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This old & outdated looking living room
Modern English Tudor
November 3, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I have no much information about this Tudor style house but was built in 1928. This is the house we have recently bought and desperately need your help to enhance the look of this living room with dark baseboards and fireplace mounted on cheap wood panel.

Actually this is my 2nd posting on Houzz after the first one about staircase a week ago. (Thanks so much for your help already!)

My contractor suggested to paint the whole room with lighter color including the dark panel wall where the fire place is mounted.

The entrance door trim will be replaced. I also dislike the two closet doors at the entrance. I have no idea what kind style this is and they do not match the entrance door at all.

I wish that i could upload more pictures here at a time but it seems like 4 is the limit.

I would appreciate any ideas about the pictures uploaded here including living room, entrance door, closet doors at the entrance, fire place, textured wall, etc. And also please tell me what to keep or replace.

Thanks!!!
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Modern English Tudor
More pictures:
0 Likes   November 3, 2012 at 10:29PM
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2dogssashatess
The dark wood panel, I would either pull off or paint over white as your room appears not to be very bright and you already have a timber floor. I think I like the fireplace, but its hard to see against the wood panelling.Do you actually have a mantlepiece to place objects on? The built in shelving unit is functional and storage is desirable but if you can afford to pull it out and start again, I would.
0 Likes   November 3, 2012 at 10:47PM
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2dogssashatess
ps I agree the closet doors should go,perhaps replace with something panelled?
0 Likes   November 3, 2012 at 10:48PM
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PRO
Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed
I believe that you should work with the architecture of the original home, if it is strong in original detail, if, when you look at the exterior, you see Tudor style for instance, and I see elements on the exterior, along with the typical 1920's stucco walls, if that is what I am seeing in the one photo of a wall.
Tudor homes are dark, but to bring it up to today's fresher look ( not so 70's) yes, the walls could be painted one light neutral color, including the paneled wall. The baseboard and molding along the ceiling, along with the fireplace surround could either be left in the dark Tudor style, and the fireplace surround would really pop and be more true to the original integrity of the home. Over the fireplace one large painting or mirror. Or, if you don't care if everything looks 100% Tudor, the fireplace, baseboard and molding at the ceiling could be painted a deeper warm neutral color so stay important in the room. If they are painted white, that is too colonial. And once you start painting baseboard and molding, you have to consider what the adjoining room/s have...where you stop and start the painting, everything should flow throughout the house. I like Farrow & Ball colors, they have a great and interesting color chart.
1 Like   November 3, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Modern English Tudor
And some more pictures: should i keep the mirror and electrical outlet? What should I do with the ugly door leading to the garage top?
0 Likes   November 3, 2012 at 11:02PM
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PRO
Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed
If you want the home to maintain the original Tudor elements, the electrical plate is actually "charming", just change the dimmer switch to brown so it doesn't stand out. If it is an add on, you could change it altogether, but keep the Tudor element going. And, looking at the staircase, if that is the original Tudor style, or at least original to the house, that area could use a hanging chandelier, more of a statement piece, more true to the period and front door and more in keeping with the metal of the staircase, like the one that looks like it is hanging in the staircase itself at the 2nd level....
1 Like   November 3, 2012 at 11:20PM
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mojo44
Reminds me a bit of this room...
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 2:49AM
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Modern English Tudor
Dear Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed,

Thanks so much for your input in detail.

You also suggested: if you don't care if everything looks 100% Tudor, the fireplace, baseboard and molding at the ceiling could be painted a deeper warm neutral color so stay important in the room.

My question is what color would you suggest. I can't think of any other color other than only white and darn brown as shown in the picture.

And should I keep the textured wall or smoothing out it? If I choose to smooth out, which way would be better in terms of finishing and green(=less toxic) way among drywall, plastering and joint compound?

To my eyes, this has some character of tudor but they have not been tastefully updated by previous homeowners. It looks like this home has a little bit of tudor here and 70s there to me without much craftsmanship throughout the home. Thinking that way, I am attempted to get rid of almost everything except for the fireplace and a chandelier on the 2nd floor and maybe metal window as well.

