Livin’ La Vida Living Room: Getting Ready

Are you ready read about the most drastic change to our house yet?  This project started soon after we finished the dining room.

In fact it was about two seconds after I finished taking pictures of the pretty room from the living room, I started harping (yes, harping—I’m practicing for when we are married) about how ugly it makes the living room look.

See for yourselves—ugly.

living room

There’s textured, striped wallpaper.

There’s a disco wall of IKEA mirrors.

There’s disco mirrors against textured, striped wallpaper.

Ok, that’s about it since we haven’t done much but those two items make the room dated and ugly.  Actually, one might consider this room a crime against humanity.  It was even more of a crime before we removed the vertical blinds and installed curtains.

Can you tell how much I don’t like this room?  For the most part it didn’t bother us because we were never in there and tried to block it out of our minds since the dining room looked just as bad.


Then the dining room didn’t look so bad (gorgeous in fact but I’m a bit biased).

The wheels in my head started turning once Greg gave a redesign his blessing.  Enter my good friend Pinterest.  I started looking for ideas and learned about board and batten.  Board and batten is a look typically found in beach houses—it’s a thick, higher chair rail, typically plain with a slight ledge and vertical strips of wood running from the chair rail to the baseboard every so many inches.

Our plan was to fancy up basic board and batten.

Ok, my plan.  Greg was a trooper this whole project—he didn’t understand what my vision was and yet he trusted me enough to take time off, spend lots of money, do most of the hard work, and buy a gray couch with a seafoam accent chair.

To help him see my vision, I drew up these plans of the room using PowerPoint since SketchUp isn’t the easiest program to figure out.

Living room1Living room3Living room4Living room2

But first we needed to take care of this mess.

Our garage is the black hole of items we don’t want to deal with.  It got worse when we bought a full size freezer.  We had grand plans of dealing with the garage then but life got in the way.  Fine.  Our laziness got in the way.

So the nice warm weekend two weekends before our project began, we dealt with the mess. To complete Livin’ La Vida Living Room, we needed to use the table saw (buried in the garage) and the compound miter saw (also buried in the garage).  We also needed room to cut 16 foot lengths of wood.


We sorted and tossed items we didn’t need or that were left here by the previous owners.  It only took a few hours but we were able to set up a workbench (out of an old door and saw horses  . . . which I borrowed from my dad) and room for the compound miter saw.


During the weeks leading up to the big toolcation, removed the disco wall of mirrors which was not as easy as it seemed.  The mirrors popped out of the black brackets but the brackets were screwed in (not very well) but they were then hammered down with prongs.

Silly IKEA.

We had to pop the cover off the black bracket, unscrew it, jimmy a screw driver under it to pop the prongs mostly out, and use the pliers to remove the prongs which still remained in the wall . . .  and of course, I took pictures of none of this.

Next up– prepping the walls!


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