Saturday, January 26, 2013


Sorry I have been away for a while.  We had visitors and I took a break. THEN my laptop went on the blink!  UGH!  SO... let me try to do some more catching up with this.

So... now I will try in this post to finish detailing the work Karl and I did to finish the library wall in the Dining area, as well as the finishing touches to the walls.

The photos below show the walls of the dining area from different perspectives, showing first the "bare bones" of just the studs and outside siding, and then the transformation (not totally completed in these photos, but you get a fairly good idea at what the finished product will be).  The first set of photos were taken from the kitchen, looking towards the dining area.

The below photos shows the dining area from the living room.  Again, showing first the "bare bones" of just the studs and outside siding, and then the transformation (Note the old fireplace in one photo, the new fireplace in the second).

NOTE:  I will discuss the table later.

The new walls cover the new wiring and insulation we put in.  

Now... how about showing the process.

These photos show Karl tearing apart solid oak partitions that were brought from his shop in MA.  These too came from and old library in Boston that he renovated (throw nothing away). He carefully pulled them apart, and then cut each of the boards to the size needed to make our bookcases that would be the showcase of our dining area.

He then sanded each of them and so began the construction part.

We laying out the bookcases and credenzas.

The area underneath the window house window seats and the two leaded glass cabinet doors go in a small cabinet in the center of the bookcases.

During this part of the construction, our friends Lisa and Ray came to visit.  Karl welcomed the chance to have some help with some of the heavier construction (Lisa and I found other ways to entertain ourselves... I was grateful for the chance to have a break!).  Karl again recycled some materials to make the center cabinet for our bookcases, Including some cool columns.

Lots of sanding and "tweaking".  The credenza tops are also made from the same oak boards as the sides of the bookcases.

Karl used his "magic" and made some small apothecary-type drawers for the cabinet above the credenza, allowing me a space to store candles, napkins and placemats.

I primed everything and then painted everything (except the counter tops) with a semi-gloss ultra-white paint,

and Karl put polyurethane over the counter tops, followed by his "special" Swedish Polish", which resulted in beautiful smooth tops and clean shelves.

I will make cushions for the window seats, and we will order the doors for the cabinets below the bookshelves later.  Also, still have to finish the floors.

And what goes better in a Dining/Library room than a 12' table from the old Boston Public Latin School in Boston, MA

Karl has two of these and we brought one down to put in our home.  They still have the original holes (plugged on the top, still open on the stretchers) where a couple hundred years ago, gas lights were used to help with reading.  We refinished the table and plan to use it as our dining table.

The way I see it, with my large family, we can always throw a couple of sleeping bags on top and use it for extra sleeping space!!!  I think it will also make a great space for putting together puzzles, one of my favorite winter pastimes.

Now that that was done, it was time for the final touches:  like adding accessories to an outfit. 

The photos below shows the what we did with the space where the walls were torn down and LAM support beams put up between the living room and dining room, as well as the kitchen and dining room.  Karl had removed these during a re-modelling project years before, and they had been in his workshop for years.  A great time and place to use them.

Me staining and finishing while talking on the phone.  Hey... who says I cannot multi-task?

The photos above shows the finished column, before being added to the wall.  
The below photos show the finished product,  complete with the fretwork and detailing.

... and now how they finish out the dining/living area.

I think it most attractive.  We still have a ways to go... but it is getting there.
Hope you enjoy.

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