Well, we finally made it, the living room was the last room to restore. We had kept this room for last to “live in” while renovating all the other rooms. When we first moved in, I had painted the walls a soft green (just to get rid of the beige walls topped with 2′ of orange!).
When we got around to finishing this room, I decided to paint the walls in a beautiful soft brown color (reminds me of a chocolate milkshake), with a lighter shade on the ceiling. Our first step was to sand and refinish the floors which had SEVEN different layers of paint.
Next, I put in a brick and mortar hearth for our gas fireplace, using the bricks I saved that were in the parlor. The bricks were a brighter shade of red than I wanted in the room, so Steve found out that we could put a coat of Thompson’s Water Seal over the bricks, and then I lightly painted a milky white over that to tone down the brightness of the bricks.
Before painting the walls and ceiling, Steve and his brother David put new sheetrock up on the ceiling. Then we painted the walls and ceiling.
In each room of the house, I have tried to create a unique ceiling effect with different techniques. For our living room, I found a Victorian design wallpaper border that had the perfect shades of browns to go with the ceiling and wall colors. With this wallpaper border and two different styles of molding, we created a very Victorian style ceiling treatment. We first put a large crown molding up around the room. Next we put the wallpaper border on the ceiling next to the crown molding and then finished the inside edge of the wallpaper border with a smaller molding. It gives such great interest to the ceiling. We also installed a ceiling medallion around the center ceiling fan.
I made Victorian style swags and jabots for the windows. I told Steve the name of these window treatments and he now takes great pride in mentioning the “swags and jabots” to visitors whenever he can. I just recently installed rolling shades on the bottom half of all the windows to give us privacy in the evenings.
While attending a home show in the Fall one year, I fell in love with a beautiful keyhole style Grandfather clock. After much consideration, I decided the clock just HAD to become part of our home. After researching the clock style, I found out that the year the clock was first created was the same year of our house, 1887, so it was meant to be!
Our previous coffee table was too large for this room and I just couldn’t find another one I liked, so Steve took the old table apart and kept just the legs and made a new solid wood top and apron with a drawer and I added carved embellishments and stained it to match the stain on the legs.
This is a very comfortable room – it isn’t a large room, but I managed to arrange the furniture to take advantage of the space and still allow all the pieces we wanted in the room. We have a beautiful antique secretary that fit very nicely angled in one corner of the room between the window walls, and we put our large entertainment center on the one solid wall of the room which worked out perfectly with the placement of the couch and love seat, and our little Izzi dog has the ottoman as her “chair”.
It was so great to finish this room, it was the last of the interior rooms and soooo nice to have every room finished and not full of tools, sheetrock, paint cans, etc. Shortly after we finished the living room, we had an open house to celebrate and even had stay-overs who set up their tents in our front yard that night and we had a big farmhouse breakfast for everyone in the morning.
Our next projects would be building a back porch and putting a new (back to original) roof over our kitchen porch.