Trimming The Living Room Ceiling

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So I am fully aware that I have been dropping the blog ball. Through the holidays we were too busy that I haven’t found the time to write a few posts, but that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening around here. Firstly we installed beams and crown molding in the living room.

When we first moved here there was no overhead lighting in the living room and last winter we had LED high hats installed. We had been planning to put up two beams (breaking the ceiling into thirds) and installing crown molding around them, as well as the rest of the room. The living room is very long and narrow, and we hoped that by installing some molding it would create some visual interest and break up the ceiling making the room appear a bit wider.

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We took a few days before Thanksgiving to tackle this project and it has made a huge impact on the room. As we have come to find in other rooms, when we install trim work to the ceiling, it feel so much higher- enough that I had to have Steve rehang the mirror over the mantle. It also took away the gut instinct when looking up to look at the lighting, which now seems to somewhat fade into the rest of the ceiling.

This project was pretty inexpensive considering the high impact. All we used were 1″x4″x16′ boards and 3 5/8″ standard crown molding. the 1″x4″ were used as framing and for the finished beams. Steven added a bead detail to the reveals to match the mantle and create a more finished look. We also used the proportions on the mantle and door casing as a model for the size and reveal of the ceiling trim. Our door casing is very simple and has the standard crown on the top and this is why I chose to go with the standard stuff. I like the feeling of the living room being homey and relaxed, I was worried if we used a different profile if may have been too much. I must say now that it is done, it looks like it could have been there since the house was built, not the least bit over done.

Framing
Framing

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First we installed a board along the ceiling where the beam would go. We used this to attach blocks of wood for framing that the finished beam could be screwed into. Steven decided that, considering that nothing in the house is perfectly square (especially the ceilings) that we would pre assemble the beams using lose tenons then install them once assembled. This worked out perfectly and allowed for the reveal under the beam is perfect running the whole length.

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It took us about a day of work to lay everything out, get the lumber and install them. The following day we started with the crown molding. Although Steven has installed so much molding this was the first project that I was the helper on. I had no idea how much was involved getting those little miters to meet up perfectly, especially with the walls and ceiling out of whack. So many measurements and so much done by eye- I never would have thought it would be so tricky. I did learn a bunch and got up the courage to use the miter saw so hopefully in the future I can be more useful.

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It is so amazing to be how I am consistently surprised by the impact that adding trim does to a room. We are hoping to keep mixing it up and make sure that no two rooms are exactly alike.

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Linen Closet

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So, this little linen closet, with its little door, has opened my eyes and made me do some serious thinking about the doors in the house. It is finally finished, and in addition to our original plan, we also stripped the little access panel, the closet door and restored all the hardware. I am so so happy, but it did make it take a bit longer than I had originally hoped. I might add that I was pushing for the doors to be stripped so I do take full responsibility for the delay.

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We took out all of the shelves (which I might add, some were made from old drawer fronts). We found that someone had inserted a styrofoam ceiling square behind the shelves so Steve had to drywall the hole, and he speckled the whole closet so we do have nice smooth walls. Steven used his router to add the molding detail to the pin rail, he also made the shelves out of cabinet grade plywood and added a nosing. He put a bead on either side of the molding. There was pin rail in the closet so we wanted to do the same. It was in bad shape so he made some that would still go with the style that was previously there. We did lay the shelves out differently. Many of the shelves weren’t very usable because they were not deep or because there was not enough room between them to really use the space effectively. We decided on three shelves. As they go up, they are a little more shallow so it makes it really say to put things on the top one.

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We painted the closet Sherwin Williams Leisure Blue before we inserted the shelves. I was contemplating stenciling the back wall but I figured that most of it would be covered and it would clash with some of my linens and end up not working out too well. After everything was painted, the pin rail that Steven had made was installed. The shelves are removable and they fit snug on the pin-rail.

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While the door was out Steven used paint stripper to remove the majority of the paint, then scraped and sanded the rest. I was in shock by how well it turned out. You would never be able to tell that it was ever painted- EVER! He used stain and Tried & True Danish oil finish (http://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com/danish.html)  to seal the wood. He used about 4 coats to build up the finish a bit. Its a very thin finish that is absorbed into the wood, it does look so nice and old, as I think it should.

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I am so pleased with the way the closet turned out. Clean and simple, it really is a little sanctuary for my linens.

 

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After Steven stripped and finished the access panel, I had my heart set on doing the same to the door entering the closet. I had thought about this in the past. Its really time consuming and not knowing what was underneath, I decided to use the closet door as a test to see if we would do the same to the rest of the doors. I am happy to say that it was well worth it.

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