Demolition Ahead

We’re about to start on some big changes to the second floor of the Victorian!

Second Floor Kitchen Demo Plans

Second Floor Remodeling Layout

Thank you so much for all of the input and comments when I first wrote about our possible plans for the space (here and here). We’re still mostly going with my initial plan for reconfiguring the hallway, but I was swayed to keep the kitchen cabinetry. We’ll reuse it as closet and dresser space, as well as storage for books and toys.

Having all of the built-in storage in the hallway right outside of the bathroom has been great, and we’re sad to lose it. Making another bedroom out of an awkward second kitchen is worth it though, and we think it’s much closer to how the house was originally laid out.

The Plan

• Remove the sink cabinet
• Remove beadboard behind sink
• Repair or replace wood floor beneath the sink cabinet if necessary
• Remove plumbing and gas hookups from the kitchen space
• Swap out the sink for the one in the kitchen downstairs, if possible
• Remove the door and doorway separating the kitchen from the family room
• Trim door to size and rehang in existing doorway off the hall
• Remove the built-in storage and open up the hallway
• Remove carpet from the section of the hall near the stairs
• Repair or replace wood floor in the new section to match the rest of the hall
• Remove the door and doorway near the stairs
• Open up the end of the hall as much as possible (there may be issues with load-bearing walls and a need for headers)
• Add L-shaped jog to the end of the hallway, closing it off from the new room
• Split and relocate light switches (two switches are for the room, one is for the hallway light)
• Remove intercom
• Skim coat plaster walls in the hall section near the stairs (it’s textured, and the rest of our walls are smooth)
• Strip the wallpaper
• Repair walls
• Add baseboard trim to match existing

There will be a whole host of other things to do when it comes time to decorate, so tasks like painting and selecting new lighting fixtures aren’t even on the radar yet. Right now, we’re just hoping we can get the construction portion of the project done before baby number three arrives in September!

Exploring Northern France: Dijon

Dijon, France

I’m sharing more today from trip to Northern France! After first visiting Reims, we went to Dijon.

Dijon, France - Architectural Details

Nicole in Dijon, France

A Church in Dijon, France

The food was excellent (as it was everywhere in France, but especially at Loiseau des Ducs), and the food shopping was excellent too. The big marketplace we visited was bustling, and everything looked so fresh!

Food Marketplace in Dijon, France

Of course, you have to have Dijon mustard when in Dijon.

Moutarde Maille (Dijon Mustard, in France)

And more wine! More vineyards! This time, they’re producing Burgundies.

Burgundy Vineyards Near Dijon, France

Burgundy Wine in Dijon, France

As we explored, it’s hard not to notice that everything is more charming in France. Take this perfectly adorable orange bicycle, in front of a perfectly lovely doorway, for example.

A Cute Orange Bicycle in Dijon, France

See also: a perfectly blue vintage car, in front of a perfectly lovely lunch spot.

Vintage Blue Car in Poitiers, France

Carol, Dave, and Jordan climbed the Tour Philippe le Bon, for a view of the town. It’s 150 feet high, and after climbing to the top of Reims Cathedral the day before, my six-months-pregnant belly and me were out. Instead, I went by myself to the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne, which was just down the street from our hotel. I mean this in the best possible way — because I really liked it — the first floor was a little creepy. It was empty (though more people did filter through as I was there longer), and the first floor starts out with wax figures wearing period clothing, staged in sets, with French phrases in whimsical calligraphy floating across the glass displays of disembodied hands and other body parts.

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne, Dijon, France

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne, Dijon, France

I was super into it. The second floor was equally interesting, albeit it in a less creepy, more conventional way. There were various recreations of old-fashioned shops.

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne, Dijon, France

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne, Dijon, France

For a foolproof way to see the sights in Dijon, follow the Owl’s Trail. The Dijon Office of Tourism has maps with more information too, and you can follow short or long loops of the trail to see the historic city. And don’t forget to find the owl (La Chouette) on the corner of the Notre Dame in Dijon — rub it with your left hand and make a wish!

The Owl's Trail in Dijon, France

Church in Dijon, France

Dijon, France

Shopping inDijon, France

Pink in the Library

The day after I got back from my trip, I figured I may as well paint a room. Then I realized what a dummy I was for pushing myself too hard, and I took a few more days to rest before putting on a second coat of paint and finally finishing up. The library is now the most perfect shade of pale pink (Pink Ground from Farrow & Ball).

I tried to make the boy do most of the work, but he gave up about two minutes in. Thanks a lot, kid. I know three-year-olds are not the most reliable when it comes to manual labor, but can you not see the state your poor mother is in?

Painting Pals

I was eager to see some payoff after all of that painting, so I laid out one of the rugs I brought back from Morocco in an effort to create the illusion of a finished room. (Tricksy bloggers with their vignettes!) Eleanor went ahead and set up the pink stools around the table in preparation for a tea party — appropriate, since I drank mint tea while rug shopping.

Pink in the Library

I like the rug and I love that it would have the memory of picking it out in the Marrakech souk attached to it, but it’s not working in the larger context of the space right now. It’s too near the entryway and its vintage Persian Koliaei runner, and the two clash. The Persian can be used in the hallway upstairs though, which gives me a couple of options. Either I can find a runner to compliment the Moroccan rug, or just move the rug into the entry instead of the library. It’s a funny size (4’6″ x 8’6″), and it would actually fit pretty nicely, but I don’t know how well it would hold up to heavy traffic. Chicago winters are not kind to entryways with all of the salt and snow that gets tracked in, and the dense wool Persian is fairly impervious to all of that. I’ll have to play around with my options a bit more.

I am loving the pink walls though! I’d been missing my favorite color.

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