Monday, January 18, 2016

Schoolhouse Update

When we bought a 1932 schoolhouse last summer, we knew we had some projects we wanted to do.

And while we don't have the arduous task of transforming it from a school into a livable home, we did list 93 projects we wanted to do to update the old schoolhouse to better suit our style.  

We have crossed 26 things off the list in 5 months, which is a decent start.  Some projects are BIG and some are smaller, and some we haven't fully decided on what changes we want to make.
sign, old school, TV cover up, sliding screens, schoolhouse, library,

But, here are a few things we have done and are "sitting with" for now.

The previous owners favored Asian style decorating and had these shoji screens made to hide and close the up TV and entertainment area under the raised library.
shoji screens, sliding screens, library, old schoolhouse,
 The photo below is from when the previous owners lived in the schoolhouse.
before picture, old schoolhouse,
I wanted something not too busy (all those books in library are visually busy) and something that reflects that this is schoolhouse.  
schoolhouse, sign, handlettered, sliding screens, covering up a TV, paint, library,
We took one side of the grid on the shoji screens off and removed the rice paper sandwiched between the two grids.  We cut four pieces of 1/4" thick plywood to fit where the grid was.  

I laid the four pieces of plywood together as if they were one, large sign.  After painting the background greige, I used letters I printed from the computer to trace to spell out Central Park School, which was the name of our schoolhouse.
handlettered sign, large sign, sliding screen, paint, plywood, old schoolhouse,
I kept it simple, something that looks as if it might have been out on the road to mark the school location. I sanded it a bit to weather it.

Then we placed the plywood on the remaining grid and toenailed small nails into the edges. The screens are on a track system and slide open and closed. 
library, quilt, schoolhouse, vintage bench, side table, books,
In the library we removed the dark reflecting film they had over the windows and added roman shades.  
large sign, school sign, sliding screen, library, schoolhouse,
I found this little stool/bench in the workshop, sanded and clear coated it for a side table.  
My sweet friend made the fantastic school themed quilt. This is the best place to sit and have morning coffee.  
sitting area, quilt, side table, farmhouse bench, chippy paint, schoolhouse, library,
Other changes we still want to make to this area is replacing the very modern looking propane fireplace with something that looks a little more vintage.  We plan on changing out the railing in the library with something a little more rustic and industrial.  And we are undecided on the bookshelves--I want fewer paperbacks and taller shelves that can "breathe".

When feeling overwhelmed, which is easy to do when you have listed 93 projects, we remind ourselves that you eat an elephant one bite at a time.  Just keep chewing!  HERE are links to what the house looked like when we moved in.


  1. I have been looking forward to more posts on what you are doing with that old schoolhouse. It's just so unique! Your school sign is great there.

  2. What an interesting project. I love what you're doing.

  3. You will get it done! Everything I have seen you finish has been great!

  4. Love the school sign, it is perfect for that spot. I'm excited to follow along with your projects!


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