There’s more to the house than kitchens and bathrooms? It’s true. In fact, there’s a while downstairs full of possibilities! Learn more…
When we moved in the most magical (hello Sarcasm – I missed you) thing happened. OUR WATER PIPES EXPLODED… or disintegrated!!!!!! It was a joyous occasion… it ended up giving us the PUSH to get things done NOW. The silver lining thought: imagine if our stuff had been moved in before the water came springing from the ceiling. Ahhhhh. The joys of homeownershiphood.
And so, we began to extrapolate the good stuff (not much) from the rubble, and replace everything else (which was, well… everything).
Our living room was wet. Really wet. After drying the floors, we assessed the ceiling (now mostly a part of the floor) and ripped the remainder apart… as well as some of the wall. We replaced the pipes, dry-walled and hired (thanks Poppy) a plastering company to do the mudding to perfection. Keeping ALL of the original doors meant a lot to us, so we stripped the paint and went with a soft white to accent the light blue walls.
We love this space because it is open with the rest of the downstairs, but has the options to close the door leading to the hallway… best part? No TV. We don’t have TV in the house (GASP!)… we aren’t “above you”, in fact, we are below you and can’t afford the bill. We use Hulu and Netflix, which allows us to not have to use wall space for a TV… we have an awesome velvet painting instead 🙂 The living room now houses a play area for kids, and is the perfect spot to have guests relax, or spend the afternoon curled up on the couch with tea, watching Addie play. We have a record player and a great receiver from the 70’s that Dave has kept in beautiful shape. What does that mean? We have a lot of dance parties on our somewhat stained, but loved, original wood floors.
Intrigued? Check out the formal dining room:
The left pictures are before, the right, after. We demolished , scraped and painted… but if you want more info: here’s what we did:
The walls were too bright for a formal room, so we made them a rich, chocolate color. We stripped and repainted all the moulding the same soft white as the rest of the house. With the floors refinished, we threw a beautiful area rug under the table for dimension and color, and added blue curtains to tie in the adjoining living room space. The ceiling fan installed is a matching twin to the one in the living room as well- both controlled with their own dimmer/fan speed remote for comfort. The table, chairs, buffet and mirror are my grandparents’… which were also my parents’ set that I remember fondly from growing up. My mom reupholstered the seat cushions in a navy pattern. They’re perfect for their color and stain hiding ability! The ceilings were dry-walled by Dave and my father-in-law and mudded by the same professionals (thanks again, Poppy) that did the living room- and the corners were done so well we didn’t feel the need to add crown moulding! I repainted the baseboard covers, as I did in the whole house to freshen them up and have them match the accent throughout.
Whew! If you thought we just had those rooms… let me point your eyes to the third heating zone: The Front Room. This room is a mystery. In the beginning, it was to be our reading room, then a breakfast room- but it proved to be too far from the kitchen. We used it as a place for our Christmas tree, then had no clue where to go. With the guest room in the basement where all the sounds in the house go to be amplified, we decided this room was perfect as the guest room!
We don’t get guests often, but when they come, they are welcomed with their own bureau and night table, a place to rest their heads, lots of sun and- best of all- a room that shows the detail we put in our home.
When we came to first see the house, there was a scarf covering a hole in the ceiling of this room. The hole was from a roof leak that had been repaired, whereas the inside was left raw and unfinished. With my father-in-law’s expertise (he’s a carpenter), we ripped out the ceiling to see what we were looking at… no insulation paired with it’s own heating zone. We tore out the remainder of the ceiling and well… this:
Yeah. We worked it. Then, we made it welcoming. The new sconces offered some lighting, but soft- with the brushed nickle playing off the orange of the room. It feels so New England- like everyday is Fall in this room. I find myself coming in to water the flowers, or change the sheets, and I can’t help but throw the curtains open and enjoy the sun mixed with the rich colors.
The room has personal touches… pictures of my mom and I and my sister. Me with my Uncle Jack. A beautiful plant Dave got me when I got my first office, a finger print tree from guests at my baby shower and a bowl full of race pins. I love this room for its hospitality, simplicity and purpose. We love having people here to fill the spaces that are better with them, than without.
Thank you for joining me on my re-visitation to my home building journey. Tune in next time…