Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Creating a Ceiling That Makes a Statement

The odd thing about our house is that every room has a different ceiling height.  When we bought the house, the majority of the rooms had 7' 4" ceilings, so we have done our best to eke out any additional height that we can.  Some had a bit more expansion space, some a bit less.  And we got a bit carried away in the kitchen, where accessing the old attic space provided us with 14 foot ceilings.  This seemed so extreme compared with the rest of the house that we lowered it to a more manageable 11 feet.

As a reminder, here was our starting point in the kitchen.

Original Service Porch - will be eating area & mud bench soon

I do love the tall ceiling.  But even with the reduced height, the kitchen ceiling just seemed like a huge expanse of boring white drywall.  It needs to be more interesting!   So we set out to change it.

Since the original kitchen was covered in beadboard (very typical in old Maine cottages), we wanted to incorporate that original style.  But I have to admit, real beadboard can drive me crazy as it expands and shrinks with the seasons, creating lots of gaps.  My favorite solution is to install beadboard panels, so you only have a seam every 4 feet.  Kyle started with the top of the ceiling and then moved down the angled walls.

He 'picture framed' the edges to provide a finished edge, but also to provide a bit of expansion/shrinkage space for the panels. 

We also wanted to utilize the original joists that came out of the ceiling.  My husband cleaned them up and sealed them.

Original Kitchen Ceiling Joists

Then he held up a sample on the top ceiling, so we could decide if we liked them.  It got an enthusiastic thumbs up! Next step was to figure out the spacing.

The joists had to be carefully cut to exactly fit the angled ceiling.

Don't you love how they add a bit of character to the ceiling?  What a change to a big, boring expanse of white drywall! 

Ultimately the beadboard will all be painted white, in a satin finish.  The beams will get carefully wrapped to keep their original patina.  And the result?  Well, we can't wait to see it!  Pin It

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Progress Report

There is so much going on at the house now, it's hard to figure out how to share it all.  So here's a quick update. 

The drywall is done  - woo hoo!  And with the walls in place, you can get a sense of the new spaces.  The living room has a new sliding door that will go to a deck.  And you can see the new exposed beams.

What used to be a service porch is now part of the kitchen.  This will include a banquette under the window and a mud bench next to the door to the sun porch and garage.  We moved the door to the right and now we can see out to the backyard.  I love that extra peek of sunlight!
This bedroom probably doesn't look much different - but we moved the windows to create a bit of symmetry on the front of the house and accommodate some new structural posts on the other wall.

We got skylights!  The kitchen is on the west side of the house and is pretty dark until late afternoon.  With the addition of two skylights, it's a real game changer!  Look at that sunlight coming in!

And my painter has come in and primed everything, painted the ceilings and done a first coat of final paint color on the wall (color - Sherwin Williams White Flour, a warm white).  At long last, we can really see the rooms and it's looking so good!

Sunroom (aptly named - it faces east and gets the morning light!)

Home office

The flooring guys are stitching in new red oak to match the original red oak floors.  My guess is the old floors were installed in the 1940's, yet when we did a test patch to see how well they integrate with the new red oak - we were thrilled at how similar they are. 

The kitchen floor has already been sanded and a coat of sealer applied.  That's so the cabinets can be installed, which will be a really exciting milestone next week. 

A couple of weeks ago it felt like we were stalled - and now suddenly it's full steam ahead!  Stay tuned for even more progress as we move forward.  And as always, thanks for following along on our journey! 

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