Our home had an addition put on it several years before we purchased it. It is on the rear of the house, beyond the kitchen. We have always used that space as our living room:That left us with what was home’s original living room to use in other ways. We decided to make it our dining room……SLASH office:We didn’t buy anything specifically for this room….just used what we had. Like a bunch of random frames for this little gallery of Josiah photos:When I decided to switch around the bedrooms and got a new desk for my sewing room, I was able to put this table (which was once used for my sewing station) to use as a larger dining room table by pairing it with a bench that was once used as a coffee table of sorts in our Den. (I told you about this move here.)Even before the new table, the dining room had also acquired several other new items: the chest below the window was once at the foot of our bed…but was kicked out when we rearranged it one day. I picked up a tree at a garage sale to fill the empty corner space (scroll back up and you’ll notice how it was sort of awkward before). And then we moved the fish tank in from the living room when its’ place there was taken over by a faux fireplace.But then I decided to move the table into the space that was originally the dining room, but we had sort of been using as en extension of the kitchen…I had been considering this for a while, but the real clencher for the move was the awesome chandelier that we got for $20 at a warehouse sale (there is no wiring for an overhead light in this room). The table looks great in its new home…but those pics will have to wait for another day.

So then our dining room SLASH office became sort of the office random room:

The open floor space and the kids table made this a good playroom, and I like that Josiah then played right next to me when I was on the computer. But the fact that the stairs were there and that this is the first room you see when you enter our house made it less than ideal as a play space. (Most of the time, I had one of those puzzle piece foam mats under the art table as a sort of rug, which did bring the space together a bit…but I guess I don’t have any pictures of that stage.)One improvement that was made to this space at about the same time was a new light fixture. We bought it as the same time we bought the $20 chandelier for over the dining room table and it matches perfectly. We got it from a builder’s warehouse.  There were two of them…but both were missing a component or had a broken globe. By buying both at $3.59 a pop, we were able to assemble one nice light for $7 (it cost another $8 to cover the bigger hole in the ceiling with that white disk thing…): Throughout all of these changes, the worst feature of the room remained unchanged…the old parquet wood floor:You see, when we bought the house, we figured we’d lay new hardwood. It was one of the first things we wanted to do, but it kept getting pushed back by other projects. The redeeming factor of having a ruined floor is that you don’t have to worry about ruining it. Like when your toddler not only colors outside the lines…but outside the book:Eventually we realized that replacing the floors was an expensive, time consuming project that we would very likely never get to. SOOOO..my parents came out for a work weekend. While my dad and Rod built some new patio stairs, my mom and I refinished the floor! We rented this big ol’ sander from Home Depot:

It was pretty amazing, and it took no time at all to sand off the little that remained of the old finish:Then we swept up all that dust and started staining:Starting in the closet, then at the end of the hallway, I just moved a section at a time backing myself out of the room.Then came the polyurethane finish:The most complicated part of the whole process was timing the coats (we applied 4 coats). You have to re-coat within a certain window of time….before it has begun to cure but when it is dry enough to handle the bit of traffic it takes to apply the next coat. And of course you have to plan in such a way that you work yourself out of the room without walking over wet finish. So then the floor was finished! I had decided to pain the desk while I had it disassembled and out of the room. Since we weren’t ready to move it back in yet, we decided to try something new. What if, we thought, we make this original living room space…wait for it…a living room? And so we did:I’m pleased.

Next week, I’ll show you want we did with the space that used to be the home for all of this furniture, and how the refinished desk turned out…


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  1. Shelley C says:

    You have such good taste and a special savvy for arranging things….Well done! I’m so jealous! 🙂

  2. Kristine says:

    It’s lovely. Refinishing the floors was worth it – they look beautiful. And I love the gallery wall above the couch.
    I bet the whole space just feels nice to be in.

  3. Ruth says:

    It looks fantastic. I love everything you did with the space. The floors turned out beautifully. Great job!!

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