DIY diva

The Parlor: Where Things Stop Getting Pink and Start Getting Finished

October 30, 2012 | 18 Comments | The Liberty House
DIY diva

The one unequivocal statement that can be made about the parlor is that it’s no longer fifty shades of pink.


I mean, it’s completely unfinished. I have a to-do list as long as my arm that needs to be finished before this is a space that any normal person would call habitable, but, hello, I once spent 18 months living in garage eating nothing but cup-o-soups and tater tots cooked on the grill.

So this?


I could probably plunk a lawn chair down in the middle of the room as-is and happily spend the next six months just hanging out in here.

But let’s just pretend I’m a normal human being who doesn’t think it’s acceptable to sleep with a drill under her pillow for a minute (ha. haha.) and talk about what still needs to be done in this space…


The Basics:

  • Patch holes in hardwood floor, and finish prepping for stain
  • Stain/Finish floor
  • Repaint walls
  • Paint inside of fireplace with flat black high-heat paint (and potentially other parts of the fireplace that shall remain nameless to avoid an uprising)
  • Find a light fixture that actually fits in the room

I have to be honest, I’m totally bummed about that last one. I bought this Weathervane chandelier from Pottery Barn two years ago when I was living in that garage, with the intention of putting it in the great room at the Memorial House (talk about things not working out with plans) and I schlepped that thing with me through two moves in under six month just for the shining moment last weekend where I actually got to open the box for the first time. Talk about delayed gratification.

And I love the light fixture every bit as much as I expected, however there’s one little problem… it hangs down about 36″ from the ceiling. I’m lucky in that these are nine foot ceilings and I’m just a few hairs over five feet tall, so as it is I have to jump just to touch the thing, but I may one day invite an actual tall person into my house and that person may want to walk into my parlor without receiving a concussion. So. Shit. 

I still have hopes that it may work out in the kitchen, but in the meantime, this room is officially without light.

Once I take care of that minor detail (along with the rest of the finish work) there are a lot of other ideas that have been swimming around in my head (read: pinterest boards) for this space.

Chief among them is the novel idea that I may one day own a couch…


Then, I’ve got plans for the fireplace that don’t involve actually lighting a fire in it…


And, my tools are going to get in on this room-finishing fun, with a couple of other projects, inspired by this…


And this…

Source: via Kit on Pinterest


And then, I swear, I’m going to take a nap. On my couch. In front of my not-fire. Or, you know, I may spend another eighteen hours with a floor sander finishing off this room instead…


DIY diva


  • Emily

    Love it so far! I really like the light fixture, would it work if there was a coffee table (round) underneath it so no one would ever be walking under it? Can’t wait to see it finished!

    • Kit

      I thought about that, even with a square coffee table, but the light is like 3′ in diameter and I was afraid if the (imaginary) couch was too close to the table someone could still stand up off of it and hit their head. It really is pretty low.

      You’ve also hit on one of my larger issues… I have no idea how to work the furniture placement in here!

      • Elin

        Well, then you’ll just have to get a really effin’ big dining table to hang it over, all medieval banquet style :)

  • meryl rose

    Omggggg I LOVE the stacked wood in the fireplace.

    Oh, and I posted our video of you dragging the bathtub behind your car, bahahahahahaha

    • Kit

      I don’t know why, but that video gets funnier every time I watch it! lol

  • katie

    i was going to make the same comment about the coffee table – you might be able to get away with a lower light fixture if you put something under it.

  • Pip

    Is the fireplace not working, or do you just not foresee yourself wanting a fire anytime soon? Because come the dead of winter when it gets dark by what feels like noon and the snow is flying, a fire might be kinda nice. 😀

    (If the fireplace doesn’t work, I LOVE the look of the logs packed in. I saw that on Pinterest too, and fell for it. Hard.)

    • Kit

      There are a couple of things about the fireplace. The first is that it’s freaking huge, and that means you have to get a bonfire-sized blaze going in it for it to draft appropriately, or risk smoke all over inside the house (having to open half the windows in the middle of winter is no fun.) The two downsides to that are 1.) I don’t generally have the time to get a bonfire size blaze going, or sit still long enough to watch it die down. and 2.) Really, if it’s drafting properly, that means it will be sucking a lot of hot air out of the house. These open fireplaces are just not efficient.

      Also, when you have a fire it requires cleaning up all of the ash and I learned from experience in my first house that I will only take care of that about once a year and the rest of the time it’s a big old mess. So, I’d rather just not have to deal with it.

      I am planning to put an actual efficient wood-burning stove in the kitchen though, so I won’t be totally without old fashioned light and heat on those dark days!

      • Pip

        Yeah, open fireplaces don’t do much for warmth, but sometimes it’s good for the soul in the depths of winter. However, if you’re going to have a wood-burning stove, then that will do the trick!

        Have fun cutting all those branches. 😀

  • Joseph

    You have power tools. Modify that rascal. You can’t take it back to the store, right? So if you screw it up beyond all belief, so what? Shorten everything up. Take out a couple of feet of height and see what it looks like. The worst that would happen is that you’d do it and hate it. Oh, well!

    • kc

      Just taking that big ring and one more out at the top looks like it would give you almost 6″!

    • Karen Anne

      Joseph beat me to it. Shorten the lighting fixture,

  • Sarah In Illinois

    Darn, I was hoping to suggest the light fixture in “the world’s largest hallway” but I see that it has the same ceiling height and probably even more chance of someone walking into it.

    I have never had a fireplace and always wanted one, so my first thought is “use it! don’t stack wood in it”. BUT…I can see your reasons above for not creating a fire and that makes sense. So in that case, the stacked wood looks really cool.

  • Leslie @ NE Portland Bungalow

    I like the light fixture. Can you hang it over the stairs?

  • Jen

    I can’t think of an intelligent thing to add that other commenters haven’t said. So: I LOVE the fixture. It’s perfect. I know you’ll find a spot for it!

  • Dana

    I just want to run my fingers on that freshly sanded wooden floor. It looks stunning as does the rest of the room.

  • Guerrina

    I love that light fixture and agree with all who said to modify it! Having just spent over 5 24 hr. periods without power/heat/water and not having a fireplace or woodburning stove….not the best time to offer any comment on it (chuckling).

  • David

    It is a big fireplace. Perhaps a Fireplace Insert? One that has high efficiency and a blower to help heat the house? My cousin has one, and a well built fire heats his entire first floor for eight hours.

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