We've decided to do a little pre-move ranting about a few choice rooms in the new house. The first room on the introductory list could go by a few different names; Living Room, Formal Living Room, Sitting Room, etc. I like to call it, "The Fireplace Room," since that is the central focus.
The Fireplace Room is situated just left of the front entrance and adjacent to the dining room. It has two original windows to the outside world, one of which is diamond paned, indicative of the period. There is an original fireplace buried somewhere behind a wood burning stove insert and poorly built mantle piece. The original wood flooring has managed to elude the ill-favored attention of previous renovators. I'm pretty sure the base, door, and window trim is original, however, I'm not 100% positive yet. The original plaster walls are somewhat intact also, a very welcome difference considering what has happened to the other rooms over the years... a very heated rant about that later.
The To-Do List:
- Complete Fireplace Overhaul!
- Salvage Original Plaster/Replace with Veneer Plaster
- Restore/Refinish Original Hardwood Flooring
- Restore/Rework Original Trim and Woodwork
- Widen Both Entryways into Room
- New Hardware and Fixtures
- Salvage Historic Windows or Replace with Replicas
The Fireplace Room's To-Do List is perhaps the shortest of the house.. Ha! No really, its not that bad. The most involved tasks will be the fireplace overhaul and plaster work.
If you have old brick anywhere in a house... expose it! Brick is gorgeous! Cast some exhibition lighting down those compacted blocks of earth and, in the words of Emeril Lagasse, "BAM!" The plan is to expose the masonry as much as possible; top to bottom, front to back. The mortar joints will have to be repointed also, throughout the entire chimney, more on that later.
As far as the plaster work goes, we don't know yet exactly how much is still intact. The house was rewired at some point, and it seems the bottom 2feet of the walls in this room were defaced and replaced with drywall. The ceiling hasn't been thoroughly investigated either.. so we don't know just how much of the original plaster keying is still structurally sound. No worries!
Our plans are sure to evolve as we move in and further investigate the house, but for now that seems to be the obvious improvements. A reminder, however, this renovation is not motivated by 'quick-fix' improvements or 'quick-money flipping' practices. We intend to make this our home, and we take pride in doing things correctly with a focus on the original architecture and character of the home. What what!