Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Old House Update: July 2019 Sewing Room/Guest Room

Once again, I find myself realizing just how long it has been since my last blog post.  When I last posted, the addition was just starting to shape up and now it is nearly complete.  It lacks only a few final finishing touches and I plan to post the final pictures in the next month or so.  In my defense, the Diva has had a number of medical issues that has consumed most of my time since fall, but she seems to be healthy and stable now and I have some time for other projects.  

The first project was to arrange my new sewing room.  Dear Husband and I had been sleeping in the smallest bedroom upstairs with plans to make it a combination of sewing room and guest room once we moved to our new master bedroom.  The room is only 9’ x 10.5’, so for it to double as both guest room and sewing room was going to take some thought.  

Last September, DH and I purchased a Murphy cabinet bed, which I mentioned in this post  I considered a wall bed, but the ceilings are barely 7’ tall and I was concerned about putting holes into old plaster.  We used the cabinet bed as our bed until our new addition was complete and we bought a new bed for us.  Once we moved into the new room, I could convert the room into my sewing room.  

Sewing machine in Gidget II table.  I love my view from this window which looks into a lovely maple tree.  

I am using Gidget tables to hold my sewing machines.  The serger and coverstitch machine swap places as needed during sewing.

Cabinet bed which doubles as my cutting/pressing station.  The bed is topped by a Big Board which is big enough to cut and press most projects..  The pole holds the gallon water bottle for the gravity feed iron.  The Big Board cutting mat slides under the bed when not in use so it will stay flat.  

Corner.  The sewing cabinet in the corner was a gift from my niece and her husband and holds his grandmother’s 1949 Singer 15-91.  The art cart next to it is very handy and holds the most used sewing notions.

Sewing books, pattern magazines and notions.  

Right side of sewing closet.  I take the sliding doors off when the room is in sewing mode as the doors annoy me.  The shelves hold fabric and a few more notions.

Left side of closet.  I need to organize the space better, but am not sure yet how.  The embroidery machine sits on the shelves here.

I used the room for sewing for about a month when our son came home for the weekend.  It took less than an hour to convert the sewing room to sleeping room.

The serger and overlock machines were placed on the shelves on the left side and the sewing machine was set on the art cart.  Everything else fit around the machines.

The top of the cabinet bed was cleared and the iron pole removed.  The red ribbon peeking out from under the bed is tied to the cutting mat so I can pull it out easily.  The two plastic sets of drawers hold sewing machine accessories and pressing tools.

The Big Board tables are folded and placed so they will end up under the bed when it is folded out.  The top of the cabinet is on the left.  The cabinet is big enough that I can store bedding on top of the folded mattress.

The bed completely folded out and ready for our son to visit.

The little cabinet in the corner can now be used as a desk if needed.  The 401 found a home in the closet.  I rearranged it again after I took the pictures above.

I organized the top of this shelf a little more to fit the thread cabinet .  I think it looks nicer.

The closet with doors.  I ought to paint those doors. Originally, I planned to keep them off and substitute curtains, so I didn’t paint the doors when I painted the rest of the room.  But I think I prefer the doors, so I guess I ought to paint them to match the rest of the woodwork.  Or maybe not.  

I have made a couple of shirts for me in this room and so far, I think it works out pretty well.  I am sure that I will continue to make adjustments in the layout as my needs change, but overall, the concept works and allows me to have both guest room for weekend stays.  Now if Dear Son wants to come home and stay longer than a week, we may have to make some other arrangements.

As nice as this room is, and I do enjoy it, it is not always possible to sew upstairs away from the Diva.  Due to her particular medical issues, she needs to have someone fairly close to her at all times.  To remain close, but still allow me to enjoy my hobby, I set up a second sewing station in the living room.  

This is my nice oak cabinet that can bet completely closed up if needed.  It is too heavy to try to get up the stairs, so it lives downstairs.  I use the bookcase colonnade for additional storage and there is another tall cabinet in the dining room with my quilting stash and scraps too small for clothing that I may use for sewing doll clothes.

Quilting station.  My current project is a king sized quilt for our new bed and I am using the quilt-as-you-go technique.  The little chest of drawers to the right was my night stand as a child.  

So far, I like my new sewing spaces a lot and am grateful to have a little space of my own again. I may one day take over Sprite’s room as my sewing room as it is bigger with more natural light.  As she is only a high school sophomore, I have quite a few years before she is in a home of her own.  Until then, these two spaces will serve me well and I hope to spend many hours planning and creating there.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Old House Update: April 2019

Time has just flown since my last update way back in September and there has been either no time or no inclination to edit pictures and write an update.  But things are really progressing right now and I wanted to catch up so we can continue to have this record of how the addition was built.

