More Green For Less Green

Living more eco-friendly for less money


The New House—Part 3—Living Room & Fireplace

Today I’m going to do more gratuitous showing off of our progress ( I hope you are still enjoying the pictures), but I promise I have something "more green for less green" coming up: a step-by-step on how to refinish fireplace doors--cheap and keeps trash out of the landfill before it really needs to be there.

On to the living room pictures...

Living Room Before: the fireplace is painted maroon (that is not bare brick); filth abounds; the hardwood floors look rough; the scuffed, bronze fireplace doors have got to change. I do like the retro chandelier. We will move this to another room when we install a ceiling fan at some point.

In progress: The walls have been cleaned and primed and there are four coats of trim paint on the fireplace. (Chandelier lighting is causing the grey streaks on the walls.) The living room was tool central during the three working weeks before we moved in. Oh, and that card table was liberated from large trash day in my parents' neighborhood.

Did you notice the white fireplace in the picture above? Here is a close up. It took four coats of trim paint (Olympic zero VOC semi-gloss in ultra white) to fill in all of the nooks and crannies. High heat paint is not required for the facade, but it is required for the doors (which have been removed for cleaning and painting).

The living room has been cleaned, primed, trimmed, fireplace painted, and floors refinished back to their natural color. Now that the floors are lighter, we realize there is a tile patch in front of the fireplace. Who knew? The built-in bookcase and baseboards still need to be painted.

Other view of living room. There was a linoleum "entryway" patch at the front door that we had the floor team remove (no before picture of that, sadly). Luckily, the hardwood floors continued underneath the linoleum and were perfectly preserved. Now on to paint the baseboards--they look so yellow and gross in all of the pictures. We thought they might get scuffed during the floor refinishing so we wanted to wait.

Living room to dining room after (the mirror in the lower shelf of the built-in has since removed)

Now let's time warp!

Living room to dining room before

And time warp again...

Unpacking. We tried out the wine cabinet in the living room, but obviously that didn't last long (see pictures of it in the dining room in previous entry).

We painted the bottom half of the living room Mountain Stream(Olympic zero VOC, eggshell). It was much harder to pick a neutral for the top. We started with about 50 paint chips taped to the wall and these were the final contenders after a week of looking at them in various lights through the day and night. I had to hide the names so I wouldn't pick based on that.

We finally settled on Colonial White(Olympic zero VOC, eggshell)--most boring name ever. I would've never considered it based on name, so I guess it is good I hid the names. I do like the contrast between the trim and the wall now, but honestly, I still think things look really vanilla and boring. But, once we get some pictures on the wall maybe it will seem more fun. I am happy to have a place for my Turkish rug, though. When I was a child, my dad was station in Turkey for two years and we picked this rug out together. I'm not wild about the fringe, but I do love the pattern.

The main part of the room. Round table and mirror are beloved heirlooms from hubby's departed Grandma Sophie. The mirror has two accent pieces that we still need to hang. The pictured rug (purchased off Craigslist in 2004 for a mere $50 which is a steal for a wool rug) will move to our bedroom, office, or basement and we will put in this fun rug that I just bought off eBay:

My first choice for rugs is buying used wool rugs, but I was willing to new-splurge for the perfect wool, cotton, or recycled rug for the living room. I found this one on Pottery Barn's website listed as clearance/discontinued but I couldn't quite stomach the price (the price for wool rugs is much higher than the plastic/synthetic rugs that abound in the more less shocking price range). By the time I was willing to buy it, the rug went totally out of stock--no one at Pottery Barn had any leads. I started to stalk Craigslist for it and I set up an auto-search on eBay. After several weeks of looking, I got an email from eBay that someone was selling an 8x10 of the rug. I snatched that bad boy up and am waiting for it to arrive. I hope the blues in it compliment the wall color. I was supposed to do rugs then paint, but I just couldn't handle the white anymore.

Anyway, back on topic...

Another view (coffee table rescued from the side of the condo dumpster) In this picture the fireplace doors are not on yet.

But, they are on here...

Yay for refinished fireplace doors! This was my MLK day project.
(Some fun notes: I liberated the vase from a dumpster on Friday-- a large item, non-food, not at all gross one at work. The fireplace tools were kindly handed down from my dear friend Jill's parents). My living room is back to its normal state of vague disarray, so I do not have a wider picture of it in situ.

In my next entry, I'll give the blow-by-blow of refinishing the doors.


Update: Here is the room with the new rug in it. I'll post again when we get some curtains and wall hangings up.

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At January 18, 2010 at 10:33 PM , Blogger Jackie said...

I love that Mountain Stream color. The room looks absolutely beautiful! I wish I had an eye for design like this. Great job!

At January 19, 2010 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks great!! - Jill

At January 21, 2010 at 1:22 PM , Blogger the fourth door said...

The room looks fantastic now! I love it! Very fresh, clean and rejuvinated. Great job pulling everything together, can't wait to see how the new carpet looks!

At April 20, 2010 at 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That rug just pops the whole room! I love it!!


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