We chose to IKEA's line of BILLY bookcases, doors, and media storage as well as a matching desk and floating shelf. Much measuring took place and I availed myself of the online planner available on IKEA's website to ensure how things would fit and look, and the type of clearance they would leave.
I had been so proud of my decorating efforts here, from the lighting fixture we found on Amazon for $12 (!) to the custom blinds on clearance at JCP. However, this room never worked for us. It's about a foot to short on both sides to comfortably seat people and have any sort of buffet. The table, an heirloom, was one which I loved but the chairs needed restoration I was always scared to try. The pictures above are of the room decorated for Christmas, so normally there was not much on either the sideboard or on the table. For many reasons, this room mostly collected dust and was just "there".
So we opted to go to this.
It was immediately so much more bright and inviting! I did a faux- stained glass treatments on the windows to let in light (while blocking a less than stellar view). There are also cabinet doors on the books under the pass through (this picture was taken prior to us locating them in the correct color, in stock at IKEA). They are solid and the same height as the solid portions on the other shelf doors.
We then realized we didn't want anyone to hit their head on the light fixture which was no longer out of worry and over a table, so replaced it with a flush model ceiling mount in an alabaster marble.
It is now 2013, and this room will be evolving at least one more time. I have opted to move my desk upstairs to our bedroom to share space with my husband. We will be replacing and "hacking" the desk area above into a functional bar and entertaining space (with the stereo). We love entertaining several times per year and the traffic pattern and location will fit this use perfectly. I may or may not place a small matching table in the middle for use as a library table (without chairs, but a place to set down books, drinks, or the like).
What do you think? Have you re-purposed a room to give it a new life?