Here are the last two rooms we made from the original attached garage. If you missed them, Part 4 is the hall and laundry room and parts 1-3 of the remodeling series show the main house’s before and after transformation.
This is what we variously call the workroom, guestroom, big room, front room…well, you get the idea. It’s a multipurpose room serving a couple of functions.
This daybed could be dubbed the “guestroom.” It is an antique bed from Brian’s grandmother and was actually her bed when she was a teenager. It was in the living room of the tiny apartment she shared with her mother and brother and she had to pull it out every night and put it back in the morning.
And we worry when our kids have to share rooms. Sheesh, at least they get a bed they don’t have to put away.
I was really excited to use this as a guest bed because it opens into a full-size bed. That was, until Brian and I slept on it this past summer (luckily, I didn’t put any guests there first). I guess there are reasons why some things are not made anymore-this was just plain uncomfortable. It was squeaky, we rolled to the center (where a piece of hard metal resided), my hip dug into the metal springs, there was very little “spring” left in the springs, and (as if this weren’t enough) the “full-size” bed was not as big as our modern full sized beds.
Thank goodness for air mattresses.
The large windows and French doors replaced the old double garage doors. The set of double hung windows is original to the house and used to live on the side of the garage. We splurged for wood French doors with real paned windows and I’ve not been sorry for a minute that we put extra money into these- and they match the ones we installed in the dining room.
This is where I sew and set up my laptop to blog (I just push the sewing machine out of the way). One of the reasons it took me so long to get this part of the remodeling series done is that the workroom always has work in it.
Ahem, or to be real… is always a mess. But in the end, I just decided to let you all into a little of my world. That world usually includes piles of fabric here and there. It comes from the notion that I’m going to accomplish a whole list of things. I start pulling out fabric for projects but then life intervenes and the piles sit.
And sit. I’m not going to put down in black and white how long they sit- let me keep some of my fantasies. Well, at least the one where I’m organized and get a lot accomplished.
When I was making items to sell, I would have open studios a couple times a year in this room and people could enter through the french doors, which was nice.
I’d like to say that the iron is only up for some project I’m working on, but it is up all the time, actually. I just bend over it to reach the things in the dresser.
An old dresser is actually great storage for sewing and craft items. I keep trims, elastic, and such in one drawer and the others hold paint, vintage linens and embroidery and the like. I’ve even put labels on each drawer, so it’s very functional.
One day I would like a huge bulletin board over the dresser to be an “inspiration board” where I can put all the clippings, fabric pieces, and paraphernalia that I find interesting or want to emulate. I even found some great salvaged molding to edge it…about two years ago.
The closet on the left houses tall shelves for fabric and the treadmill. See what I mean about it being a multi-use room?
This wall of storage hides all the old “garage things” like the back of the fireplace, the furnace and the water heater. It was tricky deciding what to do with this area because we needed access to these things and also needed storage. In the end I decided on three doors, one to access the furnace and heater, one in front of the fireplace back to hold a set of shelves (see the french doors open here to the canning pantry), and another to be a deep closet to the left of the fireplace.
We had our builder frame it all in according to these specifications. Then we priced the doors needed to make these match the others in the house- $80-90 per door, yikes!
Umm. Plan B.
We found the french doors at a barn sale for $25. They were a bit smaller than our opening, so we just built up the molding around the frame. We then went to our local salvage center, Bring Recycling, and found the screen doors for $10 (single door) and $15 (double).
And you know what? I like it better than if we had just matched it to the other closet doors- it’s interesting and I like the character. Often good things can come out of needing to look outside the norm in order to keep to a budget. That’s a “cottage thought.”
The work table was from my in-laws basement that I confiscated years ago, refurbished and painted. I use old ceramic pots to hold scissors and pencils and an Ikea storage box for thread, bobbins and things. I love my pile of vintage ribbons on the thrift store shelf- good thing as it’s just about eye level when I’m at the table.
The chair is a cool vintage leather office chair that we found at a thrift store for $5. The upside to the chair? It looks good and is really comfortable. The downside? It raises and lowers as it spins, so my kids come in and spin around in it and then when I sit down my toes barely touch the floor.
They have worn well, though we have found that this plywood has a propensity to divot easily. I mean, we have maybe two in the room, but it’s more than if these were regular wood floors.
But at .54 a square foot, I’m not complaining.
This is the official “office” where my husband, Brian, works.
While I love the high windows I put in both rooms, I forgot about the western exposure. It can get pretty hot and glaring in summer afternoons. Which means that this window is often covered with cereal boxes and old wood doors. Live and learn.
I love, love, love the desk that we found at the garage sale of some friends for $5 and painted. Brian? He says it is “rickety.” We did have another cool old leather chair that matched mine here, but it just wasn’t comfortable for him and we had to purchase a modern office chair.
We laid the same maple plywood in this room but cut the 4×6 sheets in half. This was the first room we did and thought they’d look better narrower, which is why they are different in the workroom. If we were to do it again, we’d just cut them in the longest length possible to achieve that “random width” look.
I used the same stain in this room, but it looks different because the polyurethane I used was water based. The water based doesn’t have the yellow tinge to it that the oil based does, so you don’t get the “warm” look, but it sure is easier to deal with and clean up after.
The windows here have a little story.
When we remodeled the main house, we replaced a single door and window in the dining room with a double French door. We reused the single door in the laundry room and we planned to use the window here in the office next to another window we removed from the bedroom (we put a French door in our bedroom, too. I know, I know…I couldn’t help myself).
Problem was, I never bothered to measure the windows. I mean, they looked the same. They were both large double hung windows. They were original to the house and looked the same as all the windows, actually.
Until the builder installed one and went to install the one next to it.
Oops. Not a great time to discover the 2-3-inch difference (I can’t remember exactly-I’ve stricken it from my memory).
So we put a hold on everything, ran to the discount window place and were able to find this pair at a reasonable price and that fit the opening. Not the best way to buy windows, but you deal with what you’re given. Or I guess I should say, what I made since a little measuring on my part would’ve cleared it up at the beginning.
And the two non-matching windows live again in our new garage.
Just not next to each other.