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27 Jan

Remember a few months ago when I talked about renovating our linen closet? Really, how silly is it that we renovated a linen closet? But we did. We enclosed a weird vent, covered the existing washer/dryer hookups with a removable cover, and finally added shelves.

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There’s a bit of trim that needs to be added, which you can see in the bottom left in the photo above. We’ll get that added eventually, but for now it’s done. And more importantly, it’s functional!

I also got around to adding some curtains to the guest room.

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They are Ikea Ritva curtains. I purchased 2 panels, cut them in half, added a seam to the cut edge, and hemmed them. A lot of work, but I wasn’t interested in paying $100 for 4 full panels. They do close completely and cover the window should guests want to close them.

A while ago, I shared a picture of this cute little black table we received from family.

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It was in really rough shape. I used wood filler on the top to smooth out the gouges. After a good sanding, I primed and painted, and here it is now.

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Pretty cute, right? I used Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I was going for more charcoal/black (which is what the swatch appears to be in the store and in my google image research), but I’m pleased with the green tone. Given the rest of my house, this isn’t a big surprise! It will live in this corner of the new office. Perfect fit!

Speaking of the office, my updates on the bookshelf progress stopped mostly because the actual progress did too. We got them to a decent place in time for Christmas and then life  got in the way. Here is how they stand now.

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Since my last update, we added the trim and backing to the shelves. We planned on leaving the backs open to the wall, but because the walls aren’t plum, there were huge gaps between the back of the shelves and the wall. Adding the backing helps disguise the issue. Obviously, it would have been far better to add these from the get go. Adding them so late in the game resulted in a lot of extra work and a lot of extra curse words.

Steve has started working on constructing the doors for the bottom of the bookcases, I’d guess he’s about halfway done with them. Between his work schedule and other commitments though, it will probably be months before they are completely finished.

This weekend I got started on recovering the chair for the office. I purchased it for $20 from Goodwill 3 years ago.

Before:

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And now:

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I got an itch to get this started, so I started stripping the fabric on Saturday. Doing this in the guest bedroom was probably not the best decision, but the chair won’t fit down the basement stairs (they are only 30 inches wide), and hauling it outside to the rear basement entry didn’t sound like any fun at all.  I still haven’t picked a new fabric, so I need to get on that!

Happy Monday, and thanks for checking in!

Bookcase Progress

17 Dec

The bookcase bases are in!

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Originally we were planning on priming and painting each individual piece before the installation but at the last minute we decided against it. Since this is just the shell of the bookcases, only the insides and the counter need to be painted at this point, and that’s a fairly simple process in this state.

There are 4 individual cases along the wall. Each case is made up of 2 side pieces and 6 supports.

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You can see that Steve added the supports in the front and back of the case in key spots. Each case is held together by a series of dowels, wood screws, and glue. I wish I had a picture of the assembly process, but it required 2 sets of  hands. Putting them all together was relatively simple but made somewhat complicated by walls that are not square.

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Steve will anchor all 4 cases to the back wall and then to each other. This weekend he plans on adding trim to make them look like one unit. The trim will be added between each case above and below the counter, along the top, and along the bottom. Crown molding and base boards will be reinstalled on top of the trim leaving some reveal which I think will be a nice touch. We’ll be using preprimed boards for the trim so a final coat (or 2) of paint will be added once everything is in.

Painting is my job this week. I’m planning on 2 coats of primer and 2-3 coats of paint depending on coverage. I will leave the last coat for after the trim is installed. I got the first coat of primer on this evening 

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The final steps will be to make doors for the space below the counter and to add shelves above.

In other news, we got the new light fixture installed in the dining room which I love! More pics soon when it (hopefully) isn’t such a wreck!

Chaos

11 Dec

Steve and I are currently in the midst of our annual end of year push to complete projects in time for Christmas. Last year, it was the wainscoting and crown molding in the hallway. I’m crossing my fingers that next year it will be putting the finishing touches on our screened porch to sunroom conversion. This year however, it’s turning our dining room into an office and our formal living room into a dining room.

I mentioned it before, but we’re making the switch for several reasons. We need an office, a larger dining room would be nice, and we don’t have a need for a formal living room (the family room and eventual sunroon will make for plenty of seating areas). Steve has been drawing (and re-drawing) plans for his office for months. There are a ton of books in our house and not nearly enough storage, so building bookshelves in the office is a big priority. We looked into using the Ikea Billy bookcases and making them look built-in, but in the end Steve decided to build his own from scratch. Here’s a look at the plans he made in google sketch up. The bookcases will run against the entire back wall of the office.

