Sunday, December 24, 2017

The upstairs

I don't talk much about the upstairs of the house. Mainly because once we got clothing storage (oh my, was that really three years ago?) and a place to sleep, we've pretty much left it a hot mess. Painted plywood floors, untrimmed windows, boxes piled high in the bathroom (which still only has a toilet). Sigh.

But this fall I decided that while Chris was finishing up the kitchen cabinetry I'd do some finish work of my own. I'd install hardwood flooring and while I was at it, I'd switch the bedroom from the east end of the house to the west end and create an art/music studio where the bedroom used to be.

We cleaned out the west room which contained all Chris's music equipment as well as the guest bed. Then I started on the south wall, got midway, and moved anything still in the room onto the area I'd just finished. That way we didn't have to totally empty the room and could continue to use the east room as our bedroom. 
The future bedroom but not the future bed
Once the new and future bedroom was floored and the stairwell was trimmed I continued the flooring through the dressing room and into the studio-to-be. Traversing that hallway was a real pain because of the door and wall placement. I ran the boards through the studio doorway in a staggered pattern, finished the dressing area, and then did a lot of measuring and math to figure out where to start the boards on the south wall of the studio. Then I laid boards and hoped a lot that they'd all match up when I reached the dressing room door again. And they did! Mostly. Okay, they were off a bit. Which is when Chris did some woodworking magic and custom fit the row that needed to be slightly more narrow than standard. After that I could just continue on to the north wall to finish.
On the way to the finish
And here it is! A beautiful expanse of oak in 3 1/4 inch boards. Once we finished the flooring it just made sense to do the window and door trim too (hello scope creep).
Baseboards going in
Before window trim (or organization for that matter)
Just a wonderful expanse of flooring (and a note that we still need closet doors)
North wall of studio - trimmed!
South wall (and a total mess)
The studio is going to contain a lot of stuff - music equipment, painting easel & supplies, and the pottery wheel if we can figure out a way to keep it from ruining the floor. It will also have the guest bed and serve as the library for all our books. Book storage is a problem - we have lots and lots of books. And I didn't specifically design a library into the house plan (oops). So we have full bookshelves and still many full boxes of books that haven't yet been unpacked (I didn't realize how much book storage space we had in the old house. They must have been everywhere). I didn't want to give up floorspace to bookshelves, so what to do? I realized that we have lots of wall space - why not use that? A bookshelf molding idea was born. My thought was that it would be like crown molding but functional. So 20 running feet of bookshelf was mounted about 8 inches down from the ceiling and now holds some of our books. I like the look in the studio but I'm not sure I'd like it anywhere else in the house. We're holding the idea in reserve until we get this room fully sorted out (and I cull some of the book inventory).
East wall with bookshelf molding
Installing door trim
We're incredibly pleased with how much more finished the house feels with just these changes. In fact we like the feel of it so much we put our Christmas tree in the bedroom to celebrate.  
The new bedroom
This was all the waste - not bad!
There is still work to be done upstairs: install doors, install the bathroom, finish the Bridge, and organize the studio. But this was great progress and we'll tackle those other things next year.

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