Join us for the Colonial foreclosure library renovation with custom made bookshelves, tips for old popcorn ceilings, and how adding walls can improve a room.
Welcome to the Colonial foreclosure library renovation! If you recall from the Colonial Foreclosure Before Tour Part 1 this was the view of the library from the dining room.
The only thing nice about this room was the carpet. It was actually in decent shape. Zach and I cut it out and installed it in Caleb’s bedroom (the one with the Eagles’ green carpet) until we were ready to redo all the upstairs floors.
Ugh, those walls and that thick popcorn ceiling.
One of the first things we did was to figure out what we wanted to do with the popcorn ceiling. I got up on a ladder to experiment and decided the easiest/cost efficient way to address it was to use a wide hand scraper to remove that thick popcorn layer – which is ultimately plaster. Click here for a scraper specifically for removing popcorn ceilings. That made a big difference alone, but then my father-in-law, who we were paying to do our painting, also sanded it down with a pole sander to smooth it out even more. We finished it off with a new coat of ceiling paint. As a side note on both flips so far I have used Benjamin Moore’s Simply White for all of our trim and ceilings. I highly recommend it for a softer, warmer white look. When it was all said and done, it actually created a nice textured but smooth appearance to the ceilings that I could almost recommend as visually appealing (almost).
I planned on wall paper for the library to accent what I was going to do in the dining room. I love the old world charm that the right wall paper can add to a space.
That being said, because we weren’t painting we tackled the floor next. I went with a click and lock laminate and tried my hand at installing a floor for the first time. I was glad to only be 5’3″ while spending so much time hunched over. I have a new found respect for flooring guys. This is tiring work! I did the dining room into the living room and then carried this same flooring into the hall and half bath.
You can see several boxes open in the picture above. In order to keep your pattern as natural as possible it is recommended to pick each plank from a different carton. Also I highly recommend buying a flooring installation kit to keep in your toolbox for future use. It will include spacers, a tapping block, and a pull bar to keep your planks tight.
Once the flooring was installed the next step was to find French doors to close off this wing of the house. I do a lot of hosting, and with young kids, I like having a section of the house that can be “dressed up” without fear of little hands. French doors are the perfect way to keep a space feeling “open” while still keeping it closed.
We put double doors at the entrance to the library when you first walked in and then a single door in the kitchen to walk in to the dining room.
Remember the comment about adding walls? I love an open concept layout, but I also like to create intentional spaces. I felt that the dining room and library needed to have some visual separation, and I didn’t want that to be a line down the wall where the decorative paint from the dining room ended and the wall paper from the library started. I decided to add two half walls with columns to help separate the rooms and add dimension to the space.
When you go back for a second Masters, coach football, work outside of the house, and have two kids – house renovation projects happen whenever there is a good time which in this case apparently meant in my slippers! Ha.
My handsome boys!
Those eyes. That smile. Going to get this little man in and out of a lot of trouble one day!
For those of you renovating with young kids or would like to renovate but have young kids – it can be done. We are living proof. Our kids have grown up in construction zones and, praise the Lord, never one injury. For us or for them. Unplug a power tool EVERY TIME you walk away from it. Keep all sharp objects out of reach. Always clean up after you finish for the day. Get them their own set of toy tools (as Caleb has above). As they get older let them participate in safe ways and take advantage of teaching moments. It is overwhelming at first trying to manage a project and your kids, but you get used to it and they do too. Don’t be afraid to get them involved and make some memories while doing it!
Without further ado, one of my favorite spaces in the house. Our library!
The library happens to be decorated for Christmas at the moment.
These beautiful pine bookshelves were custom built by my grandfather and were originally designed for the library in the Victorian fixer upper. We designed them to be in 8 sections for portability knowing we would be house hopping over the next several years! These will move with us again!
My grandfather offered to make Zach and me a coffee and side table as a wedding present. I requested a live edge with iron legs, and we were given these gorgeous pieces of furniture. They will look so nice in our French Country library (think gabled ceiling, wall of windows, old world fireplace, and loft of bookshelves . . . ok I’m drooling).
My grandmother (on the other side!) bought me the old world book stack tissue for box for Christmas many years ago for that little touch of old world charm. Find your own here!
I found these single candlestick crystal candelabras at a thrift store, and I love them.
This electric brass candelabra was also found at a thrift store. I used Brasso Metal Polish to shine it up. I love all of the details in the base. By the way, if you are ever trying to determine if something is brass or copper or bronze – take a strong magnet and hold it up to the metal. If it is brass the magnet will stick, if it doesn’t then it is likely copper or bronze.
Typically this corner stand has a vase with a faux floral bouquet in it, but at Christmas time this cute little tree displays my annual Swarovski crystal ornaments. I have bought one for every year that Zach and I have been married. 7 years and counting! Our 3 sets of grandparents have each been married over 60 years, and our parents have both been married for over 30 years – almost 250 years worth of marriage! If generational trends continue, then I will need a bigger tree! #blessings
Zach bought me this fabulous old world telephone that works as our landline for my birthday several years ago. I love this Antique Country Telephone!
I love the way the Swarovski crystal flush mount chandelier throws light on the ceiling.
This old-fashioned secretary’s desk was a college graduation present from my grandparents. It is my favorite place to come first thing in the morning with a hot mug of coffee when everyone else is still in bed and the house is quiet. The chair can be found here.
I inherited these sweet ceramic musical angels from Zach’s grandmother. They come out every Christmas to decorate my piano.
Thanks for checking out our Colonial Foreclosure Library Renovation! Come again!