A picture of the room as it is today after all the work.
Mouse over the image for a view of how it looked as a bedroom.

Sometime in the 1960s the dining room was turned into a Bedroom. Embarrassingly, it took us a while to realize what it was. The first clue should have been the chandelier hanging not-quite in the middle of the room. In order to make this into a bedroom, first a wall was added and the doorway to the living room moved to a little to the right making a hallway between this room and the kitchen. A closet was built off this newly added wall for the purpose of the bedroom. This all made the chandelier look very out of place. I remember the epiphany as I stood in the doorway looking at both the bedroom and hallway; the chandelier was perfectly in the middle. As soon as we took over the apartments upstairs this wall, it's tiny 60s door and clamshell molding came down. It was amazing.

Until that time though, we had to live with the room as it was. It was first our bedroom. We painted the wood panelling and our daughter slept in what has now been brought back as the parlor and our son was just a baby, so he shared our room. Later we got a bunk bed and they shared the parlor. After taking over the first apartment (the West facing bedroom on the second floor), we moved upstairs and the kids each got their own rooms.


After we pulled down the wood panelling this was pretty much how we lived for over a year. The wallpaper is a ca. 1950's colonial scene with a stagecoach and riders on horseback in an ever repeating pattern. There was some water damage and plenty of nail holes due to said wood panelling. This room was also completely stripped of it's wainscoting. The workers used those strips all over the house as leveling for the rest of the wood panelling that covered up all the other wainscoting that appeared in the house. Therefore we had to buy wainscoting from Lowe's.

The wallpaper proved to come off pretty easily with a razor blade. I hated to pull it off just due to the history but this certainly wasn't original to the building anyway so I just took lots of pictures to document and Bethany and I began the tedious process of removing whatever would come off.

I hated to do it, but needed to remove the plaster on at least one
wall in order to work all the electrical magic that needed working.

My dad came up for the day to help! Who better to ask than the guy who literally built his own house? This day consisted mostly of running electrical lines through the ceiling and figuring out how to wire three different 3-way switches. My hint to you? DON'T reuse wire nuts.
Removing every-other piece of lathe makes for easy cleanup and plaster-removal but also a great backing for attaching drywall... especially in an old house that isn't quite square where the studs aren't exactly 16" apart.


We took this opportunity, not only to remove the non-original hallway, but to also put an access opening between the dining room and the kitchen. A set of pendant lights will hang above the shelf that will go here as a little breakfast-nook and coffee spot. It turns out that it actually works really well as a place to charge all our devices while watching someone else do the dishes.

We spent SO much time filling holes and repairing the plaster that a little part of me wished I had just torn it all back to studs. Pretty tedious work but it came out looking beautiful. We even got Eamon to help out with the pole sander.

The fact that the wood slats in the ceiling were painted white was not a surprise. What was a surprise was how expensive that was going to be.
Not wanting to strip old paint we opted to buy new slats instead.



Priming the wall with some unused latex paint that we had laying around and putting up the new molding on a door that was never supposed to exist. That bathroom is actually just half of the butler's pantry changed over at some point in the late 60's or early 70's.

The workmen who put up the wood panelling removed all the wainscot cap in the house. We took to our local big-box in order to get the closest match. A table saw score on the back was enough to mimic the original fairly well. Because they added a hallway we were also missing some of the crown molding. If you don't look too closely you almost don't even notice.



Every DIY guy's best friend; a big tube of 'liquid carpenter'.
Here we are putting on the finishing touches on the big project,
the last big interior project of the house!
That is until we tackle the attic.



A little serenade to christen the new room from Aria right before we sat down for a good 'ol
traditional Thanksgiving feast of macaroni & cheese and frozen pizzas!




Now one of our most favorite rooms.