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Long room makeover

9 years ago
I am finally schmicking up my living room. It faces north with the windows under a verandah. So far I have put in sky windows to let more light in. The room is 9m x 4.5m

The next job is to sheet the ceiling under the mission brown beams and put in down lights and ceiling fans.

I was going to sheet the walls too. The walls with the arches are nearly four metres high and I am fearful that it would look stark if they were sheeted. I am considering lime washing the walls. Any thoughts appreciated.

The piano is being moved to the other side of the arches and I am building a bookcase where the piano.


Comments (74)

  • 9 years ago
    We have just finished plastering our brick walls and our timber lined, exposed beam ceiling. The remaining roof beams were the main ones hold the roof up and were slightly bigger than the others so we just butted the plaster up to them and sanded them and re stained them. The original support beam in the middle of the room was twisted so we removed it, replaced it with a steel beam and wrapped it in timber, and have since stained it to match the roof beams. The beams above the doorway are just lengths of pine, stained and nailed to the wall to give a good finish. The house is so much lighter and brighter and the remaining timber is now a feature. Best decision we made in our whole house reno. Can't find a before photo but we had almost pinkish looking bricks and red cedar wood on every surface and it was so dark and depressing. Now, I love being home!
  • 9 years ago

    I agree kym2650, those oppressive dark beams are screaming to be sheeted over with insulation tucked in behind!! Then the timber wall and the fireplace wall can be painted over in a nice light colour, the lime wash idea will give a textured background to your new decor. If you have a large tv hung on the now timber wall it will act as a mirror during the day and won't need to be hidden. An oversize bookcase where the piano is now would mask a lot of the brick wall, a college of your pictures and memorabilia will add pops of colour too. A framed large mirror over the new piano placement will also bounce light and reflect the garden. Then you will have your cosy more formal sitting area around the fireplace or your plan and a pleasant lightened room which will reflect your character and highlight your collections. Don't be tempted to mess with those arches as that will be expensive, they are probably structural and would need a beam to replace them! A couple of well placed pendant lights and some floor and table lamps and then you can sit back and relax in a charming space, but please post some photos when you're done.

    kym2650 thanked mykky48
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  • 9 years ago

    Here are some photos before and after the sky windows went in.

    Yes I know the room is messy but I did not expect to be posting these photos here.

    Yes I know the wall lights have to go. The fireplace is not boarded up now. Slowly slowly getting there. And I love the peach coloured cornices. The arches can be removed and squared up by using a T-bar. That would, I think force me into re-carpeting. If I plaster the walls I will need to replaster anyway. And how would I square the arch without plastering the wall anyway.

  • 9 years ago

    Those skylights have certainly lit up the room:-) If the arches are the only ones in the house you'll lose nothing by opening it all up, but that carpet will have to die. When the new ceiling gets installed a new sleek one-line cornice will also be fitted, was that you cheering? Then you will see a major improvement in the natural light which may influence the colour choices. Can't wait for the next photo update Kim!!!

  • 9 years ago
    Would remove the maccas arch (sorry)
    Whitewash the brick.
    Plaster the timber wall as the angle is the opposite direction to the beams.
    Either repair the plaster and paint the beams a lighter colour but still contrasting to the ceiling
    Plaster of the beams
  • 9 years ago

    Depends on costs really,

    Painted brick can look nice, but you still have a lot of dusting to keep it that way! I think I might save up and get the whole room sheeted out,chimney breast arches and all, the arch edges can be plastered as well! Whats the "other side" like? Can you change one arch into a bookcase? That would justify the step and give you more wall, modern in ceiling down-lighters would look nice (try for the dim-able ones!) Once you have a clean classic shell you can put your own stamp on the space, and what a nice looking space it is!

  • 9 years ago

    Everything takes a bit of imagining.

    Look at the difference a light grout colour can make with dark bricks! See here with white ceiling and fixtures and with timber - a classic combination. Your large brick wall could accommodate a bank of narrow storage cupboards (similar but not right to the ceiling as in the picture as this is different situation). This would add lightness and break up the brick area.

    If you'd like an updated smart but enduring retro look in keeping with the house design and age, maybe consider a bit of work to change the grout - if you are lucky enough to have raked grout then new light gout/mortar could be applied flush.

    What if the brick section over and including the arches was removed and replaced with a framed wall to be timber panelled both sides over the new wide doorway (e.g. using horizontal wide western red cedar boards vj t&g or timber floating flooring could be applied to walls) (get professional advice re any supporting structure)? Then panel over the end timber wall to match.

  • 9 years ago

    And I'd fill the section over the fireplace with a large mirror.

