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Posts Tagged ‘Living Room’

So, I should tell you. I get bored easily…especially with small projects that don’t take long to complete! Our living room ottoman is no exception.

This is what our ottoman looks like now. There isn’t anything wrong with it, just kind of blah for me. Our couches blend into it (a completely different story – I’m SO ready for new ones) and I want something fun and new.

Side note – Carl really does like to lounge on this but he really got excited when I was taking pictures for the original makeover post two years ago. (Picture quality can’t be guaranteed since this was long ago)

This is what the ottoman used to look like. Conner’s parents were finished using it and let us take it over when we moved. It works so much better than the coffee table we had already however, the outdoors theme was not what we were going for so we got permission to do whatever we wanted to it.

I have been searching high and low for the perfect fabric and finally found it on the Tonic Living website this week (one of my favorite go-to fabric sites!). This grey stripe is exactly what I had in mind and was even pictured next to the cross section fabric – our living room curtains – so of course, I had to buy it! It couldn’t be more perfect and I can’t wait to give our ottoman a (second) makeover.

I was in no way paid to say any of this – I just really love Tonic Living and their fabrics!

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The floors are finished! The floors are finished! The floors are finished! Yes, I could run around our neighborhood screaming this at the top my lungs. I have been waiting for this project since we moved in and I am ecstatic, thrilled and in love with the results!

I’m really happy I have this blog to document our renovation. It is so much fun to look back and see what has been done to our house! Hopefully I’ve explained everything below and/or in the previous posts about our progress, but if you have any questions or need more details, please email me! I would be happy to share whatever I can.

This is where we started, only three short weeks ago. Surprise to you all – we left after we made some holes in this wall and covered everything with plastic to move in with my parents in Stillwater. That’s right, we commuted and carpooled for 2.5 weeks so we wouldn’t have to live through the mess of this project. Whew – I am very happy to have my freedom and own car back!

Seriously though, we are really lucky they had no problems letting us, plus the dogs, invade their space! What would we do without supportive parents? (This is why the posts on the floors have been random and sporadic – we didn’t see the progress every day so I only got to post when we came by after work to take pictures and see updates.)

This is a close-up of our beautiful new wood floors. Did you know that flooring could be so gorgeous? I had hoped, but didn’t really know, until these 3.25″ wide planks of oak were brought into my life. I loved just the raw wood stage but after being sanded and cleaned off, then stained with the color “Antique Brown” and given several coats of a satin, industrial-strength polyurethane, I love them even more. There is a nice sheen to the floors but they aren’t too glossy – just perfect!

Side note: I don’t know the brand our contractor used for the stain or polyurethane, but if you are interested, email me and I will find out for you!

I’ve always hated how the hallway and the side of the living room were constantly dark but now all we see is sweet, glorious light! Tons of morning light floods into the living room now, thanks to the removal of the dining room wall. I am obsessed! It makes the commuting, the dust and the dirt so worth it to see something this wonderful.

The floors are just stunning! I love that the wood is continuous from our front door all the way to the back door in the laundry room and back to our bedroom as well. The house seems 10x larger than before and looks just incredible. The removal of the wall and putting in these new floors did wonders for this space. Seriously, the pictures don’t do it justice. When we got back from Stillwater, we moved in to a new house!

This is a picture of our breakfast nook, the weekend we were packing it all up. This brick tile is the infamous McDonald’s tile and didn’t look good. It got really scratched up the moment we moved in and never looked nice. I wasn’t sad at all to lose any of this!

Now the floors are like butter (or, butt-ah) and look perfect in this space! The white cabinets pop off of the dark wood and look exactly how I’ve been picturing it from the beginning. The white baseboards just got put back on (I’ll have updated pictures of that very soon) and they are fabulous against the wood!

Fun new project – I’ve finally decided that since I don’t like the wall color in the kitchen, I’m repainting it all. Yup, that’s right. I haven’t ever been really happy with it, it has always been too yellow instead of soft tan that I was going for, so I decided that now was the time to get it done! Our floors are too great to have a not-so-great wall color. I’m crazy, its okay.

