Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Office/Schoolroom Renovation


Happy Tuesday!  Did you have a nice weekend?  For the most part we were away from home, but we did have enough time to complete a couple projects upstairs.  I wouldn't say the space is one hundred percent complete, since I still have some additional decor projects, but I thought it was close enough to share!  Besides, I couldn't wait much longer!  (smile)

BEFORE:


If you recall from some earlier before pictures I have shared, the upstairs was charming in the sense it appeared as if nobody had been up there in 80 years, but it was also dark and gloomy (I referred to it as the "dark cave").  We have been using the space as an office but we will also be using it in the future for a schoolroom as well.  My hope for this space is that it looks like an old schoolhouse with a modern touch. Before we began the renovation, I searched for interior images of old schoolrooms and took note of similar characteristics in the old photos so we could try to incorporate some of those elements. 

AFTER:


 The first step was bringing in the light though!  There was no way we could leave the beadboard in its original natural state, especially since the air duct work.  And while I love the natural wood in some areas of our home, the upstairs definitely needed to be painted since the landing area's only source of natural light comes from the two bedrooms off of it. 

The walls and ceiling are all painted white.  Although we refinished the floors in our daughter's bedroom upstairs, we made the decision to paint the floor in this area.  (Maybe I should reword that with compromise... after my husband sanded and sanded her bedroom, his exact words for doing the same here were "no way, no how".)  But I have to say I am so pleased with the way the light gray floors look painted and it was such an easy fix.  In fact, the floors may have been the simplest project we tackled!  

We also changed out the door you see in this photo with a five-panel to mimic the two original doors we have up here.  The door leads to the eaves, which we use for storage.


The chalkboard is the project we completed this weekend.  After all, what schoolroom is without a chalkboard?  (smile)  When my husband built in the desk, we specifically saved enough room off the side for a long chalkboard.  This is just a piece of wood painted with chalkboard paint and trimmed with window casing.  I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Emperor's Silk and used a dark wax to match the desk chairs.


You may remember this photo of the shelf ledges we built for the alphabet cards. This may always be my favorite wall up here.  I just adore these cards! 


And also the 8' desk my husband built into the wall.  (If you missed it, you can read that post here.)  As I've mentioned before, since the walkways on the side of the stairwell are so narrow we wanted to eliminate any bulky furniture.  The bare wall will hopefully soon have a cork board hung, trimmed and painted the same as the chalkboard.

BEFORE:


AFTER:


We added two schoolhouse light fixtures in this area and painted the staircase as well.  Although not extremely noticeable, the stair railing is painted a very light gray, one shade lighter than the floor in fact.  It was more time and effort, but I love the subtle difference.  The doorway leads to our daughter's bedroom.

Along this wall is the built in bookcase my husband built, which we still absolutely love. (If you missed the bookcase post, you can find it here.)  After having walked around a bulky bookcase and file cabinet here for the past two years, it is wonderful having a walkway devoid of furniture.    


The girls of course love that part... they chase each other around and around the stairwell. 


And last, but not least, is the painted flag hanging.  I hope one day to have a little bench built underneath it and some additional wall decor, but for now it feels absolutely wonderful to have this renovation complete and time now to focus on the decorating!  Next up is painting the floor in the girls' playroom... you can see the doorway just right of the flag in this photo and I hope to be sharing those pictures soon! 

P.S. I cannot thank you enough for your kind words about being a finalist in the Country Living Blogger Awards.  They meant so much to me that I already felt like a winner.  Thank you for voting, but most of all, thank you for reading and for sending such encouragement my way!

54 comments:

  1. It looks AMAZING; no wonder you were bursting to share, lol! I specially love all the red accents.

    Perfection!

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  2. I LOVE this space! It's perfection!

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  3. So Lovely!!!! The recessed shelving is a wonderful idea...& now tucking that in my brain for when we redo the upstairs of our farmhouse(: any extra storage is a blessing in old houses.

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  4. This is one gorgeous area!!!! I love the bright white..so pretty and so perfect.

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  5. I would love to be in this space all day! Adore the alphabet cards... are they vintage?

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie! No, I actually originally wanted some vintage cards but couldn't find what I was looking for. I found these at Anthropologie... they are adorable!

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    2. Could you please tell me when you got your Anthropologie alphabet cards. The ones they currently have are cute but not as cute as yours!
      Thanks, Helen

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  6. Just fabulous. Oh how I wish I could fix up an old country house, but I will just live through you vicariously.

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  7. While I'm normally a fan of unpainted wood, I think paint was a great choice in these spaces. In my last house I had a hardwood landing near my front door that I attempted to sand and refinish. Too far gone! Painting it was so easy and it looked so much better. I think there's never one right answer when it comes to home renovation. Your room is so bright and clean--a great learning environment.

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  8. It looks fantastic! And I'm sure the girls love it. I've been out of pocket the last few days, so congrats on Country Living! (I voted for ya...smile)
    Brenda

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  9. Wow! What a perfect office/library/school room space. I can't help but think this must be one of your favourite parts of your home. I definitely love it! My fave part is the shots of red you have added!

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  10. Oh wow...I love the place... What an adorable chalk board. Any kid would love playing with it.
    congrats to you!!!
    Shug

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  11. Oh my goodness what an awesome transformation!! It looks amazing. You all did such an awesome job with the paint and decorating. It looks so bright and cheerful now.

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  12. What a fun room - makes me want to start studying (almost)! The 5 panel door is great - I have them too and love the look. From that great desk, the shelves above and the schoolhouse fixture, this room gets an A+.

