Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Midsummer Projects, continued - Room #3, Area #6

"Midsummer Projects"

I want to continue sharing with you, our “Midsummer projects” , halted shortly before our company arrived into town last month. Lest you fear I wasn’t going to share the remaining bulk of the projects with you, here is another installment for your enjoyment (wink).

The next room we zoomed through had been greatly affected with the clutter from the first rooms tended to, the storage, sump pump, and exercise rooms. Of course after handling every little thing individually, we uncovered a few boxes which belonged in new locations. The “catch all” rooms seemed to have mounting clutter, mountains of stuff, and piles of papers which were screaming for my attention. I found it pathetic to enter into a room not yet “detailed”, nor “gutted”, only to find great messes calling my name. The call began with a whisper, eventually rolling into a wild clamp thunder – RENEE!!!! (loud booming sound) I rose to the call and off I went to continue the journey into orderliness.

Rolling up my sleeves I entered the rooms one by one, hoping for the energy I had along the way to continue as I plodded through towards the goals intended to completion.

Have I mentioned how GREAT it feels to see a project through, to wipe my brow and congratulate all the players involved in making it happen? Oh yes, pats on backs are encouraged!

Here we goRoom #3, Area#6 – The Family Recreation Room

We visualized this particular room to become a hub for our family enjoyment and entertainment, an area to visit with friends for the children (and ourselves), and an all round cozy nook during inclement winter weather for huddling up to the fireplace with a blanket resting nearby on one of the couches.

Before and After...

We inserted the fireplace, finished the ceilings with proper lighting installed, repaired the damaged sheet rock and replaced all the illegal electrical wiring in the interior walls! After a fresh coat of paint, it was as good as new.

Shortly before moving into the home, my hubby had arranged for the contractor and his subtrades to insert a gas fireplace for warmer wintry evenings, and complete the room’s finishing. As mentioned before, we were surprised and then alarmed when our electrician announced all the inside walls were filled with illegal wiring, all requiring replacement, something to kill any budget or deadline date. Better to be safe than sorry, all work was arrested until the electrician completed this task and the inspection was passed.

Everything not belonging upstairs immediately when moving into the house had been thrown into this area in utter haste last year once we were given a green light from the subtrades to take over the living space. After storing it all for a while in the late spring, I figured a way to make it work for us, at least much better than it was before now.

We had a matching loveseat nestled in our guest room suite upstairs, and decided to bring it down to add more seating space.

The work table, foosball table, lego area,
and our video collection on its new shelving.

Our video collection is the direct result of not having cablevision/satellite or any other television programming for over eighteen years in our home. We prefer to gather for a good family movie, but this area was overflowing on their current shelves, so I stole them for our learning center (url here) instead, offering a peace treaty to the children to buy more shelving appropriate for the room sometime soon. All videos were loaded into boxes until further notice.

Our foosball table seemed to fit better for a quick game at a moment’s notice where it was placed in its newer location.

The trundle table which long ago fit into our kitchen when we only had a few children around the meal table, was placed in the center of the room, offering access to all chairs in an instant. It’s an art table, game table, lego and playmobil table, restaurant table (wink), grocery shopping center organizer (wink) and a myriad of other activities are performed on it.

Our trip to Ikea proved fruitful when we not only purchased the commercial steel shelving for the sump pump and storage rooms, we also found a terrific bargain for the perfect shelves for the video collection to grave the units. Our older son took it upon himself to assemble all of these shelving units, so it didn’t take too long to have them standing up against the wall. Soon after many hands made work lighter by offering to unpack the boxes and have the videos filed accordingly. These shelves were so inexpensive and both hubby and I agreed for the purpose of only storing the videos, they were perfect for both size and depth of the shelving. How I wish I had purchased one more, as there are still several dozen family videos in the television stand’s cupboards. Note to self; if a further shopping expedition is going to be planned in the future, buy another if they are still available.

We have a rather large cassette tape collection with books on tape, convention speaker talks, music and such items which required organization. We only have two cassette tape storage units, filled to the brim. Since our old “Bruce” vehicle takes cassette tapes in its stereo, we continue to rotate what is stored in the door panels, along with the music tapes used for old walkmans stored in the exercise room. Besides those stored in the storage units, all remaining audio tapes for our family’s enjoyment were moved to the library upstairs, mostly to be filed in baskets for easy access.

Kitchen for the children, their little table
and chairs are near the fireplace.
Through the doorway is my office/studio,
the next entry for this
"Midsummer Projects list" next time.

The children’s kitchen has served our family well, a unit which had long been enjoyed in our prior home’s playhouse. In this home it is inside the house again and currently well used during playtimes. A wonderful selection of food and grocery items was uncovered at a garage sale for a frugal pricing of 50 cents, so it was a no-brainer to grab it for purchase. We play “grocery shopping” here using our realistic money from the math center, offering the children real life math practice for making change, and adding numbers mentally in a fun environment.

Lego and Duplo area..

The carpet is the Lego boundary for leaving projects until later on.

Our Lego is so popular here still to date; I decided to make a “Lego center” placing all of our Lego there in the stacking drawer unit and the Rubbermaid bins. Also located there is the colorful “Duplo” dresser and a small carpet to signify how far the Lego can be spread out when dumped from the bins while searching for small items to grace their newly constructed creations. The colorful wire-shelving unit used to be two squares stacked on the remaining two and after our son offered a quick change so all four squares were now a tower, this unit fit perfectly in the corner area of the center.

Our cozy family video and visiting area.

(There's actually much natural light in this room, it's dark outside in the photo though.)

Last but not least was the change in furniture placement and I did something to break tradition when I covered up the small window behind the television stand. The window wasn’t large, didn’t allow for any real lighting from the patio above, and was always so darned dirty to look at outside. I wanted the center of the room to be the fireplace for good conversations and cozy evenings rather than the TV, therefore this placement allowed for many things such as this. Another was to include proper placement for the pull out couch when it would become a necessity to use in the future, and an inviting kid centered table and chairs accessible at any moment’s notice. It’s easy enough to move when we need to, often we find the two younger ones here playing a game together.

All the picture frames were removed from the walls right in the beginning of the room shuffle, and there are still a few requiring hanging. Oh well, to come I suppose…

Here are a few “before and after” shots from the former owners belongings to ours above.

Incomplete ceiling shows up in the photo above, unfinished staircase, no finishing where the carpet meets the walls, sheet rock was damaged and in need of repair and the room nearer to the stairs was actually enclosed into another bedroom where our older son resides. Below you can see the "L" shaped room before we sectioned it off into a long rectangle.

We had a carpet layer arrive to cut the existing carpet up to fit into all the renovated areas properly. It was quality carpet, so no sense in replacing it all.

….Moving on to my office/studio now…Area #6