The new and improved Family Room

So we have this room in our house that we call the "Family Room". For those of you who have visited Casa de Sanders that's the room with the back patio door. It's open to our dining room and kitchen but it's sunken down a step. Truthfully it's a room where the all the extra furniture went when we moved in and it's sort of just been like that. Recently we decided to clean it up, decide what we wanted in that room and lay it out accordingly. Additionally it needed repainting after the new windows were installed because of the work on the new patio door. We've always kept the Christmas tree in there and so suddenly in November repainting that room turned into a deadline - either paint it before Thanksgiving or leave it sort of sad looking until 2008. So we decided to tackle it next. This turned into the Home Repair Project From Hell(tm) project that I mentioned in my Weekend Off post.

So let's follow along the whole logic train, shall we?

  1. We want to repaint the walls. Also after some discussion we gave away the old entertainment center, TV, and futon that were in the Family Room.

  2. We take all of the nutcrackers, DVDs, CDs, old game consoles, and boardgames out of the room. This lets us start moving furniture around.

  3. The cats sometimes pee on the carpet, and they've always done it by the entertainment center, in multiple houses. We're hoping losing the entertainment center loses the "pee here" connection. Karin rents a steam cleaner and spends a Saturday scrubbing the crap (well the pee, to be literal) out of the carpet.

  4. Once the furniture is out of the room we remember that the walls look stupid because there's this wood paneling with no baseboard whatsoever, just a stupid air gap between the paneling and the carpet. We had pretty much hidden this fact by placing stuff along all the walls.

  5. Discover there's some truly heinous things done around the power sockets and the trim. This was covered up when we bought the house by installing huge bulky 2x3 outlet blocks to cover up the poor holes that don't match the faceplate. Start building up wood putty to cover up the mess.

  6. We went out to buy baseboard. When we return . . . .

  7. We realize that the cats have peed on the carpet WHILE we were shopping for baseboard. Decide, somewhat painfully, that the carpet has to go.

  8. Pull up the carpet, revealing some fairly nasty tile underneath. Spend a day pulling it up, removing tack boards, staples, etcera.

  9. Go to the store and buy a metric ton of adhesive vinyl floor tiles. Also some miscellaneous tools - a chalk line for marking the center of the room, a miter box for cutting the baseboard.

  10. Decide to paint the walls before installing the new floor. Paint the wall section (leaving the wood paneling for later since it is the trim color).

  11. Take up the "safe" painters tape from around the walls and realize that it pulls up the paint from the ceiling in big strips (sigh)

  12. Go buy paint to paint the ceiling.

  13. Paint the ceiling.

  14. Install the new floor tiles.

  15. Realize we need to have trim around the fireplace edge as well. Go buy some MORE trim.

  16. Install the baseboard, learning how to do so as we go. (This is the part where we bought the nail gun.)

  17. Paint the effing trim and paneling, finally.

  18. Touch up where touch up are needed and finally set up the Christmas tree.

  19. Move in the chair as well as the cabinets and bookcases that remain in the room.

It took me a while to document all this with photos. Somewhere during this I got the new camera - a Canon Digital Rebel XTi, and I've had some exercises with figuring out how to use it. Plus I'm using new software (Aperture) for photo managment and editing, so I'm having to figure it out as well. Lots of new stuff to learn all at once and lots of little ratholes I can go down and waste time figuring out tricks.

Here are some old shots (not with the Rebel) showing aspects of the original room. These are nominally pictures of the cats, but they are all I have prior to the great carpet ripping up.

Heisenberg with a Tums bottle If you look closely at the wall, you can see where there's a gap between the carpet and the wood paneling. Also the carpet is just butted up against the fireplace with no trim whatsoever.

Heisenberg and Schrödinger with a Tums bottle More of the carpet and you can see the step in the distance - there was some trim there, but it was pretty small and not really baseboard - it was "door and window trim".
Heisenberg and Schrödinger at the patio door Ye gods - this is terrible. This one shows off the original patio door as well. Love that aluminum frame!

Now at this point in my photo-essay I started using the Rebel, plus taking particular shots of the work.
The tile floor UNDER the carpet. Also the new baseboardThen, we ripped up the carpet and I realized I should try to get some intermediate shots. Here's the tile floor we found under the carpet. Notice how the panel/floor gap is even worse now without the carpet.

The wood paneling after putty and before paint
Here's a corner of the room after we've painted the wall, but not the trim. You can see the wood putty - and especially the part where I've only built up the putty to the socket. This one annoyed me especially. The 2x3 outlet box covering these outlets was two-prong only. I thought the outlet wasn't grounded and was surprised to find it unplugged and was covering up a perfectly good grounded outlet pair. It was there because the hole cut in the paneling was way too wide. There was a piece of plywood covering that up and that looked stupid, so the bigger outlet box covered it.

Now we get to the good pictures, the post work set.

The new floor tiles with the cat tunnel
Here's a closeup of the floor with the new "peel and stick" tiles installed. I spent most of Thanksgiving morning installing these.

Heisenberg and the new baseboard

Here's the attractive new baseboard at the step down, with hand model Heisenberg, who loves the camera.

Schrödinger and the new fireplace trim

Here's the fireplace with the new trim as well as some of the paneling. Hand model Schrödinger is ignoring me and the camera because that is how she rolls. Plus she was hungry.

Schrödinger with the fireplace, feeder, and chair

Here's the corner at more of a step back, so you can see the wall and the paneling.

The whole room
And here's the final shot with the whole room. You can see our tree, the new patio door and everything except for the fact that the ceiling got painted.

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