Though the foundation was completed by September,  it was December before our builder was free to start our project.  It was pretty exciting to see the floor, walls and roof going up.

As part of the process, we needed to have the upper story west windows removed to make way for the roof of the addition.  One window was in DH’s office and one in the office closet.  The closet window was probably one of the oldest in the house, but unfortunately had rotted to the point of no return.  The office window had already been replaced once before.   DH was sorry to lose that natural light into his office but there just was no other option.  While we were at it, the office closet was also repaired and new Sheetrock installed, making it much neater looking.

Upper story windows needed to be removed.

Completed wall on the left, wall minus window on the right

Completed closet on the left, closet with paneling minus window on the right.  

This next picture shows the addition as of the first week of January.  As the builders were laying the roofing paper, we were getting freezing mist.  Work was stalled for the next two months as we got snow, ice, and sub freezing temperatures.  We looked out the dining room window a lot and dreamed of the day it would be all done. 

The weather finally let up  in late February and things really got moving in March.  In the space of just a few weeks, we got a roof, doors, windows, the electric and plumbing rough-ins, ductwork into the bathroom, master closet and laundry room (we will be using mini splits for the bedrooms the same as the upstairs rooms).  Last week, we got insulation and gutters and this week is all about Sheetrock.  As of today, all of the ceilings and most of the walls are done.  It looks like a house!!

Master bathroom with wheelchair accessible shower

Laundry room

Hallway from laundry room into bedrooms and bathroom. 

The Diva’s room

Master bedroom.

The long window to the left was the window from the dining room.  We wanted to save it keep as much of the original house in use as possible.  Unfortunately, when the builder took it out of the wall, he discovered that the smaller window on the left was in poor shape and couldn’t be saved.  We had two choices:  he could save the remaining windows even though they would be odd sizes or order a new window which might take several weeks to arrive.  We decided to keep to the original plan and keep the window.  It might look odd to someone else, but it is part of the history of the house and I love it.

One thing that we discovered after the builder removed two layers of siding from the house was that this window was not original to the house.  

This is an edited picture of the wood under the window on the outside of the house. It looks to me that the original boards were diagonal (I am curious as to why).  I have outlined in red where it looks to me that someone filled in the bottom part of a taller, narrower window and installed this short, wide window in its place.  Since we know that the house got all new floors and new plumbing in 1922 based on the newspapers we found under the oak flooring, it is not out of line to think that the house was completely remodeled at that time.  Maybe it also got all new windows.  I have many more thoughts and theories on the history of the house, but I want to do more research before I write that post.  

Most likely, by the time I can write the next post, the addition may well be finished and ready to furnish and occupy.  We are counting the days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Old House, New Addition Update

We have been very busy the past couple of months!

First we traded the "smoke house" (aka the shed behind the house) for additional work on the house, mostly repairing and re-glazing the old windows.  It took a lot of prep work on the part of the gentleman who took it home, but I thought it was really cool to watch it roll away.

We ended up hiring a different contractor for the foundation and once he set a date, our general contractor came out and tore off the old bathroom which had been constructed from an old porch.

After the first day, we could see the original porch that had been enclosed to make the bathroom.  The original bead board ceiling was still there.

The other side of the bathroom.  I had been hoping that this window was still intact.

Even the glass is still there.

This is the other side of that window.  If it works out, I plan to open it back up and use it as a pass through to the pantry.  The dishwasher and a single bowl sink will be installed on the other side.

Demolition complete!  Here you can really see the original brick foundation.

I forgot, our mini splits were installed in early August and provide a welcome change from the noisy window A/C units.  This is the inside unit for the west bedroom and the picture below is what the outside unit looks like  We installed three of these for the two bedrooms and the office upstairs instead of opening the walls to install duct work.  The nice thing about them is that each room can be adjusted for the comfort of the occupant.

Meanwhile, I got busy and painted the last bedroom of the original house.  Like all the other rooms, it required three coats and could have used a fourth.

This is before, with a chalky purple paint and faux wood grain painted trim.

And this is after.  It is a little dark in that room, so it is hard to see the lighter color but it is so much brighter than before. The room is on the west side of the house and shaded by a large tree which is great for keeping the room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter but not so great for  taking pictures.

We are using Gliddon Country White throughout the house except the kitchen, pantry and bathrooms.  Buying premixed colors means that I can drag out painting and not worry about matching colors.  The trim is Behr Marquis Wild Bosenberry as it matches the original stain found in the entrance hall.

