Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Befores and Afters

It's probably hard to see this as progress:

Here's a peek into the same room upon our arrival in Durham 3 months ago:

Some would say we're undoing work. Why pull up perfectly good carpet? What was wrong with 8-foot ceilings? We say... it had to get worse before it can get so, so much better. Here's a few more before-and-afters, even though I find the phrase ironic, because our Before stage stretches out into the future as far as I can see. I dream of the day we can post real before-and-after photos of our finished house. But then again: they say you're only truly finished with a house when you sell it... or die.

The hallway, looking towards the front door. As you can see, we knocked out that middle wall to open up the space. Eventually, the ceiling just beyond that arch will open up to the attic, accessed by a narrow staircase. Two skylights in the attic roof will let light into the hall. Our door came from Steve Peter's salvage shop on Foster Street.

Same hall, different angle. The door on the right leads to the living room and will be replaced with French doors:

Here's the hallway facing the other way - a little less of a straight comparison, but you can still get the idea. We tore down the dropped ceiling - hence the two-toned look of the arch. The door at the back is the one current bathroom.

Below is a shot of the back wall of the bedroom, in progress and then as is right now. The other side of that wall will be a small second bathroom, or master bath; the little "nook" we built in will house the sink, which we're making from an antique cupboard. We had to take down some of the old beadboard from the bedroom as there wasn't enough to patch it where it was damaged and it's very hard to find. We're keeping the beadboard ceilings plus one wall, the one to the right in this picture. The floors have also been patched with new hardwood, and will be sanded, stained and varnished soon!

Here's the opposite wall of the bedroom, which is adjacent to the study. The first photo is when we opened up the wall (there were two crappy closets that someone hastily built in), the second is current. The bed will go where the bike is.

(Here's an early shot of the same wall.)

Here's Kim the day she and I pulled up the carpeting, the first real inside progress back in August! Note that the ceilings were still at 8 feet:

And here's the same wall that's at Kimmie's left in the photo, with a built-in closet (minus doors) and nook for a big armchair or small desk. The space overhead is open for now, but we'd like to build in storage cabinets once we find the perfect doors. The ceilings, which had several broken boards, were patched with wood from the bedroom by Barrio, our neighbor and awesome carpenter friend. Clearly we need some electrical help... we're in the process of finding a new electrician.

Couldn't resist this before-and-after: our experimental winter veggie garden, flourishing despite recent morning frosts! Can't wait to get to more landscaping next spring...

Here are a few more images for you from late:

And... may we introduce our new friend, excellent companion and security-system-in-training... meet Cleveland, "adopted" 9/28/08 when he followed Tyler and his dog Sancha home from a walk.

Yeah. We know. He's completely amazing.

Life trucks along here on Mallard Avenue. I'm sorry it's been so long since we've contrubuted to our online epic. Up next: choosing windows, fixing siding, and finishing the bedroom so we can move out of the kitchen, where we've been living for the past two months!