Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Our Striped Dining Room Taken Back to 1916

The Dining room was the very last room that we finished in our restoration project.  I think it is my favorite.  Though it was small, had striped wallpaper from the 70's and ceiling to floor wall to wall drapes, it had the most potential.    Here is a look at it.

In the photo above I am actually standing in the kitchen in the pocket door space.  There is evidence that the original house had a door there that SWUNG into the dining room.  We elected not to keep it as an opening, later you will see why!  To the right, there was actually a wall, you can see a desk there in the corner. We took that wall out as it was there to hide the plumbing and the sewer line. It made the room smaller and formed a narrow hallway on the other side. Where the arch is we discovered that it originally was a double pocket door.  We were unable to put both doors back in because we rerouted the heating and electrical to the left of that arch.  Also, we had to remove the orange door, which leads to the front door, to get our refrigerator in the house.  We decided not to put it back up and instead, since there is no room for a closet, we put a coat rack that I made from an old piano, on that wall.  This is just inside the front door and opposite the staircase.  

Here is the doorway to the kitchen where the 1940's pocket door was, and in which I was standing to take the first photo.  We needed to make the doorway a little wider to put the refrigerator in that space on the other side in the kitchen, and the house is concrete, so we had to jackhammer it out.  The grey stripe on the wall is probably an outline of where a piece of trim hung originally in 1916.
   This is the space where the wall was that made the hallway on the back side of the dining room.  It now opens up the room and allows for a nice walkway to the back door.

 My sister Nancy came to visit a couple weeks after we moved in and she started stripping the paint on the staircase with a heat gun. (The dining room is through the doorway.) This process took me 5 years to complete. It was an inch by inch process. In the cracks I had to use dental picks to get the paint out. Then a chemical stripper was used, followed by a chemical wash then the stain and top coat. All of the original trim had 4 or 5 layers of paint on it. The top layer being a minty toothpaste green, the other layers were varying shades of the green as well, except the bottom color was a creamy white. The original stain was a deep red mahogany color. I chose Bombay Mahogany as the new color.

I decided to stencil the walls to look like the original wallpaper and to hang a textured border on the ceiling,  but I was stumped on how to actually go about making the fridge fit in the opening  without sticking way out and taking up all of the kitchen space?  The only real option was to box it in and lose part of the dining room. So we did, but then we had a big box in the dining room that stuck out like a sore thumb.  I pondered for weeks, months, trying to figure out what to do.  Then my friend Leslie was there and said, "It's about the size of a hutch.  Why don't you make it look like a hutch?"  GREAT idea!!  Thanks Leslie!  I tacked the doors up to get a feel for how it might look.

  This is the finished product!  I designed it and my husband assembled most of it...all the hard parts...like usual.  Thanks Wayne!  The top 3 doors came out of a previous home we remodeled and I had been holding on to them for about 15 years.  The bottom 2 doors I had for about 5 years, and the doors on the side panel I just got about a year ago from a fellow history lover.  I wasn't going to buy them because I already had a stack of cabinet doors in the garage, for what I did not know.  Then I just couldn't pass them by and bought them.  Now I know why they were so important to have in my  possession.  Thanks Mychel...they were meant to be in this house!  I had always wanted a home with built in cabinetry, and although this is not REALLY a hutch, it sure looks like it. 

 It just goes to show that you need to go with your instincts and it's okay to hang on to things for 15 years.  Just because something is old and laying around doesn't mean it can't be something beautiful once again.  As long as you have intent to reuse...pick away!


Pickin is good!

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