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05 June 2009 @ 02:43 pm
Need decorating advice!!  
It looks like we're going to start working on clearing out and painting the sunroom this weekend. (My mom will have two rooms completely to herself, the sunroom and the large room behind it.) I've decided to move all my 1950s-era aluminum porch furniture in there (loveseat/glider + 2 rocking chairs), since the dogs and cats can't really hurt it (I hope!)--as opposed to my vintage wicker furniture, which would probably become a lovely scratching post. I think I'll also put my vintage enamel-top table in there--it has chrome legs, so again the pets shouldn't hurt it much. I'm thinking of painting the sunroom a pale, jadite green and hanging sheer white curtains, and then sewing some red tropical-patterned cushions for the chairs. There are windows on three sides, so it's really a lovely little room to sit in and read, etc.

I'm not so sure what to do about the main room--right now, it has 1950s-era wood paneling (the *real* kind, thin sheets of wood, not fake wood grain). Should I paint over it? I feel kinda bad about doing that, since it is real wood, but it would certainly lighten things up in there. What do you think?

The room is a little dowdy (and full of boxes), but my goal is to make it feel airy and comfortable. I'm having a hard time coming up with a decorating scheme, though. The carpet is ca. 1960? and has a textured pattern. It is kind of an oatmeal color. Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to have the time and/or funds to replace it or remove it and refinish the floor, so it stays for now, but I'll steam-clean it as well as I can:

The ceiling is covered with acoustic ceiling tiles. God, I really detest those things, but again, I don't think we're going to have the time or money to afford to remove them and replace them with sheetrock. There are pipes going into the ceiling because they were used to hang clothes from (it was the work room for a tailor). Fortunately, they're attached to a piece of wood, so rather than repairing the acoustic ceiling tiles after we remove the pipes, I think we're just going to patch and paint the strip of wood and leave it where it is.

The room has its original door, which is kind of cool. But my mom has two giant dogs (ugh), so I need to find a way to protect the door from scratch marks. Larry has suggested that we tack up a thin sheet of metal over the bottom 4' of the door. What do you guys think? Can you think of any alternatives? Here's the door:

I really need your advice, my friends! How do I make this room comfortable and breezy without spending too much time and/or energy on tearing everything out and replacing it?? What do you think absolutely *must* be replaced, and what should stay? Should I paint the paneling? Should I paint it white, which would hopefully make the room seem larger, or something else? Help!
tn grrltn_grrl on June 5th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I think the types of things you're proposing sound fine as a way to make the room inviting.

Here's just a thought. If you're planning on your mother living with you for a while, you may want to pose some of these questions to her. Even if you already have and she's saying it doesn't matter now, her helping pick whether or not to paint the wood paneling (and the paint color if it's a go)/fabric pattern for chairs in her living space/etc. will in the end probably help her feel more like it's her own space.
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 5th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, I have definitely sought out her input. I sent her some paint chips in the mail the other day, and I talk to her about a lot. It's just that she and I both are a little stumped as to how to make it happen. I mean, we have a lot of constraints to work around, so I'm just in search of good ideas. My mom did say that she wants it to feel kind of tropical/Southern in there, so I'm thinking light colors and not too much clutter--think beach house. But I don't want it to be too beige and blah, you know?
tn grrltn_grrl on June 5th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
zokay. :) Then yes to painting the wood paneling. We have a storage area... er, basement with painted wood paneling, and it looks very nice.

Hey - look at this site!
sarcastic darlinggfrancie on June 5th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe some sort of large but spare prints on the walls where the wood paneling is. So you don't have to actually paint it but kind of pull away from it a bit.
sarcastic darlinggfrancie on June 5th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
What about some sort of plexi-glass sheet over the bottom so you can still see the door but the dogs can do their thing?
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 5th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that might be better than metal. I hate having to do it at all, but the doors are original to the house, and I know at her present house, the dogs have really damaged the back door...
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 5th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering if we should get some of her photos blown up large. She is a fantastic photographer.
sarcastic darlinggfrancie on June 5th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
See that sounds like a grand idea. In-house talent!!
I take it that room will be her bedroom?
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 5th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
There are two rooms total: sun porch + bedroom/living room. Yes, the photos are of the bedroom. And she'll be able to use any other room in the house, of course, but the dogs won't.
sarcastic darlinggfrancie on June 5th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Should you paint the paneling, something white would make it bright and clean. And then with some her photos it would look welcoming. Just little bursts of color here and there.
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 5th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
She's got a lot of flower pics, beach pics, and bird pics, so I should be able to find something nice...
WebMSwebms on June 5th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Paint is your friend, and although people always complained when I painted over paneling, they always loved the new look of the room better than it was before. I hate to suggest it because I know it's wood but paint the paneling! White is a great color for a sunroom because you can change up the pillows/accessories and voila! New room. :)

I'd do plexiglass over the door rather than metal, I think it'd be good to protect it.

That was a great idea about the furnishings being cat and dog proof, and it all should pull together well, sanded and painted will give it all a new lease on life. The carpet's nice and steam cleaning should do. :)
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 5th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! Just a note, though--it's actually two rooms. Wasn't sure if that was clear in the post. The front room, the sunporch, has sheetrock and wood walls, not paneling (thank god). It's my mom's bedroom/living room that has paneling. And yeah, I am leaning towards painting it a nice, clean white... (but one with some color in it, I think).
catsaricatsari on June 8th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
What about a wash, that would let some of the wood grain come through but still lighten it up?
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 8th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Like a whitewash...?
sarcastic darlinggfrancie on June 15th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Saw this plate/print and thought of you.
la marquise du sudla_sherazade on June 15th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Very pretty! I'm undergoing a temporary buying moratorium, but that's exactly the kind of thing I'm thinking of for the bedroom...
sarcastic darlinggfrancie on June 15th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
They seem to have a boat-load of plates so it should working with your moratorium I bet.
Simple but very pretty stuff.