It started out as a foggy day at the farmette, but now, it's clear and cold. The war rages on in the Gaza strip - that's all that's on the news it seems. Which is why I'm not the newshound I used to be. Too bloody depressing.
What's not depressing - and actually very uplifting - is that our second floor renovation is done. So that's the topic of today.
Brian Embree was our contractor and he and John (his neighbour, who is also a retired contractor) did all the work. They're local - they both live just on the north end of Durham. They were very professional. Thoughtful, with great ideas that saved us money and time. Brian is ex-military, so that might be part of it.
It was a much quicker job than we had anticipated, too. They started the week after Thanksgiving and finished on Friday. So, not even a month.
Here's a couple of "before" pictures. We had low ceilings with popcorn plaster that was falling off. Two tiny bedrooms that we only used for storage and occasionally guests. We had already upgraded the bathroom a few years ago, but we practically never used the other space ourselves.
The idea was to rip out the walls and make it into one large recreational/guest space. We went up instead of down, because our basement is really not suited for fixing up, given that it's under a 158 year old house.
During the demolition, we got a glimpse into the past, with Julie Glass's confession of deep love (in pencil, on the bedroom wall) of Clarence - although we couldn't make out his last name.
The ceiling was a bit of a challenge, given that the rafters weren't especially squared up perfectly, so John suggested we put in ship lap instead of dry wall. Sooo glad we did that.
Unfortunately, we couldn't fix the oak floor - there wasn't enough hardwood available to match it. So we went with a 'fresh oak' vinyl that turned out beautifully anyway.
We couldn't be happier with the result. We went with a light blue and dark blue colour scheme which means a nice bright space for sitting back and listening to the 500 albums that Rob has collected over the years.
Today, we'll be moving those back into the space. We've ordered two comfy 'his and hers' recliners from Smitty's that should be finished around Christmas or so. They're taking longer than the renovation!
We've also put the futon back up there as a couch and a guest bed when it's needed. Rob and I sweated and swore yesterday afternoon putting the frame back together, but it's done. We just need a nice new cover, which is also on its way. Isn't online shopping grand?
Anyhow. Here's how it looks now. Nice, eh? Until next week.
Gratuitous cat photo courtesy of Hobbes, who at the age of 11 still carries around the teddy bear we gave him as a kitten.