illustration of home renovation project
Illustration: Tim Bower
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Big TV Led to a Revamped Den

Who> Kathy and Nick Petlicke
Where> Northville, Mich.

Nick got a bonus at work and decided he wanted a 42-inch flat-screen TV. It was too big for the entertainment unit in our den, but that was okay because I'd wanted a new one and the furniture store was having a sale. So we bought that piece first and then splurged on a sofa bed since the sale prices were so good.

This is where things start to get complicated. The sofa bed didn't match the wallpaper, which was also okay because I'd wanted to change it. While scraping it off, we found layers of paint and wallpaper beneath it, and damaged plaster behind them. So we decided to demolish the walls—and, while we were at it, the ceiling—and replace them with drywall. When cutting the drywall, Nick had a run-in with his table saw, resulting in a trip to the ER for seven stitches to his index finger. While at the hospital, we decided to pull up the den's carpet and refinish the hardwood floors. They turned out so well that we had hardwood floors put in throughout the house. All the improvements looked great, but by the time we were done, there was no money left over to buy the 42-inch TV that had started it all.
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