Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Inside the Yellow House Living Room

After I regaled you with before-and-after pictures of the front and back of my house, a couple of people kindly asked to see the inside as well.  So, here's the first installment: the living room and dining room.


The house was built in either 1878 or 1880, depending on which records you reference, and, frankly, it hadn't had a lot of maintenance since then.  It was in pretty bad shape.  Interestingly, it was built without a kitchen or bathroom (more on that in subsequent editions), which just fascinates me.

I often say that work on my house will never be finished because I'm constantly thinking about the next project.  But here's where things are right now.  I'm so happy with the way the renovations turned out.  

But first: the "before" pictures.  I wish this blog had Smell-O-Vision, so you could fully appreciate the overpowering smell of stale cat urine that had completely permeated that gorgeous brown carpet.


When I bought the house, the living room and dining room were two separate rooms, separated by a pocket door.   I hated to get rid of the pocket door, but I ultimately decided that the first floor would feel so much bigger if the two rooms were combined.  


There was also a little tiny entryway that led into a very narrow hallway and up the enclosed staircase.  The result was that the house felt really cramped.  Those curtains don't do much for the house either.  


And, here's how it looks today!  A little different?


When we ripped up that brown carpet, we found 1950s "parquet" linoleum.  And beneath that, the original heart pine floors, which were perfectly preserved by all that linoleum.  And white paint is obviously my best friend.  I think the white walls are a great canvas for all of the other color.  


Most of the furniture has been repurposed, repainted, and reupholstered from the pieces' former lives.  The dining room set and coffee table were my grandparents' and were originally painted sort of an antique gold.  I think my grandparents would be surprised to see how they look now, but I know they would just love that I get so much pleasure from their treasures.


The house had four fireplaces when it was built, and the mantel currently in the living room was originally in the dining room.  When I decided to get rid of three of the fireplaces due to lack of space, I kept this mantel, which I liked better.  The mirror above the fireplace used to be a church window.  I found the frame at a flea market and added the mullions, mirror, and--of course, a lot of white paint.


The portraits of Mr. Bullet were taken a few years back by a professional photographer in Alexandria who specializes in pet portraits.  I couldn't pick just one.  (Yes, I am that dog owner.)  Notice that the staircase is no longer enclosed.  Taking down that wall was apparently a big endeavor, but it was so worth it.


Pink and yellow and black and white are my two favorite color combinations.  I love that I was able to incorporate both in the house.  But I swear I loved that sour apple green color long before it became as trendy as it is today.  The buffet was also a flea market find, transformed with some paint and drawer pulls mounted flush against the surface. 


The built-in bookshelves really complete the room (and provide a lot of much-needed storage).  The contractor thought they would be too much and wanted to limit them to the living room end of the room, but I'm so glad I insisted on the whole wall.  The room looks so much bigger than it ever did before the renovations.  


So that's the living room.  Literally, each night when I come home, I think how much I just love it.  If you happen to be in D.C., some see it in person!

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33 comments:

  1. WOWOWOW!!! This is amazing! I love looking at before and after pics especially when they look this great!

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  2. Beautiful...Love it! I just love looking at before and after pics of things, houses, etc.

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  3. I love what you have done and i LOVE the colors!!!

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  4. Gorgeous! My life long dream is to fix up an old house! You have done a beautiful job!

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  5. Love the pink and yellow and goes with your site :) Fabulous!

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  6. Beautiful.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

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  7. YOU GOT YOUR MONEYS WORTH!!! Just gorgeous=0)

    xoxo,
    Carol

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  8. Okay, I'm moving in!! What a happy, inviting living room! I just love everything about it. And those pictures of your dog are precious. I'm not going to tell you how many photos I have around the house of my dog :).

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  9. Wow! That is a wonderful transformation. I love your style and vision! I would never have come up with such wonderful solutions! Great job.

    I would love for you to check out my blog for a fun giveaway! alittleknickknack.blogspot.com. Have a wonderful night!

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  10. Wow!! What a transformation!

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  11. This look fabulous! You've done a GREAT job loving your old house! :)

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  12. What an amazing transformation. I love the built-ins and your original pine floors.

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  13. Beautiful home! I can't believe the before pics, great job fixing up that old house.
    Londen

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  14. I LOVE those built-ins...but what happened to the bay window?

    I also love the colors in your living room...so cheery!

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  15. This is amazing! We just tore down some walls as well -- minor compared to your project -- and I can't get over what a difference it makes. Love your built-ins as well. Gorgeous.

    Deb

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  16. I love this transformation! What great taste you have...love the dog pictures going up the stairs...very clever!

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  17. Wow! It's my first visit to your blog and I am so impressed! I love your living room transformation and am going back to look at your other posts! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  18. WOW!!! huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge difference! very impressive! Gorgeous!

    -Jackie
    http://jaclyndesigns.blogspot.com/

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  19. How charming !!!!! I love all the work you've done - and as one who is also "owned" by an old house - I reallllly know !

    I'll be back!
    gena
    www.thehouseonlavenderhill.blogspot.com

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  20. This is amazing! I love everything you've done.
    No wonder you love living there, I would too!
    Debbie@houseatthelake

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  21. AMAZING! I love the built-ins and that mantle made me swoon :)

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  22. Awesome! Taking down the wall and having the built ins made all the difference. I love your funny descriptions of the process. Great job!!!

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  23. Beautiful! Such a bright and cheery space. You did a great job!

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  24. Gorgeous, and I love the use of colour!!!

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  25. I love old homes especially when remodeled they still retain some of the integrity. I love the built-ins and hardwood floors.

    I can't believe you didn't want to keep the lovely smelling cat pee carpet? I have a story about cat pee, but I'll save it for my blog. haha

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  26. This looks amazing. I'm particularly enamored by the built-ins. I'm trying to decide how to handle built-ins in our new living room. There is lots more space on the right side of the fireplace than the left. I thought it would look off balance, but now that I see yours, I think I'll go for it on the right side.

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  27. Just wanted to let you know I featured this today on Favorite Things Friday! If you would like a Featured button stop by and pick one up! Thanks!

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  28. Your room looks so bright and cheery....I love the staircase!!

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  29. It looks fantastic!!!

    PLEASE share how you remodeled the staircase from enclosed to spindles. I'm dying to do this in my house!

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  30. You are brilliant! Every time we walked into a home with eau de cat pee we turned around and left!! Now I might stick around and take a look!! Love, love, love it!

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  31. OMG, I LOVE it!!! Looks like it came from a magazine!!! I'm so impressed.

    PS thanks for stopping by to view my mural

    Lisa

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