Monday, August 8, 2011

A Closet Story

This weekend we started working on the closet in the room that we plan to use as our bedroom.  The closet is full of dark paneling that makes it very dark and ugly:

Isn't it just a great view (and don't you just love the lime green painted wallpaper)?

So far we haven't done much more than a little planning and some demolition (we'll be sure to post pictures when it's done) but in the process we made a little discovery.

The closet in this bedroom backs up to the closet in the front bedroom and we knew that there was not a plaster wall between them but that in some places, that least, the paneling was the only separation.  With a closer look, however, we discovered that a lot of the wall is in fact plaster and that it is really only a relatively small section of the wall that is not.  Around the same time we noticed that one of the door frames to the closet (see above photo) didn't seem to be of the same quality as the other.  With a closer look we could tell that the entire door frame is actually a complete replica!  Then we went and checked out the other closet and discovered (we're not sure how we didn't notice before) that the entire wall that the closet is in is actually drywall - not plaster.  We started pulling off the wallpaper in the back of the front bedroom closet (yes you read that right) and sure enough the old door frame to the original closet was still there.

What all that means is that these two bedrooms each originally had a small closet which were positioned side-by-side.  The previous owners combined the two closets to make one large closet for the back bedroom and decreased the size of the front bedroom to create a new full-size closet for that bedroom as well.  Here are some images we drew up using Sweet Home 3D:

The two north bedrooms originally:

The two north bedrooms now:

Closet view in the back bedroom originally:

Closet view in the back bedroom now (same as the second picture at the top of the post):

The closet view in the front bedroom originally:

Closet view in the front bedroom now (you can see how much smaller the room is with the added closet space):

While we're very interested in restoring the house to its original state, the extra closet space is a really big bonus for us and for resale value.  These are the only two full size closets in the house, so to restore these closets to their original state would be to remove a huge portion of our main level storage space (outside of the attic and basement).  So the plan is to just go ahead with our closet update and keep everything as is.  Although we do plan to at some point improve both of the door frames that the previous owners added so that they look like they were always there.

On that note, today we contacted a specialist in old house renovation who recently moved to Portland!  She works on old homes alongside owners to help them restore the house to its original glory.  We are meeting with her soon to see if she can help us with some of our bigger, more daunting projects.  We'll keep you posted!

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