It is a fantastic time to check in on the house of our Dream Living Room Sweepstakes winner. A couple of months ago, Mary Pucul of Vandling, Pennsylvania, won $20,000 of style services and $20,000 of furniture from Design Within Reach. (Check out our very first setup, where you will meet with the winner, husband Carl and designer Ani Semerjian, plus have a furniture shopping excursion together and take a look at the plans.)
The living room is well on its way to being a dream come true, but it’s an active construction zone. “It is a little difficult not having access to the place where we invest most of our time, and all the stuff that was in that room is spread out throughout the remainder of the home,” Pucul states. “But it’s all worth it, due to being here each day you can see things continuously shifting.”
Here is a peek at the way the room is coming along.
The dark brown cut the beams, moldings and stairs is painted in Benjamin Moore’s French Press AF-170. The light walls are Benjamin Moore’s Cosmopolitan CSP-100.
Semerjian’s original plan for the room indicates some of the furniture choices from Design Within Reach. (Read more about the purchasing and selection process here.) Besides the design furniture and services, the remodel includes tiling, a new ceiling, recessed lighting, painting, removing a sink inside the room (previously a kitchen) and shutting up the pipes.
Living in a construction zone isn’t fun, however, the couple has found ways to accommodate. Pucul is great at turning negatives into positives. “My husband went to the library, where you can purchase a bag of used books for $5, and he’s now on his next luggage,” she states. “We’ve been reading a lot. The radio, CD player and DVD player have been disconnected for the last couple of months, so we’ve had more discussions. I have tried cleaning the rest of the home, however, also the sawdust and plaster dust finds its way upstairs virtually every day, so I have given cleaning up until the work is completed — that’s a fantastic thing.”
At one stage during construction, Carl found a way to enjoy his favorite TV-watching place, that has a new wall-mounted plasma TV and a comfy lawn chair that could stand up to drywall dust. “Our only other TV is in the bedroom, so some nights we are in bed by 8 or 9 o’clock,” Pucul states.
Demolition comprised removing the drop ceiling and the rug. This brought back memories for Pucul, who grew up in this home. “After taking out the rug, we were left with all the linoleum from the time when that room was our family,” she states.
“Back in 1964 my mother won an electrical stove and informed my father the new stove was moving in the living room on the second floor,” she recalls, “so that was our kitchen got moved upstairs and the kitchen became the family room. Seeing that linoleum brought back a great deal of great memories … but I have to say, the hardwood floor looks a ton better.”
Semerjian’s programs include a white painted tongue and groove ceiling and recessed lighting. “The initial ceiling was half acoustic tile, and another half has been wood-grained paneling that looked very obsolete,” she states. “Instead of removing it, I chose to add it to another part of the ceiling, removing the acoustic tile.”
“Since the home is in the nation and the furniture is so contemporary, the tongue and groove ceiling introduced a nation element to the space. It will help tie the room together,” Semerjian states. “painting the paneling white upgraded the space and added dimension and interest to the ceiling.”
Ceiling paint: White Dove OC-17, Benjamin Moore
“I really like the appearance of dark molding and trim,” Semerjian continues. “I picked the dark paint help tie the ceiling and the flooring together, because we decided to opt for a gorgeous dark walnut floor.”
“I was not sure about the colour scheme initially but trusted Ani’s judgment,” Pucul states, “and she’s been put on!”
The flooring is an engineered timber by Mohawk. It is the Queenstown (a 5-inch-wide plank) in Hickory Antique. As this space is a cellar, Semerjian chose engineered flooring for their stability and resistance to moisture. “We chose to proceed with the dark floor because it’s much more wealthy and elegant, and I really like the appearance of wide plank flooring.”
The firebox was arranged prior to Semerjian came onboard, so she is working on a design for a surround to deliver it in the new scheme of the room.
Semerjian took good advantage of the space under the stairs to make open shelves for networking gear.
The owners like seeing progress almost daily. “We’ve come a long way,” Pucul states.
Our next article will be the big reveal. I can not wait to see this dream living room!
More: Watch the first installation of this makeover