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Hello dear visitor!  We’re so happy you’ve found your way here!

Our new post is a long one and begs to be two posts to give the project its due. It did take four months of weekends to complete during the Winter of 2013. It was completed the weekend before our planned college graduation party for one of our sons.  We really cut this one close!  But, after the many months of work and body aches, it was well worth it as we hope you will agree.

And so we begin the story…

It all began with a bookshelf. We wanted a bookshelf. Not just an ordinary bookshelf, but the kind that is built onto the wall. After determining that we could, in fact, build said bookshelf ourselves with our fantastic Kreg K4MS Jig Master System, we started thinking and laying out the project. As is per usual, once the thinking begins, the plans evolve and change and mutate and become monsters where once small projects existed.  We can’t help it, we’re dreamers!

Take a moment to travel back through time to a previous post that shows the wall I’m talking about. You may notice the short wall that separates the living room area and creates a sort of “hallway” near the other bedroom door and the bathroom.  Check it out here. I’ve always disliked this little wall and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to GET RID OF IT!

Since this bookshelf was going to sit against a back wall and meet a side wall in the opposite corner, the wall on the side would need to be redone first…as the plan all along had been to do something different with the living room walls.  So, the project grew to a wall and a bookshelf. Once we determined we would be redoing the wall, we figured why not build a whole wall of built in bookshelves? And then, why not storage benches under those bookshelves? And then, since we were going to do one wall, why not all of the living room walls AND the ceiling? And then? And then??????

Well my friends, that’s exactly what we did.

first half done

We decided to build our shelves and benches using plywood (smooth birch to cut down on sanding). These were trimmed with our favorite 3/4 inch trim that is etched with a vine pattern. The benches have a three inch baseboard trim that meets a nice three inch flatter wall trim that we used throughout the living room.  All of these were built using one of our favorite tools of all time, the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig.  We have built so much stuff from bookshelves, to entertainment cabinets, a desk, two beds, you name it, we’ve built it with a !  If you are a DIYer and you do not have a Kreg Jig yet, now is the time. I promise, it will increase your productivity and open up your creativity and confidence in building things for your home.

Our wall and ceiling surface of choice is knotty pine tongue and groove found at Lowe’s (image in the gallery below).  We also re-wrapped the center beam on the ceiling where the two sections of our home come together. We have disliked this forever and had a ceiling fan mounted there, but had wired it using a round extension cord hard wired into the fan/light and run along the ceiling/wall and plugged in and it looked pretty cheesy bad.  This new covering we did allowed us to install a junction box and run the correct wiring so it looks finished and all proper like.  To cover the center section we used the same plywood we used for the benches except 1/2 inch rather than 3/4 inch.  It really came out beautifully.

Don’t be discouraged if you do a project with the knotty pine.  When you first put it up, all the edges look pretty bad. Once you trim it out, as with any job like this, it will clean it up beautifully and really look nice.  We use Dap 12346 Drydex Spackle Interior Exterior Paste  for filling nail holes and smoothing out trim seams and awkward spaces. It goes on pink and dries white. Then, it’s very easy to sand and paint over. However, I didn’t have to sand any of the wall or ceiling holes in this project because I just used the tip of the container to dab the holes and it smoothed them over as I did it. And yes, I did fill EVERY SINGLE NAIL HOLE on the walls and the entire ceiling before painting. You can’t tell we used a nail gun or nail hole filler at all.

We also painted the surface with a satin sheen so there wasn’t a real paint shine and you can still see the wood grain through the paint. The color for the wall is Valspar “Outlands Subtle Taupe” 6005-1B and the ceiling is one sample lighter “Asiago” 6005-1A, both in Satin finish. These have a silt like tone to them that looks like smooth white wash and they show all of the character of the wood beneath.

One of our favorite parts of this project, aside from all of it, is a type of lighting we installed. We will put together a separate post on just this topic. But suffice it to say, it gave me an opportunity to repurpose the annoying “wired” smoke detectors that I’ve always disliked. Please don’t send me hate mail about the importance of having smoke detectors…we have battery powered smoke detectors all over this house!  But I have never liked the wired ones so was relieved to come up with an ingenious idea to correct this problem.

The following is a gallery of images showing the order of our work.  Check out our follow up post for pictures of the finished product. This job took nearly every weekend from January until the second weekend in May to complete give or take 3 or 4, right up until the very first guest arrived for our son’s college graduation party ‘:-)!  Phew!  We really cut it close. But, it truly feels wonderful to sit in this space among all of our hard work, our memories of the weekends working together, dreaming it up and seeing it through.  It truly is a lovely space that feels like home.

[flagallery gid=9 name=”Living Room Remodel Work”]

We hope you enjoy these pictures and PLEASE feel free to ask any questions you may have or just comment below. We’d love to help or just hear your feedback.  Thanks so much for stopping by! And don’t forget to visit our follow up post Mobile Home Living Room Remodel- The Finale to see the final product.

Happy remodeling!

The McGees