As it was a maids room in 1939, and since it looked like it hadn't changed since The Wizard of Oz was on the big screen, the client wanted a revamp. The ceiling had a leak at one point, so there was some repairing and texturing to be done, as well as with the entire room, because, face it, it always covers a myriad of sins. It was a colder room, as in not much sunlight, so it needed a warmer tone, and I found the perfect color: Not too headache inducing, not too tanning bed orange. A perfect balance. The floors, while imperfect, just needed a skim coat of varnish...
This was the maid's room bathroom. Originally it had an over-sized sink, a faucet tap for... buckets, I'll assume, a medicine cabinet that stuck out from the wall due to the vent and cold galvanized pipe running behind it, clear glass windows to hang a creepy curtain set that leaned into the room, and a handy door to the garage inches from the entrance, which was steps outside the Yellow Room door as well. So, replace the sink with something minimal that fit the room, have the hot tap moved to be closer to the other due to the sink now being smaller, closed up the doorway, replaced the glass with something textured to let in light yet maintain privacy, and replaced the medicine cabinet with a mirror in a nice frame found on the premises.
At one point this was known as the 'Pit of Despair.' Windows to a lovely garden covered with moldy curtains and a work bench, a fireplace blocked by a cheap bookcase, junk piled high around abandoned treadmills on a crumbling carpet, musty sofas facing a huge flat-screen, un-insulated walls covered with scuffed (actually nice quality) paneling that was crisscrossed with extension cords and CAT-5 wiring. After emptying it, I'd removed and saved the paneling for later use and removed the ceiling of lath, plaster, and chicken wire, then repairing any dry-rot. After the earthquake sheer-walling and clipping was over, the client wanted it to be an art studio/rental, so industrial extraction fans were installed to vent turpentine and varnish fumes outside. After insulating the walls and ceiling, dry wallers did their thing and contractors installed heating vents and reworked the electrical, I painted the walls a neutral gray, cleaned, repaired, and stained the doors to match the new Murphy bed. The 'closet' originally was the lowest section of a drafty and dusty dumbwaiter leading to the roof, as well as a passage to a low storage area. I built a floor and ceiling within, lined it with the saved paneling, created a magnetically attached hatch, then stained it to match the rest of the woodwork. The fireplace had been stained with the paneling when it was installed originally sometime during the Eisenhower Administration, so I acid washed, then stone sealed it to a mottled pattern. Industrial artist lighting now ringed the room to create an indirect ambient light, as well as a separate artist model spotlight now on the fireplace. Flagstones were industrial glued on the now acid washed and concrete sealed floor, which then was covered with a heavy-duty strip tile. Redwood was placed around the flagstones, as well as the door frames and windows, as I hate particle board in what could be considered damp areas like ground floors. The end result is a warm, comfortable space, as the 'Pit of Despair' is long forgotten.
Originally the basement laundry in an unfinished room crammed with paint cans and solvents. After moving the laundry up to the 3rd (or 5th, it's complicated) floor, running the water and drain through the original chute, the room was insulated, walls and ceiling dry walled. The ceiling had an unusual problem as the new heating ducts were criss-crossing at odd angles, so instead of the ceiling being too low, I built a step-system into it, to make a lighting bay closer to the original ceiling. I located a trio of hanging lights for the bay, as well as installed LED spots for the future cooking area. The doors, windows and warm yellow walls lined with redwood, the trim and ceiling a tinted white. After the plumber and electrician did their thing for the new stove and sink, the IKEA invasion drop happened. The sealed floors were covered with the industrial strip vinyl. Now it's a cozy, warm, and quite nice.
Outside the Yellow Room lay a hallway that had the carefree pep of a prison in Central America. To the left lay the garage, to the right steps to a landing that either led to the main part of the house and a window facing a grid of dusty bricks, or down to the Garden Room and beyond. The immediate wall needed... something, so I cut a window into it, then finished it off with the saved wood paneling (see: Garden Room) to give it a hunting lodge feel, minus the mounted fish. The walls on the stairs were pebbly and, well, depressing, as did the light, which needed someone hanging from it (see: Haunted Mansion). I located a nice kitchen light, rewired it to flip, then installed it. The walls were skimcoat textured then painted, the window repaired and glass replaced with a patterned glass for light. The rest of the paneling was edged with saved paneling.
The 'before' pictures aren't around, but I'll give you an image: Dank, dusty, cracked plaster, built-in cabinets blocked by two desks, a few filing cabinets, blackout curtains blocked a bay view, the brass shelf-pins and shelves were painted over to immobility. So, after clearing it out, the shelves were cleaned and repainted, the pins soaked in TSP to remove all the paint. A dynamic color was chosen as the books would cover them mostly, but enough to give a hint of style. The windows repaired. The built in screens cleaned and reworked. The floor sealed in wax. In the end, a comfortable reading room.
The original decor was to appease two boys, but now that they'd gone, it was time for this room to grow up. As the client couldn't afford to replace the tile (blue on the floors, yellow in the shower), a compromise of green was chosen. The light fixtures originally had those open topped 'lantern' types that always seem to fill with bugs, so I'd swapped them out with something more deco to create more ambient light.
A dank section of this client's house needed a dynamic color. So, personally, I like to pull and remove any paint on metal, that is hinges, door hardware, escutcheons, and strike plates, because these painted over make it harder to use, and, frankly, it looks lazy. Besides, the metal itself can be buffed or polished to a gleam.
This was a farmhouse in Oakland. The front room was kind of beaten down, and the woman living there wanted to shake things up a bit. The game plan I go by is to use whatever is handy, usually. The rug had to go, revealing what appeared to be four deep holes where I'll assume Farmer Jones had his bedposts dig into the softer floor, also where someone left a constellation of nails chasing down a squeaky floorboard. The walls were repaired and painted, the broken windows replaced, the wood trim and floors puttied and stained. Also repaired and painted an abandoned low bookshelf, then stacked it with others around the house for a wall of storage. All in all, a cheerful room.
...as these things go, earthquake rehab, that is, the engineers needed the rolling doors to be removed due to reinforcing with metal panels, so...
I cobbled together a set of four temporary doors, two attached to each other on either side, with plywood and fit them into a reduced, now 8' insulated opening. To finish it off, I added a platform below to keep out the rain and secure the doors with kick-locks below.
Dog Run Yard
The client has two dogs that she needed to keep in a side yard. I proposed (and built) an exit through the living room wall and a fence for them.