After several weeks of hard work, the living & dining rooms are finished! (Well, for now, like everything else in the house!) It turned out that the project was starting to drag, as projects do, so I used my favorite incentive to finish up: we invited guests to dinner for Sunday afternoon. It works two ways — one, the dining room had to be put back together again in time, and two, I got to sit back and relax with friends after my hard work. So, on to the pictures of the finished project!
The color of the walls changes quite a lot with the light – just as much in real life as in the photos.
We are so thrilled with how it’s come out so far. Now, as I mentioned, we aren’t quite completely finished yet. I may do another coat of semi-gloss on some of the trim. The baseboard molding has 2 coats, but the chair rail and window trim only have one. They might benefit from another. We pulled down the thin stained oak crown molding, and are planning to do new, wider white-painted crown molding in both rooms eventually. We probably won’t tackle that until after Christmas. I also need to re-cover the seats of my dining chairs (and paint the 3 spares that are currently out in the garage), which will hopefully happen before Christmas. In the longer term, the living room is also pretty clearly underwhelmed with furniture – but better that than packed to the gills. For now, though, I’m resting on my laurels.
Just for funsies, here’s what the rooms looked like when we offered to buy the house in May 2008:
Whoa. Talk about dark, and packed to capacity!
As far as the making of the makeover, it was just a lot of methodical work. First the wallpaper came down in the dining room, and I went to town with the spackle and sandpaper, then primer. Then I pulled the green carpet up from the tack strips, and cut an inch or two off each edge with a utility knife so I could get to the molding, all the way to the subflooring.
We decided that the navy blue couch that we’d inherited and the valences that came with the house wouldn’t be part of the redone rooms.
Habitat ReStore picked up the couch. The valences were listed for free on Craig’s List, and within 12 hours we’d gotten about as many calls, including one at 7:15 the next morning! As soon as they were picked up, I deleted the CL posting out of self defense. Truly, people will take anything (and gladly!) if it’s free.
The molding was sanded and primed prior to wall painting, so I could be fairly reckless with the primer. Once everything was primed, I got a quick glimpse of what it would look like all in white:
All white rooms are the sorts of things that look like such a good idea in a magazine, but in practice, the first time I entertained, I would inevitably do the accidental honors of dousing the room with a glass of cabernet. No, white is not a good idea.
Then the walls were painted, followed by the trim. The carpet was installed after the baseboard molding was finished, and the rest was underway. We finished up with curtain rod installation Saturday night.
So that’s the finished deal! For anyone who’s interested in details like paint shades, that’s all below.
Thanks for visiting!
Paint: Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, SW6204 (living room; above dining room chair rail); Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay, SW6206 (dining room below chair rail); Sherwin Williams Alabaster, SW7008 (trim). Duration in matte for walls, Pro Classic in semi-gloss for trim.
Flooring: Shaw Habana in Ecru
Window Treatments: Country Curtains’ Moire Stripe in Mist.
Window Treatment Hardware: Bed Bath & Beyond Oak Leaf.
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