Kitchen Living Room

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dad's Living Room Before & After

This is part of a series on my dad's house in Alaska. Read more here. I'll resume 650 square feet posts on my condo when the series is complete.

The next room in my dad's house is the dining room/living room combo. It's a huge room connected to the kitchen. It was also full of our old friends, the brass wall sconces.

While those were busy outside drying with their new coats of oil rubbed bronze spray paint, I was busy inside the house working on the light above the dining room table. It's an important light because it's one of the first things you see when you walk into the main part of the house, through the arctic entryway.

And, not surprisingly, the chandelier in place was a big, brassy sibling of its wall sconce neighbors. 

Here's a view of the dining room table. Off to the back of the picture is the living room. 

My dad and I perused Lowe's and Home Depot to find the perfect fixture to take its place. My dad finally settled on this one, even though he knew it was made for "special" Edison-style light bulbs. You don't have to use them, but it does lend a nice effect.

allen + roth 3-Light Mission Bronze Edison Style Island Light with Clear Shade

I was a little intimidated simply because I'd never installed a brand new light fixture. At this point between what I'd already done at my dad's house and what I've done at 650 square feet, I know how to pull down an existing light fixture and put it back up. Turns out installing a brand new one is not difficult.

Of course the animals had to investigate thoroughly.

Here's the space I had to work with after I had pulled down the old ceiling fixture.

And the old fixture feeling pretty bare without its flowery glass shades.

The next step of actually putting up the new fixture was delayed until I could go back into town and buy the proper drill bits to make a new hole in the ceiling. I didn't want that sucker falling onto anyone's Christmas goose! Or whatever you might eat at the dining room table. Hopefully not goose. Gross.

By the time it was lit up, I was jumping around and so proud of myself. Ha. Ha. 

And here it is with all of the glass shades installed!

And a weird view. (Notice the breaker box action in the background.)

And a side-by-side showing the immense improvement:

I think Hemingway approves. He watched me the entire time I was working on the light fixtures from the rafters above.

After I finished with the light fixtures (including the wall sconces), I moved on to the living room which involved building a side table and entertainment center, and putting up curtain rods and curtains. Here are some before pictures of the room to give you an idea of the improvements:

The walls were feeling really bare without curtains!

Sometime in-between light fixture and curtain lands, I was distracted by some moose outside the living room window. Can you spot them?

Here's one!

I went to the front door for a better look. 

 Eventually Hemingway became exhausted from supervising my work and went to sleep.

And Sitka found a delicious paw to lick. She never got tired of bossing me around.

The room needed a few new pieces of furniture - a side table and a new entertainment center. I ended up going with a very inexpensive line by Better Homes and Gardens. 

Here's the presto-chango of the TV nook. Now the TV isn't at risk for toppling over. Also, notice that you can see the newly painted wall sconce with the new glass shade!

Now for the other side of the room. Here's the side table I used which was quite affordable and surprisingly nice looking, from Walmart. It has a drawer that works very well. It's picture below in Dark Oak.

Hemingway made himself the official Quality Assurance Manager. 

So let's skip all the agony of putting up curtain rods and just show you the final results. Here's the living room with curtains, new dark light fixtures (spray painted, no more brass!), a new table lamp, and side table that I put together. 

The curtains are really thick and should help keep out the cold during the winter time.

The curtain rods are from Home Depot's Martha Stewart line in oil rubbed bronze.

Martha Stewart Living 28 in. - 48 in. Oil Rubbed Bronze 3/4in. Faceted Vase Drapery Hardware Rod Set

The curtains are from Lowe's and I believe they were by the allen + roth brand. These are quite similar: 

Style Selections 84"L Thermal Natural/Texture Roberta Window Panel

And a closeup of the curtains/light fixture/curtain rod:

In this picture you can see the new table lamp and entertainment center.

The table lamp and shade are also from Walmart; they were less than $20 total. The shade itself I wasn't able to find online, but here's the base:

And of course I put up a few pictures! The picture on the left is one Grammie brought.

Here's the living room from the couch (where I was probably taking a break).

I think Sitka and Hemingway approve.

Yep, they definitely do!


  1. climbing on the ceiling beams? cat HEAVEN!!! Lucky Hemingway!

  2. He is a lucky cat, that's for sure (spoiled)!

  3. The difference is amazing. You are pretty good at envisioning potential for spaces.