Den project

Last August after Nikki moved out, we decided to use her bedroom as a temporary TV room so that we could remodel the den downstairs. It hadn't been changed in the 20 years we've been here, and likely not in the 40 years of the house's existence. The carpet was a deep pile dark red, which over the years of living in a damp climate and having a dog, was pretty gross, no matter what we tried to do with it. The walls were paneled in a dark wood, which while it was a good quality paneling, real wood, just made the whole room so dark. There was a tiled area in front of the fireplace and garage door which was made of small dark green tiles that were beginning to come up in spots. The ceiling was still yellowed from the previous owners who had smoked. A lot. We had made a couple changes over the years… removed the teardrop 60's light fixture in the corner and replaced it with track lights over the fireplace … installed a wood-burning fireplace insert that actually heats the house … replaced the sliding glass door to the back patio with a french door opening onto an enclosed 3-season room (and removing the dark ornate tapestry-style drapes). But we decided it was now time for some real freshening up!

We started by completely gutting the room, down to floor joists and furring strips. Tore off the paneling, took up the carpet & padding & homasote, scraped off the tile. This took about a month. Note that when I say "we", I mostly mean Al, working when he had time :-)

Removing panelingCarpet removedDen gutted

After that, it was on to installing new plywood for the floor, hung drywall when Alex was home over Christmas break to help, painted & stained trim in April (took me a while to choose a color – pale taupe), installed new ceramic tile (actually leftover from the hall project from several years ago), Al designed and built a new light fixture for the wall opposite the fireplace this summer, and we finally got the carpet this month (took me even longer to decide what to put on the floor – decided on a pale sage recycled-fiber carpet).

New floorboardsHanging drywallReady to paint


And voila! Here is the finished project… final touches were done this weekend! It only took a year (LOL), but I think it was well worth it. So much brighter!













I really like the new light especially! And no, you can't have my awesome husband for your next project.

Now we just have to decide what to do with the TV. For now, it's staying upstairs because we removed the cable from the den, but it's really not convenient to have it there if we want to use that room as a guest room. Probable eventual outcome is a flat TV (some day) in the actual living room. The den will just be a sitting/reading/warm-by-the-fire sort of room, now much more comfortable and happy-feeling…

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