lucky thirteen: a love story and a living room

We’re currently celebrating our house’s thirteenth birthday (thirteen years with us) and its 128th birthday on this street.  To watch and read about the whole process in those early years (pre-blog), check out our rehab slide shows, nine of them, here.

There she is – the front door entry into paradise.  One living room, complete with rough, dusty hardwood floors, moldy plaster, patched and peeling ceiling, missing mantle, and some random holes cut in for non-existent heating ducts.


That first Christmas meant no trim, no work yet on the windows (brrrr), and random graduate school models littering the perimeter, but we had a tree, and she was a beauty.

I love this shot because it’s like my graduate school apartment relocated into my living room.

Our living room spent a few years as part living room / part staging ground.  Some things never change, actually.  At this point in the game we had no built-in storage, which meant no closets, so our rooms had piles of stuff in the corner.

And the trees got bigger…

(I think this was the largest one – after that we started looking for tall and skinny because this one was six feet in diameter at the base.)

The living room lived a good life in the middle years, sort of plain, but comfortable.  And then we took all the artwork and shelves off the wall, took the curtains down, and sat in the middle of the floor and thought about what we wanted the room to really look like and how we wanted it to function.

I made a mood board…

Living Room

I made a model…

I snagged some awesome chairs (still pink, but that will change)…

We boxed everything up and moved out.

Added some cool lighting, and upgraded the other lighting in the room.

Patched the various holes in the wall…

…and tried out some new colors.

Patched and sanded and did some drywall repair and smoothing…

…primed and painted…

…and finally installed some shelves.

Bought a couch,
and are saving for this fireplace.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of this year brings for this room.  I don’t miss these days, but I really, really love to look at them and see how far we’ve come.

Updated to add newer photos:

Living Room model:

Bookshelves complete (but still tweaking books + art):

Scored these vintage chairs (currently pink, but soon to be neutral):

I drew a fake (to-scale) copy of the fireplace unit we would like to install at some point.  And then I ran my white pencil down to a stub, so the drawing isn’t even complete:

Added a Flor rug:

…and made this large paper quilt for the wall:

3 Responses to lucky thirteen: a love story and a living room

  1. Holy moly. I know you said your house was a total gut-job, but I think I underestimated what you meant by that term.

    Love the pics of E patching holes and F standing on paint cans.

  2. This really is a love story. I’m in love with that light…
    These are the REAL kinds of before and afters of which I can’t get enough.

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