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I have a blank slate-- bought an old (1900's) home

November 2, 2012
We purchased this home from a couple in their 80's who have lived here 50 years. An update is warranted. The drapes are custom and are in good shape. I'm no decorator. Where I currently live the walls were painted white 12 years ago- I'm not much into change.

Comments (11)

  • PRO
    Are you just looking to refinish the floor and a fresh coat of paint ?

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  • shelbyjudd
    Yes. All I can think to do is paint the walls white (universal, huh) and nuetral carpet. The plank floor is beautiful and I would love to refinish but it was laid with drywall screws which are deteriorating.
  • shelbyjudd
    Lighting is an issue too. There is no overhead light or fixtures.
  • Christine W
    You have a great blank canvas and could eek something truly beautiful out of it. First you have to get in to a "change is good" frame of minds.

    Refinish the floors
    Redo the ceiling (take down whatever is going on up there)
    Decide on a color scheme. If white is your thing then run with it
    Decide on what type of furniture you like (don't go with too large scale pieces or the space will get dwarfed quickly)
    Get a lovely rug
    Some lamps
    some artwork and personal touches and. we. are. done.
  • Natalie
    Hi---well nothing wrong with wanting to keep it neutral and since there are so many doorways, windows, and a closet I think it's the way to go. Looks like you're in the process of refinishing the floors-yes? Have them stained either dark (espresso) or light (pickled). Since you like light colors do all the trim, the fireplace surround, and the closet doors Decorator's White-Ben Moore-in a semi-gloss finish... Paint the walls: SW 7029 Agreeable Gray and the ceiling SW 7028 Incredible White use a flat or eggshell finish for both. I would ditch the window treatments---they date the room. Simple tailored panels floor to ceiling, is what I suggest---it will make the ceiling look higher than it is. Hope this is helpful... Pics for inspiration. Good luck and CongratS! [houzz=
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  • apple_pie_order
    This house has good bones and great windows. The main problem I see is the floor which needs to be refinished despite the deteriorating drywall screws used to fasten the planks. I suggest you consult a couple of floor refinishers to see what they would do. If I were going to refinish the floors myself, I'd do the floors in two stages. Run a strip of blue tape over each row of screws crosswise to the lengths of planks (the screws look like they were installed in a line, or maybe the photo lighting just makes it look like that. Then rent a big floor sander and sand as much of the floor as possible around the blue lines to avoid tearing up the sandpaper by the screws. Second, use a smaller electric hand sander around the screws.

    Alternatively, you can try unscrewing each and every one of the drywall screws and replacing them with shorter screws and cover with wood plugs. Then sand and refinish.

    As for the curtains, don't try to base your new decor on them. If your current furnishings happen to work with them, fine, then just remove the mauve valances for a more updated look. Bonus points if you change the curtain rods to decorative rods. The curtains are probably dusty and more faded than they look at first; you may be able to throw them in the washer on the delicate cycle and hang to dry, or you may have to dry clean them. If dry cleaning them is expensive, ask yourself if you really want to spend the money on these curtains, or just get some cheap 84" or 96" long panels from Target and inexpensive new curtain rods for privacy until you decide what you really want for style.

    When you update the electrical system, you can get the electrician to add overhead light fixtures. That ceiling is probably plaster over wood or metal lathe, so can lights will not be so easy to install. If electrical work is not in the budget for now, you can run swag lights over to the center of the dining room and wherever you want an overhead light in the dining room. Lighter weight chandeliers or pendants can be converted to swag easily by adding a long electrical cord and a switch in line.
  • shelbyjudd
    Thanks so much!
  • PRO
    I can't see the screws well enough to comment on that portion of it. What is the wood? From what I see in the photos, your toughest floor issue will be lacing in new wood where the wall was removed. Your best bet for that is to find a stock of older wood somewhere since new wood just looks different in many cases. You may be able to remove wood from a closet or other hidden spot. Don't just cut short pieces and fill in; cut back a distance on either side and lay in longer pieces and stagger the joints. Remove the bottom of the groove as necessary to make the pieces fit.

    Depending on your level of ambition/attention to detail, you can peg the screw holes (by the way, that actually looks quite nifty when well done), fill them with wood filler, or just sink them below the surface for sanding and ignore them. I would probably top nail the floor to secure it as needed, fill the nail holes, sand, screen and finish.

    Post some closeup photos of the floor if you want some more comments.
  • Natalie
    Excellent advice about the floor and Linda is right, take wood from a closet or another inconspicuous spot and stagger it where the wall was... I think this house has lots of potential. CheerS!
  • PRO
    Where are you located?

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