Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Living Room


I thought it was about time to share some photos of our living room!  We've been slowly (since last August - yikes!) making some improvements to the room and it's so nice to check another room off our list.

The living room was the first room we entered when we looked at our house.  I'll never forget the feeling that came over me.  We rarely get snow here, but there was snow on the ground and it was near Christmastime.  Yes, we immediately saw improvements that needed to be made, but instantly I felt like I was home.  It was warm, comfortable and well, cozy.

BEFORE:


 Fortunately, our home really was move-in ready, but there were certain things we knew we would eventually fix.  One of those things was the styrafoam tiles that covered the ceilings downstairs.  Although we've had wonderful luck in other rooms of our house finding the original beadboard in good condition, when we removed the tiles in this room, we instantly knew there would be no way we could salvage it.    


I think this picture about sums up a room renovation in an old house - not fun! The original owners had nailed 1x4 boards onto the ceiling before installing the styrafoam to ensure the room was level.  But in doing so, the ceiling height was significantly lowered and every time we walked up the stairs, we had to duck our heads.  So it was very important to us to keep the original ceiling height, even though we knew we would be dealing with leveling issues.  We installed planking on the ceiling and it was a job.  I even learned how to use a nail gun because Justus had to use all his strength to hold the planks together.  Even after we finished installing the planks, Justus then had his work cut out for him with the trim.  In the end though, we were able to raise the ceiling about 4"! 

AFTER:


 I know I've mentioned before, but just in case you are new to reading, the walls are oak tongue and groove and are original to the house (about 80 years old).  They have never been painted and it was important to us to leave them as they would have originally been.

We replaced the ceiling, most of the trim, drapery, light fixture and other cosmetic details, but we didn't replace any of our furniture.  Between working with what we already had, trying to lighten the room but keep the walls in their natural state and dealing with the awkward layout, this room has been a huge challenge for me.  But in the end, I'm happy with how it turned out.  It still feels warm and cozy, but hopefully a little fresher.

 My goal in renovating our house is to make everything flow from room to room, but still let each room have its own personality. The original owners had painted the entire downstairs a cream color that neither Justus or I cared for and gradually we've been replacing it with white.  I painted all the trim in this room and the ceiling the same color white (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) to match the rest of the changes we've made downstairs, but I also brought in some touches of gray, as the white can be a little stark against the wood.


 See the piece of trim in the corner?  The original owners had trim in these corners painted white.  One day it occurred to me that a piece of trim stained to match the walls would look so much better.  It was just a little thing - but something we felt dramatically helped.  I used a stain that Rust-Oleum had told us about (Ultimate Wood Stain - One Coat Color) and I loved it!  Only one coat is required and that is literally all it took on the pine trim to match the oak walls.

A lady I used to work with illustrated the two bird prints that hang in this corner and I absolutely love them.  Originally I felt like I needed to add more, but I think their simplicity actually looks nice. 


We've had this table that sits under the window for several years.  I found it at an antique store for about $40... the surface was made with two old cabinet doors. 


 Finding a room arrangement that worked was one of the hardest things for me.  I can't tell you how many times I moved it around!  I am a symmetrical person and the front windows do not line up with the fireplace, which drives me a little crazy.  In the end, I chose to line the sofa up to be symmetrical with the fireplace.

Another thing I struggled with was a light fixture!  I wavered between a schoolhouse light and a barn light for a long time, but in the end, Justus picked out this glass light fixture from Lowe's.  It's not something I would have ever thought of, but it was just perfect.  

The pillows on the couch (and on the leather chair above) were made by Ann of On Sutton Place out of grain sacks (you can read about them here).  They were one of the final touches that just brought the entire room together. 


 The console table behind the sofa was also something we've had since our early years of marriage, but I painted it a lighter gray to help lighten the room (you can read about it here).  We also added drapery panels, which are sewn from linen (you can read about them here), and rods. 


 The shelves were another new addition (you can read about them here).  I like the way they fill this empty space without taking up any precious floor space. I painted them the light gray (Titanium by Benjamin Moore) for a subtly softer look. 

