Lots of folks automatically think they have to add square footage to a home to make it fit their lifestyles. Since we are downsizing (again), we wanted to keep within the existing footprint of the house. After studying the floor plan, we found that there really was a lot of wasted space. One of the things usually lacking in vintage homes are closets. We're lucky in that Two Sisters has quite a few closets, just not in the right places. We needed a bedroom closet (since we're turning the former living room into the master bedroom) and a larger pantry in the kitchen. The former pantry turned into the air conditioner/water heater closet. The only other storage in there was a small broom closet.
To make space for a small walk-in bedroom closet, we borrowed space from the living room next door. A little framing, a new opening for the door, and we have a nice closet with plenty of space for both of us. The tall walls in there (9.5' tall) will have shelves for luggage storage, photo boxes, etc. Adding this makes some nice wall space that's just the right size for our entertainment center, and it also frames out the entry to the living room nicely (to the left).
And since we cook a lot and need space for storage of dried and canned foods, we borrowed space from a strange corner of the dining room that once held the old water heater and ancient gas wall heater (the space I used to make my new spice shelf). The inside used to be the broom closet, and we extended the walls so now there's also room for the recycling bins, water jugs, etc.
We keep making discoveries about the house. One of the recent ones was that the existing dining room used to be a covered porch off the back of the house. You can see the original ship-lap siding sticking out on the left-hand side inside the closet. We decided to leave it there since it was part of a load-bearing wall. Besides, I love the idea of walking inside the closet and seeing a piece of history.
Although we had to keep it covered up, the ceiling of that area also has the original beadboard on it underneath the sheetrock. I wanted to uncover it, but unlike all the other wood in the house, it's not in good shape. Perhaps we can do that at a later date when we don't have so much other stuff to do.
We got the framing finished in time for the electricians to come in yesterday to put in switches and outlets for those rooms, in addition to others. Much of what we have to do to the electrical system is updating it for modern appliances. There are things like three-pronged plugs, new circuits, new panels, etc. that have to be added. Necessary, but not necessarily fun.
Today, the "fun" continues as we remove 80-years of flooring to uncover the original pine sub-floor, just to cover it up again with new wood for the bathroom floor.