Jaime and Jordan Keep It Clutter Free

Jaime and Jordan Keep It Clutter Free

Gregory Han
Sep 28, 2011

Name: Jaime and Jordan Derringer - Design Milk
Location: Southern New Jersey (not near the Housewives)
Size/Room: 20x20 family room
Years lived in: Barely 6 months

You may recognize Jaime's name, as she's the founder of design blog (and one our personal fav sites), Design Milk. We've been given a chance to pull back the virtual curtains and get a peek behind the website persona and into a slice of her real life. In this case, her New Jersey living room, a project in progress already exhibiting many of the tenets of the Unplggd philosophy incorporated throughout...

Inspired by movie theaters and guided by their affinity for midcentury modern design, Jaime and Jordan set out to create a room where the focal point would be their brand new 55" LED HDTV. But this goal of a comfy entertainment center was also heavily influenced by hopes for hiding as much of the peripheral technology through the use of various techniques to circumvent the usual cable clutter that can easily amass around a home theater setup. Check out how they did it below.

My/our style: We tend to lean toward the modern and mid-century modern styles, although I (Jaime) am slightly more contemporary and Jordan is a little more traditional. However (and luckily), we agree on most things.

The inspiration for my home office/home theater: We were inspired by the traditional movie theater in the sense that we wanted the television to be the primary focal point in the room with little distraction. We enjoy watching movies and are pretty addicted to Netflix, so we watch quite a bit of TV. On the other hand, we weren't looking for a screening room because we'll be using the family room to entertain guests and also as a partial playroom for our Little Milk maid who will be arriving in the next few weeks, so we didn't want recliners or chairs with cup holders; we didn't want to take it that far.

Favorite element in your space: The TV setup for sure. The fireplace is a close second.

Biggest challenge in designing my space: The biggest challenge we faced in this room was actually a set of pipes that were sticking out of the wall. Originally, this room was a garage and was converted shortly after it was built into a family room. For some reason two walls remained paneled and two walls were drywalled and no one bothered to do anything about the pipes. But I couldn't stand looking at them anymore so we had the entire room re-drywalled. It was a challenge because the pipes couldn't be placed inside the existing wall so we had to build the wall out and move a door. I think the biggest challenge we face now is decorating it and then keeping it fairly clean and clutter free (I hear kids are messy).

What friends say about my space: So far, we've received a ton of compliments on the TV wall paint color and the size of our sofa. Since the room was so big, we went with an equally as big couch. Our entire family of 2 adults and 2 dogs can fit comfortably on just one side!

Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: We still need to do some basic decorating, such as purchasing end tables, track lighting, artwork, and locating some nice-looking storage solutions for toys and games. One day, I'll recover the ottoman with a funky fabric, but for now it does the job.

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: Jordan hates clutter. He prefers clean lines and NO WIRES. Luckily, for him, our family room is adjacent to the garage. Therefore, he decided that he could mount the TV on the wall that was shared with the garage and keep all of the components in a cabinet in the garage. The cables were run through the wall and into the garage, and then the components were neatly placed inside a cabinet. The wires, as much as could be, were hidden from view for the cleanest look possible.

Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: Jordan wanted a specific TV, so we didn't really spare any expense in terms of technology. At first he bought a 50" plasma, but after seeing the glare that reflected off of a friend's TV, we decided to return it in favor of a 55" Samsung Smart LED TV. The LED TV was about $1,200 more than the plasma, but the picture quality, design and ability to stream movies and TV shows directly through the TV made it worthwhile. We bought a Panasonic Blu-ray player, a Polk Audio Surroundbar 6000 (with wireless subwoofer - I told you, Jordan HATES wires) and a Logitech Harmony 900 remote with RF capability.

Although we had a little trouble with the RF remote at first, mostly due to a defective infrared sensor on the cable box, the system is up and running now and it's fantastic. Seriously, I can't believe how clear the picture is. AND, the sound waves from the subwoofer actually make my butt vibrate when I'm sitting on the couch! It's almost as good as being at the movies - maybe better because at home I can wear my pajamas.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: Planning is the best advice we can offer. Know how many wires you'll have, where they're going, and what they do. Having a plan was definitely important. Jordan told me that he used to stay awake at night thinking about how he would run the cables. Planning is definitely key.

Dream source for stuff: A dream source for Jaime would be Ligne Roset and the Apple store. Jordan, on the other hand, would love to be turned loose in the Samsung factory.

Tech Hardware:

  • Samsung 55" LED 6500 series - UN55C6500
  • Panasonic Blu-ray player (3D capable - although not necessary)
  • Polk Audio Surround Bar 6000 with wireless subwoofer
  • Logitech Harmony 900 remote
  • The DVR, modem and router were all provided by Comcast

Furniture:

  • Sectional is from a chain furniture store
  • Ottoman was a floor sample from Macy's Furniture
  • Blue end table is on its way out, but was purchased from Garnet Hill

Accessories:

Lighting:

  • The sconces are from Lzf

Organizing Tools/Accessories:

  • The storage cabinet in the garage is from IKEA

Additional Elements:

  • Paint colors are from Sherwin-Williams - TV wall is Iron Ore, walls are Nacre, ceiling is Ceiling White, and fireplace is Pure White

Photos: Jaime Derringer

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