We have had some casualties during this process. Several areas and dings like these can be found on our cabinets and painted baseboards. Totally okay though, some paint will make it all like new again! I found out we used the wrong type of paint in this area (the shine is too flat and doesn’t clean easily, very annoying) so again, it is the perfect opportunity to clean this project up as well. Told you, I’m crazy!

Luckily you can’t see all of the dings and scratches from a distance and hopefully the pretty floors distract your gaze, so if you come over before I get it all repainted, don’t judge. We are not a perfect house so come in with a judgement-free attitude and just like my favorite quote from the movie, Bridesmaids, “be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person.” Hah!

This is what it used to look like when you came over for dinner at our house. You were trapped in the boring, beige room! Or, if you came over for a party you most likely missed this room and walked on by to the living room. Several people have told us they forgot we had a dining room because you don’t notice it when sitting in the living room or kitchen!

I love nice dining rooms and definitely want you to notice our room, so removing this wall makes it all so much better for everyone! You won’t be trapped or feel removed from the house when you come over for dinner. When we have parties, we can use this table as the food table and open up a ton of space in our kitchen. The possibilities are endless!

That sunlight in the top corner of the living room just gets me! This was taken at 8:45 a.m. and made me so giddy. I kept watching it get brighter and bigger and light up this room, so cool! We love natural light and like to keep lights off until it really gets dark so this new found light is perfect for us.

Wow – what a difference three weeks make! Here is the progress with links to the posts: 1)The original before. 2)The dining room wall was removed. 3)The floors came up and demo got really serious. 4)Plywood was laid to even out the floors and make them all level. 5)The raw wood went in. 6)The wood was sanded, stained and given two coats of polyurethane to create a beautiful floor.

The baseboards and casings on the wall openings are in and really make it all look more finished. A cleaning team is coming in (my first time to have someone else clean for me – SO excited!) and they are going to scour our house from top to bottom…then I can get to work painting! The casings, baseboards, dining room walls, dining room ceiling, hallways, moldings and hallway ceilings all have to be painted and I am ready to make it all look the way it looks in my head. It won’t be fun but the result will be!

Linking this to:

Home Stories A2Z

Thrifty Decor Chick’s March Before and After Party

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Confession: I’m a little late in getting this post up. The fourth day of installation (and the last!) was actually Thursday. We’ve had a lot going on though so I’m finally here to tell you about our brand new wood floors that are installed and look amazing!

Here she is! I love that I can see the front door from the bedroom hallway and LOVE that the floors are all the same, beautiful material. This is just the raw wood, I can’t even imagine how I’ll feel once they have been sanded and stained.

Aren’t they pretty? I have a new love affair going on with oak. She is one gorgeous material!

This is a look at the floors coming out of our bedroom and that one in the middle with the dark grain? She’s my favorite board. (don’t tell the others, I’m sure I’ll like them too!) I love her lines and the dark contrast her grain has compared to the other, lighter grains.

Here’s another shot of the new dining room, sans wall, and the beautiful wood floors. (Sorry the photos are so dark, I wasn’t able to take these until after work.)

Like that shot of the living room? Yeah, it stresses me out but soon it will all be worth it, especially when I remember what it felt like to walk on the bumpy, uneven tile. This floor is smooth like silk and just as gorgeous!

One of the coolest features we added (besides taking down the wall and putting the actual floors in) are these floor vents. They are made out of wood as well and are completely level and flush with the rest of the floors! They will be stained the same color and hopefully will just disappear into the floor. I’m obsessed with these! Our floor guy suggested we put these in and they are worth every extra penny we paid.

Side note – if you are considering these wood vents, don’t look at the cost and just do it! You will be amazed at how custom and professional they make your floors look. Yes they are about 10x the cost of a basic, regular floor vent but it is completely worth that cost!

