Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Linen and Books and Linen and Books, oh my!

Well, Mandy has asked me to create a post about the recent build here at 126 NEST, so here goes.

The boys room had two doorways out of it (in to it?) - that was one to many, and we didn't have a linen closet at all up stairs, and relegated some old cabinets to that job. Knowing that we were removing those cabinets, and Mandy knowing that we would want some storage and linen space we set out to transform one doorway into a workable linen closet. Here's the transformation!

Started out by framing out the interior space with 2x4s - made the actual linen holding space a bit bigger than the door so that we could hold more items in there.

Old ceiling is so much fun to find studs in!

Surrounded the inside of the closet with luan - finished this off very nicely, and give a good, yet inexpensive interior to that part of the closet.

We also decided that just a box in the boy's room would be a bit 'box-y', so we decided to create a book case on this side of the wall - thus the build would fulfill two purposes - closet space and book space.

On the inside of the linen closet, since the shelves aren't 'seen' as much, we use 3/8" plywood - 'nice' side up! Supported the shelves with 3/4x3/4 pine with the same as an under support along the length of the shelf - created a very heavy duty shelf with very little weight.

Here's a top view looking down on the bottom two shelves - 5 shelves total with 1' between, and 2' for the bottom and top shelves - fits Laundry baskets in the bottom, and tall items in the top - the middle holds the rest of the linen and whatnot to put in there.

On the bookshelf side, we lined the inside of the bookshelves with the same Luan, and put a piece of the 3/8" plywood on the 'boys' side - let's see them break that - enough drywall screws in those studs to start a small steel plant.

Here's the linen closet filled to capacity! Mandy was so excited about all of the places she could empty and put in here. Notice the stack of laundry baskets in the bottom, the sheets and washcloths stacked so nicely, and towels!! All of the laundry soaps and whatnot stored in one place, instead of on the washer! What a treat to get all of this from so many places and get it into one place! Next up is a curtain to cover this up and look 'pretty'

And here are the completed bookshelves!
The picture of kids on shelves is iconic for me - my three brothers and I were set up like this when I was a kid and Dad installed a pantry in the kitchen for Mom. So, on 5 of the 6 shelves on this set, we have 5 of our 7 kids - the oldest and youngest not pictured.

We used 1x12 for the shelves, and tacked on a trim piece to the front - they are very sturdy and should be able to hold a full set of books - also, the side is very sturdy and wouldn't give when I pushed on it, so that's pleasing - now, just a bit of finish caulking and paint, and we'll call this one done!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside. . .

But we will be keeping warm inside in style. Here is the picture of my almost finished fireplace. When the living room is completely finished, all the details of the fireplace will be taken care of, but for now you can see what we've done. Below is a before pic from before we bought the house. Wasn't it pretty?

I would have taken that furnace out the day we moved in, but my kids weren't excited about the prospect of icicles hanging off their noses. And below you can see what it looked like once we removed the furnace and the old paneling. We found that this wall was one of the main culprits of cold air coming into the house, and since we live in northern Pennsylvania, that is a really big deal. So this gave us the opportunity to add insulation - not pretty, but very practical.

Here you can see my husband and father-in-law working on the new fireplace. As I mentioned in the previous post, we purchased a gas fireplace that I found on Craigslist for $100. It was the best deal I had seen in all my searching and it meant I could finally get rid of the behemoth furnace!

So, the plan was to build something like an L shape. The vertical part would stand out a bit from the wall, helping the fireplace look more like a real, built-in fireplace. The horizontal piece at the bottom would form a sort of shelf that the fireplace would sit up on, creating a hearth. For the hearth and the mantel, my husband bought these super thick, super wide slabs of cherry wood from an Amish friend.

And here I am priming it. The one thing I disliked about the fireplace was a brass frame around the inset, and that had to go!

Here is the painted fireplace. This was before I sealed the hearth and mantel. You can also see little bits of the paper left from where I used them to protect the wood while I was painting the fireplace. And I am also needing to put in the molding around the base. And I also have one strip of brass left that will be painted black to blend in. Hence the "almost finished" part.

The original plan was to make a box from molding in the top over the mantle, but once I went to hang a mirror, I thought it would look odd because in order to hang the mirror at the height I wanted, it would be really low in the box, so I waiting to decide whether I want to add it or not. I will have to show you a picture soon and ask your opinion.

With the snow we are expecting in the next several days, I am looking forward to homemade hot chocolate and snow ice cream and I call shotgun on the seat in front of the fireplace!

Living Room: Sneak Peak

Well, this is what I have been busy with. And recuperating from the experience.

Like many other crazy women out there, I too decided that I had a project that I absolutely had to do before Christmas. I HAD to renovate the living room. Really, I just couldn't stand the thought of putting up a pretty Christmas tree in an ugly room, not one more year. So, during Thanksgiving, I decided I was going to do it.

