02 September 2008

Renovating over the long weekend

Every time I have more than two days off next to one another we tackle a home reno project. My hope is that eventually we'll run out a things to renovate and be able to relax over a long weekend, lol. This past weekend we decided to hit the living room - finally. Unfortunately, Carlos tore the mantel off the fireplace before I got a good "before" photo, but trust me, it was not our style at all, with its fluted Colonial columns and dentil moulding. We had a fireplace insert installed last month to help with the heating bills this winter which was sort of the catalyst for the remodeling. Notice the weird little closet to the right of the fireplace.

small dog in a big hurry

One side of the living room had a built-in bookcase, also with dentil moulding and Colonial detailing, that we just piled books onto willy-nilly when we moved in a number of years ago. We did remove the doors from the lower section thinking it would help, but it didn't, we still hated it, partly because the top half was only 7" deep. Why? Who makes a bookcase shallower than a standard book's depth? So out it went on Saturday morning.






A couple of hours with a crowbar and a sledge hammer took care of the bookcase. We had put up track lights a while ago, but they were the plug-in kind so I spent some time on Saturday adding a switch and hard wiring the track fixture. Much better than cords draped across the ceiling and walls! The new bookcase is almost ready to be installed (maybe tomorrow) and I wired in new outlets and a cable receptacle for a television and dvd player, again to avoid cords draped out of the bookcase. Too much time spent in the cobwebby and hot attic (no dead rodents this time, thank goodness), but it's done. Here are some "in progress" photos. We haven't gotten all the way to the "after" yet...



We didn't finish in the three days, but we did get pretty far on the project. The walls and ceiling are painted, the track fixtures and outlets are wired, the new wall and door moulding is up and the bookcase will go in shortly. The fireplace will be re-surfaced next weekend. Now we have to decide what art goes back on these walls and what art comes out of rotation - maybe my collection of Oaxacan carvings will fit on a few shelves in the bookcase? Maybe those shelves will need under-cabinet lights to show them off? Hmm.



And the dopey little closet next to the fireplace is gone now too. The wall has much better balance without it and it was way too small to use anyway.

I'll post some "after" pictures as soon as everything's done and gorgeous!

5 comments:

Natalya said...

looking good! can't wait to see the finished project...

norma said...

You are amazing, Jane! I wish I had had your stamina and ambition, and of course, your talent.

Cloud 9 said...

I just purchased the Art Quilt Workbook at Barnes & Noble a few days ago. What a thrill to come across your website. I love the book.
Kim

Renee said...

Jane.... don't know how old your house is, but many old homes had small coves next to the fireplace to store firewood. Maybe a previous owner put a door on it, transforming it into a closet.

Either way, I love your weekend project and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Plain Jane said...

lots of work indeed! can't wait to see the finished room.