If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I live in a circa 1906 house that I’ve been restoring from a 1950s two-family conversion back to a one family (which in my case consists of me and some cats).
Right now, I’m meant to be putting the finishing touches on the two new upstairs bathrooms, working on a built-in linen closet for the hallway, then tackling the spindles and handrail for the front stairs.
Far down on my reno list is doing something with the large opening between the front hall and the living room (see above). Originally, there were likely either columns atop knee walls there (like the house two doors down to my right) or a slightly smaller opening and pocket doors (like the houses one and four doors down to my left). I can’t put in pocket doors; there is HVAC ducting and wiring now in the walls. So I’ve been planning to someday put in knee walls and columns, and perhaps those knee walls would be bookcases, with glass doors.
Yesterday, I visited a local salvage place to donate some stuff I don’t need. I should not have looked around. There, tucked in tightly behind other stuff (so tightly that I couldn’t get a good picture) are two columns atop (non-bookcase) knee walls. And the fit is off by only a little – an easy fix by eschewing the three-sided frame, and having the bits connect directly to the plaster walls and header (And OK, adding a small base…but that’s simple).
The price – $900. I can’t build these for $900 (heck – I’m not even sure I can build the columns at all…not that I’ve ever let that stop me before!). But I have become markedly parsimonious in my self-employment, and this reno job is near the bottom my list (because it’s not truly necessary). Still…what are the odds on the (almost) exact thing I want ever again becoming available?
I’m leaning toward yes. (But if I fret over it long enough, someone else will buy them…problem solved!)