When we were originally remodeling the house, we had this extra room on the first floor. It was in the back corner of the house, off of the living room under an arched wood casing. There were built-ins on one side of the room, which we could tell were not original to the house and 5 windows between the other two exterior walls. The room was sunken about 4" and had rotting wood wainscot and the remnants of what appeared to be a fabric wall covering. The trim was all painted a lovely shade of "nicotine white". I didn't really have a plan for this room but figured it would come to me at some point.
We decided that because the built-ins were not original that we'd remove them. I left a house with beautiful built-ins and while these were relatively well built they just didn't give them same look that the rest of the house was giving off. Once they were removed we decided we'd open a path between the kitchen and this room in order to create a full flow for the whole first floor. Previously if you wanted to get to the kitchen from this room you'd A) go through the living room, up two steps, down two steps, through a small hallway and into the kitchen or B) go through the living room, go through the entry, go through the dining room, through a swinging door and into the breakfast nook/kitchen. That seemed insane to us considering how much time we spent in the kitchen and in the living room. So we punched out a wall.
Then we removed the rotting wood paneling and started to raise the floor so that it would be level between the kitchen, this room and the living room.
The drywall was an interesting issue in this room but the crew did a really great job working around the windows and previous paneling quirks. I had big plans to install a long window bench similar to what I did in the kitchen along that small wall with the two windows above. More storage!!
But when we got the pricing back for the cabinets, we decided to nix the extra bench and hold off on making any decisions for this space until we knew what we'd do with it. We could always add the bench later if we wanted. But for the last year, this room has served very few purposes. It is the home of our piano which will stay in this location and our old dining room table, which will not.
You know those great built-in bookshelves I mentioned from our other house? Well those were full of books. And we ripped out the built-ins in this house so we could have a convenient access to the kitchen. And you know where all of those books have been sitting for almost the last two years? In boxes. BOXES AND BOXES OF BOOKS. With no built-ins to put them on. Face palm.
I decided instead of a window bench of storage (because hello existing built-in cabinets upstairs) that we'd build ourselves some built-in bookshelves on the wall opposite of where they were when we bought the house, around these two windows:
A few months ago, I sketched it up, measured, drafted and then we waited for a bit for that ever important funding part. That came quicker than I expected and the next thing I knew we were at the lumber yard picking out our pieces. We got them home and laid them out in the only room really available for 12' long lumber, the dining room.
We removed the base and quarter round from the surrounding area and back wall and cut the overhang of the window sills off on the two outside edges.
Then we built the framing for the base and first shelf.
And when I say "we" you all know I really mean "Paul" right? Much to his delight I do a lot of supervising.
Before I knew it last night, he had made quite a bit of progress.
We actually got two more boards installed before bed last night, the two vertical pieces that rest right against the window frames. Tonight we finish the main construction of the unit itself (saw cuts, nailing, screwing, etc.) and then the rest of this week will involve some of the ancillary items. We need a nailer for crown molding at the top, the base will need to be reinstalled on the face and adjacent wall, the HVAC needs an elbow and a face plate and I need to start prepping for primer and paint and the actual painting.
When we wrapped up last night I just sat on the piano bench and stared at the wall for awhile. Then I went to bed thinking about the wall and I woke up thinking about the wall. We've got to get this thing done so I can think about, you know, another project or something.
More to come in the next week!