Friday, March 27, 2015

Making Plywood into Wood Paneling

Our dining room has gone through a couple of different transformations. David always seems to be working on it around the holidays because he gets some time off of work.

Dining Room circa 2013.

I can barely remember it looking like this.

Last year, David painted the dining room a deep red. But after living with it for about a year, he decided he didn't really like it. He wanted to make the room more formal by adding some wood paneling to two of the walls. We agreed to paint it a shade of blue that was a Victorian color. So this year, between Christmas and New Years he was remodeling the dining room again. 

Dining Room circa 2014.

The first day David was supposed to work on it, I came home from work and hardly anything was done. Everything in the dining room was pushed to the side and cluttered with tools so we couldn't really use the room. This made me apprehensive because I didn't think we would have our dining room back for quite some time! Luckily, David picked up the pace it only took two days after that to put up the paneling and most of the crown molding and paint the room. Although there were more finishing touches that needed to be done, we were able to use the room again after that. 

Deciding on the color.
David added panels using plywood. He purchased a 1/4 inch thick piece of plywood that was 4' x 8' for $12. Home Depot cut it in 6 inches pieces but would not cut it any smaller than that. They said it was unsafe to cut it smaller with their saw, so David had to do the dangerous cutting at home. He cut the 6 inch pieces in half with a table saw to create the 3 inch wide paneling. You can purchase the paneling already pre-cut but it's much more expensive and the Handyman Hubby doesn't take short cuts.

Adding the bordering vertical panel.
Paneling goes to edge of door frame and wall..

Creating a box pattern.

He divided the width of the wall by four and the height by three and created a 4 x 3 box pattern on the longer wall. The boxes are not perfect squares, but it looks evenly spaced on the wall. He used a nail gun to secure the panels to the wall. David used a level to keep all of the panels straight, but sometimes when you make things level it looks crooked to the eye because our house isn't level. So David made some tweaks so that the boxes would look straight even though they might be slightly off.

4 x 3 boxes.

One of our walls in our dining room has a section of wall that sticks out in the middle because there are pipes behind it. We put a fake removable fireplace on this wall. David created one box on each side of the section by width and three boxes height.

For now the section of wall that sticks out has no paneling because we knew we wanted to added sconces and weren't sure what pattern we wanted. David may add a design later on. 

Finished Paneling

David used a brush rather than a roller to paint the walls and paneling so that the grain of the wood would be more apparent. He wanted a darker blue and I wanted a lighter blue, so we settled in the middle. The paneling adds more dimension to the dining room and makes it a little fancier. David added crown-molding before painting, but I will discuss that more in another post.

You can see the grain of the wood a bit.

And that's how you use a $12 piece of plywood to transform a room. Below is a time lapse video of some of the work. The paneling wasn't very difficult and changes the look of the room a lot!

Notice Stevie and I standing by while David does the work!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Living Room Is Finished

The Living Room is finished! Well, for now...there are a few more things on our list for later down the road, but for the time being we are content with it.

To complete the look, David mounted our TV and got rid of the entertainment center that he had originally purchased in the as-is section at IKEA. This made the room look a lot more open and minimalistic. David put our cable box in the basement and drilled a hole through the floor so the HDMI cable can connect to it. He hid the wire behind wire covers so that we didn't have distracting cords hanging out everywhere. Then he painted the cover to match the wall and radiator so they blend in. This gives it a nice clean look.

TV mounted. Reclaimed wood shelf. Installed transom and crown molding.

We purchased a decent couch from Macy's and got canvas prints of some of our honeymoon pictures (and one from our trip to Ecuador). I still want to make some changes to the other posters we have up in the living room because I think they are a little masculine, but one step at a time.

Exposed brick wall. Antique chandelier installed.

Here are some pictures of our house before much work was done (and before I lived there).

Before brick wall was exposed.

Before crown molding, door trim and transom were completed.

Projects completed:
  • Exposed brick wall
  • Installed transom and upgraded door trim
  • Installed crown molding, window trim and shutters
  • Added storage drawers under stairs
  • Created some handmade reclaimed wood furniture
  • Added antique lamps and chandelier

Here are some more pictures of the room finished.

Storage under the stairs.

New door trim and window trim. See if you can spot the Handyman Hubby.

Possible future projects:
  • Lower the door
  • Replace transom with antique stain glass transom
  • Restore original hardwood floor

It's nice to have one room in the house that is complete. Now on to the Dining Room...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Everything is Illuminated

After visiting several antique stores, David and I became a little obsessed with antique lights and chandeliers...

It started out because we needed a floor lamp for our living room. We couldn't find any modern ones we liked in the store. On David's birthday, we stopped by some antique shops in Cockeysville to browse. Unfortunately, a lot of the stores have gone out of business, but there are still a few that are operating. We found a brass floor lamp that we both liked as well as an old kerosene lamp at American Pastimes. The kerosene lamp had been rewired to be electric. We were able to bargain the price down since we were buying both.

Brass Floor Lamp.

Kerosene Lamp.

The kerosene lamp came with a clear glass chimney shade, but we changed it out for a frosted chimney shade to dim the light a bit.

Frosted glass chimney shade.

These first two lights, were the start of the obsession. The thing about antique shops is that they tend to have a lot of nicknacks that just clutter up your house. But it's fun when you can find something old and authentic that has practical use such as a light or furniture and be able to integrate into your home.

Originally David installed a ceiling fan in the living room, but then decided it wasn't practical downstairs and would be better used in our bedroom. So we though maybe we could find a cool antique chandelier to install to make the room look more elegant and vintage.

Ceiling Fan we had in the living room.

David texted me one day a picture of a chandelier from Second Chance. I like it and he was able to negotiate the price, so we purchased it.

Chandelier from Second Chance

David installed the chandelier in our living room. We needed to find some glass shades to add to it so the light wouldn't be so bright. I liked the chandelier just fine, but David felt it was too fancy for our more casual living room. He thought it would look better in the dining room, which he had plans to make more formal.

Chandelier Installed in Our House.

So then we went in search of a less formal chandelier to go in the living room. We decided to hit up Antique Row in Mount Vernon in pursuit of a vintage chandelier that was not too pricey.

We found one we liked in Connoisseur's Connection and it's price was not bad. It was not hooked up to electricity, so we weren't 100% sure it would work. Then we went next door to Weber's Antiques and found another chandelier that David really liked.  So we were torn between the two. After about two weeks of debating we went back and ended up buying both!

Chandelier we bought from Weber's Antiques.
Chandelier from Connoisseur's Connection installed in our living room.

David had no problem hooking up the chandelier from Connoisseur's Connection in the living room. This chandelier is my favorite because it has beautiful detail! It was actual the cheapest of all three and came with two glass shades. The owner of the shop said it was originally from 1875 and came from a house in Mount Vernon. My favorite feature is the gas keys at the bottom that were originally used to turn on the gas so the chandelier would illuminate. David installed a medallion on the top. Medallions were used to catch the smoke from the gas chandeliers back in the day. It was easier to repaint or replace the medallion rather than the ceiling.

Now every light on our first floor (except for the bathroom) is an antique. All of these light fixtures have unique detail and salute the turn of the century when the world was switching from gas to electricity, which happens to be the same time period when our house was built.