Monday, April 27, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Living Room Before and After

Let's talk about the living room! Remember this awful assault on the eyes? Dirty-dirty green carpet, mint green walls, faux wood paneling. It was so dark in this room and there were no lights. See that light bulb in the top right corner? It was tacked to the wall along the ceiling and then plugged into an outlet a million miles away. This room wasn't cozy, you wouldn't want to curl up and read a book in it (unless wearing PPE), and like every other room in the house the color choice was incredibly dated.

I still don't understand why they put strapping and tile over perfectly good drywall. They lost about two inches in height by doing that and it didn't add anything architecturally. 

I think this room especially is an example of how color choices affect the light. We didn't add windows, though we did remove the sheer curtains, we just altered the color of the walls and there's an immense change in how bright the space feels now.


Because there was an apartment upstairs they put a door on the stairs (below). There were no lights in the stairwell so it was dark, but also it also made the living room feel enclosed. Just opening up the stairs by five steps so you can see more of the far wall makes the space feel bigger. It's the reason we did open shelves in the kitchen of the Harvard house. The farther you can see the bigger the space feels.

The stairs before were very unappealing. More faux wood paneling made the space feel narrow and dark and the stairs themselves didn't feel necessarily structurally sound. I mean look at them. They look thrown together. Brand new treads were installed, minus the faux wood, plus a couple coats of paint and voila. Brand new stairs.

I didn't know when I first walked through the house if we'd be taking down this wall between the kitchen/dining room and living room. Ultimately we didn't because on the other side of the wall in where the fridge and pantry cabinets are and without those the kitchen would feel incredibly small. Plus, if I lived in this house I'd install media center built-ins with shelves for all my books along this wall. And now, hopefully, someone will curl up (without PPE) and enjoy this lovely room.

~ Stephanie

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