The Living Room

Many people don’t care much for their living rooms. It seems surprising, but that has been our observation. They love their kitchen or even better their kitchen and great room. But we’ve always loved our living rooms. From our very first house onward, our living room has been at least as important to us as the kitchen.

Generally, our living room is a bit dressier. It usually doesn’t have a TV. It’s more about conversation, music and entertaining. The family room is more about TV, relaxing and vegging. restoration-hardway-living-room-floorplan

While Bonita fell for the coziness of the kitchen and butler’s pantry, I fell for the light and space of the living room. It has great proportions and a terrific set of features:

  • two sets of french doors that open into the solarium.
  • built-in bookcases to house some of our library.
  • a wide fireplace as a focal point.
  • a wonderful multi-pane picture window.
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Living room as we bought it. Those ceiling lights may be re-wired oil-fed fixtures. The acoustic tile probably went up in the sixties.

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When we began tearing down the ceiling tile, we found that the ceiling was in bad shape. No real surprise: plaster cracks. However, there was opportunity. We threw the tile, but screwed the nailer strips into the ceiling joists. Then we could have drywall raised up and attached to the nailer strips. Brand new ceiling!

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Ceiling down and new can lighting going in.

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The bookcases are an understated, but important part of this room. Above the corner bookcase you see where we tore the plaster out. There was a lot of water damage here from bathrooms in the floor above.

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This bookcase had bead board backing. We sanded and repainted it. The corner bookcase didn’t have the bead board. We added it because it looked great (plus we didn’t have to fix that part of the plaster!)


This was a fun thing. When Nate got the fireplace mantel sanded and prepped, we fell in love with the look of it. We decided not to  paint it. Instead we’ve played with just glazing it and leaving the sanding and aging. It looks terrific. Nate has never forgiven us.

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Sometime in the past there had been some termite problem. They got rid of the termites. We got rid of the damaged floor.

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Today: New ceilings, walls, and floors. Lota hours in sanding those bookcases. We had larger cove molding installed (that is way, way out of my skill set). We stripped the floors and stained, shellacked, and waxed them.

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We love this comfortable and spacious room.