THE LIVING ROOM
Out with the Old
Our renovation began as soon as we closed on the house. The first thing we did was rip out the carpets. They had definitely seen better days, as you can imagine. While our last mid-century home had wall-to-wall hardwoods, this home originally had carpet in most rooms, a high-end amenity of the time. Our preference though was wood, so we ran all new hardwoods through the space.
Beam Me Up
The drywall covering the beams was original to the home, but we decided to remove it so that they could be an architectural focal point. Little did we know that it would it would open up a big problem. That story is below.
The Grand Staircase
We figured out pretty quickly that the stairs leading up to the living room were not original to the home. It was confirmed when the Patterson daughters came by and shared photos of the living room. The original set of stairs were located by the front door. A rod iron railing ran the length of the platform. It was in this photo that we finally saw evidence of the post that had been removed. If you missed it, that story is here.
The family also had a few photos of the Patterson's building the new grand staircase. It was heartwarming to see them in action. Though we ended up making a few changes of our own, we very much appreciate their hands-on spirit and love for design.
We ended up removing the Saltillo tiles and going instead with a wood backing, painted white.
When the Pattersons reconfigured the staircase, they removed the railing completely. According to their daughters they put a number of plants along the edge of the stairs in its place. When the house later sold, the new homeowner insisted that a proper railing be put up, which the family did. Fast forward 10 years and our inspector said it was no longer sturdy. Rather than fixing it, we decided to design and install our own railing. At the time, we hadn't seen any pictures of the original railing, so when we did we were pleasantly surprised to see it wasn't too far off.
The fireplace was originally white brick, but was later covered with Saltillo tiles. This was done at the same time as the relocation of the stairs, probably in the 1980s. We decided that we wanted to bring it back to brick. It was a painstaking task. We spent hours and hours, day after day, taking turns chipping away at the mortar. The work paid off and we are happy to have newly restored fireplace to enjoy.