Home Home Sweet Home If These Walls Could Talk…

If These Walls Could Talk…


They’d likely say “What took you so long?”

My five-year anniversary of living in this fine old farmhouse is fast-approaching, a mere blink in its beautifully-framed 120-year-old life.  And as each homeowner makes his or her mark, some times enhancing, other times insinuating ‘improvements’ where none are needed, I try to spare this winsome Victorian a profile with any ill-placed warts.before the livingroom remodel

I’ve waited awhile to tackle the living room. A beautifully proportioned room (almost) with its original tall slender windows, and a ceiling height that suggested a more recent history. I made my initial move to investigate the ceiling  in 2004, but then the roof, gutters, foundation, furnace, plumbing and porch cried foul, “Hold on Bucko, us first!”

Tom’s Unproven Home Improvement Equation: 2 friends + 1 sawsall + 3 hunches that the ceiling had been lowered = 1 gaping hole in my living room ceiling and an immediate call to action.  hole in ceiling before demo Eureka! There’s space under them there rafters.

exposed framework of lowered ceiling I had a ceiling to raze and raise, and besides my ten foot Christmas tree was having nothing to do with an eight foot height restriction.  first Christmas with a high ceiling

Under the rafters, I discovered  simple marbled Victorian ceiling paper that softly reflected the light. The lumber remaining around the room’s perimeter was going no where; 3 giant in-line nails every 16 inches saw to that.

victorian ceiling light chandelier

Interior design rule 204: Hang a chandelier and no one will notice the crumbling plaster.

new drywall in living room

The 6 best words in the English language: I hired out the mudding and taping.

newly primed living room walls

2009: Things are finally shaping up, as I ponder what color to paint this room’s walls and trim. (Now where’s that box of five years worth of paint chips?)

What I was blogging about one year ago: A Bird in the Hand.


  1. TOM! Living room looks fantastic…ah, the spectrum of color choice…whatever you choose will be PERFECT! What do Boz and Gracie prefer? Love and miss you…

  2. How much did it cost to raise the roof from 8ft to 10ft? I want to do this. Do you need a structural engineer to do this. What is the sq ft of this room?

  3. Tom, it is beautiful! I’m sure you and Gracie and Boz will love the room. But doesn’t it CRY OUT for CROWN MOLDING? Paint it first and then finish it off with a nice molding, it will surely be worth the extra effort!

    • Charlotte, oh yes it does cry out if not bellows for Crown Molding, I so agree with you. For now I have a couple more pressing projects, so rest assured, maybe this fall I’ll lasso my gifted carpenter buddy Jon, and see if we can team up to make the room sing!


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