Living room…evolving

This may be one of my most poorly photographed posts in some time, but I cannot convince my camera to translate my soothing yellow walls into anything besides a sickly hue reminiscent of poorly stored photos from the 70s. Ah well, you’ll get the point of the project nonetheless.

I’m in the midst of some living room rearranging. For some time now, I’ve been using one of those laptop trays that slides under the couch because if I put my laptop into my lap for hours to grade I need to visit the chiropractor in no time flat and the laptop overheats, emits a death scream, and shows only wavy gray and white lines on the screen.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA So, this tray works out fairly well. It keeps the laptop from overheating, but when guests come, I feel the need to shuffle it to the basement, and there’s not any room for a book beside the computer if I’m trying to research. It’s probably the last of college era type furniture in the room.

Plus, let’s face it. The final straw with this tray was when I had a Skype “first date,” and since I was nervous, I kept kicking the tray and jostling the computer while I was talking to the guy. The guy must have thought….well, I don’t know what he thought, but there was not a second date, so it couldn’t have been good. It’s probably disturbing to see a disembodied head bouncing around.

And, no, I do not always keep a box of cheese-its on the end table. Let’s call this photo series “my life unedited.”

So anyway, the tray was functional overall since I don’t have many Skype first dates (one in my entire life to be exact), but I spotted a coffee table on clearance at Wal-mart for $60. And, I snagged it and put it in my cart. And, then I talked myself out of it and put it back. But, a week later when I went back, it was still there. So, I had to make a decision. It came home with me. And, Sunday night, I took a time out from craziness to put the table together while I watched the Steelers game.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAOk, so now, you might be asking a few questions. The first one might be, “Yuck, why do all these photos have a sickly death pallor?” And, that one doesn’t count because I already told you. You might also wonder why I used the one with the dog in it. Well, if it’s going to be a bad photo, make it a really bad photo is my theory.

The next two questions might be more legitimate. First, why would I pay $60 for that table? I know, I know. I asked myself the same thing. Seriously, yard sales or Craigslist would have yielded a coffee table for $10 – – even $5 if I put on my game face and bargained

The second question would be, “Why is your coffee table slammed into your couch?”

Are you ready for this?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABam! The tabletop lifts up and turns into a laptop stand — with storage too. Have my cheese its found a new home?

This little expandable feature won the day for the table. I got to thinking about how much it would cost simply to buy the hardware to expand a table top and realized it probably wouldn’t be cheap. Plus, there is that whole issue of me being terrified of circular saws that is putting a cramp in my furniture building mojo.

This project isn’t quite done because the table feels a little too high. So, I think the legs have to come off again. I’ll ask my dad to shave a few inches off the bottom. I don’t care if it’s more of an ottoman height when it’s closed. And, since it weighs about 50 pounds without cheese its stored in it, I want to add casters to it that will allow me to roll it from the couch to the center of the room. I don’t want these casters to break the bank since I’m already cringing at spending $60 on a table. I was thinking that something like factory cart wheels would be amazing, but they would probably break the bank. And, I suspect they wouldn’t truly make the table all that mobile since it would only move in a straight line. So, I should be more realistic and go with something with a ball bearing. I found these nice aged brass ones that would cost $13 (plus shipping) when all is said and done. I might take this search to ebay too when I get some breathing room in my schedule. And, if anyone has the insider scoop on furniture casters, give me a lead.

At the end of the day, I figure that since I sit on my couch just about every day to work on grading, emailing, blogging, eating, a decent surface to do all those things might not be the worst investment that I could make.

And, yes, that is a stack of fabric next to the computer. I haven’t touched a sewing machine in days. I might have to move the fabric because I think the intense desire to reach over, pat it and say, “I will try to make time to play with you soon” is getting a little pathetic.

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