This living room had good bones: two 9 pane exterior doors, original wood floors, original windows, unpainted woodwork, tall ceilings and a fireplace. (We’ll ignore the fact that it wasn’t a functioning fireplace.)
We had the floors professionally refinished by Tony at Cavalier Floors. He also repaired a hole where we had an electrician move an outlet from the floor to the wall.
There are some really old outlets left in the room, and they aren’t like anything I’ve seen before.
The only truly odd thing about this room was the “groovy” mirrored niche on the wall. I assume it was added in the 60’s? 70’s? It was tempting to add a mini disco ball (yes, there was an outlet in the niche!) and just make this a party room, but I resisted the urge. The wiring to that outlet was janky as hell, and the niche cut into the bedroom closet and took up a lot of space.
We removed the mirrored box, added a stud in the center and drywalled over it (and by “we” I mean the contractor who was doing our addition).
The only other work needed in the room besides paint was repair work due to the addition. They had to remove the trim around the doorway to the dining room and install a new beam to support the work happening in the attic. They did replace the original trim around the doorway, but the crown molding was no longer usable.
I wasn’t able to find the exact profile of the original molding, but I got close and replaced the missing piece of trim. I also caulked all of the crown and painted it with the Benjamin Moore paint I used on the kitchen cabinetry and trim throughout the addition. The walls were painted Sherwin-Williams Gracious Greige. I wanted a warm color that would pair well with the dark woodwork, but still be neutral.
The fireplace also got a coat of white paint to freshen it up. It’s a shallow box so I couldn’t stack full logs inside of it. Instead I cut down logs to fit and fill the opening. I’m tempted to remove the lathe and plaster from above the mantel to expose the brick, but I realize how messy of a job that would be. If I was going to do it, I should have pulled the trigger during construction when everything was a mess anyway!
The room had two really odd pendant light fixtures — like something you would see over a 2002 kitchen island. I really wish I knew what was there originally! I went with two 10″ Geo Pendants from West Elm. I love the look of a schoolhouse style fixture, but wanted to stick to clear glass (little did I know how hard they would be to keep clean).
The other electrical component in this room was the switches. Our home still had some knob and tube wiring, and those sweet push button switches. When the electricians did some work in this area, they were forced to remove those and replaced them with basic white plastic. I hated them. Did you know you can buy replicas of the old switches? I had kept the original brass plates, and my sweet momma had cooked all the paint off of them in the slow cooker then cleaned them up using Brasso.
It was a pretty simple task to replace the switches and return the brass plate where it belongs.
And that’s it! Then I just had to decorate it. I created three different zones: an entry, a traditional living room around the fireplace and a mini home office.
Entry runner: 2’2 x 6′ Outdoor Botanical Runner Rug from rugs.com
Sectional: West Elm
Rug: Gianna Eco-Friendly Indoor/Outdoor Kilim Rug from Pottery Barn
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