Before! The dining room

18-06-2019 02:06

Today was one of the most exciting days yet, because someone other than me was finally sweating and cursing and working on the house. That’s right, the pros have started! This is a good time to finally lay out what we are working with. To make life easier, I’ll break the befores up into manageable chunks. Then, when I figure out how to tag it all, I’ll do that. First room to see some action was the dining room. It features 11.5′ ceilings, super awesome grooved wainscoting, two giant windows, 7′ pocket doors leading into the parlor, and a fancy chandelier. It also had a fonky wall heater, a rotten sill, peeling paint, and really ugly 60s wallpaper border at the top.

View from the front parlor, through the dining room, and on into the kitchen and through the window. I love the long views in this floorplan.

Our dining room, which will be used more as a family space

This was the first time Eleanor ever went in the house. She marked her territory.

Hot pockets.

Gorgeous hardware on the original pocket doors.

So there is a lot to work with. We are keeping all the millwork, windows, and chandelier. Unfortunately all the drywall has to go. And that’s what I walked into this morning when I went to take a few last before shots. The guys had already started!

Here’s the intrepid crew, sawing and prying drywall off the shiplap. I helped all day today- because what’s more exciting than a long-awaited demo?! Plus, I wanted to see what surprises were waiting for us.

See that growing like of drywall chunks? That’s what I did today. Gather, toss, repeat. That, and the drywall was nailed to an inch of its life to the shiplap. I pulled every damn nail left in the walls. Got open wounds to prove it.

Turns out, there were some neat surprises.

1. Some animal managed to stuff a pecan up near the crown molding. Wow.

2. Gorgeous mixed shiplap! Lots of material for this house were clearly reclaimed from other structures. It’s so, so tempting to leave these palettes exposed.

Pocket doors tucked away on the right.

View from the foyer towards the kitchen door.

Lovely rust, various plank sizes, a beachy turquoise. It was all under the maroon drywall, which at various points had been painted a puce color. Under the drywall, but on top of the shiplap, we uncovered the very first wall treatment. It’s fun to imagine someone hanging this 125 years ago, give or take.

Strange wallpaper all over dining room. On close inspection, it had some kind of rope texture. I suspect the original color is long gone. Mounted on muslin or silk.

And super duper bonus!

3. Original wallpaper border.

It’s about four inches tall and must have been vibrant a century ago. See where my sweat dripped on it? Mounted just below the (surprisingly wimpy) original crown. I had the guys leave a strip of it up above the pocket doors; maybe in another century someone else will tear off OUR drywall. I love that they will find remnants from the very first owners for themselves. And yes, I’m keeping swatches of everything as well as pictures.