This Old House, Glaser Edition

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Sanctuary

Three of the rooms downstairs are in good enough shape to present on the blog. Today we will feature Steve's office, except for the fireplace, which needs a tad more tweaking. We call it the sanctuary because Steve has big plans for this room. He selected all of the colors, which are Mark Twain House Olive on the walls and Gilded Linen for the trim, molding, and ceilings with paint called American Tradition. The east wall pictured here will have two interesting features: an access door to the porch and connection for cable television.

The first is already there. When the electrician installed the porch lights, Tammy's brother smashed a hole in the upper east wall for access. To avoid ever having to do that again, Tammy's brother framed an access door in case we ever need to work on the porch lights or add ceiling fans, which you can see in the picture just below the crown molding.

Today, the cable guy installed HDTV under mild protest by Tammy. We have lived without programmed television since 2001. We keep up with local, state, and national news off the radio and Internet and find less passive ways to entertain ourselves. Steve yearned for programmed television in his sanctuary, so we compromised with having cable in that room only. The cable guy also set up our Internet access, and we will go wireless once we have the electrician back in the house.

Steve has always dreamed about having leather couches, which are not wise investments for those with kids and dogs. Now that the kids are older and the wild dog is learning to love the great outdoors, we plan to try a burgundy leather couch that will look sweet with the olive colors. He will have the always-in-perfect-order desk, which the anti-Martha Stewart (Tammy) will avoid like the plague. He might even stash an upright piano in there if he can find the space. Steve took lessons for eight years and plays beautifully.

To the left are before shots, with after shots on the right. The ceiling was a real chore to beautify because the electrician had to cut a line across all the way to the ceiling fan. We thought that new wiring had replaced all the old knob and tube stuff. While the upstairs rooms were fine, the wiring downstairs was in sad shape. The only way to fix the problem was to cut into the ceiling and sheet rock! We decided to spray the ceilings downstairs with popcorn texture. It required several attempts to mask the gash, and one can still see a trace of it.

The sanctuary will probably be the most comfortable room in every season. Because we had to gut the room of all plaster and not simply cover it up with sheet rock, we took the opportunity to insulate it. Tammy's father has already redone all of the windows, pane and trim, and he and Steve covered them on the outside with storm windows. We still need to caulk some of the gaps caused by the lack of squareness of the house. Old houses tend to settle, and no square inch of this place is truly square. Imperfections like that affect every aspect of renovation from windows to trim to fireplaces. We like to think it adds character!

If you think the sanctuary looks great now, wait until you see a shot with the restored mirror, mantel, and fireplace!


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