25 November 2015

The Echo Room

Getting prepped.
Working on the great room has been a long time coming. Problem is, the giant space has always been needed for something else--a workroom for cutting tile, painting trim, running and screaming like madwomen when they've got cabin fever (the girls refer to it as the echo room) or inflating a bounce house to for a rainy birthday party...but, it's time has finally come. Now that many of the other home improvement projects are getting checked off the list, I decided to tackle the mammoth room.

(Seriously, we could probably fit a mammoth in there).
Filling in the off-centered gap. Thanks, Jack!
Rooms are always completed faster in my head than they are when I get to doing the actual work. My productivity is down because I've a newborn to tend, but I'm really in no rush. We paint a little here, caulk a little there, glue down a bit of trim or paint one accent wall...it's all starting to come together quite well since starting as a blank slate.
My life flashed before my eyes!
As with any room, painting the ceiling was the worst part. Since the previous owners were heavy smokers, the ceiling was stained with the sickly yellow color of nicotine. What made it exponentially worse was that I had to paint a ceiling while standing on scaffolding that wasn't exactly wobbly, but sure sounded like it when it rattled. I had a few heart-pounding moments when I had to stand without support but in a few hours of craning my neck backward, accidentally ingesting a few globs of paint and watching my life repeatedly flash before my eyes, the enormous ceiling was finally complete. And it looks glorious.
Evelyn's tall enough to peek over the half wall.
There were a few changes of plan too. Originally, I wanted to have a beautiful handrail running the length of the hallway and cascading down the steps. I gave it a decent attempt and learned a lot in the process but ultimately, a half wall looks better.
One of the potentially gorgeous parts of the great room are the stairs. We've been living with raw wood stairs since removing the smelly, hairy, 1970's original carpet (ewie!) but they've gotten a whole lot more character with just a few coats of paint and some trim. Once the treads are stained and a few more balusters are added, we'll have some pretty fancy steps.
Won't they be pretty??
It's amazing what some paint, fixing some drywall, cleaning up wires and eventually, new flooring, will do to a room. What was once so dark and dreary is slowly becoming almost unrecognizable.
The tangle of wires we inherited when we bought the place. The people before us loooooved watching TV.
The room really feels like it's coming alive. It's so bright and cheery and will soon be a central hub for our family to relax next to the warm wood burning stove, sit and play the piano or entertain guests. Maybe we'll still use it for the bounce house too. Whatever function if fulfills, it'll be beautiful.
Thanks for helping me clean up, Claire bear!

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