Before & After--Entrance

entrance: thehousediaries.com

I wasn't planning on pulling out my camera today, but the filtered sunshine pouring into our hallway was just too tempting. Almost as irresistible as a bar of good Swiss chocolate (metaphorically, Roger Federer. I just can't help myself...) It came out of nowhere--the sunshine, not Roger--providing some respite from the morning rain and making our front entrance look, well, rather glowy. 

There was a time when this space was more gloomy than glowy:

entrance (before): thehousediaries.com

And now:

entrance: thehousediaries.com

I liked the cute, old coves, but not the piddly 32" hallway width. Expanding the cramped hallway by 1' as well as opening up and re-pointing the stairwell were, hands-down, among the best things we did in this reno. The result is a main floor that is far less compartmentalized and more in sync with the open feeling we were aiming for in the broader project.

And as for the fate of the amazing old door--7' tall, solid fir, with an original 1930s peek-a-boo window--that decision was easy. We paired it with a new fir sidelight and jamb, while giving the interior side a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. The exterior side took me about a week to strip and re-stain, but it was well-worth the effort. My Maine Coon cat, her gloriously furry self tattoed by stain during a foiled escape attempt, would respectfully disagree.

wall light/ shelf: thehousediaries.com

I found this amazing handmade light buried in the clearance corner of a high-end furniture shop. It retailed for $1100, so I was pretty stoked about paying a measly $100. Yee-ha! It was meant to be huge wall sconce, but I had our contractor flip it horizontally and top it with a thick slab of cherry. Now, we have a place to drop our keys and a source of diffused light in the hallway at night.

entrance: thehousediaries.com

Sometimes, simple really is best.

Before & After--Home Office

office: thehousediaries.com
office: thehousediaries.com

I still see the ghosts of cubicles past. So much grey (and probably little tolerance for paintings of naked people on the walls.) Thankfully, I think we're experiencing a shift in some corporate cultures, where organizations are now realizing that their employees' work environment can have a big influence on both creativity and productivity. It's about time!

We recently finished dressing up our new office digs. The space was once a formal living room--fireplace and all. We're not "formal living room" people and, while I was sad to see the fireplace go, my disappointment quickly vanished once a large new window was installed. Removing the 2' deep fireplace bumpout also opened up the room considerably and created better opportunities for furniture placement.

BEFORE:

office (before): thehousediaries.com

AFTER:

office: thehousediaries.com

BEFORE:

AFTER:

The original fireplace mantle is now a bookshelf/ ledge.

office: thehousediaries.com

The 1950s John Van Koert desk, a lucky find at a local consignment shop, is in amazing vintage condition and features a pullout leaf on the right side. It's like a sidecar, where kiddo can draw while I pretend to look very busy beside her.

office: thehousediaries.com

A can of spray paint turned a worn-out but sturdy library cart into a bookshelf/ printer stand. A bonus: it's double-sided, giving us twice the storage space.

BEFORE:

library cart (before): thehousediaries.com

AFTER:

IMG_2723.jpg

Is it lame to have a shrine wall of your kid? Probably. She'll be so embarrassed once she hits high school (insert evil grin.)

office: thehousediaries.com

A few details:

Credenza (commissioned): Jake Lee
Barn door hardware: Rustica Hardware
Ceiling Fixture: McLaren Electric