Our attic is BIG, roughly 1600 square feet, and rises 1.5 stories above the rest of the house. When we moved in 9 years ago, it was filled with all sorts of stuff. Built-in cabinets and shelving, semi-framed walls, and lots and lots of flies. The space had served as a workshop and storage area for the former owner whose fondness for collecting left it filled to the brim. Wood was everywhere; stacked in piles, propped against surfaces, arranged on the floor. Honestly it was hard to see the forest for all the trees. Here’s what it looked like in 2009.
I know you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. While I’d like to offer some excuse, I’d rather brag blog about our latest home improvement project!
[Insert loud applause]
Thank you, thank you. Now. To recap. My husband & I bought ye olde village manse 10 months ago. Maaaaaaany people had looked at this house before us, but turned tail & fled when they realized the amount of work it would require to maintain, let alone restore. My husband & I (dreamers through & through) saw a shining gem of a colonial that with much polishing & SWEAT EQUITY could be Home (capital H).
When we moved in 10 months ago – and that alone is hard to believe, this was our office.
Okay. technically it wasn’t our office yet. Although it may look spectacular in the photo (if you are standing reeeeeeaaaallly far away and squinting a lot), our office needed HELP (capital H). For starters, it lacked a real floor. Also the walls needed finishing and the original paneling and columns framing the fireplace needed attention. Plus those curtains had to GO. But you know what? Once those curtains came down, the light came in even better than it had before. Sure it made the room look even worse, but that only propelled us to complete our task more quickly.
So fast forward 10 months. My husband and I – once we’d finished lining the chimney, installing a wood stove, tiling two bathrooms, renovating our dining room and after that, kitchen, cleaning out the basement and tackling the garden outside – we GOT TO WORK! And lucky for us – we had just the right combination of craziness, vision, and tools necessary to complete the job. Well, mostly just insanity and a few tools. But we needed more. Like flooring. Good thing we’d invested in stunning, wide white pine from Carlisle wwaaaaaayy back in the fall, before all that OTHER work began. (B/c we’d run out of money shortly thereafter.) BUT Those floors were worth every penny! (*wink*)
So where was I? Oh yes. Many saner individuals had taken a look at this task and run away. Whereas my husband & I tightened our belts even further and took that first step towards NEW OFFICE. And I am so glad! B/c now I am sitting in my beautiful new office, writing this post, while also reading a book AND simultaneously playing the piano!! Rather than bore you w/ more details of HOW WE DID IT, I am just going to SHOW YOU. Before & After pics speak a thousand words, and frankly, I deserve a rest. Seriously.
And here it is today, June 26th. Office Sweet Office.
And swirls. Gilded geometric patterns. Trees sprouting from the minds of men long gone. Welcome to the third *wall* post of the week. It couldn’t be helped.
Like these forms, my husband & I have fallen into a pattern – not of shapes or colors, but of morning conferences. Once the kids are off to school, we commune w/ the house & each other, laying out plans for the day (and ensuing days to come). We were up in the attic an hour ago, when we came upon this cache of wallpaper. Hidden beneath all that wood! In the bottom of a cooper’s barrel. We were searching for trim for the dining room. The former owner – God bless him- was a collector, and saved every scrap we’d need. They’re flaking, still w/ the hand forged nails of the Georgian period. We’re not sure where each of them goes, but thankfully the peeling paint matches, and piece by piece the puzzle takes shape and the picture begins to emerge.