Friday, July 30, 2010

A Project: Library File Drawers

Here's a little taste of what I LOVE to do! These rusty old file drawers (the size used to hold library cards, back when libraries used cards and dinosaurs roamed the earth) came from a garage sale. I paid $4 for all of them. They were rusty and ugly. But they were LITTLE DRAWERS and I ADORE anything with little drawers!

And here they are existing in reality as I originally envisioned them: painted a nice, shiny RED! Aren't they pretty? And contemporary-looking? And SHINY!

The Dining Room Before

This is the dining room in it's "before" state. Quaint original windows. Quaint corner china cabinets. The one you can see a sliver of in this photo is probably original. The other one (see below) is an almost-matching 50's duplicate.

Here's the other china cabinet. It's a little more knotty-pine than its mate which is more prim and antique-feeling. But they're a pretty good match. I think it's SO cute how "Grandpa" worked so hard to try to make it match so "Grandma" could have a pair! Must be the good life to be so prosperous and to need TWO china cabinets!

To the right is the living room. Through the doorway to the left is the little hallway between the bedroom and the full bath.

Below is the empty corner of the dining room. (To orient you: the kitchen is to the left, the hallway and full bath are to the right). In the very corner of this corner is this weird boxed-in area that I think contained/concealed the original stove pipe. I'm guessing that one section of it went into the kitchen for the cooking stove and the other came into the dining room where the stove used for heating might have been. Just guessing.

The boxed-in area generates much curiosity. Everyone wants to open it up (the front panel comes off easily) and see what's in there! Because of this, it would NOT be a good place to store Playboys or contraband! It is also not suitable as a hiding place during hide-and-seek games unless you are an infant or a broomstick.

A Rant on "Picture Windows"!

Have I mentioned that I HATE picture windows? I do. I HATE them!

I guess what happened is that glass manufacturers made advancements in the manufacturing of glass to the point that large panes of glass became affordable. Previous to that, I suppose that glass was cheaper in smaller panes and so expensive in general that it was worth all the woodworking to divide a window up into multiple panes.

So, one day in 1950-something large panes of glass became affordable and some glass salesman was quite the trend-starter and "picture windows" became all the rage! People ripped out those wonderful old divided light windows and slapped in a big ole piece of glass and were all caught up with the Jones.

50-some years later, I'm wondering if I can glue wooden grids onto the glass to make that window in the living room look like it did originally. To me, "picture windows" scream "STALE OLD PEOPLE" (who SMELL like old people, incidentally -- old people have their own smell, you know, according to my daughter!). They are gapping maws, blank, expressionless, OUT-DATED! As I write "out-dated" I realize that is probably exactly what the Jones and their neighbors thought about the beautiful, vintage, paned windows they mercilessly ripped out to put in the trendy picture window. Times change.

I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do about that darned picture window. But, trust me, you will hear about it when I figure it out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Living Room -- Before

View from living room to dining room. Very flattering to the carpet that doesn't really look that good! Beyond the dining room, you can see a bit of the kitchen (with the plaid wallpaper) and a smidge of the back sunporch beyond that (just to orient you!).

View from living room to front bedroom. I LOVE the vintage french doors! That white door to the right is the front door.

Fascinating view of the corner! Panelling, panelling, and MORE ugly panelling! I'm sure the orignal plaster walls under the panelling are in poor, bumpy, crumbly condition so I understand why someone would go to the trouble of panelling over it. Blessedly, I really LIKE painted panelling (and all of this panelling is painted over now which you will get to see shortly). Bless everyone over the past 95 years who refrained from painting over the gorgeous original trim! Wait and see how good it looks up against the paint colors!

View toward the enclosed front porch. Lovely bulky, window-blocking air conditioner, lovely towel shoved in the window, lovely picture window (I HATE those!), lovely hideous art left by previous renter, lovely tacky headboards in their "before condition".
So, here's my blank canvas. This room is coming along very slowly but sometimes that means that something really wonderful is coming and I just haven't gotten to it yet!