When we bought our house in August 2009, we were only the second people to own it in its 43 year old history. The previous owners were a minister and his wife (coincidence?) and had raised their family there.
We had been house hunting all summer and had already gotten burned on two other houses due to inspection issues and [ugh!] termites. We had just about sworn off the search all together when our realtor called and told us this house had just been listed. We wrangled ourselves a showing that afternoon. Apparently, the realtor’s assistant had just listed the property and they hadn’t even put a sign or lock-box up yet!
After a walk-through of the house, I knew it was perfect for us. We had seen a LOT of houses in our search, so we really understood the market and knew what we wanted (and what was in our price range.) It had our 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom requirement, a formal living room, family room kitchen, major closet space, and a great screened in porch.
In the last year we have done some pretty major renovations, some of which I’ll save to share later. Let’s start with the living room…
Let’s just say that the living room/den wasn’t the room that sold us on the house. The obvious offenders were definitely the wood paneling and the hideous brown carpet. The first thing we did was to rip out the carpet. Fortunately, the same hardwood floors in the rest of the house were underneath! UNfortunately, it’s not as easy as just pulling the carpet up to beautiful, shiny, staple-free floors like on TV. I was shocked and appalled to learn that all those episodes of Trading Spaces in the 9th grade led me to believe such lies, but whatever, I’m over it. At least it gave Justin and my dad a chance to bump chests with gloves and exacto knives… dangerous much?
Next we tackled the paneling. (Ok, so we primed before the carpets came out. Timeline technicality. Don’t judge me, I’m new at this and it was like a year ago. kthanks.) We followed these basic rules from John and Sherry at Young House Love for painting wood paneling. We didn’t use an oil based primer because of the super strong smell. We just used a good quality name brand water-based primer which did the trick just fine. The key is to make sure your paneling isn’t too glossy and is very clean before you start.
The paint makes ALL the difference. As a finishing touch we added some crown molding which I really love. Also, the furniture, curtains and other home-like things help to spruce it up. (And no mom, I didn’t clean up my living JUST to take these pictures.)