I have mentioned numerous times that we have been renovating since we bought this house seven years ago. I like to keep it simple and tell people that we have been renovating FOREVER, which is what it feels like.
I highlighted our laundry room a few weeks ago and now that another room is pretty much complete (Go Honey!) I thought it was time to post some more photos.
First, a bit of history.
We moved into this house in the spring of 2001. The first room(s) we thought we would tackle were the kitchen and living room combo. We live in a split-level house (Ah, the Seventies) and so the kitchen and living room are basically on their own floor.
In the kitchen the cupboards were oak, the floors were a nasty linoleum and there was a half-framed-in “dining room”. The living room had blue carpet, faded white walls and some nasty Seventies paneling on the wall dividing the two rooms.
I would scan photos from then but I have more than enough photos lined up for the second makeover we gave the room. Plus, I’m lazy.
We (Matthew) knocked out the wall, built new cupboards and an island. We (again, Matthew) turned the big picture window in the front of the house into a bay window with a window seat (because I had always wanted one of those).
The kitchen/living room combo was now referred to by the official name of The Great Room.
When we first moved here we were huge fans of log homes and so we made the walls look like they were the inside of a log home. After the room was complete, I forbade Matthew from doing the same to any of our other rooms because HOLY WOOD OVERLOAD, BATMAN. We have done wainscoting or wood beams in the rest of the rooms.
My dislike for the wood on the walls grew greater and stronger until I finally beat Matthew into submission Honey saw my vision and agreed with it.
Before I show you the “Before” photos (which are technically also “After” photos), I need to make some disclaimers as to the qualities of the shots:
1. I was walking out the door to spend the day at the beach with the kids when Matthew mentioned that he was going to start tearing the wood down.
2. I was too lazy to set up the tripod and take proper shots because the kids were yelling at me to HURRY UP AND TAKE THEM TO THE BEACH ALREADY.
3. I thought I would add my wide-angle attachment (which I had never used)(which also should have be used with a tripod), and though I could see that the shots were not what I wanted it was TIME TO GO.
4. You will at least get an idea of the old look.
Without further adieu, BEFORE:
That would be Matthew hiding behind Emily’s Little People doll house. That would be Emily on the coffee table. Matthew built it when we first redid the room but he now hates it and plans to build a new one. We will be offering it for free, to a good home.
Take a look at the hearth. The blond brick has to be the most boring shade of brick on the planet. The fireplace itself consisted of some nasty brass and you can’t see from the distance, but there were hummingbirds etched in the glass. Classy.
I should point out that the wood floors are not laminate. They are real wood from a mill, which Matthew installed, sanded and coated. He is amazing.
Here I am panning left.
Wood! Wood everywhere! Nobody light a match!
Now the view into the kitchen:
That’s my Step Mom at the sink. She was visiting to help with the kids as I left for BlogHer the next day.
Are you ready for the “After” photos? I sure was. Here they are:
Matthew bought special paint and covered the brass. He also had new glass cut. Good-bye, hummingbirds!
Matthew did all of that rock work himself. The alcove that was on the left before was completely useless. We bought the shelves from IKEA and Matthew built the rock around it. I need to add a few more photos on the right shelf above the wood but I always take forever to decide what should be included. I do know that I will hang a large print off this year’s family photo above the chair on the left, once we actually take said photo.
Panning left, we have the bay window. Nothing has changed, but thought you’d like to see the pine trees out the window.
We really do live in the sticks.
Panning further left we get the armoire that Matthew built. It houses a TV and other electronics.
Panning left again we have the dining area. The chairs are from Pier One but the table is the oak one we got as a hand-me-down from Matthew’s parents when we moved here. He just bought the wood to build a new table. Woo!
The final pan to the left:
I think that the whole room is so much brighter now that the paneling is off of the walls. It also seems less tacky.
I also think that the room finally lives up to its name of The Great Room.
My favourite part is the hearth. It is no secret that I hate winter, but with the fire roaring, a good book and a hot cocoa (or hot toddy) in hand, I think I could be pretty cozy there.
Care to join me?