In other words…the room.
During one of our many discussions about the future after finding out we were pregnant, we decided it would be a good idea to move upstairs. The first year and half we were in the house, our master bedroom was on the main floor. Having lived in apartments until buying our house, it made sense to keep all of our living stuff together (kitchen, living room, master bedroom, etc) since we didn’t know anything else. We slowly spread upstairs, putting our office up there and getting some hand-me-down furniture to put together a guest bedroom.
Remember…our house is 100+ years old. There was definitely work to be done if we wanted a nice bedroom upstairs. Ben didn’t want me to have to tromp up the stairs to the nursery every time Baby Z (as we called Serafina before she was born) cried or needed a midnight feeding hence the decision to move upstairs. I also had a desire to have all the living space on the main floor and the sleeping space on the other. That way the family would be together all day until it came time to sleep, need to take timeouts (anticipating some discipline…), etc.
So – here you go. I put this page under “Create” because, as you’ll see from the before and after pictures, this was more of creation thing rather than a remodel. But I digress…watch our journey!
The walls had 1920s newspapers as coverings for the walls underneath the lathe and plaster. Ben saved some of it for me to do projects with, which hopefully will be a next summer project to figure out what to do with all of it. Any ideas would be welcomed…so far I’m thinking about mod-podging it to cover my sewing table (here’s my mod-podged office desk) or saving some of it to cover a kitchen island eventually.
And then here is a before and after shot from the doorway toward the southeast corner of the room. The doorway you see is the opening to the closet that Ben (and his dad and good friend Todd) exposed by knocking down the wall and putting in a support beam.
With all that demolition, they had to get the lathe and plaster down somehow. In true Stay Classy Everett fashion, Ben and Todd rigged up quite the system of getting 50+ pound bags of trash down from the second floor. Why carry them down the stairs one by one when you can put them out the window, down the slide, and put them in the truck from there? Let’s just say I came home to this and had no part in the awesomeness of this contraption. It was quite funny to drive up and see this going on in the front yard. P.S. It’s a good thing we had such a giant play structure that there was an extra slide to be had for such an application…
Okay, the other view from the doorway (looking toward the northeast). There was also a closet here as well which had it’s own little closet (read: super fun kids’ nook). But of course, more demolition to be done (this wouldn’t have been possible without Todd’s many hours of help and his awesome truck!).
And this is what we ended up with after amazing work by Ben, his dad, and my dad (drywall, construction, etc). My sister and brother-in-law also did a bunch of the painting and helped with finish work (Sarah with the shades and painting trim and Aaron with cutting and putting up trim).
Another thing that had to happen was redoing the floors. The stain had discolored quite badly, especially in this shot of the closet. The main part of the room and the closet in the south end of the room had been covered in [awful] carpet. When they ripped up the carpet, the floor was in remarkably good shape but definitely needed to be sanded down and restained. With help from Aaron (sanding) and good friend Kay (staining, since I couldn’t do it being 38 weeks pregnant), they turned out really great!
Which brings me to the built in dresser Ben and his dad did. They designed it and Ben brought it to fruition. The drawers are a whopping 32″ deep! That way us tall folks can access our stuff without banging our heads on the slanted [follows the roof] ceiling. We searched all over for a dresser we could buy that would serve the same purpose but couldn’t find anything that would make up for the depth we wanted. We also purchased self-closing drawer slides so that you just have to push them almost closed and they close themselves! Seriously classy. 🙂
And to go next to it, completing the nook area, Ben built a bookshelf. Right now there’s just Maya’s dog bed back there but I am still brainstorming about seating options back there for sitting and reading. I actually am toying with the idea of a comfy rug or a giant dog bed but for people.
And here is a shot from the built-in dresser back toward the door. Ben and I teamed up to make the headboard – he put together the frame and I made the padded part. We’ll put up a curtain to enclose the closet eventually (perhaps to match the Roman shades I made for the windows…scroll back up to check those out). I love this picture, though, because it shows the beautiful quilts my Grandma Strand has blessed us with. The B & R one hanging up was for our wedding, the other one hanging was my going-to-college quilt, and the one on the bed is a recently finished collaboration of both my grandmothers and myself. I wrote a post about these wonderful creations here.
There was a TON more work that went into our house besides this room – like Ben and his dad rewiring the WHOLE house – but this was the most exciting part and such a treat to do something for ourselves. Seeing as everything else will be for our kiddos. 🙂 Speaking of kiddos, if you haven’t seen Serafina’s room, you should check out this post that gives you a tour through the nursery.
All of this to say I am extremely grateful to have such a talented husband as well as family members who are willing to help out with big projects. Even if they couldn’t help, other people loaned us tools to help keep our costs down (thanks Uncle Phil for the drywall tools!). As a friend who came to visit us when we first moved in two years ago, it’s a good thing I have a handy husband with such a old house. When another friend visited just this weekend and I got to show off Ben’s handiwork, she announced time and time again that when she meets the man she’ll get to marry, she’s going to send him to our house for a couple weeks to apprentice under Ben. I am so lucky!