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Library/Music Room is DONE!!!

Nancy in Mich
October 15, 2011

For those who have trouble loading (or finding) my long threads on my library/music room, here is a quick way to see it completed. I have appreciated all of your enthusiasm and your help in deciding on paint versus wood grain. We decided on all paint, the same color as the rest of the room, but with semi-gloss instead of satin.

Paint is Valspar Spice Delight from Lowes.

Window is an Eagle casement window with two outer operational windows, triple panes, retractable screens that roll up to the top, oak interior wood in the color "mahogany" and aluminum exterior cladding.

The flooring is Wicanders cork click planks Series 1000 in the color Chestnut. It has a layer of cork on the bottom, so we did not put anything under it except for the visquene vapor barrier between the flooring and the slab. If I had it to do again, I would have the contractor put something soft under it, like a cork underlayment. It has that hollow clicky sound that snap-together floors sometimes have. We have not had a bright ans sunny day, so I have not gotten a good picture of it yet. It is a very dark color. We do like it, so far.

The bookshelves, desk, and french doors were all Craigslist finds. The chairs, file cabinet, and the base cabinets under the bookshelves are from a used office furniture shop. The rocker has been in my family since the mid 1930s, and was not new then. The loveseat was bought barely used from a family friend and it is covered with a Sure Fit slipcover. The rug is new from a local discount rug outlet.

It was my design, but was totally executed by my contractor, Jim Hartman of Contract Remodeling of Roseville, MI. He is a perfectionist and an honest and reliable hard-working man. He reinstalled the foyer trim, re-sized (drywall work) the opening of the living room to fit the new french doors, drove and got the french doors from the house of the people who sold them, installed the new window (and another in the laundry room), installed the new floor, cut, stained and installed the baseboard and toe moldings, re-routed the heat vent from a floor register to a toe-kick register in a base cabinet, primed and painted the new opening into the room, stained, cut and installed the french door jambs, installed a new ceiling light where none existed previously and a dimmer switch for it, installed lights in the crown molding of the bookcase, and moved furniture back into the room. He also touched-up our painting and repainted the ceiling.

To build the bookcases from five 8 ft tall used bookcases and three used office storage cabinets, he first spaced them evenly, cut three to a height to go to the ceiling when placed on top of the base cabinets, secured the five bookcases to the walls and cabinets after conferring with me on the design possibilities, made the picture-frame moldings on the doors of very modern-looking base cabinets in order to make them more classic-looking, installed the fluted molding, rosettes, and crown molding, stained and installed oak baseboard molding to match the rest of the room, and then had his helper prime the entire wall of bookcases and 32 shelves and then give all of this three coats of paint. He will also make the countertop for the library bases using Wilsonart laminate and beveled edge molding from Wilsonart. My hospitalization interfered with our project in only one way - I forgot to order the edge! So it was late in arriving and Jim will do it between his other projects in the next few weeks.

The cost for all of Jim's work in this room, including materials of oak baseboards, jambs, and toe moldings; stain, bookcase lumber (several 2x4s behind the middle three, the boards between each cabinet that were later covered by moldings, all of the moldings and other trim pieces) was... $5700.00! Jim had told me last year that if we wanted to have wall-to-wall bookcases in the front room in oak, built from scratch, the cost would be around $12,000. Well, we don't have oak, but we sure do have bookcases!

From this...

and this

to this!

If you click below, you will be taken to my Pbase album. I have the pictures on size "large." You can re-size the pictures to smaller sizes underneath the photo. Hit "next" to go forward and see the finished room. I will add more as I get the decorating done. If you want to see the whole saga, including broken concrete floor and foundation repairs, go to the top of the page and click on the words "Front Room." Then go to the numbers above my shingles photos and click on the "1" and then click on the first photo on page 1. You can then see the whole story with all of the captions and details, foundation repairs, shingles outbreak, and all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pbase album of project

Comments (23)

  • TxMarti

    Wowzers! I don't know which of you saw the potential in those bookcases, but I am so impressed with your vision of what it could be and then became. What happened to the small cabinet? Is it one of the lower cabinets on the bookcases?

    I love the detail on the cases and the lights. The chandelier is perfect over the desk too.

    How many times have you walked in there and just smiled at how nice it is?

