Maggie & Ed's Renovation: "The Music Room Finally Feels Like A Room"

Maggie & Ed's Renovation: "The Music Room Finally Feels Like A Room"

Tess Wilson
May 4, 2015
Ed and Buster imagining what it will be like to sit at the counter

Name: Ed and Maggie Williams (of MVW Architect)
Type of Project: Kitchen/dining/music room renovation
Location: Freret, New Orleans, LA
Type of building: Craftsman-style shotgun double

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Despite a few hiccups- missing brackets, forgotten soundproofing, ceiling fan relocation- Maggie and Ed and their contractors have made impressive progress this week. It's great to hear that setbacks don't have to set you back too far!

Overall room photo with the kitchen island wall in place.

From Maggie and Ed:

First thing this week they frame the kitchen island wall. The location of this wall is especially critical- even just an inch off can make the aisle uncomfortably small. Having that wall in place really helps us grasp what the space will feel like. We place a cabinet and stools up against the wall and happily, the clearances around the island seem good.
Things get messier as plumbing and electrical goes in.
When they start to rough-in the electrical and locate the ceiling fan, they realize the hanging bracket was lost during demo (for the old kitchen fan we wanted to reuse). It seems to be a pretty specific propriety bracket, not something you can just pick up at the hardware store. Fortunately though, when I contact the manufacturer to see about ordering another, they say they will just mail us one for free!
New sheetrock on the ceiling. You can see the original dining room ceiling fan location, then the spot I first choose to relocate it, and the final spot is just out of the picture. Hindsight is 20-20!
Once we see the ceiling fan located in the spot I drew though, we realize it is a bit too far away from the corner of the room. We move it about 18" over to avoid a dark spot at the dining table.
The added layer of sheetrock at the existing walls filling in the weird gap.
They install sheetrock super fast in only one day and I realize I forgot to mention we wanted to insulate the music room walls. While it's not a recording studio, we figure every little bit helps. Sheepishly, I mention this, and Bennett nicely offers to take the sheetrock down from those few walls and insulate. In just one more day they finish all the taping and floating.
Everything is taped and floated.
The music room finally feels like a "room", but its hard get a great picture of the space through the doorway.
We flip the swing of our bedroom door so now it opens into the room, which makes more sense, and frees up space in the new laundry nook.
The laundry nook door frame & transom
Some carpentry items also happen this week: The bedroom door swing is reversed, and the laundry alcove door frame and transom go up. We were able to re-use this door frame and transom from an earlier renovation when we first bought the house. This used to be the back door on the other side of the house.
Ceiling trim inspiration photo
Lastly, we need to decide what sort of ceiling trim we want in the kitchen, if any at all. After searching Houzz and Pinterest for a while, I come across an idea that's simple and modern, while still proportionate to the high ceilings in our house. Bennett proposes accomplishing this look with two 1x4s for $450. We won't have trim at the ceiling in the music room, so those joints get taped.

Estimated time for project: 12 weeks
Time remaining: 7 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #9 of Maggie and Ed's renovation.

(Images and diary text: Maggie and Ed Williams)

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