It has been tough to call any one room at the Locust Point Rowhouse “finished” until now. Aside from some final furniture and decorating tweaks, I feel that the living room is for the most part, finished. Let’s take a 3 year photo graphic journey…
Here we are as of today, May 24th, 2012:
It has been quite the journey for this room. Buried deep many many posts ago I revealed the starting point. This photo was taken before the start of demo around August 1, 2009, shorly after I closed on the house.
Things quickly got messy. As much as I wanted there to be a way to save the columns and some of the woodwork, it was not meant to be. I wasn’t going to get that open concept I wanted nor was a 9′ wide living room going to work.
First to go was the dividing wall and the airlock. The stained glass door, while lovely, took up too much space in its current location. I saved it and hope to use it for a project some day.
Next to go was the plaster along the stair wall. I wanted exposed brick along this side of the house so we quickly got to chiseling it all off.
We did all of the exposed brick by hand. I later saw an HGTV show where they used some sort of power chisel to take all of the plaster off and I wanted to cry. I guess we spared ourselves the risk of damaging any of the wall? At any rate. Another cause of consternation was the plaster walls.
My mom will tell you scraping off this wall paper resulted in her nagging elbow problems. Once I got in touch with the right guy we learned we could get most of the loose stuff off and paint a sealer over the plaster so that drywall could be laminated over the one wall. It had been my goal all along to not end up with a 10′ wide living space because every wall was studded out, so I shaved a few inches wherever I could.
I had to pad out the entire ceiling of the first floor because of the upstairs plumbing. Its OK though, I was able to limit myself to one solitary bulkhead on the first floor, cleverly disguised with some nice can lights where our dining room table will go.
Eventually we were ready for some drywall. This picture was taken May 10, 2010. At this point we were way behind schedule and way over budget. This was an exciting time though as I believe I was off for two weeks in between jobs, so alot of work was done.
One of the few things I was forced to sub out was the drywall. It would have taken my Dad and I weeks to hang and finish the whole house. The guys at Bruce Combs Drywall hung the house in half a day and were done before the week was out. Well worth the money. I then spent several hot and horrible weekday nights priming the house.
Eventually we were ready for one of my favorite moments in the entire renovation process…refinishing the floors. The house which was build in 1875, had salvageable antique heart pine floors throughout (with the exception of the kitchen where there was alot of damage). I found a great contractor (Floor Medic – Columbia, MD) and got a great price to sand the 100 layers of paint off of the floors and seal them with clear poly. The most fascinating thing was the areas of the floor that were painted different colors, as though to simulate a rug or delineate another area (I’m guessing). The paint did an incredible job preserving the floors. After living with these floors I don’t know if I could ever buy some mass produced hardwood.
Somewhere around October 1, 2012, the house was “liveable.” The living room had no trim, no decorations, a craigslist furniture set, and a working TV. There was much work still to be done, but I was toast and broke.
Back in January I did a small wainscoting project in the entry way. Beth loved it and with her set to move in this year, the living room upheaval began all over again, albeit this time in a much less disasterous fashion. I set out to add wainscoting to the living room. One of the least expensive projects to date, it is in my opinion one of the most impactful.
As of last week, the final coat of paint was on the new wainstcoting and the craigslist furniture was sold…again on craigslist. Live strong hippy couch.
It appears we have come full circle again. The floors still look good and the paneling returned some of the room’s former glory. It was time for my fiance Beth to put her decorating touch on the LocustPointRowhouse…and man did she hit a home run. Our new furniture arrived this past weekend, but not without the usual struggle (that’s you I’m talking about Macy’s).
I’d say we’re a mid century coffee table, some lamps, and maybe grey drapes away from 100%, but I can definately live with what we’ve got now. We’ve still go lots to do, but atleast the first room you see when you enter the house is looking great now.