Thanks
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 1:04PM
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toscanovilla
You have a great canvas to begin with! If the sky's the limit follow one of several of Candace Olsen's makeover designs. Remember the rules of layering in room design. Flooring, lighting, walls, window coverings, plants, furniture, and then fill it with all the things that make it your room.
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 1:27PM
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2dogssashatess
I see you have old airconditioners in the windows which is an ugly look. CAn you pull them out and put in a split system airconditioners above the window?
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 1:38PM
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2dogssashatess
I see you have old airconditioners in the windows which is an ugly look. CAn you pull them out and put in a split system airconditioners above the window?
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Modern English Tudor
2dogssashatess, we are planning to install a central A/C system in the house after and put the appliance in the attic on the 2nd floor. Thanks!
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 3:58PM
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ceilsan32
Fulper , Teco, or Van Briggle art pottery and lamps would look great in this style of home. As suggested, remove the paneling from behind the fireplace. You could replace the fireplace surround with pottery tiles or marble, and add mica lighting, as per the period. Remove the white paint and let the original wood colors shine. Locate a period chandelier- you may find that the home was wired for it in the living room ceiling, at one time. Remove the louver door and make a window seat in the living room, above the radiator. Check out search engines for period paint colors, if that is your intention (more ambiance that bright lighting). What is your style of furniture?
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 4:29PM
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movethisnotthat
You do have a lot of great character in this house, congratulations on your new place !
Keep this true tudor will make this a real show place. Keep all the ironwork the staircase is gorgeous,
Find replacement ceiling lights with chandeliers. The paneling behind the fireplace should be removed and maybe the mantel itself, it looks newer,OR just add to it. Woodwork is huge in tudors and craftman style homes so beef up the fireplace with a to the ceiling tall built-in which includes a beveled mirror in it. Traditional bookcases or buffet height tables on either side of the fireplace. An iron grate and or screen that compliments the ironwork on the staircase will be a nice touch too. Let the woodwork be the star.Closet doors are a yes to replace as well.
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 5:43PM
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PRO
James Murphy
Keep original tudor style items such as light switch, fireplace and so on. Do not smooth out the wall as it gives Tudor style too and smooth walls would look too modern. As for the paneled wall behind the fireplace, remove all the paneling if possible but keep the baseboards, if it bothers you dark sand them and stain them lighter in shade or paint them a pale grey or a light neutral colour. Hope I help.
0 Likes   November 4, 2012 at 5:52PM
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PRO
Joshua David Home, LLC
You have a home with such great character! In all honesty, it would be a shame to rip it all out- keep in mind that character= real estate value. If you wish to modernize a Tudor Revival, may I suggest on the Living Room that you try to keep as much original detail as possible. To modernize it, replace the sconces with ones in Nickel and glass; with drum shades in off-wite. On the ceiling and walls, I would suggest to remove the texture and have your contractor put a good finished skim coat on and paint the ceiling white and walls a buff- a plaster Mattiere finish would elevate the room. The floor- unfortunaetly, was replaced with what looks like pine- It was probably; orginally intended to be a quarter-sewn oak to relate to the existing wood. I would suggest to actually restain it darker to match the existing wood- this is actually back in style and very modern. To brighten and modernize the room, the carpet should be a light beige. The furniture and upholstery should begin to bring in the colors you like best. A cushion on the window seat and wonderful throw pillows.
1 Like   November 4, 2012 at 6:18PM
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PRO
Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed
For a fresh start, and if you honestly do not care about keeping the dark trim.....If you have an area rug with a pattern, exp: oriental rug for this room, if there is a medium neutral color in it you could use that for the trim and mantel and still keep the walls light/white. I see this room from the entry, I think. If you start painting the trim and mantel in one room, you may want to just paint the trim throughout the house. Also, the trim is so dark against the golden oak floor, it does not do much to enhance. Staining all the floors in a dark color to match the trim is another idea that would work. The dark paneled wall would best be painted the same color light/white as the other walls, with a dramatic painting or mirror over the fireplace. Rather than try to smooth out all the stucco walls, find a contractor who could price out the same stucco over the paneled wall, for consistency, it would look like the wall was originallly there, if done correctly. If too costly, then a plaster finish to smooth out the grain, or the contractor may suggest new drywall as more cost effective on the fireplace wall. One more consideration, have the contractor tell you what wood the fireplace is constructed of. It doesn,t look like great wood in the photo. It would be a shame to paint over really fine wood mantel and trim. You just have to decide what is important to you.
1 Like   November 4, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Modern English Tudor
Thanks so much for your input and advice!!!

I have been thinking about the color for the trim and baseboard. Since the condition of the existing trims are not in good condition and was painted with white and darker color already and shows ugly paint chips all over the place, what about if I leave the crown molding in "darker" color as it is now and sand, prime and repaint all the trim and baseboard in "white" and paint the fireplace wall with color matching the other walls. Some of the door trim should be replaced with better quality. I still want to keep the dark color of the fireplace as it is.

Do you think by doing this way, I can keep a little bit of character of Tudor and modernize the room?
I am still thinking about smoothing out the textured wall. I have been visiting this house several times already but my eyes are not getting used to it. To me it looks so outdated and ugly.

I once talked about refinishing the floor and stain with darker color to my contractor. He did not suggest this method because the floor look like it has been refinished many times already and look thin. Maybe only one time of refinishing can be allowed for its life time.

Thanks!!!
0 Likes   November 7, 2012 at 1:26AM
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PRO
Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed
I understand the need to remove the stucco, or actually to plaster over it. A good contractor can tell you how....sometimes staying true to the home/building is a nice idea, but not really livable or even nice to look at ( rough/dust collecting walls ).
The crown molding at the ceiling in the stained/darker color is nice and you can leave it.
The trim and baseboard in the same white as the walls so it just goes away is also a good idea. Keeping the stained/darker color of the fireplace is also a good idea.
The paneled wall at the fireplace should be the same white as the other walls.
Yes, the Tudor look will be there, just not old and outdated. Little touches here and there will be fine.
1 Like   November 10, 2012 at 5:33AM
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Modern English Tudor
Schroeder Design Group, NCIDQ, Licensed, thanks so much for your response. I feel much relieved to hear my idea is not totally wrong!!! I have been researching Window for a month and today I will visit one of the showrooms of Anderson again. I am debating between Marvin and Anderson although Marvin looks more beautiful to my eyes.
Thanks again and have a great weekend!!!
0 Likes   November 10, 2012 at 5:44AM
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