The last time we really talked about our living room was way back in August 2011. It’s gone through a lot of changes since then:
- The living room was our makeshift bedroom until we could get the guest bedroom and office renovated.
- After we moved upstairs, the living room became a storage room. We closed the door and pretended the mess didn’t exist.
- Then we started construction on our dining room — which was being used as a makeshift living room — so we cleared out the living room and moved the couch & TV in there. That’s how it’s been for a few months ago.
Despite going through a lot of functional changes, the living room looks exactly the same as it did on the day we moved in. We’ve been trying to stick to our one-room-at-a-time rule so we don’t have construction messes all over the place, so up until Saturday morning this is how the living room looked:
Burgundy carpet. We’ve lived with this for 15 months, people. And we’ve survived to tell the tale.
This room and the adjoining hallway are the last two burgundy carpet strongholds, and we decided Saturday would be a good day to attack them. We’ve ripped out so much hideous carpet in this house that we’re basically experts. In fact, Bradley moves so fast when ripping that I can’t even get a decent photograph. Check it:
After that, it’s just a matter of rolling up the foam pad that sits under the carpet and yanking out 10 billion staples. While I yanked staples, Bradley removed the linoleum tiles from the main entrance.
Linoleum is typically glued to a baseboard which is either stapled or glued (or sometimes both) to the wood floor. We were really, really hoping for no glue. Glue would mean an increased risk of damaging the floors underneath and a lot more effort when we have to sand.
It definitely felt glued down. There was a lot of prying, groaning, cursing and more prying. And finally the baseboard came up enough for us to peek underneath:
The good news: no glue!
The bad news: someone went way overboard with the stapler. There were at least — and we’re not exaggerating at all here — a bajillion staples holding the baseboard to the floor. It took a solid hour to pry just that little bit up, and we had to break for lunch in the middle because it was so exhausting.
Here’s how it looked after I yanked the staples out:
Still ugly. But at least the nasty-meets-grimy combination of burgundy carpet and cheap linoleum is outta there!
The floors need to be sanded and painted, but we won’t get around to that until we’ve completely renovated the dining room, living room and hallway. This is what we’re going to live with for a while:
We’re OK with that. The floors were painted chocolate brown at some point, so we’re not worried about splinters or anything. And cool wood feels so much better under our bare feet than carpet.
There is one last remnant of burgundy carpet that we haven’t removed yet:
This is, by far, the biggest radiator we have ever seen. It’s super wide and super heavy. We will eventually have to move it to get the carpet out, but we’re not really sure how we’ll do it. We have two plans so far:
- Make 7 or 8 beefcake friends at the gym and conning them into helping us.
- Leave the carpet and just build a radiator box to cover the whole damn thing.
For now, we’re just happy to see (nearly all of) the carpet gone.
When we moved into the house in April 2011, we were heartbroken to find soft pine floors under the carpet. Now, we love them and can’t imagine covering them up with new hardwood floors.
There’s something really warm and comforting about rustic, beat-up, old flooring. It feels cozy. And even more important, it feels right for our 130-year-old house.
We have more updates coming up, including a 101 on making frames. Stay tuned!