See how the dining room is in the center of the floor plan of the house? This makes a lot of sense. The dining room is the connection point. It connects food preparation with guests in the living room and with family in the solarium. It connects to entering guests in the foyer.
The south wall is bow-shaped with large windows looking out to the Des Moines river valley. It’s a pretty, wooded view. Under them are radiators covered by a window seat.
Every room in a house like this has a surprise. See the tin can tacked to the floor below? It was covered by carpeting. It was originally for hot water from the radiator. When this radiator was replaced, someone simply covered the hole with a flattened soup can. We’re debating whether we should replace it… and if it was tomato or chicken noodle.
The ceiling was covered with acoustic tile – probably in the sixties. We’ve removed the tile and cut a channel in the plaster ceiling and access holes in the wall. We put can lights in the ceiling and ran electricity and water up to the second floor for a future laundry room.
The plaster walls were badly cracked and bowed away from the studs. A couple of photos follow that show where we drilled and glued the plaster back to the studs.
After the screws are removed, a couple of coats of drywall mud levels over the repairs.
We replaced the picture frame molding along the ceiling with a wider decorative molding. And here’s the problem with that: the walls aren’t flat and the ceiling isn’t level, yet you have to fit wood trim onto it that is straight and square. This is beyond me. We hired a pro.
I can, however, scrape and sand and stain and finish and wax. Though the floors show 110 years of love and use… they are still beautiful.