Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Old House/New Addition: Final Walkthrough

The old house and its new addition were fully completed in August, 2019, and we have actually been living in it since June. I didn't get back to the blog as the Diva had several health issues including several weeks in the hospital and 6 surgeries in the last year. She seems to be healthy and stable now and we are all adjusting to our new normal.

So, welcome to our "new" house.

New front door
I will do a quick walk-through of the original first floor and the new addition. The bedrooms haven't changed much since I last blogged about them and they are most definitely lived in (and a bit messy).

Dear Husband and I had many conversations last winter about the wood floors on the first floor. While they were not original, they are oak and we know they dated back to 1922 from the newspapers we found under some of the flooring we had to replace. However, they were in dire need of refinishing and repairing. We didn't have time to refinish them before we moved into the house with all the other repairs that need to be done and refinishing them after we moved just wasn't possible.  

Last winter's mud and gravel was hard on the floors. The Diva's wheelchair picks up a lot of both coming in from the bus and while the rest of us can remove our shoes or boots upon entering the house, we can't really wipe down the tires as we bring her in. I've tried.

After a lot of debate, we finally opted to cover the floors with a luxury vinyl plank. The new floor is floated over the old one so the old one is still there, safely waiting for the day when it can be uncovered and renewed if someone wants to do that. Meanwhile the new floors look great and are easily kept clean.

 We tried to match the color to the original wood steps. It isn't a perfect match, but comes close enough.

Entrance Hall/Office/Music area
Looking into the living room (with a side of Diva).
I love the living room.  During the day, it is bright even when it is cloudy and in the evenings feels warm and cozy.  It's a little crowded with furniture, but we can easily seat six and more with additional chairs from the dining room.

Living room, east side

Dining room
Dining room
It was really nice to get the Diva out of the dining room and into her own room.  The whole family was overjoyed to be able to eat a meal at the table again.  There is enough room to maneuver the wheelchair around the table without hitting anything.

Kitchen cabinets
The hidden window was opened up and became a lovely and incredibly useful pass through to the laundry room.  Our contractor built that little oak shelf  to match the oak cabinets.  It is very handy to prop a recipe book or iPad while cooking.  The rest of the kitchen hasn't changed since we moved in except reorganizing to fit the way we cook.

Kitchen stove
Laundry area
I have wanted a real laundry room my entire marriage and this ticks most of the boxes:  Main floor, space for folding and storage, second sink.  I still need to get some shelving up over the washer for storing supplies, but that will come.

Second sink and dishwasher
 I love the pantry/laundry room.   Having the second sink and dishwasher separate from food preparation means that one person can be cooking while a second one washes up.  It was really useful while we were canning tomatoes last fall to have Sprite washing and cutting up tomatoes while I canned. After a year of hand-washing dishes, Sprite has decided she will never take having a dishwasher for granted again.
Pantry shelves
It's nice to have my small appliances down where I can reach them without a ladder.  I now use the upper cabinets in the kitchen for long-term storage of things like canning jars and my mother's cookie press that gets used once a year for Christmas cookies.
Second Door to the Diva's room
We probably should have used the space left of the door and part of the Diva's closet for a linen closet.  I am not sure why we didn't think of that.

Diva's room
I've already mentioned how happy we are to have the Diva in her own room again.  This room is wonderful.  The track lift in the ceiling is so wonderful and we are no longer tripping over the portable track.  We have a desk for the nurse (when we have one) to keep her notes and supplies and all the Diva's equipment supplies are close and easily accessible.  Finally, enough storage space!  (who am I kidding--there is never enough storage space, but this comes close!)  The wheelchair gets parked by the dresser close to the lift.

Closet.  The black thing at the top left is a security camera so I can watch her if she is in bed and I need to be in another part of the house.  It is secured with multiple layers of passwords.
Main floor bath
It is hard to get good pictures of a bathroom.  The pedestal sink was originally planned to go into the upstairs bathroom, but due to a mix-up in communication, we had a vanity sink installed there instead.  We saved the sink and used it here and I like it.  Other people may find the lack of counter space a problem but it works for me and DH.

Roll in shower
This roll-in shower was the other big piece we were waiting for.  It is big enough for the Diva and a caregiver to take care of her needs with ease.  It will also be nice for DH and I as we age.  I didn't add a picture of the shower heads, but there is both regular and handheld shower head with adjustable height.  It has been amazing and the Diva loves her showers (most of the time.)

Master bedroom/sewing room
After moving all my sewing things up to the guest bedroom and getting settled, we realized that the Diva really needed me downstairs and close to her.  I tried sewing in the dining room, but didn't like the clutter and having to clear off the table for meals.  So we moved everything to the master bedroom instead.  So far it seems to be working.  The room is very bright during the day and I have easy access to my notions now stored in the master closet.  The fabric and backup machines are still up in the guest room and that is okay.

It is still a little cramped but I do have some privacy and DH doesn't care about the mess since we can close the door if we have company.  If the Diva needs me, I can be in her room in a heartbeat and I can bring her in with me if we want to spend some time together.

Notions stash.  Our clothes racks are to the left, but wasn't something I wanted to share.
Reproduction trim
One of the many things I appreciated about our contractor was his attention to detail.  He reproduced the trim detail found on the main floor throughout the addition so there was a cohesive look.  Since we had repainted most of the trim in the old part of the house, it was easy to match using the same color paint.

Original trim
Original four panel door
We tried as much as possible to match the look of the old house, but some things don't quite match, like these four panel doors.
Modern four panel sliding door
I really wanted a pocket door between the dining room and the Diva's room, but our contractor suggested we reconsider that.  He'd had trouble with some of the modern hardware failing and in at least one home, he had to rip out a wall to get to the bad hardware and rebuild the wall, He suggested this sliding door instead.

Sliding door from dining room to the Diva's room
 I definitely did not want a trendy barn door, but I think the door he installed for us looks elegant and fits fairly well with the rest of the house.

Finally, the back deck.  This was built using composite decking so we should never have to paint it.  A ramp goes to the north where we hope to build a garage soon (waiting on the weather to clear up long enough to pour concrete.)   A set of steps goes south to the yard and clothes line.

Back deck steps
You can see the mini split fans along the side of the house.  There is one for each bedroom and DH's office.  They are nice because we can adjust the temperature for each person's needs, like keeping the Diva's room a little warmer and our room a little cooler.  

We still have some things to do. There are things that need to be repainted and landscaping that needs to be done and gardens to be planted.  You may have noticed we have very little on the walls.  I feel like I need to live in a place a while before I commit to poking holes in the walls for art and family pictures.   

We've lived in the house for over a year and had the addition for over six months and I am very pleased with how it turned out.  It is very livable.  I wanted a house that had character but was also easy to live in and I got that.  My only regret is not planning a main floor sewing space, but we didn't know when we made the plans how sick the Diva would get this year.  Now we understand there will probably always be times when she needs someone close at hand and we will continue making adjustments.

This is the last Old House post.  It's been fun and I am glad to have this record of the process of updating our home.  However, I plan to go back to blogging my more interesting sewing projects and I have become very interested in sewing fashion doll clothes.  I have a crazy idea to make 1920's style clothing for 11" and 18" dolls and probably will study other eras as well.  I hope you still stay along for the journey.  It could be fun.


Susan Muhidin said...

It looks amazing! You guys did a great job!

gail hunsucker said...

it is beautiful just the way younsaid it would be...so glad it worked out for your family