Friday, April 17, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week 3

Well, I'm a day late on this and unfortunately I really don't have much of an update to share.  We've been really busy tearing our house apart for installation of the new staircase - read more about that here.  And now my house looks like this...

Pretty, huh?

I do plan to make some serious progress this weekend, but in the meantime, I am considering a swap to my design plan.  A few months back, I ordered these two lights for the dining room and future stairwell from Joss & Main.

These lights are by Savoy House and are normally $360.00 and $222.00 respectively.  Joss & Main had a killer sale on them, so I swooped them up for nearly $100.00 less than retail each.  I was super happy until I opened up the boxes and found that the threaded screw that attaches the down rod to the top plate was welded crooked, on both fixtures, causing the fixture to see 15-20 degrees off center.  The folks at Joss & Main were great and sent me out two new lights right away.  Well, when I got the two new lights, one was the wrong light entirely and the other light had the same defect.  Again, the Joss & Main rep was super nice and asked me to ship back the incorrect light.  Since the manufacturer didn't want the defective lights back, I was told to keep the three defective ones.  Not wanting to risk a third order with the same issue, I requested a refund which Joss & Main agreed to.  While I am obviously not thrilled that I didn't get the lights that I wanted, I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with the top notch customer service I received and I will continue to be a loyal customer of theirs.  In any event,  that leaves me with three defective fixtures (one three light and two single light) that are really perfectly fine, except for this one tiny piece is welded crooked.  I couldn't bring myself to throw them away, so I've stashed them with the hopes of repairing them. 

Super rambling story later, how does this tie into the hallway?  Well, since I have two of the single light pendants, I am thinking that I will use one this hallway instead of other fixture I purchased which would save over $200.00.  Not bad since we had some unexpected electrical work costs relating to the stair case project.  This is all provided these lights can be fixed, of course.  We are heading to a welding shop this weekend, so we shall see!

To see other bloggers who actually made progress this week, be sure to check out the other linking participants here! :)


Thursday, April 9, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week 2

So, this is probably cheating, but oh well.  I am changing the room I am transforming for this challenge.  The truth is that I am totally stuck on the design for the dining room.  Rather than spending money buying pieces that I am not 100% convinced about just to get a room completed, I am going to let the design evolve more naturally.  Since we are completing the stair reno, I do still plan to tackle the painting of this room and I will still document the heck out of it, but I don't expect to have the room completely decorated and "finished" by the end of this 6 week challenge.

However, there is one room that I am very inspired by right now and I am not going to fight it. That room would be our main floor hallway (is this double cheating since it's a hallway and not an actual room?) which I've blogged about here and here.  So sue me, I'm gonna go with this train of inspiration and tackle the hallway.

Quick refresher - here is where we started:

And here is where we are going:

Hallway Plan

Where to start.  I have definitely made progress in this room!  The painted over wallpaper is gone, but it certainly did not go with out a fight.  Unfortunately, the walls beneath were not left in the best condition and needed some smoothing out.  So I've skim coated them and started patching a few cracks in the plaster which I should wrap up by the end of the week.  Not gonna lie, I was a little heavy handed when applying the mud while skim coating, so I still have some sanding left to do, but the walls are smoothing out beautifully!

Next step, planking the ceiling.  I already have the boards cut and ready to go up.  I also want to install crown moulding to match the living room and dining room (it will also eventually go in the kitchen and bathroom), but finding something that matches has been a real challenge.  I am debating on going with something that is close or getting something custom milled.  I am a bit OCD about finishes not matching throughout a house, so I am very hesitant to go with something close... I did find a local company that will match the exact specs of any existing moulding and mill new trim to match it.  I know that I am going to have to do this for my basecap moulding already, so I am going to try to make a trip to their shop this weekend with some pieces basecap and crown and see what the cost and turnaround time is on the custom milling.

I think i'm going to pull the trigger on painting the doors in this hallway a color.  The trim is all going white, so I feel like if the doors are white too, it's just a sea of white everywhere.  My husband thinks I'm nuts.  I think it will look great.  My plan is to paint on door as a test and see if I like it.  The beauty of it is that I can always repaint if I don't!  I also have a plan for the interiors of the closets.  The shelving in there has seen better days an the walls of the closets are just dingy.  I am going to rip everything out of there and line the closet interior with white beadboard.  I was inspired by this picture:

I will either replace the selves or sand/paint and reinstall them depending on their condition. I am super jazzed about this idea.  I know that it's little, but I feel like this extra detail will just be so cool.

In other news, we are finishing up demo on the stairs this weekend and construction is kicking off on Monday.  Wahoo!  I cannot wait for these new stairs to go in.


P.S. - Be sure to check out Calling it Home to see the progress that other bloggers have made!  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Demo Day!

Yesterday was a very exciting and tiring day.  We demo'd the upstairs for the future new staircase!

