Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Living room renovation: getting it done and choices

Because this was our second large DIY renovation project (after the basement bathroom) we needed some help along the way. We were still new to the game. Luckily my father was still willing to help and teach us along the way. The project took a full 6 months to complete. This was because Tony and I were both working full-time, I was working on my Ph.D, and we were also planning out big Italian/Portuguese wedding. We were busy, busy bees!

My daddy and I hard at work! The first step was to put up the ceiling. 2"x4"s were used to help hold up the gyp. This isn't the smartest of ideas since the gyp was heavy! But, we were new to this. We used 5/8" gyp for both the ceiling and the walls.

We then installed the gyp on the walls. Even at this primitive point in the renovation I think the room looks better than the original. One thing I must say is that we didn't insulate the walls in this room. You can see in the previous image that there was some, although very inadequate, insulation. We were tight with the budget. Also, we figured that since many older homes in our area didn't have insulation, we didn't have to add it. This is one of our biggest regrets because the room is much colder in the winter than the other rooms we did insulate. Live and learn! 

You can see that there is a gap above the fireplace. This is where we removed the boxes hiding the old water heater pipes. We had to create a decorative molding to mask this gap.

My daddy working hard!

My daddy working hard again! I also enrolled my sister as a volunteer renovator. How nice of her to participate! Funny, both my father and sister stopped calling and coming over. I wonder why? Just kidding:)

The biggest impact in the room was the installation of wood floors. We choose a 2 1/4 inch wide American cherry. I know that large planks are in style but we loved the look of the very thin planks reminiscent of wood floors in older homes.

The arrival of tons of wood!

Installing the wood floors. We had such a hard time getting a company to install the floors. Because the planks are so thin, there was much more work involved. Some companies just refused while others wanted up to $5000 for the installation! Crazy! We called Montreal Parquetery, the store where we purchase the floors, requesting to return the floors. They recommended a company that gave us a great price and service. We are happy we didn't return it because the end result is gorgeous.

You can see how small the pieces are.
Installation complete! This is before the floors were varnished, which changes the color significantly.

We installed large 5 1/4 inch crown molding. Makes a big difference in the room.

The decorative items:

We wanted to keep a coffee bar area in the room so we purchased this bar from Hooker Furniture.

The coffee table and console are the Pavillion collection from Bombay Company

I purchased this clock years before we bought the house and just kept it in the box. It's large so you need tall ceilings but it's definitely a show stopper.

That's it for now!
Later in the week I'll show off the final product. Check back soon:)



  1. My Dad is my project teacher, helper, expert too. He has every saw, drill, and tool needed for just about any project. Your whole family can take pride in your new basement. I agree it looks better with just the fresh drywall up.

  2. Hi Nancy,
    wow things are looking great. It is a real asset to have your Dad help out.
    Sorry I don't know of many bloggers from Montreal. I keep searching so stay in contact and we can refer them back and forth.
    Your projects are interesting to follow. I have a new venture and some interesting news I will be announcing in the near future, this maybe something that could interest you.
    take care
    take care


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