    Congrats on your Country Living nomination - I'm voting every day and crossing my fingers for you!
    Kelly

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  13. so beautiful and bright! Love all that you did! Great job!

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  14. Absolutely incredible! What a wonderful room!

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  15. I love the way you have added bits of red and carried them through the space. The frame on the chalkboard is brilliant. :o) I was so busy pinning and posting on Facebook that I almost forgot to leave a comment! Hope all is well.

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  16. My first time here and I love this space.....you have done such a beautiful job....I love the touches of red against the white walls. It must be so gratifying restoring beauty to an area that has been unoccupied for 80 years...amazing..!!!

    Congrats on being a finalist...what an honor....Just started following you!!

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  17. I love the painted floors! They look like the floors in the Scandinavian blogs I read and the light gray and white really lighten up your space. Well done!

    Off to vote again!

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  18. Oh WOWWWWWWWWWW!

    That's all I can say!!

    Great great makeover dear!

    Fra

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  19. Hoe beautiful for Labor Day weekend! I love every part of its simplicity. What neat nooks and crannies, yet modern and crisp and clean. Everyone who sees this is going to fall in love.

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  20. This is beautiful... fabulous job!

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  21. You did an excellent job on transforming this area! I love the old school house look!

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  22. It's absolutely perfect, the use of space, fresh and the original touches! Congrats on the Country Living nomination, so exciting and well deserved! Voted! :)

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  23. Love every post! The stained floor would have been pretty, but poor hubs needed a little bit of a break. He has done amazing work. The space is charming and simplistic. The chalkboard door is adorable and accessible for both the girls. Love the pop of red too. Hats off to you and the hubs for another job well done!

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  24. Wow! I love how bright and airy the hallway looks now. White paint made a major difference in that space! It really shows off the planks of wood on the walls and ceiling now. The bright pops of red against the white looks great too. It's nice that your hallway is large enough to use this way and not just for traffic flow.

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  25. A wonderful job. Painted paneling is the best. The flag - perfect!

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  26. What a gorgeous space!!! I LOVE IT!! Any little child would love to learn in that space!

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  27. I am so excited to finally see this reno! Wonderful job, I love how you have made this a space you really want to spend a lot of time in. Your painted floors look amazing too! I think I'm going to paint mine that gray color, I just spent the weekend scrubbing my white painted floors again.

    Off to vote for today! But you truly are a winner already!!

    Lynn

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  28. It looks fabulous! So vintage and country. So you should be a shoo-in for the blog awards. ;-) Congrats!

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  29. i'm so glad all your hard work is being recognized, andrea! this space is so bright, and happy! love the big flag!

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  30. Andrea, You all have done such a beautiful job of making an upstairs hallway so much more functional. I love how bright and cheery the space is with all the white and gray floors. I know you're enjoying it so much!
    Mary Alice

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  31. It's gorgeous! I love this schoolroom/office nook and what a great way to reclaim the space. I gave you an "A"!

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  32. It looks GREAT
    While I was over here I voted for you again at CL

    Dawned on me I am probably drawn to your blog since I was raised on CL magazines at my moms :) Since I was, and am used to that style, TODAY I visited your competitors. In my opinion, only you and one other are what I am used to seeing in those magazines over the years / good luck / my vote's for you :)

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  33. I absolutely LOVE the space! The chalkboard and flag are my favorites! I am planning on making a chalkboard out of an old fireplace mantel for our schoolroom as well. I vote for you!

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  34. Simple Classic Beautiful. I do enjoy your blog!

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  35. What a great space!
    Deb@LakeGirlPaints

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  36. Oh, this is sooooooo nice!!!! You make me want to paint my basement laundry room. It looks dark and dingy and all that lovely white would REALLY make it look cheerful and bright! REALLY nice. I love it!!!

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  37. An amazing transformation! Love the flag!

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  38. what fresh and pure american style! love what you've done.

    hope you'll stop by soon.

    michele

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  39. Absolutely gorgeous - I'd even go back to school to sit in there, lol!!!
    Beautiful job
    Hugs,
    Suzan

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  40. Wow is all I can say! What an awesome place for your girls! I love the white painted walls and all the old fashioned scool house items! I'm a teacher and I give you an A+. I'm a new follower!
    Susan
    Homeroad.net

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  41. What a wonderful job you have done on this cozy space! One of my favourite parts is the self portraits on the chalkboard! :)

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  42. White is right here. Love it. Visiting from Brenda's. Olive

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  43. This looks so bright and happy and wonderful. I am in love with everything (especially those vintage alphabet cards). Great great job!!

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  44. WOW just beautiful. I saw your blog while surfing on blogland, and this room is just great, being a teacher I love it, may I feature on my blog??

    thanks and what a wonderful room for kids and learning,

    kate

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  45. LOVE the white walls and floors and the pops of red.

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  46. We have an old farmhouse also, 1851. I love, love, love it! The character, the uneven floors, makes me fall in love more every time I come home to it! We have dark floors and after seeing yours, I am in love with the white it just suits your home! Beautiful! Love the red accents, my favorite color!

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  47. Love your home and your blog! Congrats on your award - well deserved! I'm a new follower and I'm so enjoying exploring your lovely home :)

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  48. White looks cosy. It is elegant and fine to look at. Two stars for this wonderful schoolroom renovation.

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  49. You did a good job at renovating your office and schoolroom. It looks brighter and cosier now with that white-coloured paint. The layout of this office is somewhat unique too. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  50. I also wish I could have a full wall with bookshelves. As I lack a space for the books and other stationary I have, it would be good having such a space with lots of shelves. Enjoy your lovely room!

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