Fuck it, Let's Start the Front Room

The list for this year has already been completely thrown out the window, so what the hell, let's keep on fucking with it. Originally this room was probably going to be one of the last rooms we touched in the house, but we're always up for a change of plans :)

Now that the A's season is over I'll be working a lot less, especially until work with my brother's company gets going full-time. Until then, I'm still the part-time job aficionado (at the moment I've got 3), but without the A's, that gives me more free time. So, to keep me from going insane (or more insane than I have already gone) I thought it would be a good idea to start a project on the house that I could tackle mostly myself from start to finish. I have a tendency to be really hard on myself, but at the same time also depend on Chris' expertise for a lot of the projects around the house. The front room doesn't need nearly as much heavy duty work, so I figured it was something I could tackle mostly on my own, and hopefully it will give me a real sense of personal accomplishment.

And with that, let's talk about the plans for the front room

I have of course started a long list of ideas and projects in my notebook. Some of them are wishes, some are maybes, and some have to get done.

The first on the maybe would be refinishing the floors, which you can see are very spotty

Eventually all the floors throughout the house will get refinished (a darker, warmer color), but we're not sure if we'll refinish them in this room now. It would certainly make sense and be easier, but we may be too lazy and do it later :)

This small wall will get a little freshen up

We refinished this hutch we bought at Urban Ore almost 2 years ago and I'm thinking a fun, bright pop of color on the top and maybe some new hardware will brighten it up. Also, I'll do a collage of some of the smaller pieces of artwork we have on the wall. We got the NYY pic about 5-6 years ago, and I'm not sure how I feel about it anymore. Especially because we've got a lot of meaningful artwork around that we'd like to put up (a great drawing Chris did when he was little that his mom framed really nicely for his bday is a favorite of mine).

This small sliver of a wall will similarly just get a minor spruce up

What, you don't like the paint swatches? We've got some great vintage national park posters that we'll put as a grid.

The bookcases?

I'm thinking I may paint the back of these white. The rest of the room will be a deeper, dirty, purple/blue gray shade (again, I explain paint colors excellently), so I thought the built-ins might be nice with a white back to brighten them up and make them pop.

This wall also has a great doorway into the office

With a great relief above the door

The relief will get a lot more emphasis with a white background and slightly-deeper-than-the-walls shade as the dimensional parts. I'm excited, but I know it will take a lot of time to get done. Lots of work with a little paint brush.

The two random speakers?

They'll get taken down.

The great corbels throughout the room...

...will get a coat of high gloss white.

And unfortunately the great beams on the ceiling got painted by an idiot and there is paint the shade of the wall color on them

So I'll have to remove the paint and possibly re-stain parts of the beams.

The area by our workout stuff won't have too much done to it

Some paint and better curtains (all the curtains now are hand-me-downs from family) and something for storage for our weights that will most likely go in this corner

I'll probably work with Chris to design something that's small and practical to hold our free weights, etc.

The best part of the room, I think, is the fireplace

This portion of the wall (it pops out from the rest of the wall of this room) will get a coat of the same slightly-darker-than-the-rest-of-the-room shade that the relief will be getting.

I LOVE the detail and the great arch (and don't worry, we're fixing -ie removing - the wiring too)

I'm still brainstorming the art that will go above the arch, but I've got some pretty solid (and cost effective) ideas.

The bottom portion needs some more work

The ground in front of it needs tile or other cover

That concrete ain't so pretty.

The surround is broken and is buckling, and the screen needs some sprucing up

A coat of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint should do the trick, but I'm not sure about that buckling :(

The most challenging part about this room will probably be the work that needs to be done to repair the ceiling and walls. In old homes they sometimes covered plaster walls with canvas to help prevent visible cracks. It has really held up well, but there are unfortunately some areas that are worse than others. This area above the fireplace...

...will most likely have to be cut away as the canvas has really started separating from the plaster. Hopefully cutting it away cleanly and re-texturing will do the trick. Other areas aren't as problematic

So they'll just require some minor repair (and I've been hunting online for some good pointers).

The workout stuff takes up a decent amount of space towards the front of the room and Chris and I were thinking about putting a ping pong table in the back

But we don't have quite enough space. Shucks.

So I brainstormed about what to do with that back area and thought it might be nice to build a table to play games or eat at. We don't really have a "dining area" in this house and I know this room would make a positively beautiful formal dining room, but we're not really formal dining people. I'm sure some are aghast at how we're using the space, but hey, to each their own, right? But, maybe a small table would be nice for when our parents, family and friends come over. It doesn't have to be super formal, but maybe something with a touch of our personality (oh, I've already got some ideas... :) hehehehe). And as for chairs, I figured they don't really have to be matchy matchy, I like the leisurely look of chairs that look similar (maybe in finish or upholstery), but don't actually match. Kind of like this

(found here)

And lastly, the lighting. Chris and I aren't sure if the chandelier is original...

...though I would assume it is. I'm not a super big fan of it and think it really looks kind of pathetic in the space because it's so tiny. Chris wants to save it, and I'm not a fan of getting rid of something that works perfectly well (and is original to the home), but I'm not sold yet. Either way, this room needs more light because the existing chandelier doesn't provide enough. We've got 2 ideas: have one center, large chandelier and recessed lighting in the ceiling. Or maybe 3, smaller chandeliers in the 3 bays between the beams. I think the second idea would actually be cheaper, and I think it would do a lot to lengthen the room and make it feel more grand.

So what do you guys think? All in all I am way excited for this room and hope I can tackle most of it myself. It'll take a while because it will be done in bits and pieces when time allows, but it should be fun and exciting! :)


Deb said...

The title of this post made me laugh out loud :) Can't wait to see what you do in here - I am in LOVE with all the corbels and bas relief above the door and the fireplace. Have I told you how much I love your house? Yup, I do.

Leanne@Strewth-Tiger said...

Holy cow - the arch above your fireplace is freakin AWESOME! I can't wait to see what you do with this room :-)

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meryl rose said...

Glad you liked the one Deb :) hehe. Thanks for the encouragement ladies! :)