  • 9 years ago
    Thanks to you all for
  • 9 years ago
    Thanks to you all for your comments. They are interesting and quite diverse. Lots of food for thought.
    Now another question. I was intending to use down lights in the room. I am wondering now whether I could use down lights only at the far end where I intend to have a TV and use pendant lights over the rest of it. I guess in the more formal part of the room in front of the fire place. I think it would be a bit more intimate.
    Would that look 'orribly wrong. For the most part it would only be one part or other of the room being used at a time.
  • 9 years ago

    I have just put downlighters in my new "long " room and really they are a bit on the clinical side, they look great and if you are working are good, BUT lack romance, I will put dim-able next time. Fortunately the TV room is set in two parts to the back half behind the sofa works independently to the front half (over the TV) we never use those! In my drawing room I made the same mistake..............But use lamps in the evening to soften the look. So you could use all the same if you remember to a) split them into groups, b) use dim ables and possibly c) buy some really nice lamps! Otherwise remember if the room is serving your needs nothing is 'orrible!

  • 9 years ago

    We have 2 downlights at the TV end of our long room but they never get switched on (unless something gets dropped!) as our preference is table and floor lamps with led globes. Chandelier over the formal area, turned on occasionally but again table lamps for pools of light where we need for reading and ambience. You'll find the new white ceiling, minus those oppressive beams, will bounce the light around as will a large mirror over the mantlepiece. The 'orrible light sucking days are nearly over in that room my friend!!

  • 9 years ago
    Well today the sparky came in a roughed out the lights and ceiling fan. I only have three of the six downlights working at this stage. They are very bright but are dimmable so that will help I think. Work hastens slowly.
  • 9 years ago

    If you go for warm white LED instead of halogen, you're less likely to have a fire in your insulation, and power bills are lower.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Stick with it, bright is good sometimes and very very well done with the dimables, have just had the neighbours in and had to default to table lamps, guess who's replacements will be dimable!

  • 8 years ago

    Well after a long delay and a hospital visit, the plasterer is coming in this weekend to sheet the ceiling. I am looking forward to that. The following weekend the sparky is coming in to finish off the lighting.

    The money is quickly dwindling away but that is what happens.

    Now folks I have another question which may draw gasps of horror. I intend putting bookshelves where the piano is now. The will need to be fairly sizable given that the wall is so big. I am thinking something around 2.4 m high and at least as wide.

    So given that the dosh is disappearing (bloody medical bills) the bookshelves will not be as swish as I had originally intended. To this end (this is where I will hear you gasp in horror) I am considering getting the flat pack Ikea Billy shelves and tarting them up a bit. Has anybody on this site done this? How successful was it and was it worth he effort? I have seen this done on other sites and from all appearances it looks OK but...........

    I will post some photos once the ceiling is in and the lights are up.


  • 8 years ago

    Billy are good bookshelves. They all work together and the shelves don't buckle.

  • 8 years ago

    Don't even hesitate, scoot off to Ikea and get Billy!!! We have 2m high X 4.6m wide bookcases and added the glass doors to them, after 4 years they look just as great as the day we assembled them. And they're fully loaded with no bends or buckling under the weight!!

  • 8 years ago

    The ceiling is being sheeted as I type this. Looking good already. Its been pretty quick to sheet. The setting and finishing will take some time. Next is to paint and carpet.

    Two of my daughters have driven to Melbourne to see Maroon Five (whoever they might be) and they will hopefully drop into Ikea to get the bookshelves and cabinets.

    It is all happening, woohoo.

  • 8 years ago

    looking forward to a sticky beak picture ;)

  • 8 years ago

    What a difference a day makes.

    Perhaps a slight exaggeration. The skylights have been in for a while but the ceiling was sheeted today. Also insulated the ceiling with R3.5 batts.

    Now to paint the ceiling, which is nearly four metres to the highest point.

    And then to paint in around the skylights - that could be a challenge.

    Gotta say I am pretty happy.

    The lights (LED downlights) need to connected and the ceiling fans installed.

    There will be a light in front of the fireplace that can be turned on in isolation to the LEDs.

    kym2650's Ideas · More Info

    kym2650's Ideas · More Info

  • 8 years ago

    Already there is a big difference!

  • 8 years ago

    Wow thats going to look so good

  • 8 years ago

    OMG now we can see the full potential, that space is inspiring!

  • 8 years ago

    Well folks,

    The sparky came in last weekend and
    installed the ceiling fans and the downlights. Unfortunately one of the ceiling fans gave up the ghost the next day and needs a new control unit. That will arrive this week I hope.

    The week before I put
    the Venetian blinds in. Boy didn't they make a difference. They have softened the outside the house.

