COVID-19 = Boredom = Projects, The Third Floor

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, I chatted with my boss as I prepared to leave for the day. Nothing too heavy, just the state of the world and the growing global pandemic. I tossed my laptop in my bag, made sure my trash can was empty, and took a glance at my desk before walking for the stairwell – that was ten months ago. Thank God, I have essential co-workers who have adopted my plant, because it would be dead ten times over by now.

The U.S. was preparing for it’s shutdown, and I knew that my son’s daycare would close and I would need to work from home. We all estimated three months and things would be back to normal (FOOLS!), but things have yet to return to normal. For the first two weeks, I worked from the dining room table with my son at under my feet, with every work call on perma-mute for fear of the noise that was in my background. That is when I knew if I was going to be successful at working from home, I would need to find a space for me. So I trudged up the the third floor and got to work.

Originally, the third floor was most likely used as servant/staff living space for the Good Family. When I was searching through census records for the family, I found instances of servants living with the Goods in their home in Philadelphia, so it would make sense that there would be space for servants in the summer home. Gwen Coronway commented to me while we were finalizing the sale of the house, that she and her sisters once had their bedrooms on the third floor, and it was reworked to allow for air conditioning ducts to run down from the attic. The space is approximately 500 square feet (larger than some of my early apartments). The plan is to move our son (when he becomes a moody teenager) to the third floor and hope whatever smell he emanates doesn’t float downstairs. But for now, it is simply an empty space.

When we moved in, we had carpeted the entire third floor, however the adoption and quarantine of a Ferrel cat left the carpet in a horrible state, so my first order of business was to remove it. It was such a shame, the carpet was beautiful, but all of my attempts to remove the urine failed. I cut the carpet into small sections, rolled it up, duct taped it, and threw it off the turret balcony on trash nights. Removing the staples and tack boards wasn’t too cumbersome, I did manage to injure myself a couple of times, but what is renovation without a little blood? When I began to remove the tack boards I realized why none of my urine removal efforts had worked… they were soaked and falling apart.

I painted all of the walls and trim. The trim on the third floor is not historic (added during the reconfiguration) and did not match the rest of the house in color at all, it was a tan cream that depressed me. So all of the trim was painted HIGH GLOSS WHITE! Now many of you are thinking “high gloss?????” and I say “yes, high gloss”, for two reasons; one – it makes me happy (shiny!), and two – with a teenage boy in the future, high gloss will wipe clean very easily.

I tried to incorporate my son in the paint color choices, but his favorite color is red… so he wanted every wall to be red. Can you imagine living in a firetruck red room? No offense to those of you with red rooms, but it doesn’t give a restful vibe to me, so I steered him (as a good mommy can) to a dark blue. He chose Gentelman’s Gray 2062-20 from Benjamin Moore and I selected their “ben” line of interior paint. I had never used Ben Moore before, but after this room, I was sold! The paint was super easy to paint with, covered the wall in two coats and is such a deep and lovely color. I had purchased a gallon of paint and used it on a few walls and still have the bulk of the gallon left over.

The main bedroom is a repository for random (IKEA) furniture, I hesitate to put too much effort into furniture and decorations since it will eventually be a teenage boys room. My office is now a functional area (more IKEA furniture that will be remedied at a future date) with pictures and decor that gives me peace and solace.

The remaining portions of the third floor are my clothes closet, linen closet, and a bathroom, which I will tell you all about next time. Stay Safe!

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