Monday, November 7, 2011

My Old House {Part 2: Living Room}

Yay!  I finally get to share the befores and afters. 

We started working on this house around mid-April, and with my husband and I both working "normal" jobs, this became our second job, but it still took a lot longer than we had originally anticipated.  And believe me, after living in a camper since January, we needed to finish ASAP!  But as most construction projects go, we encountered issues we didn't foresee.  And after watching too many Renovation Realities, I can say with much pride, my husband and I make a great team!  (Side note:  if you've never seen that show, you should watch at least one.  It's a miracle those projects ever get done, ha ha!)

I decided to feature the living room first, the largest room in the house.  But before I go into the before and after, I want to explain my design style...the part that influenced our decisions in this house.  See, this redesign could have gone many different ways.  Flip through any number of design magazines or turn on the TV to any design show, and you will instantly see what the trends are for the Interior Design world.  And I will admit, I have bought into trends.  Nothing I'm ashamed of. 

But I think the home will talk to you and tell you what direction to go in.  And, of course, a person's design personality plays a part too.  I don't think you can always start a design off by saying, "Granite countertops, walnut floors, chevron motif painted on the wall, slate in the bathroom with a jacuzzi tub."  All of those things could have easily been applied in this house, but it wouldn't have looked as appropriate, in my opinion.  Kinda like clothes.  Some people just really shouldn't wear those jeggings that are in now.  They can, but it doesn't look right.  To me, the house will tell you what direction to go in.  What will feel right.

O, and I have a second element to my design style:  function, function, function.  This is where my practical side comes into play BIG time.  I want my house to function for my lifestyle.  And that may mean some not-so-awesome design items in my rooms but if they make my day easier, then I am all for it. 

My point:  let the house talk to you, and make it functional for your life.

The other quick note I should add about this project:  budget.  As with every design project, budget plays a huge role, but this was definitely a tight one.  The landlord saw this as an investment and didn't want shortcuts, but at the same time, he wasn't about to splurg on items we could make due with (you'll see what I mean later).

Ok, on to the living room.
When we first visited the house in April, this is what we were greeted with:

And, actually, I think this photo was after we had already done a little cleaning.  That was our first challenge.  The house wasn't really empty so we had to gather up items that had been left behind, trash them...then paint...then pull out the nasty carpet...then redo the hardwood floors...and finally, move-in.  Simple enough, right?  Yeah, mm-hmm....

We get the place cleaned up, start painting a little, go to install a new light fixture, boom!  Hit the first obstacle!  The whole house needed to be rewired.  Thank goodness my hubby is an electrician! But it was a project we hadn't anticipated, so instead of this being a short month-and-a-half project, it turned into a three month project!!  Finally in July, we were able to move in, with just a few little minor projects to complete. 

And now, I present, the Living Room, befores & afters.
(Another side note:  The living room is quite large.  The dining room is quite small.  Too small, in fact, for our table, so the living room became a combo room.  And even though its cozy looking, it's very comfortable and works out really well for us.)

The clock in this picture also lived in this house when I did growing up.  :)

So a couple of quick notes about what we did in this room:
  • Painted the walls & trim
  • Removed the nastiest carpet I have ever seen
  • Installed a new ceiling fan sans a light
  • Installed can lighting
  • Refinished wood floors
  • Rewired all light fixtures and outlets
The ceiling fan was GOLD when we first got it.  It was a freebie so no complaints, but now its a brilliant bronze! :)

Not the most dramatic transformation but definitely a difference.  Our personal style is pretty eclectic, as you can see, mixing contemporary with vintage & antiques, as well as handmade items with build-it-yourself pieces.

So that is our living/dining room.  Thinking I may do the bathroom next.  We'll see. 

Ta ta for now...

i love comments :)

1 comment:

So what did you think? I'd love to know!

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