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Category Archives: Living and Dining Room

final photos of downstairs

– well, until we do something drastic down there, like in 5 years.

So, I never posted any photos of the living and dining room as it never really felt finished.  It still doesn’t.  But now we’re about to move upstairs (in 2 weeks – god help us), so as much as it bugs the hell out me, this room just has to be documented as is.

So here goes…

First of all, that light fixture is not supposed to be there.  It was (was) a three pendant thingy that hung over the dining table before we decided to swap the living and dining rooms.  Then, being too lazy to switch the light fixtures, we left it, where it hung, precariously low.  You might guess what happened next.  Yes, Sam banged his head into it, and now we have two pendants, twisted together to move the whole thing out of the way.  Classy.

But here’s the same view before we took the wall down:

So crazy. I can barely believe it used to look like that.  We pulled up all that lino and the plywood underneath it, sanded and stained the floors, and replaced the window.

This is how it looked when we just finished (though still with the old window) and were so excited to finally have a place to sit (at this point we were living in the bedroom all the time – I don’t even think the kitchen was finished):

The floors looked ok when we were done, but they were freezing.  There were gaps in the floorboards pretty much straight down to the basement.  I started to realize why they covered the bare floorboards with layers of plywood and lino in the first place.  Stupid modern folks like us trying to have trendy bare floorboards and then freezing our asses off.  Serves us right really.

As usual, I went to the internet for some solutions.  This Old House had a video tutorial for filling the gaps with rope. Apparently it’s an old shipbuilding technique.

So, I tried it.

I kind of like how it looks, but it’s definitely not as easy as whatshisname makes it look on the video (welcome to my world), though granted, it’s not rocket science.  But as a solution for cracks and heat loss, it is, as my sisters and I would say, a bit dickish.  We’re going to have to insulate from below anyway and probably lay down new floor – eventually.  The areas where we had to fill in with new pine floorboards where the wall came down (see first photo above) also really bug me, though Sam likes how it looks, for reasons unknown.  ‘Rustic’ maybe.

Here’s the view from the other side:

So, imagine that the proper low dining room light fixture is actually hanging over the dining table, there’s not a huge hole in the chimney, and that the art is hung and centered properly (it was, but we didn’t move it either after we re-arranged the room – hence the lack of anything above the sofa).  The strip of wallpaper you see is what we found when we removed the strange half wall that divided that room:

Now THAT looks like a crack house.  I’ve probably said this before, but sometimes I look at these old photos and am still amazed that we so nonchalantly took all this on.  Sometimes I still think we must have been out of our minds.

But you know, there isn’t much that white paint can’t fix.  Or at least make tolerable.

I can’t wait to move upstairs though.  The dining table currently doubles as our desk and work space, so actually never looks like it does above (as in, empty).  I confess – there was a pile of crap on the floor behind me when I took the photo.  I’m not a huge fan of ‘staging’ photos of your home as it often just looks staged, and thus ridiculous, but in this case it was just too awful and embarrassing to leave as is.  I’m so looking forward to having the extra room upstairs for a proper office.  We will lose a dining room, but as this room was pretty much not functional as a dining room anyway, it’s not really a loss.

Sam’s record collection is going to be a problem though.  You can’t see it, but that Ikea shelving unit is currently held together by a wing and a prayer (also known as plywood and glue).  It barely made the move across the room so I don’t fancy its chances going upstairs.  Apparently you shouldn’t store crappy pressboard shelving in a damp barn for five years and expect it to be ok.  Live and learn.

So that is it for downstairs.  We have tenants moving in on September 1st and we’ll be going upstairs – where the chaos continues…

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