Here is where we were just two short (long) weeks ago! A wall was blocking the dining room from the rest of the house and we had real brick in the entryway/hallways, brick tile in the kitchen/laundry room and carpet in the dining room/2nd living room. It is so weird to see this picture and look at our house now. But really when I say weird, I mean really, really, really amazing!

Here is how the house looks now. Open, fresh and HUGE! The house looks so much bigger now with the consistency of the floors and an opening in this wall.

Another side note: I’ve had questions about this wall and why we didn’t get rid of the whole thing. For starters, we had to keep most of it for support. Secondly, there was already the opening from the entryway to the dining room so we wanted to keep some consistency there. The ceilings are about two feet lower in that room than in the hallways/living room so they would never be even. To us, it made sense to keep that room still feeling like a room, while open to the rest of the house, since the ceiling height differences would have looked really strange when open for all to see!

This is what we are currently referring to as the “sand storm.” The floors look absolutely incredible but it really shows you how blah the wall color is and how not white the wood trim and cabinets are!

With the old, red brick you couldn’t tell any difference but with these floors (pre-stain) it really shows how much of a change we need to make to the rest of this area. Of course, it doesn’t help that I started painting the guest bedroom trim and that door is stark white so everything else in comparison looks gross.

Yay! No more McDonald’s tile. 🙂 Instead, very pretty oak floors. This makes me very happy!

Huge props to our fantastic floor man. We put plastic everywhere to help prevent most of the dust (you can’t prevent it all, sadly) and he used our dining room carpet pad to cover the stainless steel dishwasher and protect it from scratches – love him!

Dust. Everywhere. EVERYWHERE! I have a feeling we will still be finding dirt and dust in random corners of random rooms for several months. I opened up our pantry and quickly shut the door. That will be a fun project to clean up…on opposite day!

Whoopsie daisies! Look what happened when we painted behind the fridge last year. Hah! Oh well. I am really over this wall color anyway and want to paint these a different color. This was supposed to be a light, soft tan – instead, it is a light, soft yellow. Not really what I was going for so before our contractor comes back to install the baseboards, put casings on the dining room openings and move the fridge back in, I will be painting back here and do it the right way this time!

For a look back on what we’ve done so far, check out these posts:
Demolition: Day One
Dining Room Wall Demolition
Demolition: Day Five
Installation: Day One

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Installation started today! The hallways were made of real brick so once the brick was up, several layers of plywood had to be laid to make those floors even with the concrete slabs and carpet in the other rooms.

I look at this picture and I’m shocked. The fact that there is a layer of plywood as the floor and the fact that there isn’t a wall blocking the dining room from the living room – it is amazing! I can’t wait to see how the real wood floors look in here and make this space just seem incredible.

I like this shot simply because you can see all three types of current flooring. On the right, the living room carpet that is staying. On the left, the concrete slab that comprises the flooring in the dining room and second living room. The hallways are just plywood – all so different, yet very soon will be very similar!

Our floor installer suggested we cover the air returns with filters and he was so right. When we went by tonight, the filters were covered in dust and dirt – so happy that isn’t all sitting in our system right now!

This picture is a pretty good representation of our levels of flooring right now – carpet, concrete and MDF. Just a normal day in the Steen house! I think we have another week left of this and then we will start getting back to normal. I can’t wait!

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Today was Day 5 of demolition. I’m counting Sunday as Day 1 since we did take a few shots in the wall and we had to tape everything up to protect it from the dust and debris that was about to start flying. I went by at lunch to check everything out…oh, and give our contractor a check for the wood floors. We are a chaos-living, check-writing machine right now!

This is what I walked into today. Holy moly! I knew it was going to be crazy and there would be a lot of dust but I wasn’t expecting an outdoor construction site. The hallways of our house are brick. Like, real brick. The patio that is in the front? It continues on inside and onto our hallways. Crazy!

This is the view from the corner of our living room, facing the front of the house. I can completely ignore the plastic-covered furniture, the torn up flooring and the dust everywhere because all I see is light. I’ve seen the light people and it is fabulous! The gray part of the wall in the right corner of the picture has never seen this much light. I love it!

