February 27, 2015

Evolution of a Room

Click the link in each caption to see the entire room.

The Sun Room before we moved in, May 2009

My Studio, June 2009

When we began our ongoing repair and remodeling projects we needed a place to store everything from whatever room we are working on. This 9.5' by 20' room became that place, except for setting up a small office space for the computer at the far end, near the front of the house.

When we started on the front porch I needed to dig out the new front door from that room. As I was moving boxes out of the way I had a sudden "why didn't I think of this before" moment. It occurred to me that I could swap my office with storage space. So .......

My "new" office. View from the living room looks a
zillion times better than the piles of boxes and stuff.

I created a wall with bookshelves and boxes. The quilt
insulates & gives access to the storage part in the front.

Curtain fabric came from my stash. Carpet was
a remnant from carpeting the master bedroom. 

Gardening and homesteading books readily accessible

With nine large old windows and no insulation, this room has been a sweatbox in summer and an icebox in winter. This new arrangement is not only more convenient, but now I get the benefit of heat coming from the wood stove in the living room. The curtains help in blocking the cold seeping through the windows. The only thing I had to buy for this remodel was the little throw rug in the doorway.

The room itself is pretty much last on the house project list. I haven't wanted to think about it because it seems there's nothing for it except tearing the whole thing down and rebuilding from the foundation up, including the foundation. Dan recently proposed a brilliant idea which would serve a double purpose - rather than rebuilding the room, add a lean-to sunroom / greenhouse along the length of the room on the outside. It would insulate and solar heat the room without having to replace all those old windows, plus give a greenhouse the benefit of warmth from the house. Considering that we have more projects than time and money, however, I'm guessing we'll get to this one somewhere around 2035. That's assuming we live that long and the zombies don't take over first.


PioneerPreppy said...

HAH. Having more projects than money seems to be a natural state int he homesteading world. I too have been toying with the idea of putting a green house attachment on the South side of the old house but the wife is still convinced we are gonna build a new one. She just never seems to say the time is right.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Nice cosy room Leigh. You will be so much more comfortable working there now.
Won't be long and we will be out of the house most of the time again.. can't wait!

Farmer Barb said...

Daddy Dan is a smart man! Another man, Felix Trombé perfected the idea of building a glass wall on the winter sun side of a building trapping and using the sun's rays to heat. The description can get nutty, but the Trombé wall is very common in the mountains and places that get really cold and have long winters. Even just putting a roof line and hanging the plastic curtains from Farmtek can lower the heat exchange. In michigan, they call it a Florida Room.

You're too close to Florida to want to say that!

Ed said...

For as long as I can remember, my dream house has always included a solarium where I could have a tropical garden that I could enjoy all year long. I may never get to it and as I age, the odds are greater against me, but dreaming hasn't done any harm.

Leigh said...

Take 2 on the reply comments. Seems proving I'm not a robot on my own blog includes a delay in posting my comment. Sometimes I can exit the page with comment applied, sometimes not! Annoying!

PP, ain't that the truth about projects and money. I tell Dan we have to quit having ideas, LOL. We toyed with a separate greenhouse for awhile, but I really like the idea of an add-on.

Gill, I love the improvements, but I look forward to warmer outdoor weather even more!

Barb, I'll definitely have to look that up, although we'll probably just call it "the greenhouse". :)

Ed, dreams are what give us motivation, I think. In crunching some numbers it seems Dan's idea would certainly be more economical than rebuilding the room. Between that and the ability to grow more food, I can actually see this happening.

Mama Pea said...

Evolution of a room indeed! Reminds me of our "middle" room which became our living room but it took twelve years! (Hope that isn't a discouraging thought for you!)

You currently have a very cozy, organized looking office space. Remind me where your office will go when the "sun porch" reverts back to your studio?

Sandy Livesay said...


Great idea making this sun room your office. I would love to have an area for an office. Having our desk, and papers in a concealed location instead of in the middle of our living room. When anyone comes to visit, I grab our desk file holder, and our calendar book and bring them to the master bedroom out of the way.

Having a greenhouse makes for having vegetables and fruit throughout the year. Would you use glass windows? Or maybe plastic?

Unknown said...

What a lovely room to work in! So full of sunshine!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, funny how things evolve like that. :) My office has just been a corner in my studio, since there's no place else in the house to put it.

Sandy, it's tough not having a place for personal papers, etc.

When we talked about a greenhouse before, we figured on plexiglass. I'm guessing that would still be the same, although if we could pick up enough old windows cheaply enough, we could use those for the sides and make a plexiglass roof. Who knows!

Miss Bee, I absolutely love all the light. I'm not a cave person by any means.

barbara woods said...

thats the way we are our list is longer than we will live

Kirsty said...

It's a beautiful room Leigh and you've both done a great job on making it work for you. I completely understand the money thing, I always think if I could just win the lottery I could do everything I want now! I honestly believe though that the struggle means you appreciate what you have so much more and from what you see in the media money doesn't even come close to buying happiness, working as a team to realise your dreams can though.

Quinn said...

I've probably said this before, but...I think Dan is brilliant. You two are a wonderful partnership!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

That room looks so nice now. That is being creative and reusing!! Nice! Nancy

Leigh said...

Barbara, at least we'll never get bored. :)

Kirsty, thanks! I'm guessing a lot of us are the same way. "If only I had $xxx, then ..." I'd pay the property off and build a barn. But I know there'd always be a long list of other things. The key seems to be learning how to be content in spite of the situation of the moment.

Quinn, thank you! Having similar goals and a heart for the same things makes it work, I think.

Nancy, thanks! Big change from simply rearranging things.

Tuesday said...

Ahhh, the every growing and long to-do list. Boo!!

I love your office space - it actually looks quite cozy. I've struggled through the years with just the perfect office space. I have currently given up and will wait until we build our new home.

Mark said...

We have rooms like that too! We built our house on a couple acres of the family the farm. We hired one of my brothers as the "head honcho", who hired crews to do things like the shell, roof, and drywall, and he and the family did most of the rest. When we built it, we were living in a small mobile home with two of our three kids and wondered what we would do with all the space in the new house. 24 years later with all the kids (just) out of the house we're wondering what we can do to make the best use of the "little" space we have! Most of our "bedrooms" rooms are on their 3rd iteration of purpose and looking at a 4th as get settled as 'empty nesters'.

Unknown said...

Great job! Sometimes you just have to play with spaces and find what works...

tpals said...

I would love a greenhouse attached also, but money denies. I love how you repurposed that space. It looks great and larger now.

Cat Eye Cottage said...

The projects never end, do they? It looks cozy and I love your studio.

RanchGirl said...

What a great room!! I have been wanting to convert our enclosed back porch (also with wonderful Southern exposure) into an all season room. Unfortunately, even though our home is a well-built 100+ year old, the porch was an inexpensively done add-on by the previous owners - just siding and paneling with no insulation, which will require a complete tear out!