The room is very dark, since our house gets very little sunlight. We picked a nice shade of light blue, and put some polyurethane on the floors. The bumpy plaster walls looked just like concrete in that color, which was not the look we were aiming for! Then, as the polyurethane dried, the parched floorboards actually drank it in during the night. A layer of dust remained on the floor! Chris tried again, and the same thing happened. Finally, someone advised him to use an oil-based poly on the floors, and that one worked. We planned to paint the room again someday, but for now we could live with it.
A few months later, in the spring of 2010, our kids had dangerously high lead levels. That led to a lead abatement, and meant moving out of our house for an entire month! We did it 13 months after moving in.
Next, we decided to see if a wood stove would make our heat affordable. We knew when we bought it that an old, uninsulated house would be drafty. We didn't expect our heat bill for the winter to hit $6,000! After insulating, the next winter it was still almost $4,000. Something had to change, because we couldn't pay that much. While paying so much for heat, we shivered all day with the thermostat in the high 50's as we tried to keep the bills low. We dressed in lots of warm layers, but had noses and hands that felt like ice cubes. A wood stove's warmth sounded great! Chris built a hearth in the unnecessary doorway between the living room and playroom, and we bought a Woodstock soapstone stove that heats our entire house. Now we enjoy our very warm house every winter, for just $1,000 a year. We enjoy warm winter days inside our house, since it can be 85 degrees downstairs when the stove is going, but that's much better than being cold!