Monday, November 7, 2011

The First Six Months: Entryway and Living Room

Besides the whole basement fiasco, we saw one big problem when we first walked into this house: the tiny living room created by what we refer to around here with an eyeroll as "The Wall." It's actually two walls - a rather normal wall than contains a hall closet on one side and bookshelves on the other, and then a ludicrous angled half-wall, likely built during a '70s home renovation acid trip. It was so clear before we moved in. "We'll open up this room immediately!" we thought. Or not. We got estimates and did some daydreaming, but it turned out that working on projects we could complete ourselves took precedence. Knocking down the wall to open up the living room is now a 2012 project, as are the ensuing furniture decisions. Just wait... more than three adults able to watch tv in our living room, coming next year!

We didn't put much thought into furnishing this room, because it's always felt temporary to us. Our couch fit nicely into the nook. The other furniture... not so much. It's a tad squeezed. We put some art we already had on the walls, and my favorite rug works well in here. The curtains used to hang in our old Dallas apartment - I forgot about them and found them in a box in the basement. That sort of represents how this room was put together. To be continued.

The fireplace was a bigger priority for us than The Wall. We hated the old mantel, and the strange angles of the fireplace meant that the old mirrored space was the only place to put our television. Do I like having a television on our wall? No. Have I made peace with it? Yes. We hired a great carpenter who built a new mantel for us - we wanted something as simple as possible. The weird angles of this wall make for an assymetrical look with the outer shelves off the mantel (we needed the shelving to house all the tv-related electronics). Sometimes this bugs me, sometimes it doesn't.

Entryway/Living Room, Done
  • Painted
  • Removed old fireplace mantel
  • Hired a carpenter to build a new fireplace mantel
  • Installed television on the wall (it has a large arm so the tv can be pulled out and angled toward the couch)
Entryway/Living Room, To Do
  • "Mr. Carpenter, Mr. Electrician, tear down this wall!" (nerd alert) More specifically, we're going to entirely remove the angled wall and remove about half of the "real" wall, which will preserve only the hall closet and give us room for another chair/loveseat.
  • Figure out furniture once room is opened up
  • Replace awful recessed lighting in the living room with... something
  • Remove recessed lighting in the entry and add a pendant light
  • Finalize entryway wall hangings - the stuff up there now was pretty much just thrown on the wall so it wouldn't be empty
  • Paint the interior of the fireplace shelves the green of the wall
  • Install crown moulding
  • Buy a fireplace screen and fireplace tools - our chimney passed inspection last week, woo hoo! Bring on the roaring fires...
Entryway/Living Room Paint
  • Primary Color: Benjamin Moore Chestertown Buff, color-matched to no-VOC Mythic Paint
  • Fireplace Wall: Benjamin Moore Eucalyptus Leaf, color-matched to no-VOC Mythic Paint
  • Fireplace: Unknown carpenter's white (might repaint to match our "house white," Mythic Bright White)
  • Trim: Mythic Bright White

Note: For this week's First Six Month Series, I'm using the realtor photos that advertised our house as the "Move-in" photo, and my own images for "6 months later."


  1. Nice work!!! It is all looking fantastic. I am going to guess that to say that you guys have been busy is an understatement ;)


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