Our First Home--Please Help Us Get This Place Out of 1974!
Jaynel Gilmore
May 16, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My husband and I just bought a 2-level condo, 4 bdr, 2 bath, approx 1900 sq ft of pure 1974 awesomeness!! Ha! If only...

I have learned so much from the talented folks on Houzz, and I'm only *hoping* this room dilemma isn't too far gone. This is our front room. It's about 11ftx14ft, and it has a staircase in the middle that cuts off the kitchen from the main room. We wish there was some way to open this up. We don't have enough experience to know. There's a tiny dining room, which we want to turn into a kitchen island with an eat in bar, because with two babies, we don't sit and eat formal meals at the table.

The house was owned since 1974 by one lady who lavished it in pepto bismol pink walls and pink carpet, pink stairs. On the outside it is gorgeous, updated beautifully and structurally sound. We are told it has won landscaping awards.

The condo is pink and flowers and fake wood...everywhere. I won't overwhelm you with the rest of the house, but let's just say pea green carpets, flower power, "built in" magazine racks, formica cabinets (like the kind they use in RVs), bright red shag carpet, and a multi-colored casino carpet fun-scape we refer to as "clown vomit."

But back to the front room...As you can see, we have pulled up the pink carpeting, and are working on pulling up the pink carpeting on the stairs. We have bought St. James "hardwood" click in flooring at Lumber Liquidators that is a beautiful color and looks really great (fingers crossed). The color is Gunstock. We are going to put in floor moulding (is that what it's called?) but don't know what color or what size.

As for walls, we like muted greenish/grey...The color here is Home Depot's Behr Frosted Jade. I told them I needed a Primer, but they said no, there's a primer in the paint. So, that's why the walls are baby blue! I have to go back and get Primer and start over. After 3 coats, I can still see the pink hue.

I'd be grateful for any and all advice. For example, what furniture layout you may think would look best, or if we should create a desk nook under the stairs? How should we make the stairs look as simplistic as possible considering they are in the center of the condo.

I would describe my style as traditional minimalist with a hint of shabby chic. I like muted colors with a blast of one or two highlighted pieces that are beautiful or mean something. We have one year old twins, so that said, being "minimalist" is kind of a joke these days. I don't want this room to turn into a play pen, but some functionality for storage would be awesome. Safety is something we'll have to consider since we'll be child-proofing.

Thank you so much for your advice! I am excited for your questions and feedback.
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Jaynel Gilmore
more pictures
May 16, 2013 at 9:43pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Jaynel Gilmore
more pictures
May 16, 2013 at 9:46pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
D. Tate Interiors
Nice that you are getting rid of all the pepto bismalt. It looks like the black iron railing could be painted in either a deeper green to go with the walls with mottling or even a brownish copper to go with your sofa. One of the items that is really useful is a media cabinet that has baskets in it. Those are great for kids if they have toys or just stuff around because it is easy to just pitch their things in them when you clean up.

I, too, like some neat pieces that have meaning and punch. Your sofa is brown, right? Why not put some punchy pillows that bring together the greens, browns and another accent color. Then you could have some side chairs in those colors. What other furniture do you need? Coffee table? or are you using the ottoman for that. An interesting tray that has color on it would be nice on the ottoman. I will look around from some pics and see if I find any that are a room that would be very functional with a little spice to it and post them this weekend. Good luck.
May 16, 2013 at 9:58pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
pcmom1
Guess I shouldn't suggest you paint the walls pink?

If you can use that area under the stairs, great! Could just have a small gnome door and create a play space for your soon to be toddlers. Later could be used for storage.

Where do you think the tv should go? Will it go here, or are you using one of the four bedrooms as a tv room?
May 16, 2013 at 9:59pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Jaynel Gilmore
This is our couch...it is longish. Recently reupholstered. We have a very large area rug with greenish, mustard, light brown and gold hues. The babies trip over the coffee table, so we're thinking of getting rid of it.

We don't have a television. We are thinking of putting a couple "sitting chairs" for company. The comfy reading chairs just don't look as good as the ones I've seen in matching sets, for example.

We've talked about putting in a "mock fireplace" by cutting out part of the wall and installing a mantle piece. Perhaps some tiling. It wouldn't be real, but it wouldn't look fake like the ones they sell that are heaters. I'm thinking of finding some reclaimed wood maybe?

Thank you so much. I love the media cabinet idea for baskets, and also the gnome playroom door! Brilliant!
May 16, 2013 at 10:10pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
D. Tate Interiors
A couple of ideas....here are some wrought iron colors that lighten up everything. Definitely some cushy pillows for the sofa. Must have seen another sofa that someone else had put up. Two comfy chairs and an ottoman, definitely! Use the ottoman as coffee table with a tray on it. Then no worries about the babies!!! See what you think of the wrought iron colors. Some fabrics with greens and browns, too. I tend toward light and airy....
May 16, 2013 at 10:20pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Jaynel Gilmore
I love the fabrics. We have already taken the iron railing down, and thought we would scrap them and put up wood, but this has me rethinking things. They are the kind of railings that look like they go outside on porch steps. But if I painted them we could save ourselves a lot of time and money! Thanks!!
May 16, 2013 at 11:30pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Empress of The Eye Pillow Collections
Paint the wrought iron railing...
May 17, 2013 at 12:47am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
pcmom1
So refreshing that there will be no tv to plan around!
May 17, 2013 at 9:27am     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Jaynel Gilmore
Thank you pcmom1:) We have Netflix on our laptop but that's about it. Our kids watch TV at grandma's and that's about it. I've never liked the look of the TV above the mantle or as a focal point for a room.
May 17, 2013 at 4:35pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Ashley Shaw
You could look into creating a 'floating' staircase if possible - that would open up the room a fair bit. Or if you need the base for structure, you could look into creating some shelving in there, or a workspace as you mention. Having something other than plain stairs would make the stairs themselves less noticeable. And definitely do the ottoman coffee table - it's saved our toddler from bumps many times, plus if you get one with a hinged top it makes for great toy storage.
May 18, 2013 at 6:40pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Jaynel Gilmore
Thanks Ashley, we've decided to cut the staircase in two sections instead of one long staircase to cut off two rooms.
May 20, 2013 at 7:42pm   
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Please help us make our first houzz a home
We just bought our first house recently and I am having...
Our first home! Please help us pick the right sofa configuration
We are so excited for our first home (a cozy split...
please help me in the front elevation the front elevation of my home.please
I am omer here.i am a student of law.First of all i...
PLEASE help!!! Our first home
I've always dreamed of homeownership and now that we've...
More Discussions
How large (or small) a pendant for a Foyer
This house is under construction. The Room is 6.5'...
Floor plan Critique, L-shape house
Greetings, We are about to pull the trigger on a new...
Help design my country/vintage/modern idk what it is kitchen!
Okay, here is my kitchen. Just had the granite installed...
Need reviews on faux wood vinyl planking designer image flooring
Any cons on using the designer image vinyl planking...
need a new front door color
I need help deciding on a front door color. The brick...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™