Several decades ago, back when the "Lefere mansion" was inhabited by the Leferes and not the
Beverly Hillbillies Wielengas, there was a doorway in this wall which opened up into a sunken family room. The Lefere's have told me that is where they sat with Grandpa and Grandma and watched television as kids. The gray room that is now our family room was the Lefere's formal dining room, and beautiful it was - as I have an old photograph of it decked out for Christmas, probably taken in the seventies.
Since this wall had been closed off (I'm guessing in the 90's?), the sunroom behind it had been totally neglected and unlivable, and while the seamless wall on the "livable" side was impeccably done, the scene on the other side was just insulation and bare wood. It was obvious why it was totally sealed off - I stored a couple cans of paint in there last winter and they froze solid! Yes, it was THAT COLD in there. No heat and no basement underneath. I rolled up newspapers and tucked them all around the doorway between that room and our eating area. Oh my stars, last winter we froze. Anyways.
Let me show you what I mean (excuse the disaster, we used it to house all of our tools/supplies/trim/crap during renovations!).
The back side of that beautiful wall:
So this summer, we fixed up the old Lefere family room into our sunroom and one of the last things we did was open it back up to the rest of the house!
Dad really had to ponder this one. There was a lot more to this than just cutting the "window" out of the wall in the kitchen, which I wrote about earlier this week! There was the thick paneled wall on top so that trim would not lay flush against the wall all the way to the bottom. Then there was the matter of the trim itself - to get it to match perfectly to the rest of the trim in the room (see where we upcycled the trim from later in the post)...
We kept the mess to a bare minimum using the method I wrote about a couple of days ago here. In addition to me holding up the shop back to the blade to catch all of the dust, we also made a "tent" around the opening with a sheet, held up against the wall with a ladder and propped up boards.
I was so excited when I got the bright idea to use the trim off of this old door that we were going to be walling up and siding over! (Who really needs nine exterior doors?!) We carefully took it off so we could reuse it. It had the same design as the other trim in the family room. (Not all of the trim in the house matches!)
And viola! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I can now see all the way from one of my house to the other!
Gotta have it as open as I can - and that's the way it originally was anyway! :)
So here is my family room with BEFORE the doorway opening...
And here it is AFTER!
One more BEFORE and AFTER to compare from a different angle:
Just for fun, how about a peek at what the room looked like when we bought the house one and a half years ago? It was a cheerful yellow with rose wallpaper under the chair rail.
And let's see some behind the scenes from the OTHER side of the wall...
There are those parents of mine again - mom posing and smiling, and the Dadman who makes my crazy design dreams come true. :) Gotta love them.
Original ship-lap (or similar) wall... and my beloved barn door - to be blogged about in the near future....
And the sunroom side all done!Can't even believe how well it turned out! :) The step is still needing some attention, but even how that came about is pretty cool - the stair tread was found in a pile of wood out in one of the buildings. I love that when we need something, rather than run to a Home Depot or Lowes, we can usually find what we need by scrounging around in one of the outbuildings! My friend says for as much as we've had to put into this place, the least it can do is give a little back. :)
Stay tuned to hear the fun barn door story!
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