I Turned My Camera On

I Turned My Camera On

And that’s pretty much all I did on this phase of the project.  As you’ll see from the pictures, my dad, my husband, and our trusty contractors deserve all the credit for the next phase in our home remodeling process.

When John and I bought the house, the living room had wood paneling on the walls, carpet on the floor, and thick wood beams on the ceiling.  Here is a picture of the room in its original form.

For reference, the breakfast room and kitchen are located on the right side of the picture above.  The picture below provides another view of the breakfast and kitchen area from the living room.

There were a number of issues that we wanted to correct in this space.  In addition to removing the paneling and carpet, raising the sunken floor, and re-doing the fireplace (see previous post), we wanted to connect the living, dining, and kitchen areas in a way that would be suitable for large family gatherings, dinner parties with friends, as well as occasional cooking classes (and possibly another cooking show!).

With those goals in mind, the first step was to remove the paneling and carpet, along with the beams on the ceiling, and the half-wall (and lovely spindles) between the living room and breakfast area.

Then we had to deal with the back wall, which was made up of one off-center window, some awkward wall space, and a door leading to a sunroom—which, for us, would have been wasted space.  We decided to make the sunroom into our dining room, and we wanted this new dining room to connect to both the living room and kitchen.  To achieve this connection, we removed the door to the sunroom and part of the adjacent wall, thus, broadening the opening between all three of the spaces.

Next up?  The window.  The original placement of this window truly did not do the house any favors.

As you can see from the outside, the window looked out to an inaccessible and poorly maintained outdoor space—crammed between the walls of the dining room (on the left) and the master bedroom (on the right).  In removing the window, our goal was to allow this outdoor space to serve as a connection—rather than an obstruction—to the backyard.

And it looks better already!  The living room now opens to a partially-shaded area (soon to be a rustic limestone patio), providing a seamless connection to lush green grass and mature oak trees.

Here is the view from the inside.  We had to use some temporary supports before the actual framing (hence, the two-by-fours from ceiling to floor).

Here, the framing is complete.  Then it was time to bring in the sliding glass door.  Although we considered using double French doors, we decided that a large sliding glass door would be a better fit (more modern, less colonial) for our personal style and the intrinsic structure of the house.

As it turned out, the sliding glass door was indeed very large, and very, very heavy—weighing nearly 300 pounds!  It took four strapping young (er, middle-aged) men to move it from the truck to the back of the house.  Not an easy job.

Once they got it this far, my dad realized that we did not have enough of the glue that we needed to secure the door to the concrete.  So John ran to Lowe’s to pick up the supplies.  And my dad (wisely) took that extra time to re-read the instructions for the installation of the door.

Now, they’re back at it.

Finally, the door is in place.

After a making a few final adjustments, the installation is officially complete.

Here is a view from the inside.  It is just what we wanted!  Open, connected, spacious, well-lit, and appropriately modern.

Family and friends came to see our progress.  We are all looking forward to the next steps!

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5 Responses to I Turned My Camera On

  1. Becky Johnson May 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Hi Marie, I met you at the Coldwell Banker Office many months ago with your Mom who brought little Jack by to meet the ladies at the office. It looks like from the pics that you are possibly in Austin now! Congratulations if that is what the remodel job is all about. I believe I see your son in one of the pics with Grandmom Rosalind. Grandmotherhood suits her very well! There is nothing more fun that grandkids!
    Best of Luck to you and your family with the remodel,
    Becky

    • Marie H. Saba May 31, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

      Hi Becky! So nice to hear from you! Yes, we are in Austin now — it is great to be home! Mimi (my mom’s grandmother name) absolutely adores Jack and he feels the same way about her :) Hope you are enjoying your new little one! My best, Marie

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