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.
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.
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!