BEFORE:


 Painting the stairs was a huge undertaking.  Once the ceiling was raised, Justus was able to remove the piece of trim on the bottom.  The above picture was taken on our first walk-through... the stairs were painted a brown color and were so slippery.  After Jillian and I both slipped and fell down them in the same week, I had carpet installed two days later, and I've never once regretted it. 

AFTER:


 I painted the top of the treads and the handrail the same gray as the shelves and the rest white.  I actually painted the stairs a couple months ago, but I found they didn't hold up very well, so just last week I applied a coat of satin poly over the paint to help protect them. 


At first I tried painting our door gray too, but in the end, I decided white looked better and I repainted it.  The door is original. 


 Are you getting a feel for how awkward this room is?  I needed to keep this walkway as open as possible, as it leads from the front entrance into the dining room, but still try to accommodate our furniture.  In the end I put this checked chair up against the wall and the wooden crate beside it holds some toys. 


 Just last week I was still struggling with what to hang in this corner.  My mom had painted this wooden quilt square for their home, but wasn't happy with it, and asked if I wanted it.  It fit just perfect in this spot!  We replaced an outdated lamp shade here with a burlap drum from Lowe's. 


The fireplace doesn't look all that different. I repainted it the same light gray I've used around the room, as the white was just too much against the wood.  I put up the same artwork (made from wool) and for now the mantle is simply decorated.  The basket of blocks in front of the fireplace was a gift from a previous boss for our girls.  As you can imagine, most of the time blocks are scattered around the living room floor (smile). 

Thanks for letting me show you around!  I hope you'll forgive me for talking so much! 

 One last thing... there is still time to enter the grain sack giveaway from Ann's shop (you can find that post here).  Have a wonderful rest of the week!


60 comments:

  1. I can't imagine having all of that ceiling work to do. Wow! It looks great. And the room is inviting and looks quite cozy. I love the walls and your furniture placement looks perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your living room says, "Come in and make yourself at home!" So cozy, warm, and inviting!! Okay, I'm LOVING the door table. $40?? Are you kidding?? What a deal! I'm sure you and your family and friends will enjoy many good times in this room.
    Mary Alice

    ReplyDelete
  3. i love it- it's so cozy! i love those walls! and that door table is amazing!!!!! i feel like i am echoing the comment before me but those were my thoughts, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is wonderful! I have a picture of myself at about 2 years old, and the walls look like this. So nice that you were able to keep it. Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your room seems to beckon me to sit and stay a while! It is such a pretty space and I love that you were respectful of the original woodwork.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It looks great, Andrea! You've done a wonderful job incorporating things you already had with just a few new things. I really like the red with the wood on your walls. Such a warm and comfortable space for spending family time together!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Andrea, I love this room and you have thought of every detail. I covet your walls. So gorgeous and so nice to find someone else with a red sofa.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That looks really great. We have raised the ceilings in a couple of houses too-WHAT a job. Luckily your sidewalls went all the way up to where the original ceiling must have been. You did a really good job in that room and I can see it is a bit awkward to work with but I think it is homey and wonderful feeling. Love it- xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh the quirks of old houses! Love what you did to freshen things up. Your blog name is very fitting--it does look so cozy in there! The wood walls are just gorgeous. Beautiful job, Andrea. Thanks for showing us:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your walls are so gorgeous, so glad you are going to keep them that way! They make the room so cozy. I feel you on the symmetrical thing - I think I almost killed our builder measuring everything when we built this house to make sure it was centered and symmetrical :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Honey never apologize for talking on your blog! It's your blog! Hee Hee. I loved this post. I felt like I took a plane ride to your house and was greeted at the door by you and given the personal tour of your home. Loved this! It was so informative and it was great to see the before and after. Your home is so cozy and lovely and comfortable. Wonderful post.
    xoxo
    Lisa
    Leeshideaway.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your house looks so cozy. I love what you have done with everything. Your walls are oak which is a little darker than pine. We have pine tongue and groove that my husband did all by himself when we built our house 21 years ago. You will love how easy they are to take care of.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh i love everything about this room !! goegeous ! Have a great evening

