Tonight I thought I'd share a little of what has been keeping us busy upstairs. I've mentioned before that in addition to remodeling our daughter's bedroom, we're also remodeling the upstairs landing area, which we use as an office.
This is what the landing looked like when we moved in. I've always referred to this area as the "dark cave". Basically the landing area consists of two pathways on either side of the stairwell and they look identical. The opposite wall is where we have our desk, but this pathway sees more traffic since Jillian's bedroom entrance is on the far wall. Because of the traffic and the narrow aisle, when remodeling we wanted to eliminate any furniture on this wall and use all the room we could in the eaves. For a while now we've had the idea of building recessed bookshelves, not for pretty things, but as a functional piece to store all the girls' books, our books, files, and office supplies.
The first step was cutting out the wall. You can see in the corner that we saved all the bead board to use later on.
Look at this 2x4 (a cross brace in the eaves) Justus pulled out! You can still see the bark and a vine. It's fun seeing what wood looked like 80 years ago!
Justus then began the process of framing everything in. Our plan was concealed storage in the middle with a barn style cabinet door and a bookshelf on each side of the door. To increase the storage capacity, the cabinet area in the middle is twice as deep as the bookshelves.
Here is where Justus used the bead board... he cut it to size and used it for the back of the bookshelves. As with any changes we make in our house, our goal is always that it looks as original to the house as possible. By using reclaimed materials, it definitely gives the feeling that this was already existing built in storage (at least I hope!).
Now Justus began putting up trim and the shelves. When putting up the trim, he used the same trim design that already exists in other areas of our house so that everything looks uniform.
I'm painting everything upstairs white (shocking, I know - laugh), but we loved the idea of having a few natural wood pieces to match the original wood doors. This is where the shelves came in. I wish so badly I had a before picture... Justus actually disassembled a wood desk we had that we no longer needed (because he also built us an 8' long desk that is attached to the wall on the opposite side, which I'll share soon), and cut all the shelving from it . I love this detail! Best of all, I had scored this desk a while back for $10, so this really saved us some money! All I had to do to the wood was apply a thin coat of poly.
Next Justus built the cabinet door. I saw a picture in the recent Country Living magazine of a cabinet door in an old home that looked similar to this... I knew the design would be just right so I took the picture to Justus and asked if he could build me a door like it. I love the way it turned out... and I'm so happy he loves to build (smile). (Note: we have a deal... he builds, I paint! And he is way ahead of me!) We selected barn style hinges.
I am thrilled with the way this turned out. It is wonderful having plenty of room for our books and office supplies. This area upstairs will also be our schoolroom in the future, so extra storage is a must!
Here is a close up of the shelves. (You'll have to excuse my poor photos... it is very hard using natural light here to get good photos because there isn't much of it!)
By far though, my favorite thing is having an entire portion for the girls' books. They love to read (we don't have a TV, so the girls really enjoy their books)!
Here is the view from the other side. You can see I still have a lot of painting to do and the floors to finish, but it's exciting seeing some progress! I thought you might enjoy this little transformation.
Hope this finds you well!