Owning a character home is a lifelong commitment. You can practically guarantee that someone has done something awful to it at some stage in its life. In my case, the entire house used to be a nursing home for the elderly. Industrial carpets, dividing walls, and lowered ceilings: this was how I found it back in 2005… and now I’ve uncovered a lovely pressed tin ceiling.
A lot of work’s been done since then. Most of the carpets are gone, and rooms are once again their original size. Actually, that last point is true as of only a few days ago, when I began work on the final room in need of restoration. You will see from the pictures that not only was the room divided up, but the ceiling was lowered to make heating it easier (but for some reason they didn’t think to insulate it!). Behind all of this lies the beautiful pressed tin ceiling. Unfortunately, it’s not in a great state, so I will need to learn some new skills quickly. But once it’s finished, a chandelier hanging from the center will be the cherry on top.
What I love about restoration jobs such as these, is they’re as much about uncovering as they are about adding modern touches. When done correctly, this will transform a property. In this case, we’ve planned to install LED lights surrounding the ceiling. When lit up, they will cast shadows upon this glorious centerpiece. We can even control the colours from our phones to really enhance the ambience. Speakers are also a must, and with the walls removed they’re easy to install.
The only sad part is about the floor. Underneath the heavy carpet lie beautiful Rimu floorboards. With a bit of our wood reviver and a bee’s wax finish they would look stunning. However, the timber would clash with the white ceiling, so we’re going to opt for a cream carpet. In reality the floorboards would cause a huge echo, and potentially require a lot of work if we tried to reduce how much they creaked. A carpet is simply much easier to maintain, and will really help soak up the noise.
So that’s about it for now. I will try keep you updated about my progress as I go along. Oh, and before someone say’s I was avoiding the elephant in the room, that large table is a recent (impulse) purchase: a Vegas-style craps table!