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And here’s a reminder of the dining room looked like pre-office conversion:

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Before Steve got started building the bookshelves, we cleared out the old dining room and took out the base boards and crown molding on the back wall.

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While Steve got started building the first of 4 shelves with his father last weekend, I painted the room. We went with Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray.

Last night Steve dry fit the first shelf against the wall.

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I am so impressed! This one will eventually be moved up against the left wall and the shelves will run wall to wall. He still needs to build cabinet doors for the bottom, a counter top above the base cabinet, and the actual shelves. Rinse and repeat 3 more times. I think we’ll get started priming and painting this week, and he’s hopeful to get the other 3 built this weekend. The cabinet doors and shelves may wait until after Christmas.

The existing seagrass rug that was in this room will stay. Steve will likely build a new desk. We picked up this cute little table from his grandmother’s house when she recently moved which will live here by the window. It needs a few repairs then I think we’ll give it a fresh coat of black paint.

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I picked up this leather chair at goodwill years ago. I had no idea what I would do with it, but it was so cute and so cheap (maybe $20) that I couldn’t say no.

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It’s in super rough shape and in desperate need of a new upholstery job. In the new year, I’m going to try to re-upholster it on my own. It will require taking it down to the frame and building it back up. Sounds scary, but I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading a lot of books, so I’m hoping it will work out. It will go in a corner of the office, and I think it will make the perfect reading chair.

We will use the office as an opportunity to finally frame and hang our diplomas, and we’ve got some other ideas for wall art. For now, the lantern light fixture will stay here as it’s too small for the new dining room. Steve would ultimately like something else in here. I think it looks great in the office and should stay, but if he finds something else I’ll probably move it to our bedroom.

Finally, I’m going to keep the brown and cream striped curtains in here. I actually already made another set and moved the existing set into the new dining room since there are two windows in there. For consistency sake, I decided I will make yet another set to hang back up in the office.

Moving into the new dining room, converting this room is taking much less work. Here’s where it stood a few months ago.

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We had an electrician add an over head light since one didn’t exist before. We purchased this light last weekend at Home Depot to hang over the table (still need to actually hang it):

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I also painted in here a couple of weeks ago using Benjamin Moore’s Coastal Fog.

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I rolled out the herringbone seagrass rug that used to be in our family room and moved in our pedestal side table and head dining chairs. The lamp was another goodwill find years ago. It originally was filled with seashells. I emptied those out, rewired the lamp, and used rub and buff on the base to freshen it up. The mirror is from the guest room. This room will be wood heavy and I felt like the texture on this mirror would make the room feel a bit more casual.

These shots are from last weekend before I hung the curtains.

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Once the curtains were hung the next morning, we emptied the old dining room into here which turned this room into pure chaos.

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You may notice 2 dining tables in here. One is our existing table, and the other we got from Steve’s grandmother. The table was her mothers and is from the sixties. We love it. It has 2 leaves and can go from a 4-8 seater. This is exactly what I was looking for in a table to use in the eventual sunroom, so we’re saving it for in there (the idea of eating our casual meals at a table with some much family history makes me very happy). For now, it will probably be used as Steve’s desk until he builds one, and it will be use for extra seating at Christmas which is why it’s here.

Here’s my new Christmas Tree skirt basket! How optimistic to take it out amongst the mess! I got it on Cyber Monday from Terrain (now that I have it, I think it’s overpriced but I love it and I got free shipping so what can you do?).

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On the back wall where the chairs are lined up, we will put yet another piece of furniture we received from Steve’s grandmother. Really, she gave us some great pieces, and there’s several more I haven’t shown yet. The caveat is that it needs a bit of work, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get most of that taken care of this weekend. Here’s a truly awful shot of it in the basement, but hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like.

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I’m going to re-hang my arrangement of silver platters that I had in the old dining room above it, and I’ll add my milk glass and green plates to the mix.

As well as some sconces! I purchased these from Ikea last week and spray painted them gold to tie into the ginger jar lamp on the other wall.

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Those are the plans and progress as of now! Fortunately, I think we can knock out a lot of the remaining work this weekend (leaving just painting and installing the bookshelves left to do). Plus, we took the week of Christmas off so there will be time for finishing touches then.

This may be delusional, but I’m also hoping to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas this weekend. At the very least, I’d like to get a tree up! I’ll report back next week!