Let me start by saying that I have never been a fan of dark paneling. Knotty pine especially. It’s just not my style. When we purchased our home in 2016, the den and kitchen both had paneling. I wasn’t worried though, because I knew it could be painted to lighten up the room. Much like the rest of the house, it had the dreaded green carpet and was just generally gross. The carpet was so soaked in what I can only assume was urine, it was still dripping when we pulled it up. I’ll pause for a moment for you to digest that little tidbit. Needless to say, we removed the damp subflooring underneath it and replaced it everywhere it appeared wet. Then we put 2 coats of an oil based primer down over it. The hearth contained enough fur that I could have made myself a couple of cats, but the brick was in excellent condition. It had a wood burning fireplace that checked out OK too.
I had finally talked myself into painting it and actually walked into the room with paintbrush in hand. I stopped and looked around and thought, do I REALLY want to cover this up?? It was a warm, beautiful walnut and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. After all, it was just the one wall really. One side was covered by the brick hearth/fireplace, one wall had the double opening into the kitchen/breakfast nook and the remaining wall was entirely made of glass and looked out onto the porch. Hubby and I gave it good wipe down with some wood cleaner and it shined like new. I’m SOOOO glad I didn’t paint it!!
For the floors, we used the same vinyl planks we used in the kitchen, and replaced the ceiling fan with an oil rubbed bronze chandelier. Keeping with the French Country theme, I kept the tones neutral and light. We added the mantle (where else would we hang our stockings??) and cleaned up the brick. The bifold doors came down, but we kept them bc they were in fantastic condition and solid wood. The old fireplace screen was removed and replaced with a prettier one. It all came together perfectly!
Please excuse my photo-bombing husband in the reflection…sigh.