Posts Tagged ‘living room’

Our Big Weekend Project

I still can’t believe we managed to pull this off in a weekend.

Granted, it was a long weekend, but this project was completed in just two days. So definitely weekend doable.

This is our living room wall before.

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And this is our living room wall now.

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That’s right. We cut a hole in the wall and installed a sliding glass door into this long and windowless wall in our living room!

By “we”, really, I mean Chris and his dad installed the slider. I contributed by being in charge of the toddler all day and by giving constructive criticism when warranted ;).

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Our walls are ridiculously thin. These mass-manufactured tract homes were built out of prefab wall panels and our walls are only about 2″ thick.

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Chris peeled off the outer layer (after removing the electrical) so he could see what he was dealing with. Then he cut a hole just so he could step through and work.

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You can really see how thin our walls are. Basically two plywood panels joined with pieces of wood and this interesting honeycomb foam insulation, which was disintegrating from age. Also, there were large gaps where there was no insulation.

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Chris and his dad cut the hole to the size of the slider (which we bought from Lowe’s for about $350).

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After cutting the hole they added a new header and side support beams. You can see the header above, whereas the side support beams were inserted into the walls between the plywood panels.

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Because we are planning to install rigid foam insulation and siding over the walls this summer, we wrapped the window frame and surrounding walls with Tyvek, a water resistant barrier. Then Chris added flashing to the sides.

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You gotta flash the windows properly to prevent leaks. Other windows in our house had not been flashed properly and in a driving rain, water leaks through. We can kind of get away with it in Southern California, but still, better to do it right. We’re hoping to flash the rest of the windows properly before we install new siding.

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We were chasing the light, but we got ‘er done! All this in one day!

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The next day we added the pieces of trim, partially salvaged from the board and batten (well really just the battens) we had removed with the wall.

Because our walls are so thin, the window frame was thicker than the wall. Fortunately, the board and batten thickened the wall so it came up flush against the frame, and then the extra trim we added along the top and sides finished it off. We just need to caulk the seams, patch nail holes, and add another coat of paint.

Not bad for a couple days’ work, eh?

Sharing at HopeStudios, AStrollThruLife and SavvySouthernStyle!

DIY Behind-the-Sofa Table

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Chris’ latest woodworking project is done and is now adding a ton more warmth and charm into our living room!

This one was a fast one, thank goodness. No more 4-month-long projects like the family room reno please, at least for a while. This DIY console table (or sofa table, or what have you…) only took Chris a few weeknights to knock out. I think it looks great AND adds a ton of function.

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Chris and I were browsing around at West Elm a while ago and noticed all of the “rustic” furniture that is sooooo trendy right now. You know, the recycled “pallet” furniture look. Chris remarked that he thought building some of those rustic-looking furniture pieces wouldn’t be difficult, so I challenged him to do it!

We actually had a goodly amount of “reclaimed” wood (a.k.a. scrap wood taken out of the house during renovations) and an L-shaped sofa table seemed like just the right project for it. We had been wanting something behind the L-shaped sofa in the living for a while. The sofa was looking kind of tiny all smooshed in the corner of the room and we wanted something to help float it out off the walls.

Before:

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Now:

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The reclaimed wood is all battered and scraped, which is definitely in keeping with this trendy industrial-rustic look.

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Structurally, it’s an incredibly simple piece. We knew it would mostly be hidden behind the sofa so we didn’t bother to finish off the inner sides:

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Here’s what the legs look like in case that helps. The legs were just scrap 2×4’s screwed together and the top/exposed sides are three 1×4’s screwed side by side. The 1×4’s were pretty old and brittle so we had a bit of splitting but nothing too bad.

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Then we gave it a light sanding with coarse-grit sandpaper just to remove any splinters. It’s definitely pretty bare-bones on the interior.

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But the parts that show look great! The L-shape makes it so unique and perfect for our space.

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You can’t really see it until you get close. But it’s a great place to set a drink and warms up those cool gray walls a TON.

I’m still figuring out how to decorate it. The budget is pretty tight around here so I’m not really looking to buy a ton of new accessories, so I’ll be rummaging through what I have in the house. I did add some of my DIY napkin pillows for a nice pop of color.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE! We have now created plans that will will help you to build this project. Better angles, more info, and measurements! Go take a look at the plans for the DIY sofa table!

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I can’t decide whether we should have built it out longer so it reaches the other side of the window. What do you think? Is this a project you would tackle?

If you like this project, check out our DIY Dining Table too!

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Sharing over at Not Just a HousewifeThe Shabby Nest, SavvySouthernStyle!

 

Living Room Progress!

We’ve been hard at work on getting the living room livable (mostly because I’m sick of having all the junk that was IN the living room scattered about the house), and I’m pretty happy with the progress thus far:

There is definitely a lot of work to be done still, but it is starting to come together! Remember, it used to look like this:

In the last week we have:

1) Painted the ceiling, walls, and wainscoting
2) Finished installing the recessed lighting
3) Moved in a sofa, rug, two side tables, and a rocking chair

Not too bad considering we had a 6-month old in the mix and we had to do most of the work during her naps or after she went to bed! Let’s look at it again!

We found the sofa on Craigslist for $225. Not super cheap, but it’s almost new. The rug is from IKEA. It is the VALBY RUTA, and it is in our opinion one of the best deals at IKEA — it is soft, feels pretty thick, has a beautiful pattern (not too floral but still pretty) and it’s almost 6×8 all for just $79.99!

The Moroccan-esque side table was an estate sale find, and the mid century modern table in the center is one of the best things we’ve ever found thrifting! You can’t really tell from this photo, butI love how the sides of the table top swoosh up on either side. And it was just $15! The rocking chair is the one I used to have in the nursery. This is not its permanent home; it’s just staying there until we get a couple of chairs for that area.

The biggest challenge with this room is that it is super super long. To give you some perspective, here is the other end of the room:

Can you say awkward? Our eventual plan is to put two armchairs where the rocking chair is, and to put an upright piano where the armoire is right now. We definitely need more storage though (see how unsightly our recent Costco purchases are, sitting in the corner?), so we’ve been throwing around the idea of a large cabinet or buffet somewhere.

The room would lend itself well to being a combination living-dining room, but we have no need for a formal dining area, and we already have a nice breakfast nook in the kitchen. Oh, and also, we can’t put anything big against the wall to the right (not pictured) because it’s the walkway between the kitchen and the front door.

Oh well! There’s progress as well as a few challenges! That’s fine with me. I’m just happy the room doesn’t look and feel like a cave anymore!

 

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