Living Room: Before, during, and after-ish.

In my previous post, I shared some of the items that we’d like to purchase to furnish our living room area. It’s not exactly a living room, it’s really kind of a random room that’s sort of hard to furnish. Since the room has been essentially empty on one side for the entire four years we’ve lived here, I always tend to think about what isn’t instead of what is. But looking through old photos of the room made me realize how far we’ve come! This is almost exactly how the living/dining area looked on that day we purchased our house:

The only exception is that there was a gold fireplace screen that we removed so fast, it was in our garage before I remembered to take a photo.

One of the first DIY projects we did in our home was to tear down that wood paneling. And what did we discover underneath, you might ask? Here it is:

On either side of the fireplace was a very thin wallpaper with pieces of thread embedded within. I spent an entire day steaming and scraping this wall. It was my first attempt at removing wallpaper, and I’m guessing it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because the steam went right through the thin paper and made it really easy to scrape off with a putty knife.

Some of the other changes we’ve since made: scraped off the popcorn ceiling (and paid someone to re-texture), painted the ceiling and walls, sanded off the greenish hue on some of the fireplace bricks, hung curtains. We also had recessed lighting installed along with some other major renovations done to the kitchen area, which I’ll post about some other time.

Also, I have to make special mention of the forest green mantel. I want to say that it was the bane of my existence for 3 years , but that seems a little overly dramatic. Let me say instead that it was  very irritating. We debated for years – literally – on what to do with the whole fireplace area. We finally decided the most budget friendly decision was to buy wood and make a mantel. It took Chet one weekend to complete it, and I am so impressed with his handiwork. Especially now that I’m trying to do more DIY projects myself. He’s got skills, I tell you. He would point out all the flaws if you got close enough. But noone notices but him.

Anyway, here’s what you’re probably really interested in…my after-ish photo:

I think it’s obvious that I say after-ish because we still need to furnish the whole left hand area. And I think Chet and I both still wonder if we made the right choice with the fireplace. Down the road, perhaps we’ll do something different with the brick. But still, I am happy with how much progress we’ve made thus far and am looking forward to finishing  this room once we complete our bathroom renovation.

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