It didn't take long for me to start changing things. Paint is the easiest way to radically change the feel of a place. It took a few tries to find colors that would work in the space with the light...
Flooring is harder to change, but when you do, it can make a huge difference. Our first stab at installing laminate was the diningroom. I'd say it was pretty successful.
My boy was away at camp and I was tackling various jobs around the house (stairs) when Darling Man got a wild hair to pull out the carpet in the livingroom and lay more flooring. So Friday afternoon, I went to Lowes and got flooring and underlayment and unloaded it into the family room.
And Saturday morning, we began....
As you can see, the carpet is dark. It's been cleaned to within an inch of its life since we adopted a geriatric dachsund who was not always willing to go much further than her chair to relieve herself, so it didn't smell so great anymore either.
The paint color was a washed out blue. I liked the blue, but wished for more color. The carpet seemed to suck the color right off the walls.
We ripped out carpet and pad, which actually didn't take very much time (leaving the bit under the piano for last). The part that took a lot of time was removing the tack strips and about a billion staples from the floor. Luckily, when I was taking staples out of the stairs, I found the perfect tool.
We like to have fun when we tackle projects like this. Darling Man played the piano while I pulled staples out. The rest of the time, we played CDs and sang along.
DM hauled the carpet and pad away to the dump and we both took the opportunity to consider how we wanted to lay the floor. He called to say that he thought I was right (upon reflection) - then asked if I was wanting to paint in there too. As a matter of fact, I did. I happened to have a gallon of "Spa" from Olympic that I was intending for a bedroom, but it turned out to be just what I wanted for the livingroom. Still blue, but more chroma to it. I painted the livingroom while I waited for him to get back.
I rolled out the underlayment (the bright blue stuff) and as soon as I got it down, we began putting the laminate down. It was easy and pretty fast. Except when we had to do cuts or fit the boards to door jams and such. We used a circular saw for the straight cuts, and I'd recently purchased a Dremel Trio, which we used for the more intricate cuts. It took a little practice - and after I made the mistake of critiquing one of DM's efforts, he told me to do it myself. Two hours later, I managed a serviceable cut... Note to self: don't offer unsolicited criticism when you don't want to do it yourself.
Unbelieveably, we got all but the last row done before we had to go get the Boy at camp. Saturday night we were getting a bit snippy with each other after a long day of work, so I said we should call it quits because we were too tired to do it well. Enough was done to make ZBoy's eyes bug out of his head when he got home, so it was time to quit for the day. The Boy was suitably impressed when he got home, and thoroughly enjoyed laying on the cool floor and playing with his pets - who also enjoyed the cool floor!
Sunday, I tossed the drapes that were in there. They might have been original to the house. They were dusty and stained with smoke and were beyond recycling (you know me - if it can be used again, I'll find a way). Instead, I hung these white drapes I bought last year at a garage sale for $5. They help lighten up the room quite a bit. It was also kind of echo-y and Darling Man asked if I were opposed to putting a rug down in there. Since we're planning to make this the diningroom (and the diningroom a sitting room), I thought it was a terrific idea. Luckily, I visited FaceBook and my friend Barbara was wondering what to do with the rug that used to be under her diningroom table, as it didn't fit in with her decor. I asked if I could have it, and she and her husband brought it over that evening. The color is a little greeney, but I think it goes great in that room! Now I just have to unload the diningroom table and get it and the china cabinet into the livingroom/new diningroom and we'll be done but for whatever I decide to put on the walls. Overall, a most satisfying project!!!!