If you follow along on Facebook, you might have seen that we did a little work in the living room a couple weekends ago. Once we got the Christmas tree down, I was ready to get back to work on the house! The oak trim in the living room was especially grating on my nerves because you can see it in the back of all our Christmas pictures! It was time for it to go!
How the living room looked the last time y'all saw it. Walls and fireplace mantel freshly painted.
I used the same method to paint the trim that I used in our fireplace mantel makeover, which you can read about here. Since I had the primer out I thought I'd go ahead and prime and paint the door to the sunroom at the same time. We're slowly painting all of the interior doors black, but even if we weren't this door would have needed to be painted. The plastic mullions on the glass had yellowed in the past 15 years or so since the house was built, and the door desperately needed some freshening up!
Last night we cleared all the furniture out of the living room to shampoo the carpets. The carpet in the house is actually new. According to the house listing it was installed in May 2012. When we looked at the house in July it was already empty and stayed that way until we bought it and moved in October. So at most the carpets were 'used' for three months, May-July before we saw the house. And yet, there is something in them that my mom and I are both allergic to! Everytime either one of us sits in the floor in the living room, we start sneezing. It's weird. I know the previous owners had dogs and I'm very allergic to several breeds of dogs, and mildly allergic to most, if not all. I'm hoping it's just pet dander and it comes up with shampooing.
Henry's also gotten a rash on his legs since we moved in, and I'm wondering if it's from something in the carpets as well. The rash is only on the parts of his legs that touch the floor while he's crawling. Very strange.
We would eventually like to replace the carpets and put down some sort of hardwoods or laminate, but it will probably be next year before that happens. Unless we can't get whatever we're all allergic too out of the carpets, then we'll have to put some other projects on hold to move the floors to the top of the to-do list. Because new floors are not in our budget right now, we're hoping a good deep cleaning will do them well!
With all the furniture moved out, I was able to get some good unobstructed photos of the progress on the living room.
Since we closed on the house 3 1/2 months ago, in this room we've:
-primed and painted the gray and chocolate brown walls Benjamin Moore's Soft Chamois
-replaced the oil rubbed bronze light switch and outlet covers with white ones
-painted the oak fireplace mantel Benjamin Moore's White Dove
-painted the oak trim and windowsill Benjamin Moore's White Dove
-painted the door to the sunroom - Benjamin Moore's Jet Black
Here's a little comparison:
I didn't paint the baseboards at the same time as the trim because we plan to replace them when we replace the carpet. I've already got new ones picked out. ;)
Still left to do in this room is painting a built-in bookcase on the other side of the room, (it's oak too, of course). Then it will be time for the crown moulding and ceiling. I've alluded to what a beast this job will be before, but I finally took some better pictures that show just exactly what we're dealing with. This is our living room ceiling:
I know there are several people that are outraged/dumbfounded/appalled that we're going to paint the ceiling, but frankly none of them live here, so I don't care.
For the record, I am a proponent of leaving stained wood alone when it's on a gorgeous piece of antique furniture.
But let's call a spade a spade.
This isn't a gorgeous piece of wood furniture. It's a mid-90's oak ceiling and it looks like a mid 90's oak ceiling. In other words it's dated.
It's also dark. In a room that has no windows to the outside it's very dark. I wanted to paint everything else in the room before I tackled the ceiling to see if it would help to have light walls and trim, but it didn't. It's still a cave in here and the ceiling is the chief light-sucking culprit now.
And then there's this:
There are a couple of knots on the oak crown moulding, and even though I know where they are and I'm used to them, sometimes I still look up and think there's some kind of mega bug crawling around on my ceiling. Freaks me out every time. I'm not the only one either, we've had friends say the same thing.
This is not like the time I saw an opossum face in the light in the ceiling when I was in labor with Henry:
These knots really do look like bugs.
So that's where we stand now with the living room. I know the ceiling is going to be a big job, but I'm ready to get it started. We're going to do it the same way we did the fireplace, starting with removing some "teeth."
There are something like 200 "teeth" on the lower level of trim if I counted/multiplied correctly. I do think we're going to leave the ones on the top level though. Our plan is to paint all the moulding and the cross beams, (I don't know what else to call them?), of the ceiling white. The four large flat panels of the ceiling will be painted a light neutral color so it's not white overload.
I'm excited to think about what it's going to look like, and I try to keep that in mind to psych myself up for doing the work. The "teeth pulling" should go pretty easily, but after that we're probably going to have to rent some sort of scaffolding to sand, prime, and paint so we don't kill ourselves going up and down a ladder constantly.
In a perfect world, we'll clear out the front dining room and have it ready to paint at the same time so that we can use the scaffolding in there also. The vaulted ceiling is 12 feet tall at the point, and it just seems smarter and safer to rent scaffolding to do both jobs.
That's what we'll be up to the next few weeks/months! Do any of you have any big house projects planned?
P.S. Later this afternoon my second Cloth Diaper Love post will be up, all about the diapers in our stash! The first one is here if you missed it!