Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome to the Wolves Den

After we totally teased you with a partial tour of the house, we kinda fell off the map.  So sue us.  Nobody pays us to do this blog.  (YET.  Beyonce, I'm looking at you.)

But we have good reasons.  Besides being chronically sleep deprived, we have been doing some pretty epic work/home juggling with my sweet mama out recovering from surgery.  And in the midst of it all...we were doing a den renovation.

So here's what's going to happen.  We're going to do this mostly with pictures.  We'll sprinkle in some context here and there but honestly, everyone just wants to see the goods.

The room we're dishing about is on the backside of our carport.

The house was built in 1962 but this den addition was done sometime in the 1970s.  The seller (who grew up in the house) told us they used it as a rec room.  It had a ping pong table in it for years.

I imagine their friends used to sit on the built ins by the window and yell "far out!" and "groovy!" after a good play.

Orange. Wood paneling. Bronze blinds. Old built-in desk that was de-laminating from old gas heater. Weird light fixture that may have been pieced together from an old wooden ship from the Civil War era.  A popcorn ceiling (the only one in the house) that Nick's dad got rid of for us.

And back when we mentioned an interior window we removed from Carter's room, you saw a glimpse of the den.  

Carter's side of the wall got prettied up fast but we had a big white blob on our dreamsicle orange wall for nearly 6 months.  No, it didn't give me panic attacks.  Why do you ask? 

We spent a few months saving up and then selling virtually everything that was in the den.  It had become the catchall for the random furniture that we didn't have a place for in the house.  So I made a list, gave it to Craig, and bank rolled that ish to help fund the reno.

We borrowed our friend's truck and made a massive Ikea trip. The ensuing 3 hour drive home was fairly stressful since we had our hazard lights on the entire ride on I-40.  The next morning, we put our enormous couch together.

Baby shown for scale. 

And then we put a call out to our Community Group to help us with the heavy labor.  Have we no shame?

The gas heater came out, as well as the upper corner of wood paneling.  We used what was taken down and replaced the panel where the heater was.  (If you're wondering why we didn't remove all of the paneling, there was no gyp board behind the panel and it would have been a severe undertaking to prep the room.  Uh, no thanks.)

Existing froo-froo chair railing came down.  (The profile was too ornate in our opinion, so we decided we'd put back something simpler.)

The original built in that smelled like an old man passing gas through an onion was the next to go.

As our dear friend Kenneth put it, "what they lacked in craftsmanship, they made up for in nails."

One cool find from the demo was some of these old game cards.  I'll be framing those and hanging them at some point.


The carpet under the built in needed to be patched, as did the area under the storage bench at the windows.  Luckily, we saved the carpet we ripped up in other areas when we refinished the wood floors and we patched those areas.

To deal with the high gloss sheen on the panelling, we had to sand it with a palm sander.  So everything got protected and our gal Lindsey went to town.

And then we added back some "moulding" @ the transition.  It was basically a 1x3 topped with a 1x2.   Elementary, my dear Watson. 

We installed some of our new Ikea cabinets and counter (since we loved the IDEA of a built in desk area but not the current implementation).  No pictures of that as Nick and I tackled most of that together late at night and documenting that process was low on the priority list.

Then came time to get our friends super high.

Once the panelling was sanded, it needed to be primed to give it that extra tooth to ensure the latex paint would stay put.  So we bought an oil based primer and invited our CG over again for some fumey fun.

Also primed the windows and all the trim.  That was arguably the most time consuming.

Once the priming was done, we were actually ready to finish the room.  We installed hardware on the cabinets.  We painted the new chair rail, all the primed trim and window work a fresh white.  We painted the walls.

I got progressively more calm as the orange bit the dust.

We installed new vinyl floor by the back entry.  I bought pillows and new custom cut white blinds.  We replaced the Ikea couch legs with some baller new ones from Etsy that instantly made the couch feel more expensive.  I reupholstered the ottoman with fabric from Premier Fabrics.  We added some steel hairpin legs to the new media unit that houses our cable, modem, DVDs, etc.  

Cat photobomb coming atcha.

Nick used some of the wood from the built in to make wood caps for the couch to put martinis, bellinis and Diet Cokes.  (We are fancy on a regular basis.)

And then hung some of my Raleigh art and family photos.  And voila.  We were "done."


Wait for it...

Want to see it?

We felt this was important to see before we revealed.

Let's remember the before.

And see the after.

Mucho mejor, amigos.  And now, since I promised not to be wordy and I've typed upwards of 500 words, I'll let the pics do the rest of the yappin'.

Banner is not a permanent fixture...it's just leftover from C's birthday party this past weekend.

Remember before?
Cat door added to the left cabinet so they can do their...business in peace.

Butcherblock counter.

Carter's zone.

As per usual, this room still has some work.  I'm going to hang some curtains.  We're going to do some hand drawn wallpaper on the long TV wall above the chair rail.  We'll put some organization in the desk cabinetry to house crafts, files, sewing machine, etc.

But if we don't stop at some point and call a room "done," we don't get to ride the high of completing a space.  So for now...it's done.  We're pleased with the transformation.  I considered saying "pleased as punch" but I'm not familiar with the metrics of punch.  It's quite possible our pleased state actually exceeds punch.  I don't know, I'll do some Googling and get back to you.