Work On The Living Room Begins!

Finally!!!! In just a couple of more weeks and we will have been in this house a whole year. It sure has taken a long time to get to this, the biggest room or our house. For the past year the living room has been our staging and work area of sorts, where we stack and measure lumber, keep tools, stored moving boxes and furniture yet to be unpacked. The office remodel took a lot out of us both physically and financially, so for the past couple of months we have been on a house project hiatus. Now we are once again back at it. Let me remind you what the living room looked like the day we first saw it with the realtor….

The walls were pink tan (more on the pink side), tan carpet that I had posted about the crazy amount of dog pee and odor here , and textured vertical blinds left over from the late 1980’s. I swear the paint color and carpet just made the room seem dark and drab, like it sucked up any light coming in from the one single window. The first thing we did when we moved in was rip out the carpet and carpet pad as shown in the linked post above, so we have been living on icky subfloor for a year. This past weekend we removed all the trim, including the mantel with it’s tile surround….

A huge number of houses, in three cities in two counties, were all built by a single builder, including ours. And the builder got his finishes in bulk, which means around 99% of the houses have the exact same fireplace, tile color and all. We know, because when we were house shopping, we saw, among other things, our fireplace again, and again, and again, and again…. our neighbors have the exact same ‘everything’ as well. The mantel was a bear to get off the wall, we had to take a mallet and crowbar to get it off in sections. The tile on the other hand just popped off – which means bad, improper installation, but good for making it easy to take off with little mess. Honestly, I think the mantel was helping to hold them against the wall. Notice in the above photo the blackness of the fireplace glass. I thought it was just intentionally darkly tinted glass…. until we took it off to clean inside. Oh.My.Goodness. I don’t think it had been cleaned, ever. The glass was completely black covered in soot. We had no idea what the logs looked like! So I scrubbed it….

Pretty right?! You can actually see logs! I first cleaned it with diluted white vinegar to cut the soot then went over it again with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the streaks. Then we moved on to painting, me doing the walls, and Aaron the ceiling….

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee Paint

The color is a creamy white called ‘Swiss Coffee’ by Benjamin Moore. It’s a lovely soft white, that reminds me of melted vanilla ice cream. I truly believe that the color brightened the room up, reflecting the light so much better than the pinkish tan of before.