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  • Karen Terhune Duncan

Everyday Living

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

We decided there would be only one "living room" in this house; no longer wanting or needing a "formal" living room AND a "family room". This room functions for watching TV as well as entertaining and it's integrated with the kitchen space. The room is not large and yet we find it super comfortable and has all that we need at this time in our life. It just needed a total refreshing bringing it out of the 1980s. We kept the built ins on either side of the fireplace with new background paint and hardware and put the lighting on dimmers. We removed all the mullions from the windows. (Actually we did this everywhere in the house. They were those ones that snapped into the windows. While our windows were double pane hurricane Marvin and in great shape the mullions were distracting to the view and cheap looking. I took every one of them to the dumpster when the construction was going on and it opened every room.)

Next was to tackle the fireplace. It was so dated, with green marble and a dinky looking mantel and shiny gold brass and glass doors. Hideous. I had it all ripped out. First, we found a superb local Georgian craftsman woodworker who created a stunning new mantel piece layering beautiful Alder woods; a bit more modern looking yet still elegant. He then wrapped the two support columns (that had been some boring Grecian style) to match and the effect is both stunning and sort of looks like two stately palm trees, flanking the entrance to the opening of the room. The ceiling was already a nice "tray" style and had some decent molding. We widened and lengthend the opening to the kitchen for better flow. Everything was painted the same BM Balboa Mist with Pearl white trim as the kitchen and hallways. And the floors continue throughout the entire house in a dark coffee stain.

We chose granite for the new fireplace surround that has soft movement in grays and golds. All our exisiting furniture and rug worked with some reupholstering and accessories. Doug won with a 75" TV surround sound and now that we truly live in this room, I have to say he was right. We love sports and watching the Penguins win the Stanley Cup and Jordon Spieth take the British Open in here was pretty sweet. I am excited for football season in this room!


The opening on the far wall was widened and higher for better flow to what is now the kitchen and dining room

We ripped out the dated mantel, green marble and gold trimmed glass doors.

The progression of the fireplace.

Finished Fireplace

Previous room and hallway with doors and the FINISHED room with wrapped columns and open hallways






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