    So again I will post the before and after photos just cos I can.

    kym2650's Ideas · More Info

    kym2650's Ideas · More Info

    kym2650's Ideas · More Info

    I also have a new patio that I am working on. So much to do and..........well you know how it goes.

    Have a nice day now y'hear

  • 8 years ago

    Well done!

  • 8 years ago

    looking good!

  • 8 years ago

    Whatever you do with the brick wall, keep the western red cedar wall - it adds some warmth to a very light, bright room.

  • 8 years ago
    Keep us updated...you won't know yourself. Keep having fun
  • 8 years ago
    Thanks for the comments. Things have come to a bit of standstill following a visit to hospital and subsequent recuperation. I hope to start painting in the next week or so. New carpet won't be going in until after Christmas.
    The timber wall at the end is pine not WRC. I certainly wouldn't paint WRC but I am going to paint the pine. With hindsight i should have plastered the wall.
    Then the bookshelves.
    Unseen in the photos is a recess that was once a bar complete with sink, mirrored tiles and glass shelves. The 'bar' bit has been removed already. This is becoming a small office.
  • 8 years ago
    Hope all well and on deck soon, take care
    kym2650 thanked wuff
  • 8 years ago

    Take it slowly, don't push yourself too hard, and get well soon!

    kym2650 thanked User
  • 8 years ago

    So glad the timber wall is getting a paint job, but please make haste slowly in your recovery. The painting can wait a little longer as your health comes first, maybe get family armed with brushes on the job!!

    kym2650 thanked mykky48
  • 8 years ago
    Well folks I am making haste slowly. Christmas and another stint in Calvary Hospital at Wagga have thrown a spanner in the works.

    So I am in the process of ripping up the carpet. The apparently 'Fat Bastard' on his knees is me. That shirt does me no justice. It will be recarpeted soonish. The steps will be squared off and covered with timber on the risers and the treads.

    The old bar has been ripped out, the water stopped off and the drain blocked. I have to put levelling mud on the door do that I can lay vinyl timber look strips. It will make it easier for a chair to roll on because it is becoming a study/office nook. I will be putting in a header wall and a jack wall and swinging a door off the brick wall. The jack wall and door will be a continuation of the existing wall.

    Then to wash the walls, paint the two end walls and finally decorate. Woo effing hoo. It has been quite a job and I am willing to give tips to anyone who wants them.

    I bought a an entertainment unit off gumtree and have been making that look a bit better.

    All to be done by the 1st April. I needed a date for Practical Completion

    I will post on the 2nd April. Can someone please remind me.
  • 8 years ago
    DYI, wuff? Do Yourself In? ;)
  • 8 years ago
    Hehehe, I always seem to make that error..that day I was about to do myself in
  • 8 years ago

    Hi Wuff, I was thinking the lurid colour would pain any one and Kym......well done you for persisting with your makeover! Even if you miss the completion date we won't mind, the reveal/update is worth waiting for ;-)

    kym2650 thanked mykky48
  • 8 years ago
    I've got a similar design and embraced the brick and beams. It helped to identify another colour in the brick, which for us was black specks, which we were able to highlight by painting window sills and entry door black. (If I couldn't have done this I would have white washed the brick walls). Thankfully we only had two brick walls as more would have been too much. We painted the plastered walls white. We had a yellowish pine rail in the room and yellow pine boards above our lead light windows ( similar to your wall of wood) which was just too much for me so I painted the rails white to match the wall and it worked to visually extend the room. We painted the pine boards above the Windows black which extended the black window frames. We then ditched the White carpet and replaced it with floorboards. I then decorated by breaking up the length of the room by creating zoned seating spaces which works great as we have a big space to all gather or an intimate seating area for a coffee and chat. Here are some before and afters:
    kym2650 thanked Joanne Fosdike
  • 8 years ago

    Thanks for the comments folks.

    I am slowly getting there. Painting has been a bit of a bugger because it has been so warm for so long - over 35 degrees for days on end and that can make a good paint finish difficult to achieve.

    The wall at the end has been given an undercoat though and when I have sanded it I will give it another coat and then a couple of top coats. The room looks longer already (I think).

    I am not about to DYI just yet. I still have plenty of DIY to do.

    Joanne - our neighbours have a ceiling like yours. They painted it all white and it has a real beach house feel to it. Looks terrific. So does yours I might add. Having two sitting areas is something I am trying to achieve too. I like the couches by the way. Happy to take them off your hands.

    It is onwards and upwards from here. Pool to repaint, kitchen and family room to paint again, blinds to put up in the children's rooms, floating floor to put in the dining room and a quick lick of paint in there too.

