The Den/Family Room: Part One

Here is a photo of our den space during the home inspection:

Don’t you just dig that 70s vibe? The pink carpet, sparkly popcorn ceilings, plaster fireplace, and retro furniture was almost too much to look past.

But, we saw the potential and have made a lot of improvements to this space so far.

We had the ceilings finished after the asbestos popcorn removal, we exposed the brick fireplace, installed in-ceiling speakers and mounted our television over the fireplace, and began the furnishing process.

Here’s where we are now:

Oh wait, what’s that new addition in the corner?

Say hello to my first Joss & Main purchase! I am loving the tufted look, as well as the linen/woven fabric:

My wonderful hubs is one of those guys who likes to focus on one project at a time. I’m not typically like that, but for his sanity, we decided that we are going to focus on finishing the Den since we spend so much time relaxing in this space.

Here’s the punch list:

  • get a larger rug that fits the space
  • change the curtain hardware from the gold fixtures left by the prior owners
  • find a new larger and not matchy-matchy ottoman
  • paint the ceiling, trim, and baseboard heating white
  • paint the walls a soft grey
  • rip down the mirrors above the wet bar, refinish the countertop and cabinets
  • take down the paneling
  • put down wood floors (throughout this room and the entire house)
  • hang artwork

Speaking of the paneling…it’s been a love-hate relationship. It’s something that I like and don’t like equally. Although it’s an interesting pattern and adds *something* to the room, what we have realized after being here for 7 months is that as much as we “like” it, we don’t love it for OUR house or our vision for this room. We are trying our darndest to rid this house of it’s 70s vibe and the paneling in what is technically the “basement”  (even though it’s above ground) is something that you just can’t decorate away. It’s very BAM when you walk into the room…

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have taken a guess a what we might be doing when you saw the pile of wood on the ground…and you would be correct. We took a pry bar and a hammer to that paneling…

We had fears going into this project that the paneling would be glued pretty-darn-well to the drywall, but to our pleasant surprise, the wood was actually tongue and groove nailed to the drywall and came off without too much strain (aside from the finger I hammered by accident):

We tried our best the salvage the drywall behind, but it was pretty damaged/peeling. In fact it looked a lot like our ceilings prior to the professional skim coating.

Skim coating is great for drywall repair for ceilings, but even the pro that we hired said “if you want perfection, you really have to put up new drywall”. Perfection on our ceilings is not that important to us since you aren’t staring at them up close…but perfection on the main wall of our Den IS something that is very important. We have a dry wall delivery coming this week and we will be ripping everything down and putting up brand new drywall. On the bright side, because of this paneling the existing drywall will be very easy to take down since the screws were never mudded.

Here’s what we have now:

Even though the wall looks like some kind of crazy impressionist painting, I told Dan that it already feels like an improvement because it’s SO much lighter in the room without the dark wood.

Can’t wait to see the end result!