Fixer-Upper Friday :: Great Room Before and After

For this week’s edition of Fixer-Upper Friday I’m going to share with you the transformation of our Great Room!

Our Great Room is in the back of the house, in the addition.  It features exposed beam ceilings like the Family Room does.  It’s a long rectangular room with a gigantic bay window on one end, and the kitchen on the other end.  The Great Room includes a sitting area, our dining room, and a huge fireplace not quite in the middle of the room.

If I have one complaint about this house, it’s that the architect who designed the addition was not the most forward-thinking.  The amount and placement of windows, baseboard heaters, and outlets in this house have proved problematic for arranging furniture.  We struggled with this a little in the Family Room but the struggles with this room are a little more prevalent.  While in the Family Room we had an issue with it being almost too big – having to bring our furniture in from the walls a little and figuring out what to do with the space between – in this room, our struggle is that it’s too narrow.  You’ll see what I mean when I get to the After pictures.  🙂  But still, it’s a good size room, and it has lots of potential, and I’ve already got some renovation ideas about how we can manage these issues.

First, the horrid Before pictures:

This is the view from the doorway leading into the Family Room. More sad, brown, ugly carpeting. More dark wood trim that kills the light as soon as it comes in the window. And to the right here you can see the fireplace and the weird linoleum fake brick thing they put in front of it. It extended the feel of the fireplace almost halfway into the room and really crowded it, especially since the fireplace sits on the narrow length of the room.
Here’s a view from the other end of the room, from the corner near the bay window. The sellers left us that hutch as part of the sale of the house, and I LOVE IT. It’s an old Ethan Allen hutch, and I’ve already filled it with bloggy dishes and stuff. I’ve never had a hutch before!
Here’s another view from the bay window side of the room. You can see right into the kitchen (and you’re getting a sneak peek of the kitchen remodel here). You can see how far out that linoleum brick thing in front of the fireplace comes out. Also it’s just hideous. It had to go!

Now, a few pictures from During the process:

Bye bye gross old carpet! We originally thought we’d leave the carpet in this room, for two reasons: a) it was in better shape than the carpet in the rest of the house, and b) we are planning on remodeling this entire back part of the house at some point and will probably put down wood flooring. But at the last minute we decided to carpet it now and it would give the house a more ‘finished’ look. I’m SO glad we made that decision.
This room actually felt bigger without that old ugly carpeting!
Ahhh new carpet! Doesn’t this picture just feel so fresh and clean?!
So much nicer!!!

And now, for the Afters!!:

Look at my lazy dog! I just love him. But yes, look at this room too! It looks so much better!
Much better light fixture, don’t you think?
New dining room furniture is on the ‘someday’ list…

You see what I mean about furniture placement?  You are pretty limited with creativity and what you can do with this room, because it’s so narrow, and because of the window placement.  It would be awesome if the fireplace was in the center of the room, but it’s off to the right a little.  It would actually be nicer if the fireplace sat at the end of the room where the bay window is, with maybe windows on each side.  And It would be awesome if the windows next to the dining room table sat directly across the fireplace, just for my own sense of balance in the room, but they are also offset.

I can never have a dining room table bigger than the one I’ve got.  Otherwise I’d be cutting into the sitting area of this room.  I can also never have bigger sitting area furniture than what I’ve got, because it would be cutting into the dining area.  I love the gigantic bay window, I really do.  But it would be nice if I had some wall space there.  There’s also this window next to the fireplace that is nice for opening and letting in a cross-breeze, but sort of a pain because I NEED WALL SPACE!  So, we just need to be creative with this room, and I already have some ideas and plans about relocating the dining area, to give us some more room for the sitting area.  And maybe even build us a closet (we have NO closets on this floor) and a proper entryway.  🙂

And actually now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I relocate the sitting area, and this giant room becomes a gigantic eating/gathering area… see?  Lots of potential!!

So HEY if you have any interior design or decorating ideas for us for this room (*ahem ahem* *wink wink* my dear sister-in-law!), I’m stoked to hear them!  Please share!

Please share!

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