    Then it will be time for a little lie down. Gee I hope I get up again!

    Have a noice day now y'hear

  • 8 years ago

    I am having second thoughts about the downlights that I installed. I took the advice of the lighting shop people and I installed bright downlights, can't remember the number. Looks like MCG on a Friday night. I think I should have installed warm white not 'welding mask bright' lights.

    So given that I unloaded over three hundred hard earned dollars on the suckers they are going to have to stay unless...............someone is in the market for some downlights that are really quite bright. Welding mask included in sale.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I know the feeling Kym......but simple solution here, just leave the buggers off!

    Friends bragged about having 72 downlights in their new home and the ambience was airport runway even with dimmers, eek ;-) Floor lamps and table lamps will give lovely pools of light where you feel they suit best.

  • 8 years ago
    Okay folks. Someone didn't set their reminder for the great reveal. Well sorry to disappoint you all but things have not gone as planned. The take home message is don't get crook but despite that I am on track for a April 16 finish.
    I have knocked out the old steps and am putting in timber steps. I am using Beech Utility Benchtop from the big green house. They cut it to the required dimensions for nix too. Need to stain it and oil it then fix it in place. Then the carpeting and then finishing off. Stay tuned..........
  • 8 years ago

    Good things happen Kym........maybe slower than anticipated but still happening! Getting crook mid-stream does not help the scheme of things but you will complete that room and enjoy the space over the coming years

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Ask the electrician to substitute warm white bulbs. They should know that's the LED bulb for domestic applications.

  • 8 years ago
    As far as I know the led and fitting come as one unit and the six of them cost over $300.00 so I am reluctant to change at this stage
  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    LED bulbs are made to be changed out. Just a lot less often than older types, if you buy top quality.

    LED bulb replacement


  • 8 years ago

    Well after a very (very very very)
    long time my Living Room is all but complete. There is some work to do behind
    the new steps and some trim to be put on the bookshelves. A light is to be put
    between the couches (that the electrical cable hanging down) and the wall lights are going to be removed.

    So just a quick rundown on what has been achieved;

    Two sky windows - Velux - roofing guy

    Sheeted under the beams - plasterer

    New carpet – Bunnings – carpet layer

    Closed off the old bar and put in a door – builder and

    Installed ceiling fans – Hunter, remote control, reversible –

    Installed downlights - electrician

    Painted the endwalls – Solver Paint but Dulux Chine White
    colour - me

    Painted the ceiling – 2 x coats Solver Ceiling White over 2
    x coats plaster board sealer - me

    New blinds (venetians) and curtains - from Spotlight - me

    Installed a gas bayonet heater (until I can afford a gas ‘wood’
    fire for the fireplace – cripes they are expensive) – secondhand from Garage
    Sale - me

    Installed bookshelves – 2 x 202mm high + 2 x 106mm high Billy
    Bookshelf and 2 x Brimnes Cabinet - me

    Built and installed new steps and bench top on bookshelf – laminated
    Beech bench top, cut to size and routed, stained and oiled - me

    Sofas – Ikea Ektorp - me

    So some things I would have done differently. The downlights
    would be warm white not welding mask white. In fact I would re-think the whole
    light thing and possibly use lights with reflectors that were dark so that
    light was only reflected down. They would ‘lower’ the ceiling and make the room
    cosier I think.

    I kinda like the ceiling fans but had seen some which were
    awesome but really expensive. Then I saw ones very similar to the awesome ones
    but much cheaper but by then it was too late.

    I should have put bi-fold doors where the old bar was
    instead of a swinging door. I suspect that it will be unlikely now that I can
    use the room for its intended purpose. In fact with hindsight I coulda shoulda
    done the job myself rather than getting a builder in. It’s not as good as it
    should be and that has disappointed me.

    The bookshelves have come a up a treat – need to finish them
    off though with some trim. All from ‘Ikea’ except for the timber bench top. The
    bench top was a light bulb moment and breaks up the all-white appearance of the
    shelves. Also the white of the shelves and the white of the cabinet were
    slightly different and the bench has helped disguise that. The bench top and
    the steps were laminated beech panels from ‘Bunnings’ that I had cut to size. I
    stained them, put a router over the edge to round it off and then coated with
    Tung Oil.

    The bookshelves look bigger in real life than they do in the photos too.

    So now to sit and enjoy my handy work.

  • 8 years ago

    Fabulous inviting and relaxing space now, it oozes comfort and you should take a huge bow for your achievement....well done Kym!!!!

  • 8 years ago

    It's always great when ops post the results, thank You!

    Make sure you get the gas heater checked for emissions that can kill you.