Leaving the 1980’s Dark Living Room Panelling Behind – Pathouie

After living with terribly ugly 1980’s dark yucky paneling that poorly mimics planks for twelve years, we’re finally painting our living room.

Why anyone would have selected this pitiful paneling in the first place, I’ll never know. It just doesn’t fit the room. Halve of our living room is vaulted to about fourteen feet high while the other half is about eight feet high — normal room height.

Living room short wall
Living room short wall

On the short wall, the paneling works because it fits from floor to ceiling without a break. Vertical lines are supposed to accentuate the ceiling height; but, the paneling design, contrasting multicolored plastic panels range from a light baby shit cream to a dark poop brown, further distracts from the ceiling’s height.

But there’s more, to cover the taller wall, paneling had to be stacked on top of the first eight foot paneling, creating a visible gap between the two panels, visually breaking the vertical line that would have accentuated the ceiling’s height and even more obviously pointing out the fact that the panels are plastic laminate and only eight feet tall, ergo not real planks. The builder went on to fill in the gap with a horizontal strip of wood that totally destroys the vertical lines of the paneling. Yuck!!!

Living room tall walls
Living room tall walls. Being that far off the ground is scary, very scary. I applaud those who paint for a living. NOT me nor my husband. We’ll stay weekend warriors.

My design instructor, Mr. Ray Gough at the University of North Texas, would have given this builder/designer the biggest F in the world. Builders, if you’re going to design homes, you MUST gain some insight to interior design.

Worst yet is that the color is so dark we have to keep the lights on all the time just to read the TV remote and reading a book or a magazine article in this room is all but impossible.

Just awful. Plain and simple awful!

Normally fireplaces are excellent design features. But not ours. Built at a 45 degree angle in one corner of the room, it is the focal point of the room, or at least it should have been. The brown brick is the same value as the poop brown paneling so it blends in and becomes unremarkable.

fireplace accent feature
Accent fireplace with contrasting walls showcasing the fireplace. It needs work but first things first.

We’ve talked about removing the sickening paneling for years but didn’t know whether dry wall was behind it or not. Sigh… removing it and putting up dry wall was price prohibitive so we returned to our comfortable state of denial for a few more years.

Finally we decided to paint over it. But we were dreading reaching to the ceiling because we haven’t been spring chickens for years. What a disaster. We’ve lived with this crap for twelve years, every day and night for twelve years. We go in and out of this room bazillion of times each day. Needless to say it dampens my mood. Something had to be done.

Sigh … .

Ohhhh I’m beginning to feel so much better, getting that bitterness out of my system has helped. But I’ve felt that way for the past twelve years, since we first saw this property (it was a damper but not a deal breaker; the property had so much going for it that I kept my mouth shut). It’s going to take me a few moments to recover. But I’m feeling better. Breathing deeply, very deeply.

I can continue in a moment … .

Whew, I feel better. Now that I’ve gotten all the grumpiness out of my system, I’m loving our partially painted living room. The single color on the walls accentuates the taller ceiling. The lighter color makes the room so bright we don’t have to keep the lights on all the time, and the vertical lines are almost invisible.

We plan on finishing the living room next weekend. Be on the lookout for a few finished walls.

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