Wednesday, August 17, 2011

After: The Great Room

I'm finally back! Whew, it's been an intense couple of months. Any free moment was spent painting, painting, oh and more painting. And let's not forget the striping of hardware. That is some intense, detailed work. With all this work, I have totally neglected blogging, both writing and reading. Let's just say blogging isn't the only thing I've neglected...I try to avoid making eye contact with the beast that has become my looming pile of dirty laundry.

So, in my last post, I mentioned that I turned what is normally used as a dining room in old cape homes into a great room. I really liked the idea of having the tv room be a part of the kitchen. It brings the family closer together and the person cooking doesn't feel so cut off from everyone else. Besides, there is another dining room and I didn't see the sense of having two dining spaces. I mean, how much of your day do you actually spend dining, anyway? Here's the first shot:

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This first photo was taken from the kitchen looking all the way through to the mudroom (the mudroom is still a work-in-progress, as you can see from the blue tape still on the window panes). Where the wood stove once was, now our tv and entertainment center reside. I was originally thinking of painting the walls a light olive, but felt it needed a warm color, like this gold, to balance out the cool tones of the painted black and white floor. I love it! If you look at my last post, you'll see that the walls were an odd sort of clay color and the windows and baseboards were teal. Very strange and ugly combination.

Painting the walls was a totally different experience. There is only one short wall made of drywall, but the rest is 200 year old horizontal, floor-to-ceiling wood paneling. So different than anything we had worked with before, but I found it fascinating.

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We painted these old built-ins an ivory color. Before they were the same clay color as the walls. I also kind of dig having the tv hanging on the brick. I adore the contrasting textures.

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This is the view from the mudroom. We will ultimately gut the kitchen and make it amazing, but with my husband just starting his own business, it's best to wait until next year to be sure all remains financially stable. In the meantime, we will paint the cabinets a deep, country red.

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Ollie managed to get his cute, little hiney into this shot. Maybe he just wanted to model with his new digs. But the point of this shot is the door. This is one of the doors I worked on, endlessly, to strip the antique hardware of paint. It was all painted white before I scrubbed and scrubbed and steamed and chipped and picked all that white paint away from the beautiful ironwork. Here's a close-up of the door latch:

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This is a closer shot of the horizontal wood paneling. I love the big slabs of uneven wood. Oh, and I bought these wall hangings from etsy back in December. They are printed on old dictionary pages. Two represent my husband and two represent me. Any guesses as to which goes with whom?

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I found this amazing Boston subway sign last month. I'm completely in love with it. This shot also gives you a sneak peak into the living room, which I finished painting and decorating very recently. Can't wait to show you that room!

Life has been extremely hectic since making the move to southern New Hampshire, but we have managed to take some really fun day trips too. We've been up to Lake Winnipesaukee and also up to Maine. We've gone into Boston and Salem. Being so close to places like these is the reason we moved up here in the first place and we wouldn't dare let this summer come to a close without taking full advantage. Now I'm looking forward to another stunning New England fall and to dolling my home up in its autumn glory.

33 comments:

Lara said...

It's gorgeous! I love the yellow color and all of the textures, and I am totally coveting that floor. I have wood floors, but it just wouldn't work in my house. But I sure love yours! I'll bet in real life it's just amazing!

Kristina P. said...

I am seriously drooling over here. It's perfect!

Barbaloot said...

Your vision for how you do things is amazing! In a million years I'd never think of stuff like that---but I love the pictures you put up!! So beautiful.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Lara - I highly recommend checkered floors! I wonder if different colors and softer hues would work in your house? I've seen it done in all kinds of color combinations.

Kristina - Thank you very much!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Barb - Awww, thanks so much!

Heather said...

Aw, I spy the little painting I made for you :) Surely you need more? ;) it all looks so great Alyson, the floor especially! wow! You guys did a great job. It must be such a dream come true to live in a place like that. I hope it inspires lots of writing and creativity!!~

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

What a gorgeous home! Love the kitchen/family space. You have really done an amazing job Alyson!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Heather - Oh yes! I need more! Just need to finish with painting projects and see what will fit, exactly. I can't wait!

Rene - Thank you very much! I just love it so.

April said...

B-E-A-UTIFUL!

A New England Life said...

Everything looks really great, Alyson! You've kept an historic feel while giving the house a bit of a modern twist. Wonderful. And you know I'm loving Ollie ; )

Alyson (New England Living) said...

April - Thanks!

Sharon - Thank you! And, yes, Ollie is pretty awesome. :) I do love to keep some of the historical look, without having it look like a museum. My style is definitely traditional with a funky twist.

ellen said...

