Renovating the Living Room


 About six weeks or so before Sustainable House Day we decided to renovate the Living Room. This is to be our living room for a while and then will eventually become the master bedroom.  

The thing was, as is the same in the rest of the house, NO STORAGE! so we would have to build some built-ins either side of the chimney. Eventually the fireplace is going to be taken out and put on the opposite side in the present day dining room.  

Living room August 09

Living room August 09


 We stripped out all the furniture and piled it all up in the spare bedroom and crammed in the TV, electric heater as it is mid winter. This became our temporary living room.  

Then came the job of removing the mantelpiece and rudimentary shelving that had been added at some time.  

Doorway filled in

Doorway filled in


 The doorway into the long hall was filled in and a texture added to the plasterboard to match the textured plaster that goes right around this room.  


The ceiling was really grotty with smoke and grime. Sugar soap and a mop took care of that with a couple of coats of white clay paint.  

building the built ins 1
building the built ins 1

  The built ins were next. This took ages as the ceiling, being lath and plaster was subtly uneven and nothing is square. We used masonite as the cladding as we had discovered that Masonite is made from only hardwood sawdust compressed under heat until the natural lignite in the wood creates the substance that holds it all together. No nasty glues!! It is made in Australia by Australia Hardboards and used for all sorts of things such as wall panelling, under vinyl, bracing and pegboard.  

I used my trusty thicknesser to dress the tassie oak boards that had been used as the mantlepiece originally and oiled it with the Volvox hard wax oil. Shelves were made from offcuts of pine flooring that we have carried around for ages, we faced these with dresses fence palings.  

built ins almost finished
built ins almost finished

  It seemed to take weeks and weeks but eventually the built-ins were built in, the floors sanded, walls painted, picture rail made from the strips of tassie oak that were around the room plus another layer that were originally in the entrance hall. We moved all the furniture back in all in time for Sustainable House Day in September.  

living room finished sept 09
living room finished sept 09

 The finishing touch for now was a mixed wood panel to hang above the fire place. This will allow a flat screen TV to be hung if that is wanted. Power and arial were wired into one of the wardrobes as well as a new power point near the filled in doorway.  

The last thing to do is to design and make the doors for the built ins.  

Time to move on to the next part of the adventure  


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