  • Nancy in Mich

    Hi Marti,
    Thanks! I walk in there, sit down and smile! Tonight we located the shelf clips, so DH and I installed most of the shelves. I will get pictures tomorrow. We are going to wait a week for book installation because there are three layers of paint on those shelves, done over three days. We want it good and cured before we start scuffing it up with books. On Thursday, I spent all afternoon in there. Jim and Keith left about 1:00. My sis stopped by about 2:30, and I just sat in there, waiting for her (and cleaning the furniture that sat in the basement for the past several years). After she left, I sat and waited for DH. He got home around 5:30 and was appropriately blown away! I sat in there again yesterday and today. Yes, I sit there and look around and sigh! It looks exactly as I imagined it would look. The finished countertop will be icing on the cake.

    The small cabinet is one of three small cabinets (36" wide, 22" deep) that make up the base of the three center sections. Jim added molding to the doors (my design) to make them look more traditional.

    DH really likes the chandelier, too. I was afraid it would be too fru-fru for him, but he does not think so. The room had no ceiling light at all. The LED ribbon in the crown molding was in my original design, but the chandelier was a last-minute add-on. I was at Lowes, buying something for the project,and walked down the lighting aisle as I went to the register. I saw it and gasped. It was perfect for above his desk. The sides have the same fluted look as the moldings on the bookcases. Now, between the LEDs and the chandy, there is lots of ambient lighting. Lamps will be needed for reading on the loveseat, that is all.

    Hey, are you watching baseball? Your team is headed to the World Series! Our poor Tigers just could not catch a break tonight.

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  • TxMarti

    Yes! How 'bout them Rangers!!!!!

    I'm sorry about your Tigers. The camera showed one of the players gazing sadly out at the field as the Rangers were jumping around and hugging each other, and I felt so sorry for them - for a minute. lol

    It is so exciting to see the team that we have loved for so long make it to the World Series.

  • desertsteph

    wow - just wow! you have some vision! and that price! jim is a miracle worker! heck, he'd make short work of the few things i need done... it'd probably be cheaper (and quality work) to pay to fly him out here...

    you have a jewel of a room there!

  • Shades_of_idaho

    WOW It is so pretty in there and not too fussy. I bet your husband is very pleased with you and your abilities to pull this together. I also LOVE the chandelier.

  • TxMarti

    I'm thinking the same thing Steph. We have a neighbor who is an electrician. He is always saying if we need anything, just ask. So we asked him if he could give us a price to wire in a few more outlets and put in a couple of lights in the garage. He was supposed to come Saturday. On Friday, at 6:30, he texted and said he would be there at 7am. I got up at 6am (and I am sooo not a morning person), and there was another text on my phone that said his boss asked him to go golfing and would it be ok to do the work next Saturday? Well, what am I going to say? If I say no, then he just says he can't do it, or cancels his golf with boss and comes over all ticked off. Meanwhile, I'm working in semi-dark with the drywall, and have all these light fixtures laying around. Yet, I also understand that when the boss makes an offer, you don't turn it down if you are trying to make brownie points with the boss.

  • idie2live

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Moccasin

    Marti, I know how you feel about the delays. Maybe you could get him to show you how to bring the wiring part of it to the point where a licensed electrician has to finish, so you can get the grunt work done yourself. As long as a licensed person finishes, it is usually considered to code. Or so I was told by an electrician who had his helper snaking wires through the walls and such for my work.

    And Nancy, I do so appreciate what you've accomplished. No joke, Jim has a devoted following on this forum. He's really earned it. Does this happen to be the last project you'll use him for... until 3 whole years? Does that mean he is "available?" hehehehe. Marti and Steph will be vying for dibs on Jim's time!!!!! And next winter, so will I. :)

    Congratulations, Nancy. I'd sit there an smile too if I was in your place...

  • TxMarti

    Yes, what is Jim doing next?

    Steph probably needs him next, then me, then ML. We could keep him busy for awhile.

    I wanted to ask if your original purchase was all five bookshelves, or just the three in the center?

    BTW, I sill chuckle over your term "project creep".

  • InteriorStylist

    GREAT job Nancy!!! Jim is fantastic!!! My hubby is also a great cabinetmaker & does these all the time - he says to tell you it's good to see other people doing great work.


