Archive for June, 2012
New Closet Interior
After the dust settled and the paint dried (in Dolphin Fin grey, per my earlier mention that all of our paint color selections have names that “speak” to Dede), I finally got busy with outfitting the interior of the new closet with a ClosetMaid shelving system.
I was able to make use of nearly every square inch of the space inside the new closet so I ended up with almost 20′ of angled shoe storage, about 20′ of hanging clothes rod space, and almost 14′ of open shelving. The shelves up top are a bit of a stretch to reach and only have about 12″ of clearance below the ceiling, but there’s a ton of storage inside that small space! Here’s a peek:
New Fan Control Knob
One of the more bizarre things left behind by the previous owners of Kirkwood Manor was the big honkin’ circa 1970s ceiling fan control box in our Master Bedroom. Since we were going to have to do some re-texturing anyway with the new closet construction, I took the opportunity to replace that limping scrod (Thanks, Rich!). Extending and snaking the wires for this through the wall stud just to the left of the original switch was a real challenge, but the end result was certainly worth the effort:
Knowing that our door project was coming up, I had intentionally neglected the flowerbed/planter off of the patio area just outside the Master Bedroom. Once things were wrapped up with the new door install, I was ready to spring into action to rehab this area:
With some expert guidance (Thanks Dave!) I settled on a interesting mix of perennial plants that seemed like a good fit for the area, given its size and the amount of direct sunlight it receives. So here’s what we ended up with:
As is often the case, once I had found a terrific deal on a handleset for the new Master Bedroom patio door, I couldn’t just let it go at that single purchase…
So since I had found the Kellington double-cylinder door hardware at HandleSets.com for a fraction of what the local home store charge, I opted to also replace the brass lever/deadbolt combo on the other patio door (coming out of the kitchen) and the brass handleset & kickplate on the front door with matching nickel handlesets so they’d all look and be keyed alike. And I got all 3 for less than what I would’ve spent for a single handleset at retail price!
I ran into a slight problem with the new brushed nickel kickplate looking much more “aluminum-y” than “nickel-y” and therefore not quite matching the finish on the handleset. But I’ve since seen some other homes where this is slightly off too, so that’s kinda comforting. And most people may not even notice the difference…
Although I mentioned the new closet first, that was really the lesser of the changes to be made with our overhaul of the Master Bedroom. No, the big ticket change, the driving force behind the whole thing, was all about a new door.
Our bedroom had a large 6′ x 9′ bank of old windows that looked out onto the patio. Since we spend a great deal of our time during late-Spring to early-Fall out back, we longed for direct access to the patio. The windows were original to the house (meaning they were the old, inefficient single-pane variety) and looked like this on the exterior (apologies for the late-night, low-quality photo):
…and on the inside they were covered with the same terrific Plantation shutters that the home’s previous owners had installed on the guest bedroom, den, and living room windows.
Earlier this year, we got kind of serious about this project and started calling around for estimates from “window and door” companies. But we ultimately discovered that we could get exactly what we wanted at a much lower price by purchasing the door independently and paying a contractor to install them. We had found a contractor thru our friend Donna P. who we felt we could trust to do the job right and I lucked into a great sale on a Jeld-Wen fiberglass-clad unit that featured two fixed panels and one hinged door in the middle (all with integral mini-blinds within the panes of Low-E glass) at Home Depot.
So 18 days later, the custom-ordered “triple” arrived—in one piece that was too big to even fit through any of our gates to get to the back of the house. So thanks to my contractor Roger, his helper Caleb, and two very cooperative & helpful Home Depot delivery guys, we brought the 81″ x 110″ door unit over the fence instead:
Once eased off the forklift and brought gently to the ground, we wrestled the behemoth to an area just beside the existing windows:
In a single, action-packed day, the guys tore out the old windows and bricks, a plumber capped off the exterior hose bib that had been just beneath the old windows, and for a harrowing couple of hours, there was nothing but a huge hole in the side of the house:
But by late that afternoon, the new door was tacked in place. The following day, they secured the unit, added casings to finish the exterior, and added tile to cap off the bottom row of existing brick and dress up the threshold area:
What a thing of beauty! And we were especially pleased with the very budget-friendly and sturdy Kellington Double-Cylinder Handleset door hardware from HandleSets.com!
Finally, they trimmed out the interior in a regal fashion befitting such a king-sized door and I got busy with more Behr Azul Tequila paint:
Be sure to read part 3 of the Master Bedroom overhaul to see some of the odds & ends finishing details.
Almost from the very first time we toured Kirkwood Manor in December ’09, one of the “somewhere down the road” wishlist projects was to convert the unused home office space (a.k.a. reading nook) in the master bedroom into some valuable closet space. As a part of another big change to that room, we’ve finally brought that little vision to life.
The reading nook had a built-in desk and bookcase that may well have been original to the house. So out those went…
And to make the most of the space, we opted to bump the ceiling in that area back up to the same height as the rest of the room…
A wall was built to box in the closet, complete with a pocket door that slides back into the wall so it doesn’t eat up any space within the closet nor does it swing out into the room.
Of course, with the new wall and texturing to blend in with the existing walls—and given the thoroughly-unmatchable custom faux finish that the previous owners had applied—I had to repaint the entire room.
But luckily, my ever-eager assistant was there to help with the painting…
So here’s the end result, complete with trim and the new paint color (Azul Tequila) for the room:
You may be noticing a trend here—all of our paint colors at Kirkwood Manor have names that “speak” to Dede. (Just wait ’til you see the Dining Room re-done in “Dolphin Fin!”)
Keen observers will also catch that we dressed the room up with crown molding but you’ll see more on that in the next part of the Master Bedroom Overhaul!
Big thanks go to Donna P. for the contractor referral!
Be sure to read part 2 of the Master Bedroom overhaul to see details of the new patio door install!
Liam has officially graduated from Kindergarten!
It’s been a long year of learning for all of us. We had no idea how difficult the transition from daycare Pre-K to public elementary school Kindergarten was going to be.
Apparently life in Pre-K, even though it seemed well-structured, was still mostly about playing and doing things on your own schedule. So going to a class setting where all activities are highly-structured took a bit of a toll on our guy. We thought all hope was lost for the first few months, but after the Christmas break things worked out and he adjusted to the routine and even won a citizenship award by the end of the year. We’re so proud of our little guy and still totally amazed that he can now read books on his own.
I’m glad Summer is finally here and we can all relax and enjoy the next few months before first grade starts!