The upstairs hall.

So! An actual post about house progress! Here goes…

When we bought our place, it was fairly obvious that the previous owner had bought it in an attempt to flip it and had made “improvements” (I use that term loosely) using the absolute cheapest materials possible. To wit, our upstairs doors were the cheapest plastic molded hollow core doors ever made. With the cheapest, ugliest brass and mismatched hardware ever made.

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They weren’t ever painted, and were pretty filthy, but somehow that wasn’t motivation enough to do anything about it for the last three years. I guess that’s not really true – we did buy salvaged wood doors (like the ones on the first floor) but then they sat in the basement while we did other stuff; like rounds of infertility treatment and thankfully had two kids.

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ewww, ugly door to our bedroom.

 

Thankfully we have Sean the carpenter who trimmed and scraped and painted and trimmed some more until all the salvaged doors fit where they needed to. It was no easy task – a couple of the slabs we picked were warped (oops) and since pretty much everything in this house is crooked anyway, it was quite a challenge to get them to fit. He persevered, and I’m so glad. New (to us) wood doors make all the difference.

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The upstairs hall is very short, so I took this pic with my back pressed against the railing over the stairs.

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Here’s the bathroom door that had to be trimmed just enough that the new knob wouldn’t fit without a little trickery from Sean. He was able to add in a piece of wood so that there was enough depth for the latch mechanism.

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I actually kind of like the way it looks – a happy accident. We used the same door hardware as downstairs, but only put a locking one on the bathroom door (once, while babysitting, a sassy toddler locked me out of her room while her infant sister was inside and I practically had to take the door off the hinge to get in, so, no locking bedroom doors for kiddos in this house.)

The doors will probably need a bit of adjusting as we move into the more humid summer months, but I’m so happy with how they turned out. Just the tactile sensation of opening a heavy wood door instead of a flimsy plastic one is pretty satisfying. Here’s the new light fixture over the stairs.

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It’s from Restoration Hardware. It replaces the ugly stained glass fixture that I showed here. The roman shade is from Pottery Barn. I originally ordered 3 of them for our bedroom, but since they have a blackout liner they felt a little too heavy. I kept the one I had opened and it works perfectly here. It’s open all day and only gets pulled down when we are going to bed and don’t want to see our neighbors security lights.

I really intended to get this post up sooner but I’ve been waylaid by a terrible case of mastitis this week. Thank god for on-call docs, 24 hour pharmacies, and antibiotics. I’ll have another post up about the stairway soon – it’s looking really good, but just needs a few more things before it’s complete.

xx-H

he’s back!

IMG_6534My favorite carpenter/make my house better guy is finally back to work after a six month hiatus. First thing on his list? Painting the new nursery. We are so lucky to have a 3rd bedroom in this little house. It’s a small room, maybe 8×11?, but surely big enough to hold everything our little dude could need.

Here are a few more before pics – IMG_6532 IMG_6535The room was barely big enough for a queen bed and the dresser you see above, but it also held all of our coats and tons of other junk we managed to cram in there (linens, our iron, shoes, etc.) Pete and I thoroughly edited our coat collection, tossed the 10+ year old mattress, and gave the extra bedding to friends and family. We now officially don’t have a space for guests, but I’m seeing an air mattress purchase in our future. The beige paint (what was I thinking?) has been covered by a lovely coat of fresh white, which of course gave me the notion that the upstairs hallway and stairway could use a fresh coat, which then reminded me that ugly hollow core doors need replacing with the solid wood ones we scavenged and then left in our basement, and oh, this is the perfect time to build a linen closet! Epic nesting.

So. Sean is doing all of those things. The only possible place to add a closet was over the stairs, in the little strange hallway to our bathroom.

IMG_6542Here’s the view looking back at the stairs. Hallway to the bath is on the left.

IMG_6547 IMG_6548Here it is framed out. It’s really more of a linen cabinet since we needed to maintain a really comfortable head clearance for going up and down the stairs.

IMG_6550Here’s the view from inside the bath hallway ( you can see what it used to look like here) Sean will build doors and shelves once all the drywall is taken care of.

Here’s a view from today with drywall and a couple of coats of mud.

IMG_6561 I think having even a small linen cabinet will make a huge difference in our storage upstairs. We’ve always kept extra linens in our room, generally piled on chairs. I love the idea of having a place for a couple of extra pillows, an air mattress, and all the extra tp I can buy. I worried a little bit that adding a bulkhead would make the stairs feel cramped, but the truth is I don’t even notice it. I’m on the hunt for a new fixture to replace that 90’s pool table/bennigan’s style one finally. Sean will also upgrade the bannister on the stairs since the old one was quite flimsy and didn’t actually go all the way to the top.

Right now he’s using the nursery to stage all his tools while he gets all this upstairs work done – so I won’t really be able to get started putting the room together for at least another week. In the mean while I’ve been hunting for the second layer of decor for that room – I’m planning on picking up a rug and a floor lamp from Ikea this weekend and I’ve been finding tons of great artwork online. You can see my ideas on my pinterest board here.

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30 Weeks!

Hope you all are well.

xx-H

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