Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Current BIG Project

I haven't been blogging at all lately about stuff I'm making. There's a good reason for that! My current project that I have been working on with my family since the spring is our "new" family home!

I say "new" in quotations because we've actually been living on the first floor for the past 6 years. And this home isn't at all new for Tom, who grew up in this house. We're the second generation of the Mulvenna family to live in the home since 1965.

It's a Chicago bungalow that was remodeled about 1950 into a two-flat. The upstairs was a second floor apartment where Tom's grandmother and aunt lived when he was growing up here. We moved into the empty first floor 6 years ago to help out Tom's aunt who was living alone on the second floor.

We're so incredibly happy to have purchased the home this spring, and I feel super lucky to live in a home with such amazing family history. I am a child of divorce, and was shuffled back-and-forth between family situations and houses my entire childhood, always wishing for one home to call my own. This is my dream come true, and it will be the best nest ever for our little family.

We've been busy remodeling the upstairs, and I'll take you on a little tour! It's still a construction zone, so keep an eye out later this summer for more pictures as work progresses. First thing was replacing all the windows on the second floor, and I can't tell you how much it improved the upstairs with more light!

New windows on the first floor will have to wait, we're doing a little at a time with this project (which will last for the rest of our lives, because nothing is ever finished when you own an old home, right?). Now let's go to the second floor!

There are two good sized bedrooms at the back of the house on the second floor, this one will be our master bedroom. Getting ready to finish the base trim and paint.

And this will be Fidget's room, it's the smaller of the two bedrooms but gets lots of great light! Can you guess what color she wants to paint her room? 

The little kitchen will become a laundry room. The washer/dryer/laundry sink will all fit where the big double-bowl and double-dish strainer sink was. I love this green tile, and we worked really hard to save it! I'm painting this room yellow, just like a 1950's kitchen, with white cabinets and appliances. 

I can't show you the upstairs bathroom yet, it's a total disaster area at the mo'! But let's move on to the last room on the second floor, my NEW SEWING ROOM!

Here's looking at the north end of the room. I'm thinking about a small sewing desk right under the windows for piecing and sewing. Lots of natural light!

This is the wall on the east side of the room. I've been using painter's tape to layout different configurations of bookshelves and desks in this section that will become my home office. The closet to the far left will be fabric storage, and the door next to that leads down to the first floor.

Here's a view of the south end of the room. Working on where to place my design wall with painter's tape. And I want that corner near the little window to have a few comfy chairs and a bookshelf as a reading nook.

And lastly, here is the west wall. Love those little built-ins! I am going to set up both a cutting table with storage here and another table for sewing. Not sure of the exact configuration yet, but it will be fun to work on furniture placement!

I have completely new goals as I'm designing this space. Take a look at my last two spaces and I'll show you what I mean.

In our previous house I had a small bedroom to use for sewing and a home office. It wasn't a very big room, but had lots of great light!

I didn't have a kid at the time, so everything was out where I could just grab it if I needed it - like scissors, pins, rulers, etc.

And I wasn't quilting yet. I was working full-time as a BERNINA Educator, and this served as a home-office and a place to create samples/classes/product trainings while working with the latest BERNINA products. So this space worked well for me at the time.

My most recent sewing room is in the basement of this house. 

It's totally funky, but functional. And since it's completely separate from our living quarters on the first floor, I had no worries about having easy access to tools like rotary cutters, pins, and needles.

However, the basement does get some water when it rains heavily, so I have to keep things unplugged and off the floor when I'm not working. I lost a desk and a few rugs to water in the basement in the past few years down here.

The new sewing space will not be separate from our living quarters, but will be a room we will walk through to get to our upstairs bedrooms, bathroom and laundry room. Plus I have a kid who is totally fidgety and always touches first to ask questions later! 

I am also now quilting regularly, and plan on continuing to quilt. I have plans for quilts to come, many quilts, so be prepared! Planning with all this in mind, the new sewing room will need to:
  • Allow for an easy route back and forth through the room without being blocked by furniture
  • Keep little or sharp things out of easy reach of little fidgety fingers
  • Organize notions and supplies so that they are accessible when I need them but not completely out in the open
  • Include a nice sized design wall for quilting
  • Include a nice size sewing table for quilting
  • Include a solid sewing desk for piecing/sewing that will allow for sewing with different types of machines (because you know I have a lot of them and love to use them!)
  • Include an area dedicated to pressing/ironing
  • Include a dedicated work area with desk/shelves
So far I have some of the larger needs covered, like designing the room to allow an easy path from the top of the stairs to the rest of the second floor without being blocked by furniture. I'll have to work on the smaller things, like finding places to store sharp and small objects but still have them accessible when I need them.

For the moment though, it's back to working on finishing up with baseboard trim, paint, and finally moving upstairs - hopefully by the end of August! Thanks for staying tuned until then!


Mary said...

Totally awesome! Congrats!

Deborah said...

That is a wonderful house, and I'm sure it will be your dream home. It will be so much fun getting that sewing room in order!

Robbi Joy Eklow said...

mazel tov! I love the colors, I'm so glad you are keeping that tile. It's really nice. and it's brilliant to use painters tape to layout the room. I think I could use that trick in my studio too.
thanks for sharing!

ann said...

Thank you for such a fun tour. I love seeing how others fit their sewing nest into the family home. Your new space looks utterly divine ( does that sound like Anne of Green Gables or what?)...just finished watching it). Such a great idea to tape out the furniture. I may steal that tip as I attempt a reshuffle of the walkout basement that is my sewing nest. Good luck I'll be looking forward to the grand full reveal.

Nursebennett said...

Just reading this post made ME happy! I love hearing your excitement and happy anticipation of making memories and creating and living in your new home. I love homes with history and how awesome the history of your home is so personal! It's lovely! I wish you many years of making beautiful memories, quilts and whatever else your heart desires.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the tour, great space. I love your scissor and rulers peg board! It's both functional and art.

Donna said...

So much fun to see this in process!

Cheryl Anne said...

I am so happy for you, Erika! what an exciting time….!! i'm really looking forward to seeing how you organize your new space, as I've been reworking the Young Sons Ex-bedroom (now my sewing space), and you have some great organizational ideas. you've motivated me to go get that pegboard hung up!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Thanks a million Mary, Deborah, Robbi, ann, Nursebennett, Jackie, Donna and Cheryl Anne! I am so excited - the painters are here this week, and should be finished by the weekend. Then we get to start moving upstairs! :)

roth phallyka said...
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