Saturday, March 15, 2014

Renovation: Week 1

Took a drive up yesterday to see how things were progressing on the house.  As we came up the drive, we were surprised to see so many things in bloom.  This camelia is enormous!  I have always wanted one, they're very expensive, and now I have one! 

I knew as spring progressed a lot of things would start to bloom and I would be surprised by all the wonderful plants.  This tulip tree can be seen from the living room window.

When I walked through the front door I couldn't believe my eyes.  My contractor is doing such a great job, and I can't believe how much having a vaulted ceiling instead of a low plaster one improves this room.  Next week they will finish it off and put in a skylight in front of the old brick chimney so it can be seen from inside.

Bob, our plumber, and our contractor discussing who knows what!
I was hoping the wood wall above the fireplace could be torn down to expose the brick up the wall, but I was given reasons it wasn't possible to do.  I also brought up an old painted mantle Bob found on a yard sale, but it was four inches too small in the opening, so I have some other plans up my sleeve.
This is the master bath before.  Goodbye ugly mint green tile, ugly curtains, old wallpaper!
Hello ripped out bathroom ready for a makeover!  I'd take it this way with nothing done than the other way! The plans for this bathroom include an off-white unglazed 2-inch hex tile for the floor with bright white grout.  The walls up to the windowsill will be old robin's egg blue painted boards.  I have been collecting old doors and boards for quite sometime.  A friend gave me some deeper blue boards that will be mixed in, and then I found two doors at an antiques sale in the pale blue.  Above the wood walls will be painted sheet rock.  My clawfoot tub will be in this room with my antique iron Bradley & Hubbard light fixture that I have been carrying from home to home for 25 years.
This is the mud room/laundry room.  I don't know if I took before pictures with all the ugly cupboards, can't seem to find them, but they weren't worth taking pictures of.  The big water heater is being replaced with a tankless and then the washer/dryer will be put in that back corner.  I will have plenty of room for shelving for stocking a pantry and for a big cupboard and for beds for Roman & Princess.  This room also had a big sink with counters . . . all gone!  This is now an enormous room.  I love it.
This is the door out the mud room, already equipped with a dog door.  My contractor is going to fix the door because it's old, good wood and the glass is very old.
This is looking at the mud room from outside.
This is looking from the kitchen into the mud room.  As you can see, the washer would be sitting right there for all to see, so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem or expense to take the plumbing to the left corner so that a pretty cupboard can go there and that's what you see from the kitchen.
There are two vintage ceiling lights in the mud room that I somehow didn't notice before, but now that I've noticed them, I really like the globes and they will stay.
This is the other one, and I like that they are not a matching set.  I will have to see if I can find out what time period they are from when I finally get settled.
Okay.  This was the big dilema this week:  The floors in the kitchen, mud room, and master bedroom.  I was so excited, all the linoleum and carpeting was up.  Then the bad news, they used some sort of glue/tar to lay the tile and it would not come up with mineral spirits or scraping.  My contractor wanted me to either order flooring or buy one by fours to lay, and I started my search on the internet.
I am so thankful to be living in a time when there is YouTube and the internet and many people before me have worked on finding easy ways to solve problems like getting this tar paper up.  After watching some videos, it was apparent the consensus was that using a wallpaper steamer was very effective, it melted the tar and you could scrap it right up.  Well, I had a floor cleaner/steamer that I brought up and tested on a patch, and, yes, it works!  I planned on doing this myself once living there since the whole idea didn't seem to please my contractor, but Home Depot rents commercial steamers for $30/day and he's going to give it a try.
This is the master bedroom with the same floor problem.  I would rather take on the project myself than to cover these beautiful old pine floors with square nails.  It's worth it to me!
This is the bedroom door with another iron door with cattails.  I love the doors in this house, they are Dutch doors, something you rarely see these days.
This is the front cattail door.  Week 2 includes ripping out cabinets in the kitchen, finishing off the living room ceiling, finishing the master bathroom and tons of other projects too numerous to remember!  At this point I'm in a daze with all the driving, ordering, answering questions, thinking, thinking, thinking!  I can't wait to give my brain a rest.

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