Thursday, April 12, 2012 4:02 PM EDT
Real People, Renovating. Today we continue our seven-part series written by Katherine Scarrow, who decided to renovate an original condition 1940s bungalow with her boyfriend, Chris. “It didn’t seem like such a big fat scary deal to him,” she says, while she brought “abundant enthusiasm and profound naïveté” to the project. Why the difference in attitude? Chris was born into a family of builders and designers, while Katherine “grew up in a home where no one was even remotely deft with a hammer.”
Part 4: The Living Room and Dining Room
The other day, one of our friends described our renovated living room as “shabby chic meets seaside cottage meets French country farm house.” It’s an eclectic look, we realize — but it works.
Creating a focal point for this relatively big space.
Grandma’s reupholstered chair: Gift
Fireplace insert: $100
Paint-by-number Ducks painting: $75
Bench: Gift from Chris’ parents
Farmhouse dining table: $250
Schoolhouse chairs: $180
Croquet set: $40
Framed artwork from Ethan Allen: Gift
Light fixture handmade by Chris: $40
The original living room, facing the archway to dining room
Same rooms, same perspective — a world of difference!
The renovated living room
The renovated dining room
The new dining room light fixtures, handmade by Chris
The reproduction Edison light bulbs over the dining table were relatively pricey ($15/bulb), but because Chris made the wire cages himself, we felt the added cost was justified.
The fireplace mantel we scored on Kijiji for $50, which we refinished and painted cloud white. To make it more decorative, Chris added brick tiles that were lying around from the previous kitchen backsplash, and a decorative vein of small aqua glass tiles from Home Depot.
What we would have done differently:
If we were just renovating this space, and not the entire house, we would’ve taken down the wall between this room and the kitchen to open up the space, but we couldn’t afford it.
On a scale of 1 to 5 Sarah Richardson heads — 5 representing the highest level of design difficulty — we give this space a 3, notably in terms of how difficult it was to reign in and execute our decor vision.
We strongly recommend:
Identify magazines and blogs that you like, and consult them religiously. Tearing sheets from magazines and bookmarking websites will keep you focused and on budget, especially in times of great temptation and stress. This approach will also give you lots of fresh ideas.
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Fireplace insert: Salvage Shop
Paint-by-number Ducks painting: Chatelet
Sofa: IKEA “KARLSTAD”
Coffee table, croquet set: Christie’s Antiques Show
Farmhouse dining table: IKEA “LIATORP”
Schoolhouse chairs: Hideaway Antiques (Parkdale, Toronto)
Handmade light fixture: supplies from Canadian Tire
Next Up — The Bedroom!