Dawn and Tim’s DIY Living Room Expansion
What do you do when the furniture you really want won’t work in your living room? You do what Dawn and Tim did – you “simply” move a wall.
“It all started with getting a new couch,” says Dawn. “We moved into our new house and the space screamed for large sectional. Upon finding the perfect slip-covered sofa from Red Barn Mercantile, we realized it nearly bumped up against the hallway and entrance wall.”
I drew a crude (not to scale) sketch of the front entrance, stairs, and living room to help visualize what they did. You can see the dotted line, which is the original living room wall, with a hallway to the side. The stairs go up to their Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO) rental. The plan was to tear down the wall and move it 2 feet right next to the stairs as the hallway was wasted space. They determined that the wall was not load bearing, so they were good to go.
Here is the original wall with its awkward angle and small triangle-shaped closet.
Behind is a narrow hallway that leads to the basement. If they moved the wall, they’d get more light into the living room through the outside entrance door. So, they started by breaking through the closet. Here’s how it looks with the closet opened up.
On the opposite site of the wall, on the left is the wall they took down and then put back up closer to the staircase.
When they demolished the wall, the plaster created clouds of dust that covered everything.
“For days no matter how many times we washed everything down, the dust was everywhere,” says Dawn, “Next time (if there is a next time), I would definitely try to really section off the work area to contain the dust.”
Tim says they decided to call an electrician when he noticed frayed wires. “It’s an old house,” he says, “and hasn’t been rewired in a very long time.” So, even though it could have been a simple job, he wanted to be safe and hire an electrician. Over the next several weeks, he then built the new wall. This was more challenging because the wall had several odd angles and would bump up alongside the staircase.
Here’s how it looked after Tim was finished.
This is the side where they removed the closet and allowed for another path to the side door and stairs going down to the basement.
Dawn also wanted a faux fireplace. “I observed Tim staring at the wall for several evenings,” she says, “just trying to mentally configure out how to fit in the fireplace and the front door and deal with all the odd angles.” He realized that if he put the door leading into the living room on an angle, it would work. “I’m thrilled to report, “says Dawn, “that he did it! It all worked out!”
In our next post, we reveal how it all came together and their completely restyled living room. And for more about Dawn and Tim, check out the full tour of their upstairs VRBO apartment and plans to renovate their outdoors living space and garden.