I was talking to a friend and fellow home improvement blogger recently about the house I grew up in and while looking for an exterior photo of the house to give to her (you won’t believe what she is doing w/that photo, check back I will be posting about that next week) I came across a bunch of photos of the interior, I was surprised I had forgotten about one of the first DIY projects I have ever done. I sold my childhood home to a realtor who refinished the floors painted the walls and resold the two family house as two condos. Some have asked where I got my DIY desire and I touched on inheriting this from my father in my about page I thought it would be fun to show you some of his DIY projects and one of mine.
While my dad was a master carpenter I learned from him and believe it or not one of my favorite shows I used to watch with my dad all the time was This Old House, my father watched very little tv but he when he did watch it, he only watched the weather channel, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris and Bob Vila! This Old House was the first home improvement tv show I got hooked on, Decorating Cents, Christopher Lowell and Lynette Jennings were the first craft shows I got hooked on and well the rest is history 90% of the time I only watch home improvement shows!
First up, my third ever DIY project (the first was renovating the bedroom I had in that house more on that in another post since I have to dig the before and after photos out if I can find them! The second was building a picket fence). Our kitchen didn’t have any cabinets or counters we had a walk in pantry that had shelves on the left, built in base cabinet under the window in the middle and the right had wall cabinets and base drawers. I didn’t like the flat wood cabinet doors so I used picture molding to make frames that I attached to the doors, I was surprised the realtor left those doors up *although she did remove the top doors and left open space I don’t know if she put them back up or left it open. That project was bitter sweet for me, it was done shortly after my dad passed away, I was grateful I had the know how to do this but bummed out my dad wasn’t there to see the final result. My mom on the other hand loved the way the doors came out! My dad built the wall cabinets, shelves, base cabinets and drawers so it was fun for me to “add to his work”.
Now for my dads projects!
Raised panel wainscot. I remember when I was little watching and helping my father build that wainscot (disregard the crazy masks on the wall lol those weren’t ours, these photos are from when the realtor was reselling our home). My father was a perfectionist not something I inherited, his wainscot was perfect, I inherited my moms impatience, the just get it done and use chalk if it’s not perfect attitude LOL!
At the same time he built the wainscot he made the door to the master bedroom a double door and added french doors on all the bedroom doors (something I have plans on doing in my current house I love french doors). I remember my father making the door to my parents bedroom a double door but vaguely remember what it looked like with a single door. My bedroom door was on the right in this photo across from the banister, I remember when my father was replacing the spindles in the banister I would run from my room slide across the wood floor and grab the top of the banister then jump onto the stairs (what kid wouldn’t do that if the spindles were missing? Although around that time I really wanted to be a stuntman LOL!).
That back wall with the arches is a false wall, my father built the wall about 6″ deep and on either side of the windows are lights so the inside of the arches would light up with the flip of a switch! I wish I had a photo showing those lights on. You couldn’t see the lights because the false wall where the arches are have an inside frame there was a gap a few inches wide where you could slide your hand in and replace the florescent tube bulbs. You could just see the glow of the lights around the window arches.
This was my bedroom! I still miss this room. My father built those drawers in the wall (unfortunately whoever painted them and put them back didn’t put them back in the correct order hence the lack of the drawers lining up!) beside the drawers is a closet. I loved having those drawers I never had to pack away my summer clothes in the winter or the winter clothes in the summer I just moved the contents of the drawers up or down depending on the time of year. Above the drawers and closet are two large cabinets.
This was my sisters room once again my father built drawers into the wall, he also had a huge mirror above those drawers and lights above the mirror with cabinets on either side of the mirror the cabinets weren’t deep only a few inches but they held jewelry and other things like nail polish, makeup etc. The realtor removed the mirror, lights and cabinets. I remember my sisters doing their make up at that mirror!
So these were a few of the projects my dad did and I think it’s safe to say I got my desire for home improvements from him and my home decor desire from my mom! If I can find photos of the bed my dad built for one of my sisters I will edit this post to add it, the whole bottom of the bed light up with lights the same way the false arch wall in my parents bedroom light up! I will make another post soon showing this whole house including the cast iron claw foot tub and cast iron double sink in the kitchen both original to the house along with the 100 yr old beadboard in the kitchen! I still love this house but i think most people love their childhood homes!