Coming Together!

We hope everyone has enjoyed their summer!  With the last few weeks left, you are probably wondering if we are going to make our goal of a fall move-in.  At least, that is the question we keep asking ourselves!  We are at the stage now where so much in the Little House has come together that it seems like we could be just days away from the big move (I mean, it is not exactly like life in the Big House has our standards too high), but in reality, there are still a number of steps to go.  Here is what has been done:

Walls are in! We already discussed the re-parged brick walls, and those won’t change; they will just be painted.  The rest of the house is a 50/50 mix of wooden wall covering and drywall:


We are using a five-foot bead board wainscoting for our bathrooms and laundry, and here is Rachel in the future water closet in the middle of the drywall process :)


The tub will go in front of this double window:


And here is the upstairs bathroom all primed and ready!  From left to right:  Shower, linen closet with laundry chute rough-in, and water closet (the green square is the access to our HVAC):


The laundry chute leads down to our utility closet, which is just beside our future laundry room.  You can see some of our extra insulation hiding in the chute, which will eventually get a door made out of bead board.


Back upstairs, our added matching bedroom closets each feature an exposed brick wall that used to be on the exterior of the house.  The new exterior walls and ceiling are dressed up in horizontal barn board, which we ambitiously plan to whitewash based on the methods of HGTV all-star Sarah Richardson:



All this hard work has been courtesy of our contractors, and meanwhile Rachel and I have returned to our nemesis:  Windows.  We salvaged the original windows from the Little House, and magically (I kid you not) found extra matching three-light over one-light windows in a building on the property.  All of these were old-school, solid wood sash construction, and we couldn’t bear to pass them up.  Our contractor even custom-made the window jams out of some of our salvaged lumber! Here is a window before restoration in its new frame:


Of course, the restoration process has meant a couple of stressful nights of paint stripping, wood repair, sanding, priming, and glazing…



And  restoring the original window frames:



But now we have the first round in and ready for a final coat of paint!


And here are several windows restored and back home in freshly primed frames:


Speaking of salvaged lumber, Rachel and I had one of our best days this summer when the first round of furniture we commissioned for the Little House showed up early.  After working so hard to salvage any lumber we could from the demolition of the Little House, these beauties validated all of our efforts.  We hope these pieces never leave the Little House, and are doubly special to us, as the craftsman, Ernest Henry, was a good friend of my late Grandfather French.  It really doesn’t get much more local and meaningful than this!

Mr. Henry started with a rough pile of lumber filled with nails:




He takes all of this to his workshop, removes the nails, then cuts and planes the wood down:



And transforms it into beautiful furniture.  I think even Mr. Henry was a little excited when he dropped off our new kitchen table – he said bringing the finished furniture to the house was like a family reunion for all of the old wood:


Here it is getting a test run:


We have an odd nook in our downstairs living room, so we designed this writing desk to tuck into it:


And Mr. Henry also made three matching bathroom vanities which we designed around some great sink tops that mom and dad found for a song at a local surplus builders auction (Jackson the Dog approved!):


We are so pumped with the final product!  Mr. Henry also gave us a sneak peak at our future kitchen cabinets, which will be made out of the same salvaged pine.  Here are some of the front frames:


We can’t wait until it is time to install the kitchen!