  • lavender_lass

    Beautiful! I love the way they turned out. I'm looking forward to seeing the shelves and all your books, etc. Congrats on a wonderful room!

    Not really a Tigers fan, but GO LIONS! LOL I guess 5-1 isn't too least we beat Chicago, Monday night :)

  • desertsteph

    "As long as a licensed person finishes, it is usually considered to code"

    the electrician I've been using (for yrs) is older - early 70's. he has a younger guy working with him who does all of the 'running/physical' type stuff. he is there at any connections to watch, guide etc.

    I'm sure Jim'd make short work of my 'projects'. The biggest one would be laying laminate flooring. the others are things like hook up dw, change out light fixtures. maybe change a ceiling fan that I think is to small for the room. put up 4 shelves that are high up. I can do the lower ones. install 2 closet doors... not major stuff really. sad that so many guys can't even do a decent job on these things.

  • Moccasin

    Steph, I hear a plaintive note in your voice with that last remark.

    How about one day we talk Jim into becoming a "roadie"...
    Living in his motor home, traveling the country, stopping in different places where he can plug in his power for FREE, have home cooked meals to order, and in the process make his living doing these sweet little projects? Then off he goes to the next "vacation" spot?

    I once knew a couple who lived on their sailboat and he would repair sailboats while in each port.It was an alternative lifestyle alright, but it worked for them.

  • TxMarti

    Jim has a motor home? Perfect!

  • Nancy in Mich

    I think ML invented Jim's motor home. As far as I know, he does not have one. I told him that my internet pals have work waiting for him in Arizona, Texas, and Mississippi, and he just shakes his head.

    Come this weekend, we plan to start loading the bookshelves and the cupboards and file cabinet. Maybe I will have more pictures then.

  • desertsteph

    "I think ML invented Jim's motor home."

    I'll be happy to pay him with 'invented' money - as long as his work isn't just 'invented' - lol!

    Jim shaking his head - that's what he gets for doing such quality work at a reasonable price - and not taking a year to do it! puts him in high demand!

    there aren't a lot like him around...

  • Nancy in Mich

    Jim came back and took the countertop, laminate, and special edging today. That means we should have a shiny rock-looking countertop any day now! Tomorrow, we will load the bookshelves with books (minus the missing countertop) and set up the phone and printer, synthesizer, laptop docking station, and put things away in the cupboards and files. Yay! Move-in weekend has come!

    Now, no photos until the countertop is back....

  • Shades_of_idaho

    Well Gee if Jims first stop would be Idaho my neighbor has a nice motor home for sale very reasonable. I am sure the two of us could keep him busy for a little bit before the snow flies. LOL

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    nancy, that looks wonderful!! What a great outcome from some used office furniture. Your vision has been realized--enjoyment of your lovely room should carry you through the cold Michigan winter!

    BTW, I love the colors in the plaid rug.

  • Nancy in Mich

    thanks, MamaG! I love the rug, too. At first we thought it was a blue-green, then it looked green. Now it is green with a touch of blue in it.

    I think I forgot to answer somebody's question about the lawyer's bookshelves earlier. There were actually seven bookshelves in the lot. Two were 30" wide by 8 ft high. I sold those. We used all five of the 36" by 8 ft ones.

    I am somewhat amazed at how well built and how good looking the project turned out. That is all Jim. I am awfully proud of having the idea, though. I find myself constantly thinking about how this old piece of furniture or that old thing could be turned into something new. How I wish I could make them myself! (My hands and elbows and wrists and shoulders won't let me do the work.) And how I wish I could do something this creative for a living!

  • shelayne

    Nancy, it looks beautiful! It is so exciting to see your vision become a reality, isn't it? :^)

  • Nancy in Mich

    Shelayne, it is so rewarding to have your imagined project become real. I have not touched it much yet, I just look at it a lot! LOL!!

    I caught another virus this week, and spent three days home from work. One day I just sat on that loveseat with my computer, looking out the new window and looking at the room while I cruised THS, wrapped in a warm blanket.

  • Moccasin

    Nancy, if you have a chance to visit your library, PLEASE look for a book by Jocasta Innes titled PAINT MAGIC or NEW PAINT MAGIC. I know you will love it as much as I have for the past 15 years or so. Doing things with old furniture is basically is what it is about.

    She is a Brit, the pictures are lovely.

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