Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the library restoration.
The restoration of the library continues with a focus on refinishing the floor and recreating the doorway to the Men’s parlor.
The floor was quite literally a jigsaw puzzle for such a compact room. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on antique donor wood, which we reworked into the disrupted areas due to the previous kitchen.
We were surprised in Part 2 to discover a doorway to the Men’s parlor. The hard part was bringing back the original plinths, casing, rosettes, baseboards and more. We spent quite a bit of time scouring for artifacts looking for the originals in the basement. At times we got lucky, such as having the original door that fits like a glove. We also had several plinths and rosettes. When it came to the casing, we were not so lucky. We ended up having to recreate all of the casing on both sides of the doors.
It is fun to look back on how much this space has changed, from a second B&B kitchen to being carefully restored to a library. We’re now in the home stretch of finishing this room! Next up is paint.
Be sure to check out part 1 of the library restoration.
The library has seen significant progress since removing the second kitchen this summer. Here is where we left off for reference:
The first order of business, remove the layers of flooring, and expose the original wood:
The original wood underneath is in much better condition than we expected. There are three square openings for vents and various holes for plumbing the kitchen that will need to be plugged.
Next, we move on to the casing and trim around the historic window. This project was an undertaking, and we were fortunate to be working with a talented carpenter that was excited to take on the effort. Here is a picture of what we started with:
From casing to trim, there was a lot to put back in order:
Upon careful inspection, we know there was originally a doorway walled off leading from the library to the bathroom connected to the men’s parlor. We decided to give it a go and open it up:
To our surprise, the door jam was left in great shape. We also found the original door in the basement; perfect match!
What’s next? The final effort of this room is waiting on the following:
When we removed the walled-off doorway, we introduced a new problem: We don’t have enough original casing moulding to surround the door. We had the moulding custom milled in St. Louis. It’s now complete and ready for pick up.
The library originally had a marble fireplace. We have a hand-carved marble fireplace mantel surround coming in from New York scheduled to arrive this week. It took Alexandria months to make a decision, and it’s beautiful!
The transom above the door we opened up was originally stained glass, and we are working on having a replacement reproduced. It’s an interesting architectural element given that the transom “goes nowhere” but is there for consistency. We found that power was run to light the transom.
While our primary focus for 2020 has been on the exterior, we are excited about the progress of restoring our first room. We’re planning on posting updates on the victorian porch soon, so keep an eye out!
When a house is used as a bed and breakfast for several decades, there are many remnants left behind. One such remnant is the second kitchen used for guest meals. We knew this space deserved more and decided it was the ideal candidate for the first room to undergo a full restoration.
The appliances and cabinets were in good condition, and fortunately, we were able to find a family that could take it all off our hands. My father-in-law was in town visiting from Florida, and together, we carefully dismantled the kitchen.
When we moved the cabinet holding the kitchen sink, we were delighted to see the original wood molding. Several pieces of trim were removed in order to install the cabinets. Lucky enough, we found nearly all of the missing trim piled together in a crawl space under the house.
The library is an impressive little space. It is one of the rare areas with a builtin, has one of the largest windows in the house, and, for its size, originally had a fireplace. We also discovered a door had been walled off leading into the bathroom.
The next step in restoring the library is carefully pulling up the new flooring with the goal is restoring the original wood underneath, along with installing the original wood trim and opening up the door to the bathroom. Stay tuned!
We heard it had been a long time since the front lamp shined bright, and now it shines again! We discovered that a portion of the electricity to the front of the house was cut (likely many years ago). It wasn’t until removing drywall in the basement that we came across the old junction box that provided power to not only the front lamp post but also the porch light and a portion of the outlets in the lady’s parlor.