Pretending I Live Here

With the house insulated and getting warmer every day, I've been spending much more time inside, and when I'm either disinclined or in too much pain to do any hard work, I imagine my day-to-day life playing out. This has inspired a number of "adjustments" (yes, even more changes) to fine-tune things to my needs.

A Great Big Built-In Bookshelf

Back when I was framing the house, friends were visiting and remarked at how the long wall between the kitchen and the closet/laundry—seen above on 2 July 2016—seemed to "waste" so much space since it's framed with 2x6s instead of 2x4s because it's load-bearing. That observation has hung around in the back of my mind this whole time, and now at last I've decided what to do with the "wasteful" wall: turn it into a bookshelf (highlighted in red, below).

With more than eight feet of wall available to use, plus as much of its full height as I want, the finished bookshelf will be quite generous in size. While I'll need to push it into the closet/laundry to gain sufficient depth, there's more than enough space to spare, and I absolutely won't feel the loss. (This will free up lots of space in the office originally slated for bookshelves, which will greatly benefit my future business.)

Above is a graphic outline of the proposed bookshelf: the top two narrower/shallower rows are for paperbacks, and the wider set of four deeper rows would be illuminated with LED strip lights. Below, I've posed some structural members to get a feel for the space the shelves will consume inside the laundry.

I'm not bothered at all by the loss of space; in fact, it will make things look better since there was almost two feet of empty area to the right of the washer and dryer, and now the room will seem more designed to suit the appliances.

Framing began on 22 January 2019.

Optimizing Kitchen Storage

I've said all along that the kitchen design provides more than ample storage space for all of my stuff, even without utilizing the empty areas above the refrigerator as well as above and below the oven. Now I'm thinking long and hard about the organization of what I have, and while I still don't believe I need more total room, I feel the kitchen would be more efficient if things were spread out into multiple dedicated areas.

Thus, I'm now planning to build cabinets into the three previously untapped spaces: above the oven will be spice racks; below the oven will be baking and broiling items; and above the refrigerator will be the liquor cabinet... all of which will leave the remaining cabinets with plenty of spare room in which to to better organize their contents.

Framing for the cabinets got started on 22 January 2018. Much of the framing was "free," consisting of the materials in which the Pella windows were shipped.

As a bonus, I also built a kitty cubby over the refrigerator, behind the beverage cabinet (second pair of images). It even features "central heat," which is a small vent over the back of the refrigerator to allow its waste heat to rise up into the cubby. And it will be lined with carpeting to make it cozy.

Creating Visual Continuity

When I began working on the new kitchen cabinets, I realized that I'd established a visual line that carried around the entire living space. On 22 January 2019 I decided to extend this line by lowering the triangular ceiling over the bathroom and laundry doors.

The height of this addition is exactly the same as the space above all of the windows as well as all of the kitchen cabinets. My plan is to add a wide hardwood trim board along the ceiling around the entire living space.

A second visual line is established by the tops of the doors, which is matched by the top of the entertainment center and will also be matched by the bookshelves.

Shuffling Stuff in the Studio

After spending some quality time thinking about the work I'd be doing in the studio, on 15 January 2019 I added more outlets (below left), and on 19 January 2019 I moved the utility sink from the middle of the long wall closer to the corner (below right).

For the water lines, I switched from copper to PEX because it would have been absurdly difficult to run copper through the wall and around existing ductwork.

Garage Rearrangement

Up to this point, the garage has had the workshop clustered at the interior end of the space, with a workbench running the full width. But now that I've set up my big table and miter saws—which will be crucial for all of the cabinetry and woodwork to come—I'm seeing a need to redistribute things. I'm moving the workbench from across the end (grey rectangle, below) to along one side (red rectangle), leaving the entire end of the garage wide open so the big power tools have plenty of operating area and can be moved around freely as needed. Naturally I'll be building storage cabinets as well, and these will be located above and below the workbench. Also, the yellow box is the tool chest, the pink circle is an air compressor, and the green rectangle will be a dedicated manufacturing space for my future business.

Since these projects are ongoing as I write this, check back again later to follow my progress.


Copyright © 2017-2019 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
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