Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The living room

The living room in this house is a gorgeous and comfortable place. The front porch on many foursquares limits the available space inside, but the previous previous owners (ppo's) had decided to enclose the porch and create a small sitting area, plus large front closet. While we're not so fond of the brick facade outside (and may one day paint that white), the design of the enclosure inside accentuates the stone fireplace--the standout piece in the living room.

While the floors are pretty worn and the fireplace needs a cleaning, it has become a very livable space. Plans for it include turning the closet into a 1/2 bath (which is needed on this level) and resanding the floors eventually (when the toddler gets a little bigger).

Eric wants to turn this space into the dining room with a large meadhall-style table with benches and two stuffed chairs by the fireplace. I have to say it isn't a bad idea at all.

The American FourSquare Renovation -- The Start

My husband and I purchased this beautiful American Foursquare in western PA in March 2006. We knew it was a fixer-upper. Just getting moved in was quite a chore and now we're starting to renovate. This may take up to 20 years but you can follow along if you'd like! Some of it is DIY and most of it will be contracted.

Eric (the husband) spent a lot of time this summer putting in an extra parking space in our driveway, removing a sidewalk that went to nowhere in the middle of the lawn and took out an elevated garden bed that had been left to rot. So the backyard area is actually looking nice now. We haven't started on the front outside except for the hiring of contractors to put on a new roof in a couple of weeks. I'll show before & after of that as well as we get started.
Here are some pics of the kitchen and living room before we moved in. Note the carpeting on the floor and the ghastly wallpaper. The kitchen looks fun and funky but it is extremely unpractical to cook in. The stainless steel counters are awesome, but they are limited. There's not counter space for storage either, and the electric stove is there because the gas range was cut.

This is the same kitchen with a little more color. We took out the carpet and used vinyl tile. We painted the kitchen and dining room this great gold color and used the already cherry-stained wood as a an accent color for draperies and linens.

We removed an extra sink and mirror that was stuck in this corner and put the electric stove there. It is an unlikely spot but one we have to work with. Our goal for this kitchen is to extend it out onto the backporch (another 6 feet) and give us room to add cabinetry and pantry--major storage areas.