my house

Living Room: Paint meets fireplace

We primed the living room’s brick fireplace tonight after work, y’all! Look:

Brick fireplace primed

We’ve still got to the get actual paint color on there (the bottom gray shown here), but whew, just seeing the primer on there makes for such a nice change.

Also, let me just say: Painting brick is not very fun and requires way more dabbing with a paint brush than I anticipated. I imaged much more roller-only action than what actually happened for some reason, so getting that layer up there feels like an accomplishment and now I just have to convince myself to do it one or two more times with the paint.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before the renovations started:

Living Room demo prep

Such an improvement! 😀

So now picture the white bricks painted light gray and install some built-in bookcases with your mind and you know what it’s going to look like. 😉

Custom teal sectional is on order! Bookcases are being built! The end is near…ish.

Check out all of the living room re-do posts here.

my house

Living Room: Painting brick & a bright new sofa!

Remember when I showed you the wood paneling that made up my living room walls, and then when that was ripped off, and later when there was sheetrock up and white paint on the new walls?

Well, we’re moving onto the next steps! Finally! We took a break for a few weeks there to go to Europe on our annual visit family & see some stuff vacation, so there was a bit of a long pause. (Still more trip details & photos forthcoming!)


We’re picking out the paint color for the brick fireplace right now:

Paint options for our brick fireplace
(Paint swatch photo from my Instagram here)

We’re leaning toward the bottom option right now. It’s warm enough to work well with the warm white on the walls, looks good next to our dark wood floors, and I think it’ll work with the stain we’ve picked out for the mantel. We still need to check the swatches next to the rug (which has a lot of a darker grey in it) to be sure.

Tomorrow the bookcase builder is stopping by to finalize some details so those can be made and installed soon. They’re going where the old built-ins were and will fill the wall space on either side of the fireplace. They’ll be painted white, which will be a nice contrast to whatever grey we end up putting on the brick.

And at some point after that, our new sectional will arrive. We ordered it a few days ago and it’s estimated to take 5-9 weeks to be made. We’ll see how that goes. (Maybe we’ll get lucky & it’ll be done early? I want it here, like, yesterday.)

Because look!

Our new sectional and fabric swatch

We ordered an L-shaped sectional in TEAL. So fun! The room only has one window (a sliding glass door), so previously it’s been a bit dark… Not anymore! White walls & a teal sofa are changing that room’s life. Also, this thing is so comfortable, the back is tall enough that my very tall husband (6’6″) won’t hang over the top and squish the top cushions down into annoying lumps, annnnnnd we can both stretch out fully on it at one time. Can’t wait!

After pics coming… sometime! We’re working on it. 😉

Check out all of the living room re-do posts here.

my house

Walls! Paint! Progress!

A few days I posted an update on the progress in the living room, but the photos were all newly installed drywall and that’s just not a good look, so I’m updating again.

Remember the new drywall:

Living Room Walls - New Drywall

Look! Paint & the floors can be seen again!

Living Room Walls Painted

There’s still more to do of course, but the white walls (instead of the old brown paneling) are so nice. It’s so much brighter in there!

Can’t wait to finish & add the furniture & hang out in there! 😀

my house

Living Room Progress: Walls are Happening!

In the past month, since we ripped the paneling off the walls, we’ve had the air conditioning vent moved from the wall to the ceiling, and all of the electrical re-done. Then we took a pause to spend a week in Portland and I spent a weekend working in Fort Worth, so… now we’re back to work!

After getting a few estimates on drywall installation, we settled on a company and today they started! It was loud & messy & so exciting! It’s already so much brighter in there! It’s going to me aaaaaamazing! 😀

This is what it looks like tonight:

Over the next two days, they’ll be back to add texture and paint. Can’t wait to see it when it’s done!

my house

Living Room Progress: Demo Done!

After yesterday’s wood paneling removal-palooza, we were left with the solid wood built-ins around the fireplace that were reeeeeeally nailed in there & a bunch of clean up to do today. And since we recently got a leak fixed next to the chimney, we were sort of dreading seeing what it looked like behind there…

We went to Home Depot to get a sawzall this morning and that ended up being a great decision. I think the built-ins would still be stuck in there if we hadn’t been able to saw them up a bit and break them out in pieces.

We also grabbed some big suction cups and a bunch of clear packing tape to remove the mirrors without breaking them… and it worked! We covered them in tape, except for the spots we left open for the suction cups, then attached those, and wiggled & yanked until the mirrors separated from the backing. Without breaking! Phew!

We were also happy to find minimal water damage in the leak area. And it was all dry, so the chimney/roof repairs we had done last month seem to have fixed the problem. Some of the wiring in the room looks pretty iffy though (and it is 55 years old), so I’ll be happy to have a fresh start after the electrician is out to re-wire the room.


It’s not pretty to look at yet, but there are zero wood paneling pieces, the ceiling beams are gone, and the built-ins with mirrored backs are in a pile in the garage now, so it’s an improvement. It’s been an exhausting weekend, but we’re off to a great start!

Check out all of the living room re-do posts here.

my house

Living Room Progress: Bye Walls!

As promised, we’re in full living room demo mode this weekend. We spent Friday night emptying the room out so there won’t be any furniture in the way while we work.

Living Room demo prep

So now we’ve got two living rooms worth of furniture in one living room. It’s a bit cramped, but we’ve got paths to each doorway and the faux-sectional we created out of necessity with our two separate couches has made us sure we want a sectional in the other living room. So much lounging!

temporary Living Room

And then today, this happened:

Living Room paneling off

We rolled out Ram Board and taped it down to protect our wood floors, put on some protective goggles, and grabbed our pry bars. Bye, wood paneling!

Our paneling only had studs behind it, so it wasn’t that difficult to remove once we got it going. The ceiling beams were a bit tougher. They were made of different layers of solid wood wrapped around other wood and the pieces were long and heavy. Luckily, Husband is tall enough that he could easily reach them without needing a step stool of any kind, so he had stable footing to help him out as he ripped them from the ceiling. I stood under them with my hands in the air trying to keep pieces from bouncing off my head. (Note to self: Consider a hard hat next time!)

The toughest job of the weekend was removing the built-ins that surrounded the fireplace. They were made up of layer after layer of solid wood, attached to other pieces of solid wood, and had big mirrors lining the back. We used up a ton of tape trying to protect ourselves from the mirrors breaking on us and used big suction cups to yank them out, then we bought a saw to cut the wood into pieces and remove it in chunks. It took us a few hours to finish both and was pretty exhausting. But we did it! And the mirrors didn’t even break!

Next: We’ve hired an electrician to come re-do all of the switches, plugs, light fixtures, and wiring. The original wiring has been there since 1960 and is frayed, and some newer wiring was installed sometime after that by someone who didn’t seem to care much for doing it properly. We’re happy to be starting fresh! And we’ve got an appointment soon to move the air conditioning vents from the walls to the ceiling so they’ll fade into the background a bit better.

And psst… If you’re a numbers nerd, I’m tracking every penny we spend and will share the details once the room is done, so check back!

Check out all of the living room re-do posts here.