Friday, November 14, 2014

Our Perfect Living Room Transformation

It's been awhile since I last posted. But I haven't just been sitting around, eating Bon Bons and watching soaps. I don't ever watch soaps since they leave me feeling dissatisfied with my reality. And I have never actually seen BonBons, nevermind eaten them.

I have been busy making over our living room. We have wanted a wood burning fireplace for years. Most of the homes we have lived in during our marriage have had a fireplace of one sort or another and we loved that. We love the smell of a fire, the cozy warmth, and the homey look.

During our journey on this project we have changed our minds many times. We bought 2 different cast iron wood stoves. And we sold those 2 different cast iron wood stoves. We found this wood burning insert on Craigslist for only $150. It looked almost brand new as it was in the basement of a newer home. They switched it out for a gas insert. It was much larger than what we were looking at purchasing new but only a fraction of the cost. PERFECT!

I picked it up. The guy was so nice! He left work as a school principal and helped the kids and I load it in the truck even though he was wearing dress clothes. He helped strap it in and away we went. I love Craigslist! We have one of the best in the country, I think. We buy and sell on it all the time and have only run into one jerk. 

Now I've found my way back from that rabbit trail. We also changed our minds on whether it should go in the corner or in the center of the wall, the mantle and surround, the shelving on the side, and what materials we would use for the chimney cover.

Most of these changes took place before we started that particular part of the project. All accept the surround. That we literally made up as we were building it.

The wood-look ceramic tile floor. We laid it. It was a first for both of us, but I think we did a really good job.

The wood surround. We wanted it to look like an old farmhouse would have looked. No frills. I think we accomplished that.

The mantel and the chimney front. We looked at fireplaces in Menards and they have used this bead board as a surround. I loved the farmhouse feel of it, so we went with it.

We used the same materials for the bookshelves on the one side. I had an antique baby bassinet that was missing the lining and the bottom, so I added a heavy-duty canvas bag lining and simple bottom and it's perfect for a day's firewood supply. The ash shovel/ poker set was purchased for $20 at an auction. It was the look I was going for and very sturdy and heavy. I saw the exact set at a fireplace store for several hundred dollars! I am using an old canning pot for ashes for now until I find what I want. The suitcase/box is where I hide my newspaper, fire starters, and lighter. I covered all our electrical components with a black burlap curtain. We tried it without the curtain but they were just so cluttered-looking and odd next to all the antiques.

The other side of the fireplace is our old "blanket chest" and a doctor's bag I picked up.

I repainted the walls, trim, and doors in the living room, dining room, and hallway. Have I ever told you I hate painting? I abhor it! Detest it! But it looks so fresh, clean, and cozy when it's done. And it's almost instant gratification. That's why I continue to paint. I love fairly in-expensive, instant gratification.

And finally, the only part of this project that we hired done was the carpet. It's Silk Strand by Mohawk in Sepia Tones. I have never felt a carpet so luxurious in all my life! I went in to the carpet shop just to look. I made the "mistake" of feeling the silk carpet and a week later it was ordered and installed. If I had to scrimp and save for another year, nothing was going in my house but that carpet! He gave us an awesome deal- one that a dealer friend of ours couldn't even match. It's guaranteed against staining and soil or they will replace it for free.

I still have a lot of decorating to do, but I need to go to another auction or two to find what I'm looking for. I don't even know what I'm looking for specifically, but I will when I see it. I don't see how this project could have come out any more perfectly than it did. We absolutely love it!

UPDATE: After another auction I now have my final wall decorated with an old tobacco basket, and antique mirror, an oil painting, and a hand scythe.

In the evenings now I just sit, watch my fire, and think about how blessed I am to have my perfect living room.