Living Room Renovation

Another holiday break has rolled around which means it is time for me to get off of work and kick my own butt with some serious house renovations!  This year, the living room.  The before pictures make it look a little more like a dark dungeon than it really was, but not much more.  Dark paint, dark flooring and light bulbs that were a little under powered.

The remainder of the vinyl flooring came up, and the paint came down.  Originally in the house a roll on orange peel texture was added.  I don’t know if it reached the end of its life, or wasn’t mixed well or what.  It was turning to powder, and the paint would peel off in sheets if you looked at it wrong.  I peeled it all off and sanded the texture right back down to the drywall.

Lots of hole patching, and a coat of primer later and the walls are starting to look a lot nicer.  The previous owner had used a considerable number of drywall anchors for me to fill!  I was able to finish a majority of the tile in a day which meant I couldn’t do anything else… Time to go see Star Wars!

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With the tile able to be walked on I finished the painting, worked on trim, and eventually did the grout.  Grout and baseboards really make the room feel like something.

There always ends up being a day of painting trim, touching up this, reinstalling covers on that and such.  Worth all the little efforts.

Finally after a little over a week of solid work we were able to push the big soft couches back into our little space.  I missed our comfortable evening hangout spot more than I thought I would.

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This room feels a thousand times brighter.  The light tile, bright walls and new phillips daylight LED bulbs make it feel like a million bucks.  Not bad considering the material cost was only about 700 bucks.  Now, by contrast, our kitchen looks even worse.  Oh well, next year’s project!

Foyer/Dining/Front Room Renovation

Labor day week was a week of serious labor.  I renovated half of the great room in my house.  It is composed of the foyer, the front room, and a dining room.  The only surviving picture of the previous room shows the green walls.  There were small grey boring tiles in the foyer, and poor quality faux wood vinyl flooring in the rest of the areas.  The vinyl had been scratched by typical wear and the previous owner’s dogs.   About half the walls had some kind of splotchy skip troweling done to them.  It didn’t look good.

I re-mudded the walls with the texture issue and was able to get them flat enough for most people not to notice.  Various other holes were patched in the process.  Peeling up vinyl flooring is much easier when you rent a machine built for that purpose.  The remaining glue was a mostly hands and knees kind of job.  It took nearly a whole day to scrape it all clean.  Tile and paint went down with out too many issues, just a lot of backbreaking labor.  Last but not least I replaced the dog chewed blinds, all the baseboard, and repainted some of the existing dark wood trim to match the rest of the molding.

All in all it felt like an insane amount of work at the time, but in retrospect always seems worth the effort.  Now I just need to muster the time and energy to tackle the living room and kitchen.  The joys of home ownership!

-Chase