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Friday, October 28, 2011

Making room for Christmas

Well, I need to make some room in my cut up little home. I have NO idea what the builders were thinking when they designed the homes in our neighborhood back in the late 1940's. All the homes on our street are cape cod, story and 1/2 houses with no front door...but 2 side doors. Let me  try to explain...Here's a picture of the front of my house
The first door leads into what was our very small living roon and the second door leads into our kitchen. Well, I have big guys in my family (my boys are 6'3 and 6'5) and the kitchen just wasnt big enough for a table and there was no dining room. To the left of that window are the steps to go upstairs and behind that tall bush to the farthest left is another window that was my Marine sons bedroom.

Here are some pics from the inside...we decided to make the living room into a formal dining room and we made a family room in the basement (the guys Pittsburgh Steeler man cave). This is when it was the living room the first Christmas after we moved in...look at that hideous mauve carpet...the 80's called and wanted in back so we ripped it out to see hardwood floors !!!)

I also ditched the 80's couch...I let the hubs get those monstrous, totally NOT prim sofa's that have recliners on both ends...matches the hideeous very BIG scrren tv down in their man cave...gotta be comfy on game day I guess ! I will ahve to take some pics of their room and show you guys sometime...Its, well, um, manly and um, well, big in scale...just not my cup of tea, but I digress.

So here's the wall I want to knock down ...I think it will really give the house a more open feel,

Right on the opposite side is my sons old bedrrom...only bad thing is since my youngest left the nest in March, his room has become a resting place for everything I havent wanted to take down to the basement...Plus I let him paint his room black & gold...can you say WALL PAPER or I will be painting over that black for days....
Oh my...I should be so embarassed, but its just life. Now I need to move all the stuff downstairs into my other sons bedroom...then move the bed from this room across the hall to our guest bedroom which right now just has a twin bed (actually part of the boys older bunk beds, which I want to put on craigslist along with my dishwasher and a brand new snow board I won a few years back...I'm getting exhausted just thinking about it).

Of course, we had a mold issue downstairs in our sons bedroom (we have an addition off the back with its own entrance...our older son lived there until last October and apparently he had left the windows open and water got in and soaked the carpet without us knowing. A few months ago I was downstairs doing laundry thinking what's that odor (I have a VERY delecate nose) ? I opened up the door to the addition and thought YUCK...After looking around I saw some mold on the wall near the basebaord. I am very susceptible to mold, so out I went. When the hubs got home he said needed to take out the trim and wall board...well, that wasnt enough, we had to take all the carpet up !!! Hubs said there was mold growing everywhere under the carpet...gross. So, now I have cement floors down there. Guess I will be learning to tile ! Someday I want that to be my studio/wool shop. Its the perfect place...Huge room, private entrance, private bath and close o the laundry so i can wash/dry all my wool.

OK, but back to the present. We used to put one Christmas tree in the front window (even now that its the dining room)

And then one smaller tree down in the man cave where we traditionally opened gifts etc.

 Well, we put a wood burner in after Christmas last year and now I dont think I can squeeze in a tree, the table/chairs, my new hutch and the wood burner, so I think we HAVE to tear down that wall, dont you ???? Forgive the picture...I had snapped it as a "blank canvas" with none of my decorations up at all...BORING

 That way I can put a tree up in that room ...otherwise it just wont feel Christmassey enough. I love Christmas and would have a tree in every room if possible. Hubby and I go out every year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and pick out a couple tree...Hubby says they get bigger every year and has to constantly remind me that we dont have 10' ceilings (oh how I iwsh we did).

SO, I have a few favors to ask of all my prim pals..

1. How hard do you think it will be to take down that wall...there's no electrical outlets or anything like that.
2. Do you think the hubs and I can do it with a little help from my father in law (he's remodeled his basement and hung drywall etc)
3. Can I get it done by Thanksgiving ????
4. Am I crazy to add all this stress ? Should I just do 1 tree down in the man cave ???? I'm frowning right now...can you tell ?

OK gang...I am gonna scoot. My son is moving into a smaller apartment (roommate bailed on him and left him stuck with all the rent a few months back...grrrrrr) and I promised I would help him pack and clean the old place tomorrow and then he and the hubs will move the furniture on Sunday and I will help him get stuff set up in his new place...Sounds fun, right ? Yeah, no, I am not looking forward to it. We are supposed to get a snow strom overnight...BRRRRR. I dont "do" cold weather really well, so I know I am going to be paying for this, but I love my son, so , well, we just do what we have to, right ?

