Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Tag: Living room (Page 1 of 3)

Finally, Painted

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13 months after moving into our house, our living space is finally painted!!!

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Our walls and ceiling were all “white” to begin with, but the old paint reads very yellow in all the rooms and just feels outdated. The Extra White we chose is the true white color in SW. It reads a bit cool but not sterile, and brings a bit of modern feel into this old house.

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All the walls got Sherwin-Williams Extra White in Eggshell, and all the ceilings went for the same color in flat.

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We used Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss on all the trims and doors throughout the main floor. Although both being white, the different sheens made the trims really pop next to the walls.

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The bedroom feels bigger with the crisp white paint:

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We painted inside the closet a lovely pink (Behr Pale Bud). I think it looks great with the bright white trims and soft grey curtains.

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Our walls were textured and it took Slav several weeks to smooth all the walls with joint compound as well as patch nail holes. Needless to say that this process produced lots of dust. It feels so good to have the house dust-free again and all the furniture uncovered.

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The puppies are more than pleased to have their favorite spots back.

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We decided at the last minute to upgrade all the wallplates, light switches, and receptacles. Not only the old ones have yellowed overtime, they were also covered with layers of paint. The screwless ones bring this house to 21 century.

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We replaced the old and dingy air duct covers shortly after we moved in. Now with freshly painted walls and new wall plate, our place feels so so upgraded.

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We used the last bit of wall paint in our kitchen. After removing some upper cabinets, we lived with a cabinet-shape yellow portion of unfinished drywall. A quick layer of white paint got rid of a major eyesore:

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And all the receptacles in the kitchen were upgraded as well:

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It feels so nice to be able to look around and see crisp white everywhere.

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Getting the place painted made a huge difference on how the main floor feels. It is a lot brighter and feels clean. Now it is finally time for flowers and art!

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Next week is our wedding anniversary and it is a big relief to finish painting before the big day. We have several fun activities lined up and I will be sure to come back to report! But first, we kick back in our bright and fresh living space, and enjoy some cut flowers and herb drinks from our own garden. Happy summer!

Finally, Painting

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The drywall patch is finally finished! Boy, it ain’t easy. It requires not only fair amount of patience and attention to detail, but also skill and experience. This is Slav’s first time doing drywall. Although being a fast learner with good common sense, he spent weeks conquering the steep learning curve.

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The work has been painfully messy and slow. But now it is over, Slav said that he is confident to do it much faster with better result next time. We have lots of drywall work coming up in the basement which I was thinking about hiring out. But Slav insisted on doing it himself. What a trooper!

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While Slav was on repeat of mudding and sanding like an energized bunny, I was busy waving paint brushes. The past weekend was devoted to painting all the trims snow white.

The front door interior trim:

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Bedroom door trim:

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Back to back trims in our small hallway:

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And closet trims:

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All the interior trims around doors and closets got three coats of Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss. I cleaned, patched, and sanded all the trims with 80 and 220-grit sand paper prior to painting. This job gave me the perfect excuse for my dream random orbit sander: the Bosch ROS20VSC. It costs ~$60 and is the perfect sweetener for a tedious job of this size.

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In order to finish painting all the trims, we had to first complete the trim project for Slav’s closet. After reversing the office closet to face the bedroom, we did not put the door jambs and trims back on for weeks.

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Poor guys has to use his closet (left) for a couple months like this:

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With door jamb and header missing, and trims absent:

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We saved the door jamb, header, and trims when we demo-ed the office closet. So I cleaned, patched, and sanded them:

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And made they look like new with some paint:

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I nailed the door jamb onto the opening, followed by the header. All parts fit like a glove, indicating that we did an excellent job framing the opening. 🙂

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Nailing on the trims completed the look.

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It felt like a big change to go from this:

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To this:

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Three coats of semi-gloss trim paint gave the trims a big face lift.

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Now we just need to paint the inside of the closets before we can put our clothes back!

While painting the trims, I also gave all the wood window stools a few coats of fresh paint. We keep plants in clay pots on them and glossy paint shall protect the wood from moisture.

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The window stools were pretty beaten from years of use:

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But with new paint – they look pretty good!

The living room window stool:

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Office window stool:

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Kitchen window stool:

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The bright white color reflects light and gives the green plants a perfect backdrop.

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Late last year, I painted all the wood doors white with some leftover white paint we had in hand. The paint is in flat finish, which did not stand the test of time on doors. I will be re-painting all the interior doors with the same Semi-gloss white this weekend, which should be a big upgrade.

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It will be above 70-degree this weekend, which means I can work on our beloved back patio again. With some podcast and Spring air, painting is not that big of a pain. Despite being the solo painter in the house, I do not particularly enjoy painting. But painting usually means we are close to the finishing line, so I enjoy being at the painting stage.

I’ve been binging on a podcast called “The history of English” and almost at the end of it. With all five doors, 900 sq ft of ceiling, and three rooms of walls to work on, I need to find something new to get through the month of May. Any recommendations?