It is so weird for me to see this second living room (aka Conner’s man room) as just a slab of concrete. The hallways were real brick, the kitchen was brick tile and the second living/dining rooms were carpet; aka three levels of flooring! Our contractor will be using plywood to level out the hallways to make them even with the other floors so we can have one continuous line of wood.

This is the heavy-duty, serious jack hammer that was being used when I walked in. It is one bad mother-shut-your-mouth and to be honest, I would love to try to use it! By try to use it, I of course mean take about 20 seconds to see how it would control me instead of me controlling it and then hand it back over to the professionals.

I loved seeing our “McDonald’s tile” out of the house! Have I told you that story? I’ll have to write a post about it this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle as much as the next person who had too much fun the night before but in general with this flooring news, me = not happy.

The best news of the day was when I saw that our wood (specifically 2 1/4″ oak, stained antique brown) would butt up against, and be level with, our living room carpet. None of us had any clue what we would find until all of the floors were up so this is GREAT news! It reduces the amount of leveling we would have to do and there won’t be any transition pieces acting as a reducer from the higher floor to the lower floor. Instead, we will be using a normal, mini transition piece to go from one floor material to the next.

This is the view from the hallway leading to our bedrooms, looking back to the main part of the house. Tomorrow the contractors will finish tearing out this brick and get the house cleaned out. Saturday they will level the floors with the plywood and then start installing the wood floors on Monday – yes!

When I showed this picture to Conner, he had to figure out where he was in the house. Hah! We are still getting used to that wall being down and seeing the house with almost no flooring – so much different from Sunday morning!

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It feels like forever since I’ve been talking about, thinking about or planning for the demolition of our dining room wall that separates that room from our living room. Technically, it has been 19 months and 20 days (since that’s how long we’ve lived in this house) but it feels like forever.

Last month I talked about what I didn’t like in this room. You can see a bunch of examples written on the photo but the main problem was the wall and the fact that it blocked so much natural light from our living room. I was more than ready to see it go!

When we walked into our house tonight, this is what we saw! To simply say, “I was excited,” is a complete understatement. I’m not sure how I can express it to you. I screamed, I got really giddy and was jumping all around…maybe those images help define how I was feeling after work today?

The light!! Sweet, sweet natural light. It already makes everything seem so much bigger and better even though we still have a long way to go here. We couldn’t get rid of the whole wall, the ceilings are lower in the dining room than in the hallways so we needed to leave support, but it still makes such a huge difference!

Here is another picture of the room before today. I am standing in the corner, next to the window and looking toward the living room/kitchen/entryway…

Here is the room, from the same angle, today! You can see the living room, entryway and the openings to the kitchen. I am obsessed and ready for the rest of the demo to be complete. That plastic isn’t the best look for our house, it kind of stresses me out to see it, so lets move on.

I’m standing in the doorway from the kitchen to the living room in this picture. The front of the house gets so much more light than the back and we just knew that opening up that wall would help lighten up this room that seems constantly dark.

SO MUCH BETTER!! Seriously. I don’t think I could even imagine how much this would change-up our house and how much I would love it like this. Even with the mud and sheet rock that has yet to be textured and painted, it still looks so much better than before.

Here is a before and after comparison that I have condensed into one picture (I love the iPhone apps that do this!). It is just crazy to me how much I already love this new look! We still have a way to go – demo on the floors, new wood floors installed, casings on the openings of the walls, crown molding and then new paint on almost everything. Luckily the work is being done for us (except for paint – hard to hire that out when it is easy enough to do ourselves) so this process is a lot more fun when done as a spectator!

Demo on the floors starts tomorrow – I can’t wait to see the progress!

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Jane from Urban Jane stopped by last week to check out the spray painted bar cart. She liked it so much, she featured it on her blog today! Thanks, Jane. I’m so happy you liked it! Please take a moment to stop by her website and see some other really cool projects she has featured today.

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