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Ask Casa: I Have a Problem Room!

Hi Casa,

I love reading your posts! I'm getting some great ideas, and implementing them in my very first house. My home is an older brick house, and my style tends toward warm colors, sort of a rustic look - the living room has beautiful wood floors and a brick fireplace. The house is really in need of many updates, but I'm completely stumped on one room. It's the smallest bedroom (9 feet by 12 feet), but I teach music lessons from my home, and that room is my studio/office. I'm in there a lot, but I don't enjoy being in there because I have no idea what to do with that room. The walls are the old fashioned knotty pine paneling (nice wood, but how to decorate!), and the floor has carpeting over the original hardwoods which don't exactly match the color of the paneling.

I don't know whether to rip out the paneling, paint it, leave it and try to make it work for me? And of course, I want to do whatever will add the most to the resale value of the home.

I know it's a long explanation, but if you have time, I'd love some help!

SC Cutie

To see my response,

Hi SC Cutie,

Your home sounds so lovely! I think that your solution is pretty straightforward, though it will take some work. Since wood paneling has fallen out of vogue, the best thing you can do in the short term is to paint it. I really think that white will make your room seem both modern and more expansive. The picture here is what the room from the earlier picture looked like after the wood paneling was painted white. Isn't it an amazing change? You'll definitely need to use primer — perhaps several coats of it — and at least two coats of paint to make sure the color is even, but I think that the change is well worth it.

The second change I'd make is pulling up the carpets. Hardwood floors are coveted by buyers, and they also increase your home's resale value. Beyond these monetary benefits, hardwood floors are also easier to clean than carpets, and help to improve your home's indoor air quality because wood doesn't collect dander, pollen, and dirt the way that carpets tend to do. Because the size of the room is limited, this won't be a very difficult job. Even if the wood floors need refinishing, this change is well worth the time and money. I think that it will make your music lessons much more enjoyable as well!



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