 By the way...dont forget about my Fall Fun Giveaway which ends Oct 31.

Grace to you,


  1. Sure enough!! You can do it. As long as it isn't a load bearing wall. But, just be warned...demo is messy...dust like there's no tomorrow. So, put everything away and hang damp old sheets in all the remaining doorways on demo day. Once it's out, patching up the framing shouldn't be too tough...especially if you have someone "in the know" to help out! There's nothing like a little reno right before the holidays to get the blood juices going! Good luck!

  2. Margie~ Tearing out a wall is a major task better make sure it's not a supporter wall before you do it.It will be a lot of dust and debris so you better hurry if you plan to have it done before turkey day.They keep upping the snow amounts we are upt 8+ possible in our part of PA. don't over do it helping your son sweet!~Amy

  3. Hi Margie! Why it just wouldn't be the holidays if my sister and her husband didn't have a major project going on right before!!! Every year that seems to the big motivator for them, so any big project they have gets started around now and is finished by Thanksgiving!! So yes!! you can do it and be finished by T'giving!! Go for it.... can't wait to see the renovation!

    By the way, I love your stove! How pretty and cozy will it be to have a big ole Christmas tree AND your wood burning stove on your main floor this year??? Just perfect.... Good luck!

  4. You have a charming home has alot of charm!
    Yep the 3 before are right it can be done as long as the wall is a dead wall so to speak. if its not holding anything up take it down no wiring that's a piece of cake.
    Ditto on covering everything if you think it's covered enough well cover it some more!!
    Good Luck
    Darlene N

  5. you're even nuttier/crazier than me, my friend!! What the HECK are you thinking???? Take down a wall for a second tree???? YIKES!!! Yeah, theoretically, I'm sure "it can be done" (assuming it's not a load-bearing wall) - but that's not what I'd be taking on right about now. And, hey, how long have those sons of yours been gone anyway? What happens when they decide "there's no place like home???" Yeah - so, that's why my house is absolutely frozen in time....But you asked.... ;o) Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  6. I say go for it..tear that wall down. I love doing stuff like that, changes the whole house. We are expecting snow on sat night...YUCK!!!! I am so not ready. Have fun ppacking and cleaning with your son. Glad he found a smaller apt. Have a great weekend

  7. Removing the wall shouldn't be difficult since there are no electrical outlets.
    But most important thing is to make sure it isn't a load bareing wall.
    That is a problem I ran into when wanting to remove one of my daughters bedroom walls.
    As long as isn't, I say go for it.

  8. Hi Margie :) Just like everyone else said - check for it being a load-bearing wall first, then go for it! Yes, it will be messy and dusty. Yes it will require lots of long days if you want it done before Thanksgiving. But it sounds like you've been wanting to do this for a while now. I would want a tree where I can enjoy it, too. (Not sure how much time you spend in the man cave.)
    P.S. If I hadn't already won several giveaways in the last two months you can bet I would enter your Fall Fun. That candle mat is too die for!!

  9. Hi Margie, it sounds like you have been planning this in your head for some time now :) They sure make wall demolition look "easy" on the home improvement shows on TV! Plus you say your FIL has some experience so you wouldn't be going into it blindly. As you work through the dusty,messy part keep thinking about the end result.

  10. Well Margie sounds like you have received the advice already that I would give you ~ make sure the wall in not a load bearing wall ~ then you guys should be able to do it. Good luck.


  11. You know remodels always take longer than you think..and cost more than you planned..but you are happy when they are done and forget all the pain on getting there.

  12. I say go for it. Yes, make sure it's not a load bearing wall first! Very important. Yes, it will be messy but oh so worth it. I'd guess that the time frame you are lloking at depends on how much time you have to work on it (during the day or just after work)but is not to unreasonable. Good luck with whatever you decide! Kendra

  13. LOL, now I don't know why I'm giggling cuz it's not really funny but you really have yourself in a dither about the room

    Now if I was a contractor I could help but I really don't know what to tell you here. But opening up the wall would be wonderful and you would probably feel like the house was bigger too.
    NOW....yesterday we gutted our bedroom closet...we found bad, old houses hide all sorts of things you don't know are there...we have pieced in drywall....chunks out of the hardwood floor where they removed a stud...oh I could go on but I won't...hope you don't find any gremlins if and when you decide to start ripping away!



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