The Study Begins

The next PRACTICAL thing that needs to be done to the house, is getting the basement in shape to be used as a shop, since we don’t have a garage. We DID just have a shed built (more on that later), but we really need to organize our tools and materials and everything much better. I’m sure we aren’t the only renovators that own multiple sets of things because they couldn’t find something, and it was easier to just go buy a second one. But that is SO ANNOYING. Also, two summers ago, when we came home from vacation and the basement was flooding, we moved most of the basement up to the second floor to “sort it and get ready to organize the basement.”

That was Summer 2016……then 2017……now 2018.

Good grief. It’s time. I don’t mind living in sawdust deep enough to make sawdust angels, but I’m starting to feel like we live in an episode of Hoarders and I’m OVER. IT. Doug is too.

This picture is in black and white, because if we’ve learned anything from “As Seen On TV” miracle products, we know that your life is a complete dumpster fire when it’s in black and white.

So, the shop is going to be mostly Doug’s domain (because we fit SO NICELY into our stereotypical gender roles sometimes). He’s going to work on the organization of everything, and get a few more tools that can help the future renovations go more smoothly. But, since I can’t handle not working on something, I decided to work on what we’re calling “The Study.” This room is next, primarily because of all the rooms to do, this is MAYBE the last one that doesn’t have any major issues. HYPOTHETICALLY, nothing is getting torn apart, and it’s all cosmetic. And after making a list of projects, it’s almost all one-person jobs, which means I can do it myself while Doug is getting the basement shop in order.

This seems like a win.

This room was one room when the house was built, but since has been carved into 3 spaces : a room, the bathroom that we just finished, and a walk-in closet. So it’s super awkward (which makes me love it). You can see the entrance to the bathroom and the closet below. The room exits to the Butler’s Pantry.

When we first moved into the house, and were in the middle of a kitchen renovation, this room was our temporary kitchen. I’ve looked through ALL of my pictures, and cannot find a single picture of how I used this room as the temporary kitchen. Grrrrrr. It worked SO well.

The pocket doors lead into what will be the Library – or the Gentleman’s Parlor, originally.

I have zero confirmation on what the room was originally, but based on Victorian floorplan books that I’ve looked at over the years, I am STRONGLY certain that this was the informal family dining room / breakfast room. Some of the wallpaper we uncovered in the bathroom further bolsters this claim. We think since it’s been carved up, previous owners have used it as a bedroom on the first floor. But with two other floors of bedrooms, we don’t have that need at this time.

We’re going to turn it into a Study. Doug works from home a lot (which is amazing), and he needs a place to be. We moved to Franklin for my job, and when we did that, Doug’s job at the time would have been too far to drive. So, they let him work from home. One of the things that he loved when we bought Jackson Street, was that there was a dedicated office on the first floor. “I hate the idea of working out a bedroom.” Currently, he’s in a tiny room on the third floor that gets too hot in the summer. So, actually, currently he’s working in the dining room because it’s too hot to work upstairs. So this odd little room will be perfect.

My one requirement? When it’s done, he HAS to keep it clean and tidy, since you have to go through this room to get to the bathroom. He’s on board.

Here’s the weirdo closet. With no wall above the doorframe.

Hanging space for your FOUR favorite garments! Very Victorian.

Guess what’s in the closet? ANOTHER CLOSET! This was our food pantry in Temporary Kitchen Land.

Someone asked (and it makes sense), “You’re going to get rid of that weird closet thing, right?” But, NOPE. Not at all. It’s weird and quirky, but SO ARE Victorians. And if I was going to go back to the original floorplan, we’d have to lose the bathroom, too, and that would be nonsense. Plus, since it’s going to be an actual working office, the Closet² will be an awesome place for the ugly things like printers and filing cabinets.

Doug ran a 100-Mile(-Not-A-Typo) race a month ago, and I stayed home with sick Marina and Bonny the puppy. I called my friends Stephen and Jordan, and said, “I’m home alone and bored and taking down wallpaper, come visit!” And they did. I have the best people.

Some of it just came right off. And there was only one layer, too! There is literally nothing more gratifying than when you can pull a bunch of wallpaper off in one chunk. We were cheering each other on.

Most was steamed off. though.

I love plaster.

I cannot tell you how hot the Closet² was with the steamer in it. But, on the plus side, I got a facial.

Ahhhh…. sweet relief from all the mauve.

The ceiling fan does not have long for this world.

Also, I find it completely ridiculous that I can’t stand this ceiling being pink, when it’s basically the EXACT SAME THING I did on purpose in the laundry room. Context matters, I guess.

The walls were mostly in good shape. One major crack.

Pretty easy to repair, which was so nice.

Next up – paint and wallpaper! And band camp. And school starting. Fastest summer ever.

Awwwwww….Sweet Marina. This was her last Supervisor job.



  1. You are so awesome!

    p.s. about weeding the yard – it really helps when the soil is moist, after a rain or I sometimes water the beds I would like to work in the day before…

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