Yes! The living room project is finally done! No more nasty off-white flat primer, except in the closets (and I'll ignore those). We're really pleased with how this project turned out. You have to see a before picture to really appreciate the difference, though. Here goes, right after Christmas and not edited for prime time - it's pretty sad (shh! don't tell my husband he's in the shot!):
Now, here are the AFTER pictures:
We removed a couple pieces of furniture (a book shelf, and an office cabinet), and rearranged. The organ had to stay in that corner, though - it's so massive, and that's the best place in the room for it. I still don't think it looks much like a real living room with only one good chair. We'd like to get the chair reupholstered this year, since it's really comfortable and a family favorite, but it's showing its age. My husband would like to build a nice book shelf for that room, and we might add a second chair eventually. Having the three keyboards in that room doesn't leave much space for lounging around. But, that's what the family room is for, so we're okay with that.
The kids are still a bit confused by having both a family room and a living room. It's all in the terminology - really, we did have two rooms like that in the old house. The problem was, we called the living room (where the TV was) the living room, and the family room "the side room" or "the new room" because it was a later addition to the house, and is where the keyboards, organ, and Mac were. The kids equate the "living room" idea with "where we flake out and watch TV, and where the organ is." In this house, the family room off the kitchen/dining area has the TV and the sofas, and the living room has the Hammond, the keyboards and the Mac. To confuse matters more, we don't use the formal dining room as a dining room at all - it's my office/art room, and coincidentally has the guinea pig cages in it. Confused yet? The kids are, and we've lived here over 1 1/2 years. I still will tell one of them looking for something they've misplaced, "It's in the living room!" and they'll go to the family room, and complain that their stuff isn't there. "No, the LIVING ROOM," I'll say, pointing in the opposite direction. "Oh!" they say.
By the time we have to move, they'll probably get it. But, using the rooms this way meets all of our family needs for music, office, pet, art and family space. I'm sure, when we move someday, the realtor will want us to put a table and chairs back in the "dining room," real furniture in the "living room," hide as much of the art/music/pet stuff as possible, and keep the whole house immaculate (with two kids, three cats, three guinea pigs, and a 75 gallon aquarium) at all hours of the day for the convenience of showing it to possible buyers at the drop of a hat. (Can you tell I really don't want to move again?) Until then, we'll use the house the way we want to, and phooey on the labels.