A Study to be proud of

After far too long!  It has been a low production summer but the study is now 90% complete.  I have to decide what the cornice and baseboard will look like for the book cases but as you can see the vision is done!  But I will show off some of the goods!




All of the books waiting for their new home!IMG_1075

Surprisingly they fit!  With just enough room for a few more……

IMG_1080 IMG_1081The geek that I am meant that all of the books are organized using the library of Congress system.  And I only had two doubles!

Now that I got these pics up I will be following with some building posts.

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Lazy Days of Summer… [UPDATED]

So with summer finally here I  have enough free time to get back to working on the house project.  Here are the projects that are slated for this summer: (it is an ambitious list, but why not?)

The Study:

  • Finish the molding
  • Finish the fire place
  •  Finish the built-ins

The Master Suite:

  • Smooth coat walls
  • Redo molding
  • Find furniture*

The Foyer, Stairs and second floor landing:

  • Finish the molding

The Cellar:

  • Finish Wine room
  • Organize the workshop

Outside Projects:

  • Lattice work for deck
  • Landscape around deck
  • Mulch flower beds
  • Build Fire pit patio
  • Build Adorandoc chairs


  • Sand down and repaint bilco doors
  • Build new stand for table saw

I think I missed a couple on there?  Anyways it is still an ambitious list, but I work better under stress. Let’s see what we can get done in the next two months!


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What’s in a Name?

My goal is to post an article once a week, something I am currently failing at.  I am not quite ready to post pictures of the progress in the office/study yet so I am left a bit short on updates.  However, have no fear, if my geekness has not yet been proven than this post should cover that.  For full disclosure I will admit that I am currently addicted to Downton Abbey, which in all likelihood is driving my current fascination with room names and the subject of this post.

While admiring the office molding a couple of weeks ago, something I find myself doing too often, I had a profound thought. Am I really building an office? I had entered into this activity with the full intent to build a home office, a place where I would do all of my paperwork, a place where the bills would be paid and the mail would be sorted.  But now the name conjured up a vision of cubicles, sterile white walls, fluorescent lighting, and just about everything I do not have.  So I found myself left with the terms Library, Drawing Room or Study floating in my head. Each had its merit, each had its drawbacks.  Library was a good solid name, after all I am building all this so I can display my vast collection of books, but the room is also where our desk is and where I do work for my job. Not exactly the standard “Library” activities.  Next was drawing room. A drawing room is where people would withdraw after eating.  Although I love the idea of a drawing room, and would likewise love telling people I have one, the room could never serve the stated purpose, and no I am not putting a couch in it.  A chair or two yes, but not a couch!  I was left with Study.  To me this was the perfect balance, a study is where you read, do research and do work, but can also go and get away from it all.  It was settled, the Office Project was now the Construction of the Study.

This left me with a new dilemma, what do I call my other rooms?  Now that I had brought back a vintage name the possibilities were endless.  As soon as we had purchased our house we made a conscious decision to put the TV in the 1960’s front formal living room.  This decision had two advantages, (1) it meant that we would use the fireplace located in that room more often as it was the room we would be spending most of our time in, and (2) the “den” was free to become the Study.  So what did I call this front room now?  Den, Parlor, family room, Drawing Room, Sitting Room, Lounge, Front Room, Reception room, or is it still just a living room?  Growing up I had learned two names for every room in our house as both sets of grandparents had different names for the rooms than my parents did.  Parlor was always used to describe the front room, and the more I thought about it how we use the front room actually matches the original use of a parlor.  It was a place where you would speak with guests when they came over, or where people would go after eating dinner.

So that solved it without spending a dime I now had a Study and a Parlor.  The only issue was going to be convincing the wife to use the lexicon.  Something I must report I am still working on to limited success…

Now I just have to figure out what the difference is between a dressing room and a walk in closet?

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Built-in progress

builtin 2 2

It has been a busy weekend.  We started by cutting out the floating floor under the platforms for the built-ins.  The padding was too good and the floors flex a little too much to put heavy book cases on.  The platforms were then bolted to the wall and shimmed level. (Two days of painstaking misery!)  I have done enough finished carpentry to know that it will all be worth it when the bookcases go on and the doors don’t need too much adjusting.  These are not the book cases we are going to use, but ones we had in the house.  Hence the oversize look of the bases. The plan is to get the deep IKEA Billy’s and put glass doors on them, but this should give you an idea of the final product.  When we get the Billy’s I will post what we do to them.  (You have to know by now that all IKEA products are hacked before they are allowed to be put up anywhere in the house.)

One of the biggest problems to deal with wasn’t the uneven floors or the wavy walls but the fact that the built-ins were going over two of our four air vents.  Not necessarily a problem but switching from a 4×12 to a 2×12 was going to be a problem.  This was my solution.  I know somewhere an HVAC Tec is crying because of it but it has no leaks and most importantly it works.

builtin 2 3

This is a view from the kitchen.  I can’t wait for this project to be finished and my books can go on the shelves!

builtin 2 1On the docket for this week is the faux fireplace.  The plan is to have the fireplace done and primed before Easter…


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Focal Wall Begins

study 2

One of the many purposes of the Office (as it all comes together I find myself calling the Office a Study now) project was to accommodate my ever growing collection of books.  Yes, I am a dinosaur, I still love the feel of a book and much prefer it to e-readers but I digress.  Today the bases for the new wall of books has been assembled.  Because of a floor vent we had to raise the book cases up.  Nothing some 2×6’s couldn’t handle. If you are wondering about that bump out in the middle, it is for a custom faux fireplace.  (What Study would be complete without one?) The plan is to take 4 of the IKEA Billy bookcases, modify them so they look less modern and more traditional and build a faux fireplace in the middle of them.

For those of you who have forgotten, a quick before picture. Note the Target dorm shelves on the right that couldn’t quite handle all the books.


And a preconstruction/demo shot.

study 1

Check back as the wall takes shape.

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A Case of Casings

new8It has been a long two days but the casings are just about finished.  I wanted to wait until the blinds were back up before sharing this but it looks too darn good to keep to myself.  As you might remember, if you have been keeping up withe the blog, the office/library is a bowling alley with sliders at one end and this window at the other, I wanted to make both ends match so I designed this molding masterpiece to be at one end to counter the brightness of the sliders at the other.


The plan for this room was always to show off as much molding as possible. (The wife likes to say it looks like molding threw up all over the place!)  I knew from the start that I wanted to use the neoclassical casings like we did in the living room.  The problem was actually this corner,  I had three doorways, each a different height.  The solution was to bring the Architrave (header, top piece, lintel, frieze, entablature, your choice really…) all the way up to the ceiling.  This would even out the height issue of the doorways, add to the elegance, and make the ceiling visually higher.

I will leave you with a couple action shots.  As always enjoy the photos:






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