Hello. Hope you had a lovely Christmas holiday if you celebrate it. Mine was a big success. Lots of happy guests, great food, and a pretty table-- but only after lots of hard work. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck the day after Christmas. Every muscle in my body ached from being on my feet all day and from moving furniture, painting, hanging the Christmas decorations, etc. It was definitely all worth it though!
Just for dramatic effect-- this is the before shot of my mom's living/dining area. Awful, no? Like mine, her house is in the middle of a slow do-most-of-it-yourself renovation. A while ago, we removed the wall between what used to be a bedroom (the peach walls) and the living room (white side). The circa 1950 asbestos tile drop ceilings were also removed, leaving lots of extra timbers and exposed wiring showing. The ultimate goal is to create a "great room" that will house her kitchen and living room, allowing for the room that is currently the kitchen to become the master bedroom.
Not only were the walls ugly, but the floors are covered in awful vintage linoleum. We can see that the original wood floors continue on that side, but haven't removed the linoleum because we know that the sub-floor has rot in several places, most notably along the outer wall, and we need to stabilize and reinforce it before probably replacing a lot of the wood floors and re-finishing them. It's a huge, structural task, and we don't want to start it until it warms up again.
Despite being used to living in houses that are always in a state of demolition, I can not fathom inviting a bunch of people over for a celebratory meal and serving them in a horribly ugly room. I had to implement a flash makeover immediately! Painting the peach walls white to unify the larger room, covering the floor with butcher paper to make it tonally match the wood floor in the living room (with its own horribly stain color). Re-arranging my mom's furniture so that the flow was better, and supplementing it with some of my own furniture made everything more comfortable. The end result? -- still obviously a (de)construction zone, but hopefully verging more toward rustic elegance than Grey Gardens squalor.
So much better, right? Well, I think so, and as the happy toasting picture below attests, everyone had a great time!