New House Files Part 9: A Front Room Makeover

It's time to show the progress we have made on remodeling this old house we are now calling home. As a refresher, my husband and I undertook a massive experiment in patience and perseverance in February of 2012. We left our home along the Columbia River and moved back into the Portland metro area. We took over ownership of an 80+ year old home, built by my husbands great grandfather, and began unearthing the flavor of the cottage through good old hard work. We rolled up our shirt sleeves and labored away for over six months, driving nearly 2 hours one way every week, often with our small kids in tow. We began remodeling this old house that we intended to call home.

You can find all my accounts of our adventures on my Directory of Posts page. Scroll down to 'new house files'.

The front room was a substantial project. The old walls held six - eight layers of ancient wall paper and due to budgetary needs, we could not afford to just 'drywall' over the top of the walls. So, I became 'one' with the sander and I spent a lot of time sanding down the walls of the front room.




The walls were plywood underneath the wallpaper. Great grandfather Pete worked for the local lumber mill and as he built the house, he used 'reject' sheets of plywood. In the 1920's, those reject sheets were far more sturdy than what we call plywood today.

After sanding down to the wood, I applied two coats of primer, and then two coats of color w/primer paint. You can still faint outlines of the wood texture, but I'll just chalk it up to 'character'. The ceilings also required two coats of primer. They are made from a 'paper' material that can no longer be found. We finished the look with molding around the edges.

Here's my post of the joys of working on the old front room.

It was interesting to see what was in 'fashion' through out the early 20th century. The layers of wallpaper certainly opened my eyes to the trends of the time. My father in law, who previously lived in the home, had refinished the original fir floors and also stripped and refinished all of the trim boards in the room. He and his brother restored the old craftsman styled front door. All of this newly refinished woodwork looks quite sharp.

Here is the finished project of our joint labor:

Remodeled front room 


I was inspired by our Pacific NW coastal colors when I picked out the color theme for the room. Our move back to the PDX metro area meant that our family was no longer a short trip away from the Oregon Coast. I wanted to carry the colors with me.

I have combined a few of my family heirlooms with my husbands 'heirloom of a home'. We have decorated our walls with my husband's Aunt's original artwork. Family is important to us.

This is where you'll find me blogging away:


Join me the next few Sundays as I showcase the changes and updates we have made to our new/old family home. It's been a journey that few words can accurately describe.

Cheers, Jenni

Comments

  1. You've done a fantastic job. I actually remember my dad always laid new wallpaper on top of old too.

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    1. Sue, if my husbands great grandmother were still around, I would have wagged a finger at her. Terrible stuff to remove. Took months, literally months of sanding all the walls in the house. sigh.

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  2. Oh Jenni ~ You and your husband have done a wonderful job restoring this old family house. Congratulations on a job well done. Love te color scheme.

    Enjoy your new/old home.

    FlowerLady

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  3. Your hard work shows, you should be so proud! You've tackled a big project, and done well. Looking forward to seeing more.

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  4. It looks beautiful Jenni! I really like your color scheme, and those hardwood floors are gorgeous!

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  5. You have done a great job, every drop of sweat was so worth it. There is love in those walls and it shows.

    Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen ~ there love, blood sweat and tears in those walls now! :)

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  6. Your hard work has certainly paid off! Funnily enough we have blue furniture very much like yours... Now that the house is "done", what's happening in the garden?

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    1. Oh Mark! The gardens are in planning stage. I am armed with seeds and have actually, on paper, mapped out my veggies, complete with sow dates. I've never been this organized. I still have more beds to build. Lot's of good things to blog about soon!

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  7. What a lot of hard work you've done, and the result is terrific. Your front room is looking great. I just love the shiny wooden floor, and the colour you chose for the walls is lovely.

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  8. Now, that has to be straight out of the pages of Better Homes and Gardens! Just lovely, and those floors are gorgeous!

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    1. Granny! You are too kind. I appreciate the compliment.

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  9. Jenni, how wonderful! It turned out great! That floor is amazing and the walls are so warm. I love the rug. It looks so rich. Cozy cozy cozy. Great place for a cup of coffee. Thanks for sharing the photos. I know it was a lot of work, but you have to be proud of the outcome.

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    1. Bonnie, so the question is...when are you coming over for that cup of coffee?

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  10. Wow! I love how it turned out! Love the colors, the furniture, everything. It must be so nice to now get to enjoy that room after all the work.

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    1. Yes, it's been so nice to enjoy. But, now I face the yard. Oh my.

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  11. It's gorgeous! A lot of work, but afterward, a whole lotta worth it!

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  12. It looks so good!! You have really made it your own!

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  13. Wow! This looks fantastic. It's warm and inviting, comfortable and personable. I'm sure it took a tremendous amount of work but you must feel so good about the results. I'm very impressed, girl. This should be in a magazine!

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    1. Thanks Grace, that is really nice of you to say

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  14. It looks fantastic. You've done a great job!

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  15. Oh man!!! What a phenomenal job you have done!!! Absolutely beautiful!

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  16. I was amazed to hear that it was made by your husband’s ancestor. I believe that adds to the house’s significance and must’ve made the buying process easier. Nice! Good luck on the renovation, btw! It’s an old house so you sure have a lot of work to do to somehow bring it onto line with the present time. On another note, keeping some of the original parts is cool! :D -->Johnnie

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  17. Well, this is a far cry from the sort of ‘rundown’ look in the before pictures. Would you have any more pictures of the old room before it was remodeled? I mean pictures that have the furniture still in place. Overall, you really did a good job with your ancestral home, Jenni! I hope to see more from you soon!

    Leona Gladen

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  18. Renovating can also be costly so it would be helpful to consider your financials as well. But I think your new front room looks really nice. It does seem like you put a lot of work with it especially with those layers of wallpaper.

    Armandina Skerl

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