You read the title correctly. We have loved and lived in this wonderful home now for almost 10 years. We moved in during July 2009, shortly after we got married, and formalized our purchase in September that year.
I think most of our renovation work is covered in this blog, and there is plenty of before and after pictures. In this post, though, I’m just sharing some of our favorite work.
Bill has been offered a lovely partnership with Emergent in Syracuse, New York. As he has already been commuting quite a bit, it makes sense to move in that direction. There will be more work opportunities for me and great schools for Will. Plus we will be near an airport for all the travel I like to do!
So, in a few weeks our home will go on the market officially. If you are interested in seeing our home in person (to purchase, not just a tour), please reach out to me on Facebook, email or text. We would be happy to sell to friends or family we already know.
My favorite completely project in the house has to be the hallway, although I’m thrilled to have a new shower and I love Bill’s office. Every project has had its own challenges, learning curve and rewards. We have really made this house a home we can be proud of and we have enjoyed not only the work on it, but living in it day to day. It’s both large and cozy. I hope someone enjoys it as much as we have.
It has been a while. Life has been full and rich this past year. As Bill has started his new business, B2 Professional Coaching Services, I’ve taken on more painting work for Golden Paintworks, doing custom work, research and development in the commercial applications. Will finished Kindergarten in the spring and is starting first grade this week. We’ve been busy, and yet, we have still been working on the house. So there have been a few too many neglected posts. First, I wanted to catch you up on the Guest Room.
Finalized the guest room in the fall last year and had guests round the clock from September to December of 2016. We put up a sheetrock ceiling, because fixing a cracked ceiling every 2 years is too much work, even for us. Next, we smoothed out the walls with plaster, and taught Will how to do some of that work. I feel blessed that Bill can do the work and teach our son in the process.
After painting everything, wood work, ceiling, walls and even the floor, we put in a new ceiling fan, crown molding and furnished it. This furniture is from France; family friends brought it back to Missouri from Paris some years back for their daughter. When she couldn’t use it, they offered it to us and we swept it up quickly. I can’t imagine finding more perfect furniture for our house. I’m not sure of the year of these pieces, but the side table has a pee pot chamber, and the mirror has some fingerprints imbedded, which I love.
The room has been used quite a bit since we’ve finished, and we have plans for many more guests this fall. It really is the best time of year to come visit us. October here is stunning, perfect for pumpkin and apple picking and the leaves are more glorious than anywhere I’ve ever seen. Let us know when you want to visit. 😉
So, after a long writing hiatus, I’ll post briefly to let you know that we’ve started on our guest room. It was my studio since we moved in, which I have adored. The light in this room is stellar, although it is the smallest bedroom. We’ve decided to make it the guest room, because it will be used the least and I could use more space for setting up long term painting projects. We have the perfect furniture for it that we purchased from family friends in Missouri a few summers ago — turn- of- the -century Parisan bed and armoire with a mirrored front.
Since it took us a few weeks to know where to start on the house, we did several things all at once. Removing the border and painting the closet in the small room was part of that. So, the room looked quite distressed for several years, before we finally took the whole thing apart this July.
We’ll have several guests this coming fall, so we want to have the room in order in the next few weeks. As of now, we’ve been able to finish the walls and they are waiting for paint. Bill will put in crown moulding this coming weekend along with a new ceiling fan and electrical outlets. We’ll debate on whether to refinish the floor right now or hold off till spring. Since we want to do it like our room, the oil finish takes about 6 weeks to cure well and we don’t have that kind of time or weather.
Hopefully, I’ll post again before another year goes by. 😉
Here are a few images to give you an idea of how far we’ve come in 2 and a half years. We still have a ways to go, but our house has become “ours”. I’ll move through the images based on the order in which we completed the work.
We moved in during July of 2009, but since we were only renting (waiting on our loan to go through), we didn’t want to start any major work. We spent the summer cleaning out the house, pruning back vines and readying for our paint crew.
When the outdoor work was underway, we began by cleaning up the kitchen and sealing the pantry. We pulled carpet out of the laundry room, which I still haven’t show you.
And then we started the big work. Since the dining room looked as though it would be one of the easier rooms, we started there.
Next we worked on the library, though we still have yet to put in shelves.
Then we started upstairs with the full bath and alongside we painted the kitchen. It took us a LOOONG time to do the bath because we had to remove crappy wallpaper, which was adhered with caulk and a soldering gun. Just kidding, but it was put on eerily strong.
We stayed upstairs to work on the master bedroom and redid the ceiling in the dining room, not even a year later. Then we began the nursery and finished up with the living room, where we are still putting final details in place.
We’ve yet to redo anymore floors except for the master bedroom, though we did consider having someone else come in and do them for us. We are still debating what to do there. Such a big job for us.
