Living/dining roomlopnik completed, or, I can now go back to doing normal things with my free time.

Baby gate to keep the Head of Household security from shopping when we’re not home. She likes to pull books and DVD’s off of shelves and nibble on the corners when we’re not there. Baby gates are her kryptonite, she won’t go near them.

This past weekend I wrapped up updating the 1990 out of my living room/dining room area. White walls, pink accents, frilly details, bad carpet, shiny brass hardware, mismatched outlet and switch covers, it was all there for the fixing. For those that have been following my houselopnik posts, since we bought this house a year ago I’ve been updating the 1990 out of it room by room. At this point, only the master bathroom, kitchen and laundry room remain. The kitchen will likely wait until next year, and the master bathroom (paint, nice vanity top, light fixtures and hardware) will probably happen in a couple of months, which means I can finally go back to doing normal things in my free time, like keeping the cars in a much more Svended state than they have been for the last year.


Like the rest of the house when we bought it, the living room had a stepping back into 1990 feel to it, and the frilly headers on the otherwise period and correct for the architectural style vertical blinds were terrible. Also like the rest of the house, it was due for fresh paint regardless of everything else. The cheap, worn carpet was also no bueno. I actually didn’t mind the parquet in the dining room, but it was probably closer to being ready for a refinish and I wasn’t going have two different wood floors in the same room on the finished project. Mostly emptying out the living room of furniture meant there was stuff stashed everywhere else in the house, which made this room a bit less fun than some of the others.

Tearing out old, worn carpet is always cathartic.


And I was always closely supervised by the Head of Household Security.


The painting started off with a coat of bonding primer on everything, because there was a fair amount of uncertainty as to what all of the existing paint was, and there were a lot of old cans of oil-based interior paint in the garage left by the two previous owners. The ceiling was painted in floral white to match the rest of the trim and ceilings. It was no fun. It was tall, and big, and it seemed to never end. The ceiling showed no signs of having been painted since the original quickly job by the builders with sprayer, and I now understood why no one had since felt a strong enough urge to paint it. Trim and then walls were painted to follow. Wall color is a greenish/bluish/grayish color called beach glass, also used on entryway, hallway and bathroomlopnik. We really like the color, as it is a more interesting variation than the light gray on white that seems to have become the new beige, and it is warm enough to work with the pink marble around the fireplace and pink tile at the entry ways that is staying. Many gallons of paint were used.

Cutting in around the edges by hand gives a deeply satisfying result that tape can never match, but there were a lot of edges on this project. I used up all my zen that day.


I ended up painting the lower part of the dining room the off-white ceiling and trim color below the chair rail. It wasn’t originally planned, but it felt like the thing to do. I ended up liking how it broke up the the wall color and made the dining area feel a bit more formal. The chair rail and differing texture were original to the house, and I think the idea was to be some kind of accent wall type thing. This felt like the completing the measure.


Laying out the laminate flooring was up next, followed by baseboards. Fortunately, this area is basically a large rectangle, so the floor laid out remarkably quickly for the large area. It also marks the fact there is no longer any carpet in the house, which makes us very happy. Baseboards sucked, but they always do. It is amazing how something so small takes so much time, and in some kind of fluke of physics, baseboards never fit back together exactly the same way.


There’s still a few things I’ll do at some point, like replacing the light fixture and ceiling fan with new ones with a satin nickle finish to match all the other hardware and light fixtures I’ve converted to in the rest of the house.

To quote a friend of mine who has probably summed up the transformation of the house best, “your house no longer feels like it’s about to have a baby.”

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