest shelves, as they were under the sides of futon, so this would fix that problem.
Now, not only can we get at the books, we can access the outlets that were always behind the shelves!
This is how far I could help Jeff move the 250 lb television we purged. His brother kindly came over to move it as far as the back porch, where it sat a few weeks, until Jeff discovered the responses to his sales ad had been going to his e-mail's spam. After that, it was gone the next day!
This is what one's living room looks like the evening of a giant-swedish-furniture-store run. The futon frame was sold to church friends, the futon is clogging the upstairs hall, awaiting its place in the yet to-be-completed upstairs porch guest room (currently frozen).
Building a 111" couch in a 112" space required creative reading of the instructions. (Please note the small clock above Jeff's head, it does read 11:05 pm. We were proud to finish before midnight!)
After (March 2014) ~
Our 19-teen home (exact build date undetermined) originally had two bedrooms downstairs like most bungalows. Within a decade after building, the owners raised the roof and added bedrooms upstairs, opening the front bedroom into the living room for the staircase. When we purchased the home, the elderly former resident (who with her husband had purchased the home in the 1950's) lived in this remaining first floor bedroom and shut off the upstairs.
When we moved in, we used this room as a computer room, with a couple desks. I had a hard time finding any photos of that era (it wasn't pretty). Between Kaatje and Greta's births, we remodeled the bathroom adjacent to this room, taking the bedroom closet to enlarge the bathroom with room for a shower. Around this time we moved the television to this room, noting how well "out of sight, out of mind" works with small children, and purchasing a futon so the room could also be used for guests as children were expanding into our former guest rooms upstairs. The room stayed in this form for many years, probably near a decade.
The current update was prompted by the long winter, some Christmas money, a minor knee injury that made it hard for me to sit on the futon (we always kept it as a bed, as the quite comfortable bed made a very uncomfortable couch), and perhaps the Olympics. We wanted to update to a flat panel TV and have a place where all four of us could sit comfortably to watch movies (or the Olympics) together, and we're very happy with the result!
(Final note: the dog is getting over the loss of his favorite yard-viewing spot.)