We recently sold our former house, and moved into a 100 year old home, and one of the major renovation projects we had to do was renovating the breakfast room. This post is Breakfast Room before and after, part 1…
Parts of this antique house ‘looked’ pretty decent when we bought it, (did your mother ever tell you ‘looks can be deceiving’?)because honestly, looking back, I think we were seeing it through rose colored glasses. In reality we needed to update all the electric, plumbing, mechanics and renovate almost every room, including the kitchen, bathrooms, attic and the room I’m going to show you today. (Ha, just to mention a little of what we did) Reminds me of all the work we did to ‘The Little Brick Cottage‘ a couple years ago, but that cottage was much smaller than this big ole house!
But, you know what, with my background in interior design, I’d do it again, in a heartbeat. I loved every minute of it… (almost every minute, except when the heating guy unknowingly started a fire in the wall and a near catastrophe was barely avoided)
So here’s, what we now call ‘The Breakfast Room’, before we renovated it:
Whew! I’m glad to say that was the before pic, because it was for sure one homely room! Dark and cavernous are two words that come to mind.
When this room was added onto the original home in the mid 80’s, the owner built it as a ‘hot-tub room’. For some reason, they didn’t add much for windows in this large room. Only one bay window on the North wall. They also had as the only entrance into this room, a patio door between it and the adjoining kitchen, but no doors leading to the outside even though 3 walls of this room are exterior walls. After the ‘hot tubbers’ sold this house in the 90’s the next owners apparently took out the hot tub and put in carpet.
Once I came up with a plan for this space, demo started. This picture showing the huge pile of brick rubble, is looking southwest into the room. (the bay window is now behind to the far right)
We hired some great workers to help us through this project, and one of them had the horrible job of removing the brick 1/2 walls and pillars. The bricks were tough getting out, hideous as they were, they were built ‘right’. He had to literally smash them bit by bit with a sledge hammer and then haul the heavy rubble through the house to the dumpster in 10 gallon buckets.
But getting rid of the brick was so necessary. It was really ugly and took up over a 6″ depth on each wall. That means when the brick was removed, we gained a full foot of depth and width to our room!
After the brick was completely gone, we could install the patio door, which was still in perfect condition. So we removed it from the wall between this room and the kitchen and built it into the exterior south wall, instantly flooding the room with the light it had been missing for the last 30 years.
We also added a pair of double hung windows on the west wall. I had originally thought about having windows all along this entire west wall, but reality hits quickly when one starts to shop for windows and sees the pricetags! I would have considered longer if there was a great view out there, but being in town now, it is just the neighbor’s yard, and the budget was getting pulled at from so many other projects for this house. I was fortunate to find this ‘top of the line’ pair of windows at Menard’s on clearance. Between these double hung windows and the south wall patio door’s new placement, along with the original bay window on the north, a lack of light is no longer an issue in this room.
Once the sheetrock went up, the room really started to look like it was progressing positively. There was still a lot to do, but it’s easier to see the visualized plan at this point.
Then it was on to painting, adding trim, installing wide plank laminate flooring, changing lights and lots and lots of details that will be in future posts to show you how we did it.
But here is the breakfast room today all finished:
We really love this breakfast room. (it’s got a lot of ‘family room’ use to it as well)
The style is a slight nod toward Early American, in a lighter, cleaned up version, but for sure ‘New England’ feeling. I guess giving tribute to our beloved Maine coast. (even the pillow on the sofa, from our daughter-in-law and son for Christmas, features a map of our favorite Maine spots, and the print over the sofa is ‘Dock Square’ in our cherished Maine town)
If you look back at ‘Our Former House‘ posts, you’ll recognize many of the furniture pieces. Our stuff fit so well in this new setting, almost better than in the other place.
The plan I drew up, called for a closet to be built in this corner, to house a vacuum and necessary cleaning supplies on the main level, but I found this wonderful old cupboard on Craigslist for $100, before closet construction began… that was way, way less than it would have cost to build a closet, and so much more charming. (I’ll feature this cupboard and details about it soon too)
The black bench is from Ballard Designs (Dorchester 3-seater) and used to be at our dining room table, the vintage braided rug it is sitting on was a ‘find’ while I was shopping for a cupboard for the bathroom, and just happened to notice it on the seller’s floor. (Always ask… most times people will want to sell!) and she did, and for only $25!
Well, that’s half the room, and the end of this post.
There is a whole other half to this breakfast room and tons of details, (not to mention the whole rest of the house). Hopefully, this ‘wet your appetite’ and you’ll be back to see more…
I appreciate you stopping by.
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