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Need decorating advice...

It looks like we're going to start working on clearing out and painting the sunroom this weekend. (My mom will have two rooms completely to herself, the sunroom and the large room behind it.) I've decided to move all my 1950s-era aluminum porch furniture in there (loveseat/glider + 2 rocking chairs), since the dogs and cats can't really hurt it (I hope!)--as opposed to my vintage wicker furniture, which would probably become a lovely scratching post. I think I'll also put my vintage enamel-top table in there--it has chrome legs, so again the pets shouldn't hurt it much. I'm thinking of painting the sunroom a pale, jadite green and hanging sheer white curtains, and then sewing some red tropical-patterned cushions for the chairs. There are windows on three sides, so it's really a lovely little room to sit in and read, etc.

I'm not so sure what to do about the main room--right now, it has 1950s-era wood paneling (the *real* kind, thin sheets of wood, not fake wood grain). Should I paint over it? I feel kinda bad about doing that, since it is real wood, but it would certainly lighten things up in there. What do you think?





The room is a little dowdy (and full of boxes), but my goal is to make it feel airy and comfortable. I'm having a hard time coming up with a decorating scheme, though. The carpet is ca. 1960? and has a textured pattern. It is kind of an oatmeal color. Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to have the time and/or funds to replace it or remove it and refinish the floor, so it stays for now, but I'll steam-clean it as well as I can:



The ceiling is covered with acoustic ceiling tiles. God, I really detest those things, but again, I don't think we're going to have the time or money to afford to remove them and replace them with sheetrock. There are pipes going into the ceiling because they were used to hang clothes from (it was the work room for a tailor). Fortunately, they're attached to a piece of wood, so rather than repairing the acoustic ceiling tiles after we remove the pipes, I think we're just going to patch and paint the strip of wood and leave it where it is.



The room has its original door, which is kind of cool. But my mom has two giant dogs (ugh), so I need to find a way to protect the door from scratch marks. Larry has suggested that we tack up a thin sheet of metal over the bottom 4' of the door. What do you guys think? Can you think of any alternatives? Here's the door:



I really need your advice, my friends! How do I make this room comfortable and breezy without spending too much time and/or energy on tearing everything out and replacing it?? What do you think absolutely *must* be replaced, and what should stay? Should I paint the paneling? Should I paint it white, which would hopefully make the room seem larger, or something else? Help!

p.s. My mom has asked for an airy, cool "Southern" feel, like a "Florida room," I guess. So not much furniture, and lots of pale colors? Whatdya think?

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
my_lady_f
Jun. 6th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
This is long....
Man, you have the EXACT same PANELING and the same TYPE of acoustical ceiling tile as I did.

If your house is like my house, they put those up directly over plaster walls and plaster ceiling. Beneath my acoustical ceiling tiles there were parallel stripes of 1x2 furring strips nailed through the plaster and up into the ceiling.

They interlock and each tile including interlocking grooves comes out to about 12x12" My tiles had gold veining. YECH! I have to admit, people install those when one of their ceilings is going bad and plaster is falling. I had the stuff in 2 rooms (living room and dining room that were adjoined by a big archway so stylistically they had to do both. Turns out the dining room ceiling was patched and patched and patched. Had to replace the entire ceiling. We did it ourself and it sucked doing it.

The wall behind the paneling was not "soo" bad. I had one soft spot that I patched up.

When I tore down my paneling, I had my ex boyfriend cut it into strips on the band saw. I have a whole stack I keep to make all sorts of signs and plaques. It's great great stuff to craft with. Before using as a sign, I paint with a layer of white primer then deco paint as I wish. So I'd say go ahead and paint the walls.

Also if you take down your paneling it effects all your light swithch plates (they are suddenly jutting out from the wall) and your cove trim by the wall would have to be redone.

It's either all or nothing with ceiling and wall. I say paint till you are ready to expose it later.

I think that the ugly tiles and paneling was why I got my house so cheap. No one wanted to deal with it or risk what was beneath it and the wallpaper in all the rooms. Once I took it down it changed the whole appearance.

For the door, can you get one of those brass kickplates?
la_sherazade
Jun. 6th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
Re: This is long....
I'm 99% sure that it is wooden beadboard/beaded board behind the wall paneling and the acoustic tiles (i.e solid wood)--that's what the whole house is made of. But there may be an intervening layer of sheetrock between the paneling and the beadboard, and I'm sure there are furring strips beneath the acoustic tile. I don't want to take it back to the beadboard (I like that look in some rooms but not in all), but I don't want to spend the time and money to sheetrock everything, either. So I guess it stays for now.... the ceiling bugs me more than the paneling, although I admit it's in pretty good shape, all things considered. Only a couple of other rooms have the paneling (both hallways, the den)--the rest have sheetrock over beadboard.

I don't think the kickplate would come up high enough--these are big dogs, when they stand up they are over 4' high and so are the scratches on my mom's current door.
la_sherazade
Jun. 6th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: This is long....
p.s. I've heard that folks used beadboard when a good plasterer was hard to find--I think maybe there weren't many skilled plasterers in my area.
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Dec. 21st, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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