Saturday, February 19, 2011

before and kindofafter

The week before Thanksgiving, my husband and I got really ambitious and decided we should do a quick room re-do in our library to get ready for entertaining over the holidays. When you say 'quick project' in an old house, the old house laughs at you and jinxes the bajeezus out of you because it's been around a long time and it's all 'oh hell no we don't do things fast around here.'

So now it's February. The project is basically done except for the furniture and getting things on the walls. But as far as giant-mess-good-god-what-have-we-done, the project is done.

As I've mentioned before, every square inch of our walls and ceilings are covered in wallcovering. In some rooms, we have stripped it down (and subsequently had to have the walls refinished before painting) and we've painted over it (which is basically a giant sin in my book...but we'll just have to go to renovation-confession.) We went into the library project thinking we'd paint over, but when we started finding too many peeling/cracking/loose pieces we decided the right thing to do was take it down. Layer numero uno was down in a flash. Um layers 2, 3 and 4? Had to be chiseled off in tiny quarter-sized chips. It. took. forever.
Once it was down (the week of Christmas) our favorite wall-guy came over and refinished the walls. This left us with a clean slate. When choosing a color, my husband made one request: no gray. Yikes. I told him there was only one color I could imagine besides gray... and that was an uber-saturated, jewel-tone blue (see some color inspiration) and luckily he was on board. In all honesty the finished color is not as dark as we were thinking, but it's close enough (and we're tired enough) that it's going to stick around for a little while.

So we painted. Once the walls were painted I realized how much it drove me crazy that the bookshelf paint did not match the trim paint (for shame previous owners, for shame) it took two different cans of paint and 16 hours of painting, but they were finally righto.
While the rest of our house has some form of original crown molding, this room's had been taken down at one point and replaced with a thin little trim piece (which was broken in spots) and a painted band to attempt a little trim-trickery. Not cool. We took down the thin trim piece and the band was obviously removed with the wallcovering. We found a stock profile at Home Depot that went well with the rest of the trim (a custom carved profile to match the house's original trim would be awesome...but so would paying our mortgage. so no.) Once the paint was finished we tried our hand at trim carpentry (yikes- we're not quitting our day jobs anytime soon) but the trim is up despite many hours of 'how is nothing square/level/even in here!?' breakdowns. You can also see our grasscloth ceiling in these images - luckily we love it, it's in great shape, and it's staying put!

Wow. So much rambling. Here more before and kindofafterbutnotquitedone photos.
Now we just need to work on artwork (wall art inspiration) and our ideal furniture. The current arrangement feels stiff and out of scale (this big daybed, lamp and drafting table are all on the wish list.) All in good time.


And that's the end of the Thanksgiving project that took a little longer than expected. We're excited for this room to be the cozy reading/hangout spot we know it wants to be.


Felicia said...

Wow, that color looks great!!! I am a grey girl too and would never think to paint walls that color. I love how it interacts with the white molding too.

Anonymous said...

Looks so great Alissa! Good work, keep it up.

Learning said...

Nice job getting it done! It does take soo long to do things right. Oh the joys of homeownership. I would love to own an old home. But, the issues of things not being square and level are a bit addition to the many layers of wall coverings!

- Angela

Pesky Cat Designs said...

What a fantastic job you did! It looks beautiful!

Meghan said...

I simply adore it! The color is stunning!

Kirby Margaret said...

oooo... I love the blue paint color you chose! very dramatic