We still have yet to put up the chandelier in the living room and attach the mantle, though Bill has completed it.
Once those pieces are in place, he will begin our bookshelves! I cannot wait to get all my books in place. I feel as though we still haven’t moved in because my books are waiting patiently in boxes all over the house. I’m not a hoarder by any stretch, nor a collector of anything in particular, but I do love books. And, thankfully, Bill loves building and working with wood, so this will be a great project for us both.
While Bill is working on the shelves, I have yet to finish painting and stenciling several areas in the house. I am also going to draft up plans for our garden. I’d like to get some flowerbeds in place this spring, for once.
We are pricing out and starting to order materials for the baby’s room. As I mentioned in the last post, we’ll be putting sheet rock on the ceiling in here, so we’re going to order a shipment that will allow us to also have enough for 3 other rooms in the house. Once that arrives, Bill will be able to start prepping the room.
Right now, we haven’t done anything to it except clear it of all furniture and decorations. An empty canvas if you will, ready and waiting. It is one of my favorite rooms in the house, so I’m looking forward to transforming it into a comfortable living space.
While we are waiting on supplies, and giving ourselves a bit of renovation break waiting for the baby, here are some photos of the room completely bare.
We haven’t really named this room anything as it has always just been “our bedroom”. In the rest of the rooms upstairs, we’ve had to call them by some sort of name to identify the differences, especially because we weren’t using any of them for the first six months or so after we moved in. The “green room” became storage for the longest time, until it was converted into a true guest bedroom last May. The “blue room” became my studio for painting because I preferred its size to the other rooms. The “pink room” was always destined to be our Master bedroom, but it took a long time to get to call it “our bedroom”.
However, the white room or the octagon room has really gone nameless as it was just the bedroom. Now, it will become the nursery, but that name is a long way off from becoming a reality.
You can see how we have used it in the past. We moved into this room because it was truly the cleanest bedroom when we bought the house. Though the walls are terribly cracked and painted with a sanded finish, the floors are in relatively good shape and the room was just better than the other options. There are also two small closets in this room on the corners, making it a full octagon. The windows opposite the closets are also on “corners”.
It has been a comfortable quiet space to get used to sleeping in such a big house, and I will surely miss it. However, we have plans to move it right along for the baby, so we’ll walk you through the process once more on another bedroom.
Bill is planning on putting up sheetrock on this ceiling. It was never our intent to use any sheetrock in the house, but we have discovered the hard way that the plaster cracks way too easily, and “un-does” a newly finished room. The dining room is a perfect example. Bill has done the ceiling in there twice, but it is cracking again from the joists between the floors. So, we’re going to put up sheetrock on the ceiling to keep our sanity. That is the first priority on the empty room. From there, we’ll go through the same process of repairing wall cracks, plastering walls, fixing windows, priming, painting, sanding the floor and finally refinishing the floor.
I also took a close look this weekend into the closets to see what they will need. Each one is fully wallpapered and carpeted, which is weird considering they probably aren’t more than 3 square feet apiece. But, I may be able to get a sample of original wallpaper out of one of them to show you.
The master bedroom is complete and we moved in this weekend. I have a touch up of stenciling to do, but other than that — it is a livable, decorated space.
You can see that we completed the paint job by painting in a cornice moulding around the top of the room in the trim color, leaving the lines crisp. Without the furniture, it looks rather tailored and formal, unlike the frilly Victorian feel the room would have originally had, likely with flowered wallpaper. So, the stenciling should help that feel quite a bit. As I mentioned earlier, I may go ahead and stencil the whole room, but I’ll have to sit with that for a while before I take the leap. Doing one wall is weeks worth of work.
The wood furniture is turn of the century, coming from my grandmother’s cousin’s parents, known in the family as Uncle Gus and Aunt Ella. The bed, dresser and gentleman’s bureau were their personal bedroom furniture. I am very lucky to have these pieces as they fit beautifully into our home and are in wonderful condition.
The black and white upholstered chair was my Christmas gift from Bill. I had wanted a nice glider or rocker for the baby’s arrival, but something that would endure many years and not look dated. This is what I chose, a glider that is also a recliner. Very comfy and a nice contrast to the solid gray walls.
The nook is also completely furnished with the baby’s goodies: crib, dresser and changing table. We’ll plan to have the baby with us in the nook until his room is ready for moving in, likely at least five months.
Now that we’re all moved in, we’ll be taking a close look at our old bedroom, the octagon room, and deciding how to attack it next. Eventually it will be the baby’s full time room, to be decorated in turquoise and chocolate with a Peter Rabbit theme. (You can tell I’ve been ready to do this one a while.) Pictures and process yet to come!