To help you really appreciate the task at hand, let me show you a few pics of the living room when we were looking at our house, deciding whether or not to buy it. Kinda makes you wonder why we bought it - won't go there.

WARNING - Extreme ugliness ahead!!!

Well, here you can get a look at the ugly paneling, the crazy way they treated doors, windows, and basically, the whole house in general.

Here you can see the bay window area, the really nasty textured carpet, and a lot of mess.

Here you can see the ugly carpet again, the ugly decor, and the ugly MAMMOTH gas furnace. Boy, was I glad to get that thing out! Even Jim Morrison didn't like that carpet!

OK, let's look at the pretty picture again and catch our bearings before we move on:

So, you've seen where we started, and we shudder to go back there, so, here are some construction pics - some of the walls were good, some, not so good.

Originally the plan had been to work with the texture and do a paint treatment of some sort. Or something like that. Once we took down the old paneling though, we quickly realized these walls needed more help than that. Some of the plaster was coming down, or was soon to come down. So, we shifted gears and decided to go with - drumroll - PANELING. But, it is a good thing that there is much nicer paneling to choose from these days. We chose a 3" V-groove paneling. Here you can see some pics of the paneling being put up.

Here you can see a bit of the ceiling. At the beginning of this ordeal, there were some white ceiling tiles up there, some of which were held up with tape, some with crazy shards of wood, definitely needing replacement! So, we had to take all the old ceilings down (yes, more than one!), the plaster one being the most difficult and the most messy. Let's just say that I am not sure that I have even yet gotten all the dust cleaned up around the house, and that was with sheeting taped around the door frames.

To explain what we did with the ceiling, we exposed the overhead beams/joists and the underneath of the original hardwood flooring overhead. We built a new beam down the center, to which we added molding and painted. Then we filled in around the edges, added molding and painted there as well. So, the ceiling is now a mix of wood and paint. I will show better pics of it once we are completely finished with the room.

Here is a picture of how we finished the ceiling in the bay window area.

You may also notice a chandelier sneaking into some of the pics - let's once again thank Craigslist - $20!!! More importantly, let me thank God. My Grandma and I have sort of a running contest about who God loves most. You see, He is constantly blessing us with amazing things, such as great deals to fix the house up, great deals on furniture or other things, sending along just the right people when we need help, etc. So, whenever He does something like that, which is often, we like to call each other to prove which He loves best. =-) I hope you understand and won't be jealous that He loves me most!

This is a very small pic of the fireplace - to see it's transformation, you'll have to check out the post on just that fireplace - I'm so pleased with how it turned out! Link to that post is here!!

Can't wait to get going on that room!

Well, in case you wonder if I finished before Christmas . . . I almost did. I still have some finishing work to do, but I decided that it was good enough to stop and get a Christmas tree and resume work some time in the New Year. My kids did need a Christmas, you know!

Now doesn't that look better than if I had put it in the old, ugly room?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Girls' Room

Well, long-time-no-see! We have some catching up to do. I have been busy, I just haven't taken the time to share. Bad blogger. I would like to say welcome to you new followers. I really am so surprised when someone wants to follow my blog, but I am so happy to have you! I am going to show you my girls' room today, and then I will try to catch you all up with my various projects in the next week or two. For a little explanation about the room, it is at the top back of the house, and I imagine it was once just an attic room. When we bought the house, there was some serious gross-ness going on with the carpet in that room, so we tossed it out the window, literally. So, since then, there has been a plywood sub-floor for their room. Well, I had been seeing some ideas floating around blogland that I wanted to use around the house, so we decided this room would be our guinea pig. I love the look of plank walls and wide plank flooring, so this is what we were aiming for in this room.

For the floor we (the hubby and I) used luan plywood. I think that when we use this idea in other parts of the house, we will just use regular plywood, although this was a considerably cheaper alternative - $11 for a 4x8 sheet vs. $20 for a 4x8 sheet. The reason we will probably use regular plywood in the future is that, when we painted the floor, in some places the veneer sort of bubbled up a little, which I am fine with in this room, just not what I am going for in general. That description makes it sound worse than it really is, but I don't know how to more accurately describe it. It does add to the look of it being an older floor, rather than a new "perfect" one. We cut the 4x8 sheets into 8 in. x 8 ft. planks to start. Then we used construction adhesive (Liquid Nails) and small brads to attach the planks to the plywood subfloor, using pennies as spacers between the planks. We used the brads that work in our electric staple gun, so that made it much faster and easier. This idea came from Lori at The Frugal Farmhouse. She did such a beautiful job, I just had to try it.

