Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Demo Discoveries!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  We had a lovely family dinner with lots of laughter, delicious food and great stories.  And are you loving my new header as much as I am?  When Britt offered to give me a hand adding a little oompf to my blog I was over the moon!  I couldn't believe how fast and helpful she was...thanks Britt!  Check out her pink peacock designs link on my sidebar as well :)

To help organize my thoughts I'm going to focus on the living/dining room first, so I'll take you from demo and soon to where we are today!  Then I'll show the kitchen afterwards.  Sometimes I'm a bit of a linear thinker.  From the minute we started tearing things down, I hoped and prayed that we would find some super cool time capsule from owners before us, or some love note that slipped behind a baseboard and was forgotten for decades.  And while we didn't find anything like that in the living room, there were still a few neat discoveries that told us a bit more about our house and what it was originally like. 

Old windows have counterweights in them to keep the windows open.  The weights hang on a rope and after years of opening and closing, the rope often frays and the weights drop, leaving you with windows that can no longer stay open on their own.  After taking the trim off our windows we uncovered the weights (7lbs each!)

(I am determined to find a use for, or a way to display, these original cast iron weights, but I'm having trouble coming up with ideas so if anyone has seen something or just has an idea I'd be happy to hear!)

After taking down a wall in the dining room we uncovered original electrical boxes for wall sconces.  That little circle thing on the wall is the original box, the other one is hiding behind the door leaning on the wall.  So we updated the electrical so that we could bring the sconces back!   Who would hide a treasure like that!?

Taking off the baseboards uncovered some green shag carpet that was in the house I'm guessing in the 70s??


Of course there was knob and tube wiring which had been updated before we bought the house

We also uncovered 3 original doorways which had all been covered up in order to create separate living areas for the duplex.  The red lines outline the original doorways we found.  I was adamant that should we uncover any pocket doors we would keep and restore them.  Unfortunately there were none to be found  :(  This first one was the doorway into the front entrance from the living room.

Below, the green painter's tape shows the doorway that previous owners added in after closing the original ones off.  The red line shows the doorway from the dining room into the kitchen.

And then we found the doorway in between the living and dining rooms.  In the pic below, the door on the left is the door the other owners put in to turn the dining room into a bedroom.  The middle larger opening is the original opening, which had we found pocket doors (as neighbours on either side of us have) we would have restored it.  But there weren't any so we opted for a more open flow.  On the wall on the right you can also see both the sconce electrical boxes.

We were lucky to have a very generous friend offer to help one evening with the demo.  He definitely helped give us our second wind.  That thing they're knocking down is the shower/tub area of a bathroom that had been put in.  I'll have to draw up some floor plans to show you because it's a little hard to explain.  The bathroom straddled the kitchen and the dining room.  Awk-ward. 

Finally, the little black thing on the bottom of the staircase is the original telephone hook up, which I think is sooo so cute.  I can just picture the old fashioned phone and telephone table that would have sat in the entry way.  So romantic.

What I learned:  Even though I found out that I seriously dislike the demo phase, I LOVE discovering all of secrets an old house can hold.

Did your demo unveil anything interesting?  Any thoughts on how I can incorporate the cast iron weights into our home??


  1. Our house held very few of those secrets when we ripped it apart. We found a couple layers of covered up flooring, and we discovered one of the wall colours of the past when we took off the light switch covers. We also learned that the toilet had been moved once and the access to the attic twice. But we found no love notes or relics of the past either.

    As for the weights... hmm... That's a tough one! I'll let you know if I think of anything.

    Love the header!

  2. So cool! We found one of those window weights during our bathroom reno too! If I think of something good, I will let you know :-)

    We also found some really really old nails that we put in a shadowbox.

  3. Thanks ladies :) Janice, shadow boxes are such a good way to display those neat finds!