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my, I love this room and all the beautiful wood that has never been painted is just rare these days! So lovely, warm and inviting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your home is lovely and so cozy! The fabulous wood floors and walls are so vintagey warm and homey, like a comfy cabin feeling, and the light grey and white keeps it all very fresh and modern. I love all the red because it's so cheery! Great job on the ceiling! The stairway looks great too!
    Be blessed! Linda

    ReplyDelete
  16. I enjoyed your "talking" and the tour. What a wonderful room with so much character! Love the red couch, too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow!! I love this beautiful room! That couch looks cozy!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gorgeous! I love your wood walls and that table made out of the old doors is so fantastic. We have a really awkward living/entry space too so I totally understand how tough it is to arrange furniture.

    Have a great week!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

    ReplyDelete
  19. That looks like so much work! Really a labor of love. Think you have done a perfect job of complementing all the wood in your home. It all looks so inviting and comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your living room is so pretty. I love the red sofa and the white shelves.

    ReplyDelete
  21. *jaw drop*

    Unbelievable. That old door side table stole my heart right away, but girl, this entire room is so incredible!

    Had to share...

    ReplyDelete
  22. You did such a great job on this room...it's so cozy and warm! I love the old walls, and changing that bit of trim in the corner to a stained one was a great idea! We have walls like this in our cottage. I love them, but it's a trick to try and lighten up a room like that...you did it beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love, love, love...gorgeous! Your wood walls are amazing!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love your room and the splash of red too. Everything is so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  25. all of your hard work has really paid off, andrea! your room is very inviting and pretty:) i esp. love the old door table by the window!

    ReplyDelete
  26. The artwork above your mantel is the icing on the cake for me within your living room. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your house! The woodwork is phenomenal!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your home is so.. well, cozy! I love your home. In some ways, it reminds me of mine - built in 1922, my husband and I (more him than me) painstakingly remodeled it for 5 1/2 years before we moved it. I can definitely relate to the ceiling challenges as we had some as well. The finished product you show here is beautiful and I know you, your husband and girls will enjoy it for years.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow beautiful changes! Yes I would keep the walls as they are too.I know I am a girl who LOVES white but sometimes you just can't paint wood.Your ceiling looks amazing too! Ah yes we had wood stairs actually wood in our whole home.I do LOVE wood floors.But I will never again have a home with all wood and especially the stairs.It is very slippery.We found that out too after falling down several times!

    Anne

    ReplyDelete
  30. Everything looks great :) and I had to chuckle with the "before" photo with the wood piled up. We've been there and things really get messy! Your layout looks perfect. No home is perfect (unless you've built it that way:) so we all have to work around the imperfections. I like the way you've left some of the original feel of the home .. the wood is gorgeous.

    xxleslie

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your living room is so warm and wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  32. You certainly had your work cut out for you and it is obvious that your labor of love paid off...the room is gorgeous..and I love the paneled walls....the room is so wonderfully cozy!...and just love the table made of cabinet doors and the artwork you have displayed!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow! Even though ceilings are above our heads, it matters a LOT if they are ugly. Ugh, styrofoam. Clever table made of cabinet doors--get my wheels a-turning. Great work. Can't wait to check my awkward den off my list, too. (I, too, have asymmetrical windows--ahhhh!)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Everything about your home is lovely. The ceiling looks amazing in the living room! I love how cozy and warm it feels....and your signature style shines through. It is wonderful and should grace the pages of Country Living :). I think you and your hubby have done a beautiful job!!