For the walls, we used a material called hardboard. I had come across this idea in someone's blog, but can't remember which blog it was for the life of me. So, kudos to the person with the wonderful idea to make planks from hardboard! The hardboard was $7.50 for a 4x8 sheet, so it was very economical. The other benefit for us was the flexibility of the hardboard. Being an old house, or perhaps someone's poor drywall skills, when we got to working in the room, we found out the walls were quite wavy, so the flexibility was very helpful. We used the hardboard very similarly to the luan plywood, only we cut the planks for the walls and ceiling into 6" widths. We attached with construction adhesive and brads, with pennies for spacers, just like on the floor. After using this hardboard, I have a feeling it will show up in many different applications in our house, particularly in the downstairs which has plaster walls, some of which is becoming detached from the lath. We really loved working with it.

Well, here you see a picture of the walls painted, but before I painted the floors. I primed the walls and ceiling by hand, which took about four hours. After that, I was very glad to use a paint sprayer - so much faster! I used Zinnser BIN Primer, which is probably my new favorite primer. Seems to work really well on all kinds of surfaces and dries quickly.

So, here you see a picture with the floors painted. I have a new fondness for Martha Stewart paint. I really like her colors and I have been pleased with the coverage, but interested to see how it holds up down the road. Anyway, I used Martha Stewart's Vapor for the walls. For the floors, I used Martha Stewart's Sandpiper, which is a much lighter color than it looks in the pictures. That is because the floor sealer I used had a lot of amber to it and darkened the color considerably, but because the color was so light to begin with, I am actually happy with it. I am not exactly sure why the floor looks blotchy in the pictures, because it doesn't in person, but I will repeat "I am not a good photographer."

Here is another picture with all the painting done on the walls and floor. This is the view from when you walk into the door of the room.

Looky there - it is I! That is about all you will see of me working in this room, thank you very much. All my beauty output was going toward the room - not myself.

Here you can see what it looks like in the corner. Exciting, I know.

Oh, and here is a dresser. This is another part of this project. My three oldest girls share this room, and believe it or not, it will hold a twin bed for each and a dresser for each. Two of their dressers were handed down to us, very generously, from my mother-in-law. This dresser was a dark lime green with bright yellow knobs. I will tell you about the others when we come to them. So, to bring a bit of cohesiveness to all the mismatched dressers, I decided to paint them all the same color. When I saw the how the color of the floor turned out, combined with the wall color, it reminded me of Rie's girls' room from Home and Harmony. I remembered that she had painted the bedside tables a really lovely pink color, and decided that would be just the color for these dressers.

This is the wall you face when you come in the door. And the other two dressers. The dresser on the right was crackle-painted red, white and blue when I first saw it. The my mother-in-law painted it red for me to use in the boys' room when she gave it to me. But when I was working on putting this room together, I decided it would work better in this room, so it got the pink treatment. The dresser on the left was also given to us quite a few years ago from my parents' neighbor. It had been a light pine color before I painted it. I painted all the dressers Martha Stewarts' Ballet Slipper. It really is the prettiest pale pink. For some reason I think it looks a bit lighter than on the paint card, but I love the color. So glad I used it. The other thing that relates these dressers is that they all have the old round wooden knobs.

This is Elisabeth's dresser. On the orignal wooden casters. So pretty.

This is Rachel's dresser. Also on the original wooden casters. Love the details on old furniture.

As you can see, Rachel's dresser is beside the door. This is the back side of the door I made and wrote about in the previous post. I finally finished the back of the door!

If you notice the little gray dot on the ceiling over Rachel's dresser, it is a foamy stick-on piece (meant for the bottom side of furniture to protect the floor). Because of the slant of the ceiling, the door hits the ceiling there, so I put it there to protect the ceiling, and it seems to be working well so far. Much nicer than the gash that was in the ceiling before.

Here is a close-up of the wooden applique I placed over the mirror to finish out the door.

And this is Charis's dresser. It fits perfectly in its spot.

I love these keyholes in Rachel's dresser.

I love the pretty legs on Elisabeth's dresser.

And the curvy backsplash (I don't really know what you call that).

And I love the two levels of Charis's dresser and how much it stores.

And here you see the ugly spot. It is actually a repair job, the Sandpiper paint before the amber floor sealer. Believe it or not (and it is easier to believe in a house with 7 children than not) before I even could put the beds back in the room, someone damaged the floor! Elijah Grant, my sweet two-year old boy was playing with the clippy lamp I was using while I was working, unbeknownst to me. And he left it on, face down on the floor. It made a really cool circular pattern of black in the middle that faded out to a reddish brown and then to a dark amber color, and then eventually to the color of the rest of the floor. Didn't even have the hear to take a picture of it. Finally I sanded it and put the first coat of paint on it. Hopefully the final coats of sealer will blend in well with the rest of the floor. We'll see. At least it will be under Charis's bed. Speaking of beds - my dear husband made beds for the girls. His dad and brother have a metal-working business. My husband grew up working with his dad in the shop, so he asked to use the shop and made some beautiful beds for the girls. That will come in a future post, once they are finished and all the accessories are added. But I couldn't wait until then to show you my Girls' Room!

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