Library Before and After // A Little Break From Demo


Hello, there!

I'm going to take a little break from documenting the demolition process and show a finished before and after.  This room is the Library.  When we moved in, it was the master bedroom, or so we were told.  It is a small room (about 11' x 13') and it had two doors, one coming in from the living room, and one going in to the bathroom.  The bathroom already had a door and the second door was just... awkward.  We had no need to keep the master on the first floor, and weren't in need of another "room" down there, so we decided to turn it in to a library.

We took out the original door coming in to the room and covered that hole, we also removed the door going in to the bathroom and covered that opening.  We then cut a new opening in to the room through the dining room wall - creating a large opening.  We demolished the closet and took out the built-in ironing board cupboard.

This room was the only room on the first floor in which the original woodworking was in place.  This was great because it allowed us to find matching woodwork to replace everything else.
Door leading to the living/dining room.  Original door and trim.
Rose stenciling, popcorn drop ceiling, the closet and yours truly removing the door jamb.

While the original woodwork was a great surprise - the glittered popcorn drop ceiling wasn't.  The previous post addresses said popcorn ceiling.  There was also this lovely rose stenciling all across the top of the walls.  Someone went to a lot of work at one point - but it really (REALLY) wasn't my style.

The first thing to go was the nasty carpet.  It was a continuation of the baby blue in the living room.  Under the carpet was this super dense red carpet pad, then this rather fabulous linoleum - and (no surprise here) more mold.  Air flow in a house is SO very important - consult someone who knows what they're doing before you mess with it!  This linoleum was super cool - but also covered in mold.  If it had been clean and would have come out in one chunk, I think it would have made a wonderful entryway flooring option.  But alas, it went to the landfill in itsy-bitsy mould-covered chunks.

Removing carpet and linoleum in the library.
After the carpet, it was time for the closet to go:

Before - Closet still in tact.
After - a pile of rubble!

Next, and the biggest deal - the drop ceiling.  Enter trusty maul and linoleum scraper thing.
The Husband being strong and stuff.

More demo of the drop ceiling:


Finally, we got to this point - look at that plaster ceiling!  Why would you cover that up?

After much wall patching, the floors being sanded and refinished, and general cleaning, painting and re-wiring of lights and outlets, we have the finished product.

We built the bookshelves using the Kreg Jig my father-in-law purchased for me for Christmas.  He was pretty suprised when I asked for a Kreg Jig, turns out the gentleman who came up with the jig went to the same high school as my father-in-law and still lives in the same town as my in-laws.  Small world!

The shelves were a breeze to build once we got the hang of the jig.  It was the sanding and staining and shellac-ing and polyurethaning that was the hard part. 

She turned out pretty well, wouldn't you say?

This room is so sunny with the new archway and the north facing window.  I love sneaking in here and curling up with a book or settling down to do some work at the desk.  The drop front hides all my computer cords and mess perfectly. 

The drawer file cabinet was something we'd picked up on an auction a few years ago.  We thought it would be fun to incorporate it into the bookshelf.  The curtains were a thrift store find and the pillow was a quick sewing project by me.
It's great to have a room to store our massive collection of books and also a lot of the odds and ends that either have sentimental value or are not used as often as other things. 
The brown chair was something my dad picked up on an auction for me.  The green chair was something my husband had inherited from a former roommate.  The desk was an auction buy at $20 - I stripped the opaque stain and refinished it myself.  The painting was purchased from an antique store in Hugo, OK.  The rug, magazine holder, and brass picture light were Goodwill finds.  Side table came from a cousin of the husband - shipped from Japan.

These sconces were purchased at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and the glass globes were the husband's great-grandmother's.

I'm pleased as punch with our new library.  Perhaps some crown moulding or a coffered ceiling are next for the library.  What do you think?  Would it be overkill?

Moral of the Story:
It gets worse before it gets better  
(sometimes it gets a lot worse).

Demolition Phase III / We Struck Gold! // The Popcorn Ceilings Get the Boot


This house, having been "remodeled" in the late 1970s, was sporting some rather intense popcorn ceiling situations.  The living/dining room had normal popcorn, the library had glittered popcorn, and the bathroom has painted popcorn.  Heavens, they could have just at least tried to make it a little uniform.

Popcorn ceiling texture.
Needless to say, popcorn doesn't fly in my house, so we had to come up with a plan to remove it.  As we were contemplating it, the husband noticed that the ceiling in the kitchen (which was tiled - yeah, gross too) was quite a bit higher than the ceiling in the rest of the house.  This wouldn't make any sense unless there was a drop ceiling put in.

There are a few reasons why people will put in drop ceilings, the main reason being the need to hide things like duct-work or electrical wiring.

One night at about midnight, after a long day's work, we were once again contemplating that drop-popcorn ceiling.  The husband grabbed a hammer and, well, the rest was history.  We bashed a few holes in the ceiling that night, enough to let us know that we were, indeed, in the possession of 9' ceilings.  We crossed our fingers that we wouldn't find any ductwork the next day when we really got into demo and we went to bed.

Turns out, there was a lot going on under that ceiling.  However, to our delight, there was really no reason to have a drop ceiling.  It wasn't hiding any ductwork or electric lines.  It was just there.  My guess is the previous owner, when remodeling, wanted the 1970s look - low and "modern" and installed the drop ceiling.

Demolition - Phase II - The Faux Wood and Faux Stone Paneling


From what we can figure this house sat in it's original state until the family who owned it came in to some money in the late 1970s.  Using my old real estate law office sleuthing skills, I discovered that the family sold a large amount of the farm in 1978 - probably around the time the father would have been retiring.  What do you do when you have excess cash and are a retiree?  Why, you redo your house, of course!

Zucchini, Shallot & Pecorino Pizza // The Need to Slow Down


I was working on my built-in cookbook shelf a while ago and managed to use the wrong piece, make two way too short cuts, and nearly break my wrist with a compound mitre saw (don't ask).  This insanity continued for some time until I realized I was hungry.  Not just hungry, but hungry hungry and angry/irrational.  Not good combinations.  During this whole renovation thing, I've come to appreciate the relief of taking a break every once in a while - and the necessity of it.  So, instead of using that darn mitre saw and probably losing some fingers, I'll use my oven.