    ~Julia

    ReplyDelete
  35. What a warm and cozy room...it feels so welcoming! Your ceiling turned out beautiful! You two sure did a great job. I love all the white paired with the wood :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love how you've updated the room! I'm so glad you kept the oak walls because they are fabulous! It's amazing how the white trim and ceiling breaks up all the wood and makes the room feel very light and open. You did such a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Simply beautiful! You and Justus should be so proud of all you've done! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  38. Love the original walls and glad you didn't paint them. Love the fresh white paint and that cabinet table is fabulous!
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love your home - it is warm and gorgeous! I have had so much trouble with my living room layout. I'm really pleased with how it is right now. We shall see if it stays! I love seeing how you worked with what you have. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really love it! The new ceiling is an amazing wonderful change. The room has a very warm cozy feeling to it, love those pillows with your beautiful couch! Love the stairway too. The carpet & white paint really made a difference! Our stairs are painted brown too. If they showed from the living room like yours, I'd do them different. So far they haven't been an issue. Did I mention it's all beautiful? :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Your living room looks so cozy. I can't believe what a difference the new ceiling made to the room! I have the same problem arranging furniture in my living room because of an archway that doesn't line up with the fireplace. I think you've solved your dilemma, but I'm still working on mine! Thanks for the wonderful tour of your room.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Your home is so warm and welcoming Andrea! It immediately invites you in. The new ceiling was worth the trouble for sure. And those walls are just amazing. I'm a new follower, can't wait to discover more!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Beautiful, Andrea. All of your details are so thoughtfully done.

    Love the artwork that your mama gave you. Looks great on that wall.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your hard work Inspires me to keep going! We've got the ceiling tiles to work with at our new-to-us house and it looks like a big project! I love renovating/restoring old homes, so I enjoy your blog a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Such a cozy room, and you've done a wonderful job transforming it. I love that you've kept the walls unpainted. It lends such a unique look to your house. Most people would have painted the wood white, but it's great that you respect its original charm. Thanks for the tour!
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  46. Well it's all gorgeous Andrea, and thanks so much for sharing another part of your home I hadn't seen before. We had shiplap walls in our old farmhouse, and I tried to decide whether or not to paint them. In the end we sold the house, and the new owners moved it off our property to a new location, so problem solved!! Have a blessed day.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love your living room, Andrea! It looks so warm and inviting! The walls, the fireplace, and the staircase look great. I really like the piece over the fireplace (and the painted white brick) and the shelving with all the cute decor! Lovely as always! Have a great week. ~ Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  48. Looks wonderful, Andrea. And how about that Rust-Oleum? :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Everything looks so warm and inviting, and the pillows from Ann are the perfect compliment to tie everything together. Ann is incredible!!! I love how the light fixture has all of your colors in it, really pretty. You and Justus work so hard making your home lovely and cozy and inspire so many of us. For the past week, I have been painting an old pie safe cabinet and 6 antique chairs (more work than I expected) and I thought of you. It takes lots of patience to complete projects that extend over a long period of time, I have a few of my own. But the results are so rewarding!
    P.S. How is Huck?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wow, you guys did a lot of work! It looks beautiful! I would feel right at home in your house:). I love so many things, the walls, fireplace, that staircase! I adore your home Andrea, great job! Have a great week, Jen

    ReplyDelete
  51. Acabei de conhecer o seu blog e achei maravilhoso. Me visite:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

    Obrigada.

    Beijos Marie.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Love it all! Especially the staircase, the combination of white paint and carpet is perfect!

    Esther

    ReplyDelete
  53. What a big job this was and it all turned out wonderful. There is not one single thing that looks like it doesn't belong. You and Justus should be so proud and happy! You have brought that house back to life and made a lovely home for your family. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  54. You all have done such a lovely job on your home. The living room is beautiful! I love the contrast of white / gray trim and other pieces with the natural wood (esp. the white ceiling).

    ReplyDelete
  55. Great job! I'm sure the house is very happy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Andrea,
    I love your wood walls! They do make your room so warm and cozy. You and Justus did a fabulous job on the ceiling, and I'm sure the extra 4 inches makes a huge difference! As you know, we have a similar weird ceiling in our home that we would love to replace one day. I must say that Ann's pillows look incredible on your red sofa!

    ReplyDelete
  57. What a beautiful, comfortable living room!

    ReplyDelete
  58. BEAUTIFUL!! Love those walls and your style! Your newest follower:)

    ReplyDelete

I always look forward to reading your comments... thank you for taking the time to leave one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...