Next up is the living room! It is off of the foyer, through this passageway.
There is a wet bar on the left, and an adorable door to a utility area on the right (HVAC, water heater, etc.)
The living room is a stunner! The tall vaulted ceilings, all those French doors, that fireplace!, bookcases, and that perfectly imperfect handmade terracotta tile that I love! The room needed to be deep cleaned and repainted, but even so it was very impressive from the first day we saw it.
The dining room is through the arched doorway to the left.
The Beauty and the Beast fireplace just killed me!
The uplighting is a cool feature, but the fluorescent bulbs turned the yellow walls into a nauseating shade.
The wet bar is also a nice feature, but I really disliked like how it was so open to the foyer.
I just don’t think that shelves full of liquor are the first impression you’d like to make on someone walking through your front door!
Phil’s mom also commented that it looks like a ticket booth, which I think is hilariously true!
Teal paint from the original front door is splattered over the countertop, cabinets and floor…why??
And did you notice that the raised bar is charred? If you scroll back up through the previous photos you can see that the ceiling above the bar is also burnt…from what we can only assume was some sort of flaming shot gone wrong! That would make sense – given the numerous stories we’ve heard about this home’s reputation as a wild party house in previous years (which also explains a lot of other mysteries we discovered throughout the house).
Speaking of parties, I can’t mention the living room renovation without giving a shout out to our Halloween party! This was a few months after we bought the house, and at that point we mostly had been working on the upstairs, the exterior, and the kitchen. So this Halloween party was also a kickoff party before the construction completely devoured the house (and our lives).
We weren’t living in the downstairs at all, but we brought in some furniture just for the night and had way too much fun decorating the space. It had some serious haunted mansion vibes and I absolutely loved it!
Excuse our unoriginal and poorly executed costumes…we had spontaneously decided to throw the party only 2 days beforehand, and I focused my efforts on cobwebs and ghosts and gross fake cockroaches!
It was kind of perfect that we could also go with a construction theme. We liberally applied the caution tape, covered ladders in spider webs, and filled a wheelbarrow with ice for drinks.
We’re really not big partiers, but we felt we owed it to the infamous history of the house to fire up some of these, toast the house, and kick off the destruction! No worries – no additional bar fires were caused 🙂
The main entertainment of the night was the sledgehammer station. It’s not everyday that you get to blast holes through your walls, so we thought people might think it was fun. I think that Rosie the Riveter proves that it was a success!
Anyways, that was my fun digression to explain how we began to reconfigure the wet bar area. We had our contractor create a new doorway to the wet bar from the corner of the family room, and also add a doorway through to the kitchen.
This house is not meant to be open-concept, but having this access to the kitchen really helped the flow of the house feel a bit more current.
Opening up the side of the wet bar meant that we could close it off from the foyer side, so you no longer could see that as you were coming in the front door or walking through to the family room.
We kept the opening that was already in the wall as an area where we could do some recessed shelves.
We removed the original door and just made it thick sheetrock openings on both sides as more of a pass through than a little room, easily accessible from the kitchen and also the family room.
At this point Phil was also eliminating the textured walls throughout these spaces – the same way that he did in the foyer.
It takes many layers of joint compound and a lot of time sanding, but the result is so worth it! Please note Phil’s choice of work outfit…old PT shorts paired with socks and sandals 😂😘
We kept the old reclaimed wood lintels (of course!), but primed and painted the glossy wood crown molding. I felt that the dark horizontal line was visually chopping the room in half so eliminating that obstacle would draw your eye up to appreciate the vaulted ceiling. We painted up to the crown but then hired professionals to do the ceiling.
I think the only time that a vaulted ceiling is a bad thing is when you have a hummingbird in your house! I came home from work a little frustrated to find that a contractor had left a window wide open while I had the AC on. I was surprised to hear chirping so loud even after closing the window…until I came into the living room and found the source!
Of course Phil was off to California at this point, so I was on my own to handle the situation. I consider myself lucky though that of all the possible birds I could’ve been dealing with, I had this tiny and adorable thing! I spent an hour trying to coax it out the doors until it finally exhausted itself so much that I was able to climb a ladder and scoop it up. The poor thing was so tired that it wouldn’t even fly away once I got it outside. So it just hung out with me for a bit and let me take some selfies before eventually taking off!
That day brought some unexpected excitement, but it didn’t compare to the BEST DAY EVER…floor refinishing day!!
The floors were dirty to start with, with dark stained grout, but they became unrecognizable throughout the renovation. It was shocking to see them clean and shiny – they even got all of the teal paint removed at the wet bar! I love how the cleaning & resealing enhanced the terracotta color, even compared to how they looked before the renovation.
This room wasn’t completed until the very end of the renovation (like most of the house…) but we did get to enjoy it for Friendsgiving!
And I was happy that I got my chance to decorate a Christmas tree in this house before moving! We were showing our house during the holidays, which was nice actually because the extra decorations to scatter throughout the house really helped to fill the square footage! We definitely don’t have enough furniture to even stage the whole house, but we did the best with what we had.
It was so beautiful to see the tree glowing from outside the leaded glass front entry.
It was a little more sparse without the Christmas decorations, but here’s how the whole space turned out!
The soft ivory paint was a welcome sight over the rancid mustard walls, but even the ceiling ended up making a huge difference. It was originally painted a cool white with blue undertones, so the warmer shade really brought a nice soft glow to the room.
We wanted to offset the fireplace from the bookshelves just a bit, so we painted the shelves a light greige.
We painted the French doors the same color as the exterior.
From here you can see the new doorway to the kitchen, and the more secluded wet bar access.
Look how cute she turned out!
We kept most of the original pieces and just refinished them. We used the same sink and faucet, sanded and resealed the wood countertop, painted the cabinets, and added new (vintage) hardware.
We added a wall sconce above the recessed shelves, which were made from the reclaimed wood that was originally around the opening. The tile is from the guest bathroom mishap! I was more than happy to find a place for it here 🙂
I love how these spaces came together! And man, do I miss them!!
Walls: Behr White Mocha
Trim & Fireplace: 75% Behr White Mocha
Doors and windows: Sherwin Williams Black Fox
Bookshelves: Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige
Wet Bar Cabinets: Sherwin Williams Black Fox
Wet Bar Sconce: Wayfair, Toltec
Wet Bar Hardware: eBay, vintage
Check out other posts about our Montgomery flip here!