A Living Room Update

I took last week off and spent some quality time with my family. After weeks of stressful work, it was peaceful to be at home. We took advantage of our awesome Epic Local pass and skied Arapahoe basin, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Vail. It felt so luxurious to wake up and decide which top-notch ski resort we felt like going that day. We are incredibly blessed.

Aside from having fun, we also made good progress in Slav’s office. Lots got installed, and lots got pieced together. By Saturday, we had all of our books on the library shelves, and really cleaned up the office. It is so spacious now! We still need to trim out the built-ins, but with all the books on the wall, our living quarter is now cleaner and calmer than ever.

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The Living Quarter

With the office starts taking shape, we turned our attention to the living room. Our living room was very basic, containing only two recliners, a record storage, and a two-person dining set. Aside from dining, we rarely use this room. Both chairs were pretty much dog beds.

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Our living room has not changed much since we first moved in. To remind you, we started by removing the old carpet and brought in some IKEA furniture.

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Then slowly added plants and hung our collection of cow art. Last December, we added some Christmas decor:

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The room felt cold and empty for we took down the Christmas tree. We really wanted to make the room cozy and inviting, a place to draw us in and spend time together as a family. We decided to do a few upgrades here.

Adding Privacy Blinds

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We hung IKEA curtains in the living room right after we moved in. These curtains are light and airy; we love them. But being light and airy also means semi-transparent and see-through. The notion that our neighbors might be able to tell what we are doing in this room drove us into other rooms that offer more privacy. We have window blinds in the office and the bedroom, and these rooms we went.

To make the living room more private, we decided to add a pair of BUSKTOFFEL blinds from IKEA. It is almost all made of recycled paper but looks like bamboo blinds, which I have a soft spot for.

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I mounted them just below the curtains, so we would not see the steel rail when the curtains are closed. When the blinds are up, they naturally rest right at the window header.

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This is what the blinds look like when they are closed in a sunny day. I’d say that it is very effective blocking light, which will be useful in Summer afternoons. We close both the blinds and curtains at night, and one could no longer see our movement in the house.

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It was sunny and warm the day I mounted the blinds. It was the first day of good weather after a long weekend of snow and wind, the pups decided to take it in by sitting at the only bare spot in the yard, where the snow had melted:

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A More Inviting Layout:

Aside from mounting the blinds, I also tried a different layout. I moved the record storage under the window and the dining sets next to the living room/kitchen wall. We have been slowly accumulating plants in the last a few months and they all could use more natural light. The top of the record storage provides a good spot for just that.

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I’ve been growing gardenia for five years and had not had any success. It would have been ideal to have a south facing window, but we do not have any in this house. 🙁 This west-facing window has to do.

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Bringing in a Sofa

The new layout revealed how pathetic the seating situation is in our house. We are never into big sectionals, but having only two recliners makes the room feel like a dorm, not a home.

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To make things even worse, we moved the recliner on the left into the office…

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One recliner + two dog beds. This screams “lonely dog lady” so loud that I could almost feel the panic. It is finally time for a sofa.

We loved a 3-seat sectional in our NC apartment and all of us (including the dogs) used it a lot. You can almost always find one of us on the chaise. It allows both of us to sit together for a movie, and it worked really well for day napping. Lucky us – during our last trip to IKEA, we came across the DJURSBO sleeper.

This 3-seat sofa with chaise is very similar to our old sofa, just a bit narrower. We like the more grow-up material and the sleek look. It is big enough for both of us, maybe with a dog or two. It can be extended to a daybed, which is perfect for movie nights. It also offers a storage cavity underneath the seat for pillows, blankets and bedding.

It checked all of our requirement, and ever better, it was $300 off! We later learned that this line of sofa has been are discontinued by IKEA. That explains why there were dozens of them in the as-is section (the showroom label is just for cashier’s convenience).

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It is like meeting your soulmate, who is also a cheap date. Tell me you do not fall for it.

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The sofa came into two boxes. Since the sofa and the office library will be the two largest pieces of furniture you see when walking into the front door, we chose the color brown to echo the bookcases.

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Assembling it was surprisingly eaaaasy. It was also flawless despite being stacked in the as-is section.

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It is nice to see the space below the cow art filled, so the living room does not feel so empty. We put chaise next to the window and floor lamp and it makes a lovely spot for reading. I can see a cat napping on the chaise already (still need Slav’s permission for a cat).

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This is what the living room looks like today. Plants are happy for more light, the puppies are happy for more place to lounge, and we are happy for a cozier and more comfortable living quarter.

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What do you think? Do you like it better too? Now we have finished furnishing the room, the next step for the living room is to refinish the hardwood floors on the main floor. It has to be warm enough to open the windows and doors, which means another five months. We are trying to be patient and cannot help but imagining how lovely the living room can be with shining floors and new baseboards!

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