After popping off the door casing, my suspicions about MORE painted over wallpaper were confirmed.  However, this wall paper looks like it was skim coated and painted over, so I think that this is going to be staying.  There are just a few barely noticeable seam lines that I am sure I can even out with some mud.

With these walls open up here, I can even better visualize the space.  The back will be pushed back another 4-5 feet from what you see here and the lower side wall will be completely open to the dining room below.  I am super excited and I think it's going to look great!

And i'll end this post with more demo carnage. :)


Friday, April 3, 2015

Staircase Plans Continued...

Don't you love it when a the scope of a project just spirals out of control?  Admittedly, that is what is starting to happen with the stair project...  

By widening the stairs, the width of the entire stair well will be 20"-22" wider than it currently is, putting a wall right in the middle of what is now a closet.  So now, the closet will need to be reworked to avoid having a 10" wide closet.  We also want to push out the front bedroom wall to create more space in the (future) master bedroom.  Since we're already framing out a new closet, why not knock out another wall and frame in the new one?  If we are knocking out walls, why not knock out the staircase entrance in the back bedroom?  These are the questions we are currently pondering.

I have a very clear vision for the upstairs.  In a perfect design world, the floors would be stained a chocolaty-brown, but I don't know that is possible within the constraints of the budget.  The walls in the main hallway will be painted board and batten with the upper walls and ceiling white to provide a smooth transition coming up the stairs and to open up the space and make it feel brighter.  The built in cabinet will be relocated to the center of the hallway, with the kitchen sink and cabinets being removed, and flanked by two sconces.  The master bedroom wall will be pushed out 5 ft to the side of the bathroom wall.  The fridge and stove will be removed and the "nook" area will either have a writing desk or a club chair and table (not sure which yet).  So the space will look something like this:

View to Staircase
View from Top of Stairs
As a reminder, this is what it looks like now:

The main challenge here isn't patching plaster affected by moving and removing these walls (though that it's without it's own set of issues) but more what to do with the floor.  Moving the wall for the master bedroom will require feathering in about 30 sq. ft. of hardwoods.  Removing the staircase entry will require laying new subflooring and feathering in about 20 sq. ft. 

The flooring is basic 2 1/4" red oak, so matching it isn't too terribly hard.  However, matching the aged color and finish is probably not gonna happen.  Futher, these floors have been sanded and refinished at least once (who know how many times more than that) so new flooring will sit ever so slightly higher than the existing flooring.  I'm worried that it will be enough to be noticeable.  So, here are my options with the flooring upstairs:
  • Rip everything out and replace it with new, prefinished oak flooring.  Cost: $2,000.00+
  • Blend in with new, unfinished red oak and try to match finish as best as possible. Cost: $200.00
  • Blend in with new, unfinished red oak and sand and refinish floors. Cost: $1800.00+
  • Install new engineered oak flooring over existing floors.  Cost: $1,200.00
  • Rob flooring from back bedroom to blend into the rest of the upstairs and install new, prefinished oak flooring in the back bedroom, feathered and the door threshold.  Cost: $500.00
I am thinking that the most cost effective, least wasteful option that will give the best look will be to rob the flooring from the back bedroom for other spaces upstairs and install new flooring in that room.  Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

One Room Challenge: My Dining Room!

Calling It Home just announced this Spring's One Room Challenge.  Over the course of the next six weeks, 20 designers will be sharing the process of transforming a room in their homes each Wednesday. What's super cool is that the challenge is also open anyone and everyone!  The rest of us will be sharing our progress on Thursdays.  Even though I have  A LOT going on between school, work, and other projects for the house, I thought that this experience was too much fun to pass up.  So, I have decided to give it a whirl and join the challenge as a linking participant. 

For this challenge, I will be focusing on transforming our dining room!  This is a risky choice because our stair renovation project kicks off on 4/13, which means that a whole wall in this room will be taken out and under construction.  The stairs are estimated to take 2 weeks, but we all know how those things go.  So, this could result in triumph of a beautiful dining room bolstered by our fancy new stairs, or in complete disaster with 25% of the room left a construction zone.  Sounds totally fun and not at all stressful, right?   What can I say, I like to live life on the edge.  ;-)

I shared some possible design plans for the dining room here, but I will admit, I'm still on the fence with the final plan.  Here is what the space looks like now:

Obviously plaster repair, paint on trim and walls and a new light fixture.  So far, I have my dining table and chairs that won't be changing.  I am also pretty convinced that I will be using Benjamin Moore "Edgecomb Gray" (lightened by 50%, of course) for the wall color.  I also know that I want a buffet/sideboard of some sort in there and then a gallery wall on the wall opposite the windows since it's just a big, blank space.   I also want two accent chairs in a fun pattern of some for the ends of the table.  

So basically, I have a rather loosey-goosey plan and a construction project within a construction project.  Who's excited!?