In any restoration there are surprises, both good and bad. The good news? We discovered just how nice our built-in storage bench is. The storage bench, sometimes referred to as a gentleman caller’s bench, is a fairly unique feature in our neighborhood for a bungalow of this size. It was difficult to see the details of the hardware and woodwork because they were hidden under layers and layers of paint. Everything seemed to blend in with the white walls. We didn’t even notice the bench before we moved in because the previous owners had placed a huge projection screen television in front of it.
It never occurred to me that anyone would paint over a mirror! I felt the bench needed a tiny mirror hung on it’s back but decided to wait until we completed the restoration. Thank goodness I waited or else I would have shattered the original mirror when I hammered a nail into it.
We were amazed to find the amount of detail present on the hooks. Each hook has a tiny face on it.
The bad news? Someone drilled holes in the pocket doors and later filled them in with plaster. The only thing I can figure out is that someone put a chain through the holes and then added a padlock to keep that room secure. My neighbor told me that our house was broken into twice when the previous owner’s grandmother lived here. She added bars to the windows after the second break in.
I’m not sure of the best way to repair these holes? The plaster will need to be knocked out. Maybe the holes can be filled in with Bondo?
The front door. You can see where part of the door frame was been replaced with plywood. That is also probably the result of a past break in.
The windows on either side of the fireplace are now stripped.
Built-in bookcases. The doors are missing. We hope to some day have replacement doors made.
Built-in storage bench with mirror and coat hooks.