Last week STUNK. God bless drywallers, and I say that whole-heartedly since one of my favorite people in the whole world is the man who finished our basement in our previous home and came back to finish out our new office, because that has to be the worst job ever. Although, if I added that to my repertoire, my arms would be RIPPED. All of that taping and mudding and sanding…and the sheetrock boogers would just be a big bonus.
So glad that week is behind us.
It seemed slow going. Our contractor, who I am now used to having as a regular part of my day, was out of state at a conference. She was learning about a new computer program to help with schematics and blueprints, elevation design, interior and exterior design, landscaping, etc.; it’s a program similar to what the HGTV people use (think Property Brothers or Fixer Upper) to help clients see before and after transformations on their projects, and so much more. It was just me and the drywallers for the week until the whole crew came back on Friday to install new siding in our gables. More on that project later; now for walls and stuff!
Remember this view of our kitchen? It’s looking from the dining room and into the west end of the house.
It’s all opened up now, framed, and rocked. We added one new window at the far end and moved an existing window to accommodate the new footprint and cabinetry.
Here’s an interesting before & after. The old laundry room was behind that green wall with the fern wallpaper; we’re converting it into a butler’s pantry. They removed the wall during demo and took out the plumbing for the previous washer. We’ll have a coat closet, our fridge, and cabinetry to complete the “pantry.” Fun fact: It’s about the size of our old kitchen.
This sliding door leading to the deck from the kitchen will be converted to French doors, maybe as soon as next week.
On to the dining room. Remember these views?
We removed the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, removed the banisters, demolished the rock facade on the fireplace, and extended the step along the entire opening from the dining room down into the living room. This is the part of the post where we will all play “Where’s Todd Helton the Cat?” – I think he managed to nonchalantly photobomb a few from here forward. We were about to do our morning chores of checking on the chickens, during which he loves to follow me, chattering the whole time.
Speaking of that fireplace…here’s the progress there.
We’re keeping the mantle and adding a tile surround next week.
The view from the dining room into the living room. So sad to see those curtains go… Perhaps that was a lie.
We’re keeping the bay window frame but having the windows themselves replaced. The large front window needs to be replaced with tempered glass, and the two side windows have broken hardware and are difficult to roll in and out. While I love that feature of the side windows, we’ve opted to be responsible and go energy efficient, with the ability to raise the windows for ventilation. It’s a good decision, but less aesthetically charming.
In the photo above, do you see the green door? It was a pretty awkward foyer that contained a support wall. On the other side of the entry was the master bathroom, which we’re converting to an ensuite guest bathroom since we decided to move the master bedroom. We also had to come up with a solution for secondary access to the bathroom since there’s no powder bathroom for guests.
We removed the support wall and added a hefty header, then opened the back foyer wall to house a pocket door for bathroom access from the main part of the house. Win-win.
Fun fact: The electricians have added wall washer lights here and there so we can display our artwork. I am over-the-moon excited about that. We’ll have our own, personal gallery walls.
Since the guest bedroom is currently housing all of our new cabinets, there’s no good way to show a proper in-progress photo, but you can see where we’ve had two closets added in to flank the north-facing window. The guest bedroom will be the boys’ temporary bedroom until we finish the basement this winter. Fun fact here? The guest bedroom is quite a bit larger than our master bedroom, which is intentional for two reasons: 1) When we have guests stay, they usually come in the form of small families who need a little more room. In our previous house, we could give them the entire basement to stretch out in, but we also felt that we didn’t use the basement for much else, even though it was set up to be a great hangout area. By flipping that in this house, we’ll be putting the boys’ bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement and designing a rec room and den for them, along with ample storage for our out-of-season things and Hank’s hobbies. 2) We don’t need a huge master bedroom. It would simply be wasted space for us and unnecessary. We opted for smart space there v. vast space.
A before and in-progress of the master bedroom. We added two walk-in closets and new windows. It has the MOST beautiful eastern light flooding in when the sun rises.
We also eliminated this hallway to add space to the master bedroom. Since we took the existing three bedrooms and made them into two bedrooms and the master bathroom, we no longer needed the hallway.
And the hallway leading from the dining room to the master ensuite. The wall at the end was a previous door. Here again, the electricians added wall washers for a continued gallery effect.
This week, we’re having the hardwood floor installed, siding finished, cabinets installed, countertop templates measured and ordered, and the house painted inside and out. Next week, they’ll move on to door installation, tile, and trim. Once the new bathrooms are finished at the end of next week, the current (and only) working bathroom we have will be demolished and turned into our new laundry room. Then, it’s odds and ends until around the 23rd, and the hardwoods will receive their final sanding, stain, and seal. We’ll be out of the house for the last part, since we’re having an oil-based stain and seal applied to give these poor floors a fighting chance against the Pantiers. :) It already is cleaner by INSANE AMOUNTS just having the hardwood floors partially in. I can’t wait to see the progress of this week.
And as a tease…the office is nearly finished. There’s only a little bit of touch up paint on the interior and exterior, and window trim left. SO CLOSE!