|The HVAC crew removed the old|
radiator from my soon-to-be hobby
room as my handyman began
constructing base cabinets
|Derek begins construction of the attic |
recess into which my daybed will sit
|Derek's son, Jordan, 12, helped his dad|
much of the time.
|And then it was done! The "A-wall"|
features shelving above with drawers
and cabinets below
When I ventured upstairs to check on the progress, I was horrified to discover that the electrician had sawed and drilled his way through three walls' worth of 160-year-old lath and plaster, joists and framing in order to run the wiring from one side of the room to the other. "Why didn't you fish the wires as you told me you would?" I practically screamed at him. "Oh, this was much easier" was his reply. Well, yes. Easier, to be sure, but not what had been promised (sigh). At the same time, the HVAC crew was busy heaving two several-hundred-pound units up into my attic, hoisting their 230-pound bodies up and down ladders at a furious pace, cracking delicate lath and plaster with practically every step. It's no wonder poor Derek the handyman didn't get a whole lot accomplished those first few weeks.
|The "B-Wall" features a twin bed, the|
length of which is recessed into the
attic of my front porch when not in use
Oh, and did I mention that I contracted with a roofing company to replace my entire roof during the same time period? I was hit in the head twice by pieces of nail-filled shingles flying though the air as the roofing crew dismantled the old roof, and so were a couple of the HVAC crew, who threatened, at one point, to pluck the roofers off the roof if they weren't more careful about where they threw their debris (sigh).
And so it went, for 37 days. Installation of the new heating and air conditioning units was completed first, but not without issues that still have not been resolved. The roof was finished second, and despite some unfortunate mishaps, such as the smashing of several of my landscaping plants just ahead of my annual summer potluck party for more than 100 friends and neighbors, and nails and debris strewn into practically every nook and cranny of my yard, the roof caused the least of my anguish over the course of these concomitant projects.
|I fit my Singer Featherweight|
sewing machine into a narrow
dormer and filled a rack with
spools of colorful thread that
had belonged to my
But now, at long last, the handyman has completed my new hobby room. He finished on Monday of this week. So I am here to present to you the fruits of my imagination and his labor. First of all, I wanted storage. So on the wall I designated as "Wall A", I requested a desk with drawers and cabinets below and shelves with pegboard above. "Wall B", which sported a low knee wall above which a frustrating sloped ceiling prevented any practical application, would feature a daybed and wide, deep drawers to hold tools, with my antique sewing machine fitting just so into a small dormer beside it. "Wall C" would have another desk, more cabinets and drawers below and a cabinet and pegboard above, but this wall would also boast long horizontal dowels to hold rolls of wrapping paper and spools of ribbon. And finally, "Wall D" would have a workbench-height counter with long flat drawers beneath to hold paper, tissue and wrapping remnants, while shallow cabinets above would store art supplies and paint.
|To the right of the sewing machine, my|
"C-Wall" boasts another desk and
dowels to hold wrapping paper,
ribbon and cellophane
|Because there would only be 15 inches to|
spare at the end of my run of desk space,
Derek sawed my door in half and hinged it,
cleverly turning it into a bi-fold.
Then Derek approached me with a novel idea. The length of a twin bed might be 75 inches, he said, which was way too far a distance to span without an I-beam. But the width of a twin mattress was only 37 inches, and I happened to have forty inches between two of my joists (thanks to the hand-hewn nature of 1862 construction). What if I recessed the twin bed lengthwise into the attic space, so just the end of it stuck out into the room by day, sort of more like a "chair" rather than a daybed? I practically hugged him. It was innovative and imaginative and solved my problem beautifully, But the attic space into which the twin mattress would be recessed wasn't very deep. The end of the bed would hit the slope of the attic only a few inches into the space. Not to worry, Derek said. He proceeded to design a platform on which the mattress would rest which was divided into three separate, hinged sections. As the platform containing the mattress recessed back into the attic space on rollers, it would literally bend down into the attic, following the slope of the roof line. Sheer genius, I thought. And it was! My uncomfortable old hide-a-bed would keep its position out in my small guest cottage.
|Every wall sports undercabinet|
LED light strips with outlets
along their length. This chest
of drawers on the "D-Wall"
is flat and wide to
accommodate wrapping paper
and tissue of all sizes
Over the next several weeks the new hobby room came together beautifully, albeit in fits and starts. But now it is finally finished, and I was able to start moving my wrapping paper and art supplies into it this week. An acquaintance crafted for me a beautiful mattress cover for the day bed, with a backrest, bolsters and valances to match from fabric I found on sale at JoAnn Crafts. I found the oversized pencil and ruler wall art at Grandinroad.com. And now that the room is complete, I can't wait to start crafting in there!
"A woman with organizing skills can run a construction company without ever picking up a hammer and nail." ~Warren Farrell