Monday, November 12, 2012

Office Renovation Update: A Look Into the Past

I have written several times over the past 5 months about our progress renovating our home office.  If you missed the last post about our ongoing work, you can read about it back in this post.  For now, I thought I'd give you the month by month photo report, so you can see where we are now.

First a brief bit about the room we are remodeling.  This medium sized room sits in the back of our house, behind our kitchen.  As our home was built about 1890, we are fairly certain the room we are renovating was added to the home to be used as a summer kitchen, a place to go for hot jobs like canning.  In fact, when we moved into this house in 1981, the room had a large sink and a gas stove.  A small powder room was built into the one corner, which we later enlarged to include an old claw foot bathtub we recovered from the second floor bathroom.

Here is the timeline of our progress so far.

July - As you can see this room was a mess and in need of some work.  I began organizing, relocating,  sorting, and eliminating.

August - Although a lot was accomplished, there is still more excavating to be done.

September - Almost ready for the work crew to start.

October - The demolition began.  The rest of the house was quarantined, as the workmen removed ceilings, walls (including that horrid horsehair plaster), and floors.  

Oh - and by the way - in the way that these types of projects often go, we decided to gut the existing bathroom also.  We might as well update it while we are making the mess, right?

As the demolition progressed, we were given an interesting look back into history.  When we moved into this house in 1981, the walls in this room were covered with the green and white fern wallpaper on the top, pepto-bismal pink wainscoting on the bottom, and ceiling tiles.  (What were they thinking?)  Was this the style at the time?  Or were these the supplies that were on sale at the time?  I don't know, but there was a lot of this pink color in the upstairs bathroom also.  It was ugly downstairs, and it didn't get any better upstairs.

Here's the layer we uncovered then under the ferns and on the ceiling.  I would have to scream if I would spend too much time in a room like this:

And here's a better look at the wallpaper underneath the fern paper:

Aren't old homes lovely?

My husband tells me, "the worst is over, they are putting it back together now."  He assured me it would be done by Thanksgiving, but that was back in July, and we all know men totally underestimate what will be required and how long it will take.  So that brings us up to November:

We decided to make it fancy and vault the ceiling of the office area.  (The unvaulted area will be the new bathroom.)

The bathroom and office areas are framed out, and electricians have done all the wiring.  You can see here that some serious floor leveling had to be done, too.

Is it looking like an office yet?  I think not.  I'm at THE WEARY PHASE.  I want it to be done.  And I want my first floor toilet back YESTERDAY.  I want to clean it all up, put my books and papers back in their places, and have order restored.  

But I have the vision.  I just need the patience.  Contractors do not always get here when I think they should.  Things do not move as fast as I wish they would.  Relax, Jill, relax.  

For now, I'd better go select some bathroom floor tiles.  

Stay tuned, I see a nice room on the horizon.  Maybe by Christmas, ya think?


  1. Don't get in a hurry. Take your time and make sure it gets done the way you want it.

  2. Yes, renovations can be exhausting to deal with, but once you finally get it done, everything you've put up with is worth it. I hope you had a lovely time doing the fitout for your office. As for the past interiors of the room, it probably reflects what the room was intended for during that time. So your office interior should also reflect that.

    C2C Global

  3. Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success..
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