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New Project

Ok, so I owe everyone a few posts.  I've got one up my sleeve about my trip with LP to Pennsylvania last week to visit family and friends, and one about pregnancy after infertility.  Exciting stuff, I know.  But I'm not feeling all wordy today so how about a little post on our newest home improvement project?

When we moved into our house 4 years ago one of the first things we decided to do was paint all of the trim.  If it had been a nice wood color we probably would have left it, but it was bad.  70's oaky bad.  And so as we painted each room, we painted the trim.  All of it except for our fireplace mantel and shelves.  Here's how it looked right after we had our new carpet put in a few years ago.

Living Room Carpet- AFTER

It was bad.  Sooo ugly.  The cabinet doors on the bottom are cracked.  The brass fireplace doors are filthy dirty no matter how much we scrub them.  Our tv wires and cables have been exposed since the day we hung the t.v. (which was the weekend we moved in, before we even had couches in this room).  And our dvd player and other t.v. paraphanalia was haphazardly shoved onto a shelf, hanging over the edge because the shelves aren't deep enough but we didn't know where else we could put them.  It's looked like this for 4 years now.  The only improvements we made were painting the walls (goodbye hearts and flowers wallpaper) and putting in new lights.

Time for a change!  This, my friends, is where we are heading:

fireplace copy

We talked about ripping out the whole thing and having custom cabinets on the bottom on either side of the fireplace to hold the t.v. equipment, and possibly bookshelves to the ceiling above the cabinets but custom cabinetry is EXPENSIVE.  Like thousands of dollars of expense.  So we're going to make do with what we have.

So far, the oak has been painted in the same trim color as the rest of the house.  It's a huge improvement already and hopefully after this weekend I'll have some real photos to share.  We're planning to fix the cabinet doors.  I'm pushing towards using radiator screening with a decorative pattern, painted in either the trim color or the oil-rubbed bronze to match the light fixtures.  Then we'll tile over the brick and the hearth, most likely using those small mosaic tiles in either a stone or glass finish on the vertical part, and larger tiles on the hearth.  We'll install new oil-rubbed bronze fireplace doors. 

As for our television components, we still haven't figured out another place to put them (Paul suggested on the mantel right under the t.v. which I nixed) so they'll probably stay where they are.  But we'll use some fancy shelf brackets to extend the shelf they sit on so that they actually fit, and we'll finally use those cord covers to cover everything up.  Woo hoo!

Considering how much time we spend in our living room looking at this ugly beast, I can't believe we didn't tackle it sooner.  

I'll post more updates as we go, but now you all know how we'll be spending the next couple of weekends!

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