We have taken on another update in our home. I think we are finding ourselves in a new life phase with lots of questions to ponder. We have lived in this house since 1988. It's hard to imagine living in another house. But it's also hard to imagine keeping up a 3 story home with surrounding acreage when we are 20 years older than we are now. If we are lucky! We consider the idea of selling and moving, and I look around at the 80's style house and wonder who would even want it! We have updated the kitchen and main bathroom, so that's moved out of the 80's! I watch quite a few episodes of House Hunters and Fixer Upper, and I just cringe to think of what potential buyers would say about our house. "OMG, popcorn ceiling everywhere! No master suite! Little closets! We can't fit our king size bed in any of the bedrooms. How can they live without marble countertops? Gut job!"
So we do want to make some improvements, but we aren't ready to sell. And making improvements now means we get to enjoy living with them.
When we built the house back in 1988, we installed a wood-burning stove in our greatroom. That room is large, covering the kitchen, dining and TV area, plus stairs and a loft and vaulted ceiling. We were "open concept" before we even knew what it meant! To help with our heating of the whole house, we used our wood stove a lot. If we were at home, and started it early, we could keep it burning all day long and used the gas furnace very little. And we had a plentiful wood supply, with quite a few dead trees from oak wilt on our property. Feeding the wood stove became a routine for us, and it it could really put out a lot of heat. It had a 3-speed fan on it, and we never used the high speed because it just made the house too hot! We have a large ceiling fan that helped circulate between upstairs and downstairs.
There are a few down sides to having the wood stove, but they never outweighed the benefits. There's the work of cutting the wood, bringing it into the house, and tending the fire. Making kindling, cleaning out the ashes and cleaning up the mess on the floor after filling the woodbox were a few more downsides. The worst, in my opinion, was the smoky smell. It smells quaint when you stand outside and catch a whiff of wood smoke from a fireplace or bonfire. But it doesn't smell quite so quaint when you feel like your whole house and clothes and hair smell like that! When I started quilting for customers, I was very worried about getting their precious quilts smelly. In the long run, I never did sense that the quilts retained any odor, and people I trusted to tell me the truth said I didn't smell like a bonfire! But it became more of an annoyance to me.
Thinking ahead to the time when we might move on from this house and let it be a home to some other lucky family, I'm looking at things that we can do now that will make the house more sellable. So I started developing the idea of replacing the wood stove with a gas fireplace.
I did a lot of looking online, in stores, and people's homes for ideas. I really wanted to make a big change, and working with a log home presents a few different aspects. One thing to consider is how to design something that fits with the rustic logs but is more contemporary. Another aspect is finding someone to take on the job, as I knew this was more than a DIY project! Working with the log walls isn't really what some construction workers would choose to do, because it takes a little more improvisation and work-arounds. So far, we are really happy with what we are having done. We had the large stone hearth removed, and I actually gained some square footage! This also allows me to change the furniture placement. The old river rock on the wall is just being covered up with the framework that has been built. The gas fireplace has been installed with just a couple things left to do to call that part done. The frame is going to be covered by dark brown tile, and that will get started next week. Then, sometime down the line, we have a fellow coming to cover the bare floor boards where the hearth was and work wood flooring into the existing wood floor. then sanding and finishing all the wood flooring that is connected, including the kitchen, hallway, dining area and living room.
There will be more to share as the work gets done, so I will update you later. In the meantime, I have lots of dusting to do!
3/23/2020 10:45:50 am
That’s a pretty impressive star quilt on the wall. Beautiful!
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Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!