". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

At Long Last, or How I Spent My Weekend

Last spring we began making plans for a major home project. We finally embarked upon it this fall. It is not primarily a remodel but a repair, as it was necessitated by the accelerating decline of an aging, leaky sunroom that was causing water damage to our house. After researching our options and the associated costs, we decided that our best course of action was not to repair or to replace but to remove the offending structure. That removal opened up some other possibilities for changes to that part of our home, one of which was the building in of custom bookshelves (yay!). As our house has been in a state of flux and mess and chaos for months now, those bookshelves have been a lodestar to get me through the remodeling darkness. So you can imagine my elation last weekend when they finally arrived and this weekend when they were at long last installed!

I wish I had taken a few more "before" pictures. I had to search for one of the interior of our family room (which adjoins to the sunroom). Here is a shot from Christmas of 2009. Beyond the 2-way fireplace and the glass panels on each side is the sunroom that was built on to the back of our house (not by us).

Here's an outside shot of the sunroom.

A shot from inside the sunroom of the other side of the fireplace and glass panels.

Bye-bye, sunroom and hello, patio.

Then, the plastic time.

Finally the plastic was gone and dry wall took its place!

No more glass. No more 2-way fireplace.

HELLO, BOOKSHELVES! After seeing them in place, we found ourselves wishing we could have replaced the brick, too.

It was a major undertaking to move all those books. I'm tired and my back and feet hurt. But I'm so pleased with the result! I wish I had taken a photo of the old, falling apart shelves.

LP records and games are stored in the cabinets.

There is much left to be done. New siding is on the back of the house (you will have to wait until spring for a picture of that), but gutters and downspouts are not. Landscaping will also wait until spring. The bookshelves are actually not quite complete--crown molding and knobs for the cabinets are coming. A new mantel and eventually a new fireplace will be installed. A new sliding glass door is already in place in the kitchen, but it still needs trimming and staining. Ceilings and walls need painting. Carpet needs to be stretched and stapled back in place. I'm sure I'm leaving something out. But for now, we finally have a family room that is functional!

Until the painters come . . . .


Elephantschild said...

Oh, Cheryl! It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

And I think the brick looks fine! If after a few months you still wish you could have changed the brick, well, the brick could be painted a solid color above the mantel. I've seen that done, and it looks really good.

Melanie T said...

Well, I was going to say the same thing as EC. The bookshelves look fantastic! Really, unless the brick looks drastically different in person, leave it. A new mantle and a fireplace insert will make it all look very different. But paint can work miracles if you really hate the brick.

It's amazing how long these short term projects take, but the end result is usually worth it.


Cheryl said...

EC and Melanie, thanks for the comments and encouragement. I am very, very pleased. The shelves are beautiful. (Still not enough room for ALL the books, but that's another issue, LOL.) I think the hubby and I are just experiencing that common reaction of comparing the new thing to the old stuff and thinking the old pales a bit by comparison. You know how it goes, buy one piece of furniture and before long you want to refurnish the whole room. But you have to draw the line somewhere. EC, I wondered about the possibility of painting the brick. We'll get the whole project done and then see what we think. It's good to know there may be some less than drastic options.

Anonymous said...

Hooray! I love the bookshelves, and I'm glad your home is starting to be your own again.