Sunday, August 21, 2016

Before & After: Office

We had a handful of needs in a home when we began shopping. The most important one was that the house have 2 bedrooms or 2 living areas so that my wife could work from home. The Bungalow met that criteria, though bedroom #2 AKA the OFFICE needed some attention before it could be used.

For starters, it was PINK.

And while this may be just fine for a child's room it just wasn't something Chris could get behind.

After much deliberation, we decided to take advantage of the chair rail currently installed in the room. We purchased a blue gray color one-coat Marquee paint for above the rail. For below, we invested in some wainscoting AKA panelling. Chris fell in love with the idea.

We purchased 12 panels in case we made any errors. It should have been just enough to do all four walls, perhaps with some leftover pieces from what got cut out. Other necessary supplies were liquid nails, actual nails, a laser level, and Pure White paint.

Because the cost of the improvements started to add up, we called around and borrowed a jigsaw from my dad in order to cut the pieces. We purchased a work table and some clamps, though. Actually, the set up worked really well.

Except it took so much time to do that we decided to do 3 out of 4 walls instead.

We also cut a lot of corners! As amateurs with limited experience and resources, we conceded defeat to our crooked walls and floors and ultimately installed the panels by resting them on top of the floor boards. Visually, it looked OK, so we went with it. A lot less measuring, positioning, and cutting would be required. Okay, okay, so we may have CHEATED. But it's our house and in order to get what we wanted we needed to do things our way!

Our afternoon project took 3 days altogether. First, painting the upper half of the walls was my project for Friday. Cutting and applying the panelling and re-installing the chair rail occurred on Saturday. Then, Sunday was spent filling the holes and gaps with quick dry caulking before painting the bottom half of the walls white.

Here's a nifty panorama of the entire room just after we finished.

It really is the most beautiful room in the house! And although it isn't saying very much, it is also the most beautiful room I have ever had the pleasure of sharing with the rest of a house.

We learned some important lessons from the experience.

1) Wainscotting is an intermediate level project. You really require the right tools. All of the time and effort it took for us to complete would have been significantly diminished if we had had them ourselves.

2) We love the color blue we chose! In fact, I am SO excited about painting the bedroom in a similar fashion. No, I don't want to put wainscotting up in there, but I do want to replicate the blue top half, white chair rail, and white bottom half. Perhaps with some rectangular moulding on the bottom half instead.

3) Home improvement projects will be more time consuming that you initially expect, especially if you have never done anything similar before.

4) You can't expect to get everything that you want done to your new house as quickly as you initially envision. The office redo was immediately followed by moving all of our large items into the house. The very night we put the panels up we were moving our bed, washer, dryer, fridge, etc., until 10:30 or 11PM. It sucked, honestly. The following days involved multiple trips to hardware stores to get the washer and dryer working. And then our cable Internet continued to give us problems. All of these issues on top of one another made it clear that replacing the toilet, painting the bedroom, setting up our raised beds outside, and putting down the patio out back were things that could be done in a couple of weeks. For our sanity's sake...

If you'd like a step by step tutorial on how to install wainscotting the CORRECT way, I thought this walkthrough was pretty thorough...

Have you installed any on your own? I would love to hear about your personal experiences. We may be doing something similar in the living room in the distant future so any recommendations you might have would be greatly appreciated. Just leave us a comment!

Until then, goodbye from the Bungalow.

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