This room is going to be doing double duty.  Originally it was going to be our son's room, However, when he was put on a wait list for campus housing, he opted to find a small apartment instead.  With his school and work schedule, it is unlikely he will be home very often.  It seemed inefficient to just let the room stay empty while he was gone.   It is unlikely he will be home next summer as his technical college requires a summer internship. So while he is gone, the room will be my sewing room and when he is home for visit or we have overnight guests, it will be the guest room.

The bedroom is a fairly small room, only 9 ft by 10 1/2 ft so I am asking a lot of the space. To make the best use of the space we have, we bought a Murphy cabinet bed.  The mattress folds up and stores in the cabinet.  When you need the bed, the top comes off to become the foot of the bed, the front pulls down and the mattress is unfolded to be the bed again.  It only comes in a queen size which takes up most of the bedroom with just a couple of feet all the way around it to spare.  

I plan to use this cabinet as my cutting and pressing table once I can set the room up as sewing room. I will put my Big board on the top of the cabinet and keep my gravity feed iron off to the side. 

This is what it looks like without bedding.  The nice thing about the design is that once folded up, there is still some room for pillows and a blanket before you put the top back on.

For the rest of the room, I have three Gidget tables that can collapse to be stored under the bed and every thing else can be stored in the closet.  When the occupant leaves, the bed will be folded back up and the machines can come back out to play.

I will put up pictures of the sewing room when it is complete.  For now, until the addition is complete and DH and I have our master bed room, DH and I are sleeping on this bed.  We had to add a mattress topper (the mattress squashes under my weight) but otherwise it is fairly comfortable.

And finally, our foundation was dug and poured last week!

We are waiting now for the concrete to cure so they can begin framing. 

Friday, August 03, 2018

We have moved!

Phase 1 of our move to DH's hometown is complete.  We have moved, the old house is sold and we are settling into our new community.

My last blog post was the first of March.  After that, life got crazy busy:  school, graduation, church, 4-H, getting the old house ready to go on the market and  packing, packing, packing.  Whew!

By the end of March, we thought we had enough done at the old house to start moving in.  The final trim was installed in the office and was painted.

Octagonal window over the stairs.  Forgive the selfie:  it's hard to take a picture of a window after dark.

We finally got to pull the carpet off the stairs.  We waited with that task until most of the painting and moving was done so that we wouldn't tear up the stairs even more.

Pulling staples can be a fun family activity!
Stairs after painting the stair backs.
I think we pulled about a million tiny staples from multiple carpets from those stairs.  We found at least two different carpets that have been installed over those steps in the past and both aluminum and copper staples.  After we were done, I painted the trim and the backs of the steps.  We are leaving the steps uncovered for now.

Though we had hoped to have the new counters installed before we moved, it didn't quite work out.  I had measured the north side counter (longest side with the sink) incorrectly and it was 5 1/2" too short and had to be re-ordered.  The counters and new sink were installed while I was back at the old house with the kids and I got to home to pretty new counters.

West and North walls.  Please excuse the dishes.

So pretty!

So nice having my own gas stove again!  Again, please excuse the mess in the dining room.
 The counters are Formica laminate in a slate blue.  We also had the cabinet that was to the right of the stove switched out to these narrower 12" cabinets on both sides of the stove to pull the stove away from the drywall covered chimney in the corner.  I am still debating on painting the cabinets to match the others.  I think the wood is pretty and the fact that they totally mismatch the original cabinets doesn't really bother me. 

Unfortunately, it turned out that the first set of counters were delivered without a backsplash and the no-drip edge that we had ordered.  The replacement countertop for the sink side came in and was correct, but the edges didn't match up and that leaves the potential for ruining the counters as water can seep into the seam.  We have the new counter top for the west wall sitting in the living room now and it will be installed soon.

During one of DH's visits in March, there was a pretty bad storm with some strong winds that took off part of our roof.  While it was not in our plans to replace the roof until the addition was complete so we could do it all at once, this storm prompted us to go ahead to have the roof replaced (no pics - some of the many that I have lost in the last few months.)

DH and his dad and BIL also removed a tree and shortened the clothesline in preparation for the addition:

As DH put it, that was one big root canal!

We moved the end of May and I didn't take pictures of moving day as I was just too busy.  It went relatively smoothly despite DS spraining an ankle.  We are now as settled as we can be while still waiting on the addition to get started.  We have a few more things to finish on the original house, but they will wait until school starts in three weeks so I can spend as much time with the girls as I can.  I hope to get more and better pictures then.

(I wrote this post, lost it, wrote it again, lost it again, lost most of my most recent pictures, but wanted to write this update before I forget everything.)