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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Works in progress

by Terry McLaughlin

My husband and I returned home this evening after several days of travel. And what did we discuss during all those hours on the road? The same thing our conversation inevitably turns to when we're far from home: remodeling projects. Somehow it's easier to get enthused about fixing up the house when we're hundreds of miles away from it.

Our changes to our surroundings tend to be ambitious. Witness our latest project: the dining room. Here are some before, during, and after views of the same corner. Quite a transformation, don't you think?

The room was originally a basic beige box. We cut a hole in one wall, bumped out a boxy bay, and installed a stained glass window we had made to fit above the buffet. After layering on wide white trim, beadboard wainscotting and wallpaper, we painted the ceiling and added a frilly medallion. We're still shopping for an antique chandelier, some old blue & white platters for the walls and an area rug–those finishing details will come in time.

In turn, this remodeling project inspired several important elements in my upcoming December release: the gentleman who made our window and the business he owns became the models for my heroine and her stained glass window shop. And since I'd always wanted to learn how to work with stained glass, I enjoyed taking the classes he offers as story research.

What changes have you made to your house? What changes would you like to make? Do you find yourself more interested in home improvement projects as holidays draw near?

11 Comments:

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Your dining room looks lovely! What a fabulous idea to put the stained glass window above the buffet. And even more fabulous, your heroine's job became fun research.

Love it!

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

Terry, your dining room is gorgeous! It should be in a magazine.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Cool new dining room, Terry. Want to come remodel my house? :)

We take things in stages -- one or two bigger ticket items a year. This year, it's been replacing some carpet, getting the ductwork cleaned and trimming back some Bradford pear trees. There is SO much left to do, and I find myself wishing I'd win a big lotto prize so I could finish up everything I want to do.

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Christine, many of the older houses in our area feature horizontal windows in dining niches--that idea wasn't an original one. We've spent many happy hours driving around observing and attending home tours.

I've had a LOT of fun researching items for my books. Many of my future plans involve travel ;-).

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Thanks, Lee :-). We're going to try to remember to take more "before" pics. So far, this set is the only one that shows the room before we got started.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Trish, I would love to remodel your house--I'm just not so sure Rob would enjoy coming with me to do all the work ;-). I remember when you talked of painting your living room (I think it was your living room) blue. Did you ever do that? It sounded so pretty :-).

New carpet! There are so many choices these days--what fun :-).

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Terry,
I love what you did to your dining room. We just put on a new roof and at long last are getting new carpet for upstairs. We put hardwoods in two of the upstairs bedrooms, but the rest is carpet. I have a project awaiting me in my daughter's bathroom--paint and textured beadboard wallpaper for the wainscotting. I hope to get it done after Nutcracker and before Christmas!

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Mo, I'd love to have hardwood flooring in our upstairs bedrooms. I tried to talk my hubby into it when we built the house, but he believed in carpet. Now he's a hardwood convert, and we'll make that switch someday :-).

Good luck with the bathroom decorating! After we finish up on the ground level, we're going to tackle our master bath. It's been stuck in the transition phase (studs and subfloor) far too long.

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

It was great to see you at Emerald City, Terry! I roomed with Lee, and also saw Jenna there. Great fun!

Beautiful dining room! Funny, but that's what we did on our way home, too- talked about things we have to get done. And then we went out and bought those new bathroom cabinets we've needed for a long time.

The other thing we've needed was some way to make our heat sink of a family room warmer. It's like ice in winter, and the entire downstairs is chilly. So since we no longer use the fireplace, we bought one of those electric heaters with a mantel surround, and we set it up in front of the old fireplace. It almost looks built-in, and makes the room so much cozier, I may actually do more than pass through it on ice skates.

 
At 10:52 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Congrats on the new bathroom cabinets, Delle :-)!

We once had a family room that was chilly because it was...downstairs. It was a perfect example of the "heat rises" principle--very educational, very chilly. The fireplace in that room got used quite a bit ;-).

 

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