WHERE IN THE WORLD DID YOU GET THAT COOL SUBWAY SIGN?!?

I'm heading to Camp Joseph (Sharon, VT) this weekend by way of N.H. I'll wave to you.

Seriously -- I want to meet you for lunch sometime.

Kaylynn said...

I love the colors you have chosen. I haven't taken on this type of project, and yet I can't look the laundry in the eye either!

Crystal Pistol said...

You are a freaking genius, girl! It's weird you posted today. I was just wondering how your new renovating project was going. Random and yet here you are!

It looks absolutely gorgeous. Great job!

Andrea said...

I admit, I skipped straight over the text and went to the photos. Beautiful.

Bee-U-tee-full!

(And in my old house I often thought about turning the dining into something else we might actually use. The only one who got any use out of that room were the dust bunnies.)

Eileen said...

Love it! I adore the wall color. I wish I had less drywall in my house! I wonder though, with an old house, how you're doing storage-wise. The few old houses we looked at to buy were so totally lacking in closets that we'd have to do some major reno.

Can't wait to see the rest!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Ellen - I got it at Marshall's in Nashua. There were only a few, but maybe there are some in the TJ Maxx or Marshall's near you. Would love to meet for lunch! Let's plan for after the kiddos are back in school.

Kaylynn - Let's face it, my dirty laundry is always beastly, major project or not. ;)

Crystal - Awww, thanks! We should be facebook friends because I'm always posting project pics there. Btw, I keep trying to comment on your blog and can't! Driving me batty! I'll try on a different computer today.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Andrea - Thanks so much! I do the same thing when I'm anxious to see some pics too.

Eileen - Thank you! There is very little drywall in this house. Most of it is plaster and and wood. Very different than anything we've lived in. Storage is ok here. We have a walk-in closet and storage closets in the dining room and living room. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Though the pantry is pitiful. When we demo the kitchen, though, we will take care of that! :)

Donna said...

It looks cozy and warm and New England-ish for sure!! I LOVE the floors!!! We have a B&B near here that is decorated in various shades of tan, black and white..it's just gorgeous and the floors are all painted like yours. Looks like you are well oganized and settled already!

Sarah Laurence said...

It looks fabulous! We have yellow walls in our kitchen too. It makes it cheery during the long, dark winter. I'm amazed at all you've done so quickly with kids too. Love the details and the subway sign too. Looking forward to seeing more.

Donna said...

I love it! My favorite things are the warm yellow/gold wall color and I too love the TV being mounted on brick. It's such a good contrast of old and modern! Can't wait to see more.

Donna said...

I love what you have done, especially the floor...love it!
I hope you can go to my blog and see what I have been up to, wow...

Donna said...

sorry forgot the address....
http//www.bleachervision.blogspot.com

♥ Braja said...

I absolutely love it...so much. And that iron latch photo is spectacular....!!

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Wow! Everything is looking SO very lovely! Congrats again to you in your new home - looks like you are having some serious fun with decorating!!!!

Melissah said...

I just stumbled across your lovely blog and I look forward to popping by again for some more inspiration! I've just put the finished touches on my new blog ‘Coastal Style’ It will have lots of inspiration on beach houses, resortwear, summer food, travel and anything chic and ‘beachy’. I had a lot of fun putting it together so maybe you would like to check it out if you have a spare minute.
http://coastal-style.blogspot.com/
x
Melissah

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

seriously, it is perfect! so beautiful. love love love.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Donna - Thank you very much! That B&B sounds awesome.

Sarah - Thank you! And I agree about yellow. We had yellow in our last house and it really cheers things up.

Donna - Thanks! I love that modern mixed with the brick too. Much more interesting than an everyday wall, I suppose. Hopefully, by the time you get here next summer, you'll see some even bigger changes! :)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Donna - Can't wait! I'll be over there shortly.

Braja - Soooo nice to see you back on here! :) Can't wait to read more about you!

Faerie - Thank you! I am totally having fun! :)

Rachel McClellan said...

Love your blog! Can't wait to read more of it. I just moved to Maine...today! From Idaho. What a LONG drive, and I also have 4 kids so I'm sure you can feel my pain. :)

So far I love the New England Area. It's beautiful! I can't wait to explore it all, and, as an author, too, I'm finding it sparking all sorts of creativity in me.

Later,
Rachel

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

It looks fantastic! You've done an amazing job!!

Heidi said...

It is all so totally fab! I am so happy for you!

William Crow said...

hi lara I cam across your site looking for old 1700's metal latch style door hardware and saw yours. my house looks similar to yours from the front mine was built in 1794 by the watts family in londonderry nh. i was wondering if you have any idea where I may find replacement hardware as some of mine are broken?
-William