Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Office

Last post I focused on the living room. When you walk into the living room, the office is through a door on your left. The office is 12' x 12' with 11.5' ceilings like the rest of the first floor. Though you could use it as a bedroom, it is not legally considered a bedroom because it does not have a closet. It does have 3 beautiful windows, a great view, and is conveniently located off the living room, so we use it as an office. It mostly serves as a place to store and organize marketing materials for our work-from-home job. It is also where I have to use my laptop anytime I need to print or scan anything, and it tends to be the place where I bring the mail, file statements, and pay bills. Eventually we want to have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with one of those cool sliding ladders on the wall. We also want to put two comfortable, regal wing-backed chairs as a seating area with a small coffee table that permanently holds fine whiskey in a crystal decanter. We picture a very old, large world map on the wall. We will also need cabinets in which to hide the explicitly modern marketing materials. But these are our far-off future goals. We don't expect these goals to come into fruition for at least 5 years, but I explain it so that you can understand my choice of paint color. Our office (at which point we will call a study) will be the strong, classy, masculine room of the house. I should probably just shut up and get on with the pictures already, since that really is all anyone sees anyway. Here a few shots of what it looked like before becoming officially ours:
You can see the house trying to puke up the carpet in the corner in the above picture. The house hated the carpet as much as we did. I will not digress into the story of the carpets. But here are a few pictures of the carpet removal process:
And here is what the ceiling looked like:

After removing the popcorn ceiling and repairing it where cracked, we had the walls skim coated to make them smooth. They had a sort of skip trowel texture on them which was put on over wallpaper who knows how long ago. So somewhere underneath all that is the original plaster walls, and knowing that is enough to keep my heart content. Here is what it looked like after skim coating, but before painting: (it looks textured due to the skimming material being thicker and thinner in different parts, but it was smooth to the touch)

After the contractors skim coated it, I sanded it myself and did a pretty bad job, mostly because I had no idea how to do it. I did a much better job in the living room and dining room. By the time I got to this room, I was thinking, "Surely I'm doing this all wrong and it's not going to make a difference...whatever." From other old house blogs, I got the idea that sanding was a huge pain and very difficult, and it seemed like what I had done in the other rooms was very easy, hence the attitude I developed in this room, and it shows. I wish I had put in the same 20 minutes I put into the other rooms, but oh well. Can you sand after you've painted? I have no idea, but I will probably try. This room isn't too bad, however. I'm pretty sure this wall color is Billiard Green, the frieze color is Mountain Haze, and the ceiling color is Navajo White. One of the reasons I chose to do the living room the paler green is so it transition well into the office. I kind of wanted a gray or gold living room, but I thought it would be too jarring of a difference; I didn't want the office to look like an afterthought. But I absolutely love the living room color, even more so than I do the office color, so I think it worked out great in the end. When all the trim work gets painted sometime before September, it will be Navajo White as well. Here is what it looks like now:


I think it's time for a before and after:

And another one:

After looking at the before and after, I realize something very important the before picture does not capture, and that is the smell. It smelled terrible like wet dog, soil, and mustiness. The carpets were completely disgusting and stained with what I believe was likely dog urine and feces. The wood floor underneath was painted brown and covered in paint spills like the rest of the house, but it will look awesome once it is refinished. This is pretty much how it will look for the next few months. After painting the trim and refinishing the floors sometime in the summer or fall, the only other improvements will be hanging curtains and art and putting our book collection onto the bookcases. The grander plans will wait a few years. Tune in next time for the dining room tour.

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