Progress on our sitting room makeover has unfortunately stalled thanks to a nasty virus that decided to visit us a few weeks ago and that overstayed its welcome, although I think it's finally starting to leave us now. In the meantime, our new couch has been delivered ... and has been cluttering up our hallway ever since; with DIY projects ongoing in the sitting room, it doesn't make sense to put it in there just yet and then have to try to protect it from the never-ending dust and paint etc. So we just keep squeezing past it as we move up and down the hallway and pretending that everything is absolutely normal!
This is obviously something we cannot sustain for very long. So where exactly are we with the makeover then?
When we first moved into this house, the lighting in the sitting room comprised four downlighters in the ceiling and wiring for a picture light on the chimney breast. I didn't care for the picture light over the fire, so we brought the power from there to the middle of the ceiling to enable us to intall a feature light in centre of the room.
The lighting fixture itself was a DIY project made from a perspex and capiz mobile lit by six LEDs embedded in the ceiling above it. The LEDs were the earlier types available and the light output from them was not adequate for our needs, so we decided to replace this entire fixture as part of our sitting room makeover.
Hubby started by pulling the LEDs from out of the ceiling.
When we originally brought the power across the ceiling from the chimney breast, it involved cutting a series of holes in the ceiling to allow us to feed the wires past the joists that run inside the ceiling. We had also added a transformer to run the low-voltage LED bulbs. Now we wanted to remove that transformer so that we could install a light fixture that uses regular bulbs. This meant using a hole saw to re-open the old holes so that we could gain access to the electrics hidden in the ceiling.
Our ceiling had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese! But we had a little trick up our sleeves.
We kept the discs of plasterboard that we had removed and used them to refill the holes. To reattach them, we first cut short pieces of wood, pushed them up through the holes in the ceiling, and then screwed them into position across the centre of each circular hole. In the picture below, you can see the screwholes on either side of the circular holes - those are holding the wood in place inside the ceiling. Then we replaced the discs of plasterboard by screwing them into the pieces of wood. In other words, we screwed some wood into the plasterboard and then screwed the plasterboard into the wood. Does that makes sense?
The final step will be to use filler to fill the remaining holes and then to sand it smooth before repainting.
This is the one of the most-used rooms in our house, and the oak hardwood floor had borne the brunt of the constant wear and tear. Foot traffic had worn off the factory finish, and then spills soaked into the wood and stained it. There were also numerous scratches in one spot where a spring had broken through the bottom of the banjaxed old three-piece suite.
Since we were starting this room from again from scratch (pardon the pun!), we decided that this was a good opportunity to refinish the oak flooring too. I promise to post all about it to let you know how it goes.
Update: Refinishing a Solid Wood Floor is now live on the blog!
Between the dog sleeping in this room and the solid fuel fire, which creates a lot of sooty dust in the room, the paintwork had gotten quite grubby in places. So before painting, we will wash every surface with sugar soap and give it a good rinse. Then we will paint the ceiling, the woodwork, and the walls. The ceiling will be white, the woodwork will be Old White by Annie Sloan, and we have chosen Stone Blue by Farrow & Ball for the walls.
Update: See how painting this room completely transformed the space by reading The Optical Illusions of Paint.
Now that all the prep work is complete, I feel like we have completed a lot of the hidden work in the room and I'm excited to start seeing dramatic changes happening in here from now on. Stay tuned for more updates!