The bookcase on the right was added by the original owners, a long time ago. This pic is when we just moved in, as I didn’t take a ‘before’ shot for this post. Anyway, while useful, it interrupts the flow, conflicts with the design, and narrows the space by our entrance. It had to go.
Having moved our books to the guest room, the time had come. Removing it was easy. We cut caulked edges with a Stanley knife, extracted a few nails, and loosened the bookcase further with a crow-bar. Then we prised it away from the wall, being careful not to cause any damage.
Now the bookcase was free, we set to work on the paneling, peeling-off the white(ish) paint from the top section, which had always remained uncovered. This came off pretty easily, with a razor, and only took about ten minutes.
Then we removed what appeared to be a thin coat of primer or stain, using Citristrip. You can see how the wood grain starts to reveal itself. It dries much lighter in color, but this is pretty much what the paneling will eventually look like.
Next morning, we awoke to freshly resurrected paneling. Not sure it’s healthy how excited I was about this, but there you go. It’s in great shape, just needing a light sand, condition, stain and wax. But that can wait for another day.
We also uncovered some cork flooring, previously under the bookcase. This was the original Eichler flooring used in our model, and would have run throughout the house. Flooring is a little down the list, so this will stay for now. And it’s a good talking point.
Now the bookcase is gone, it makes a big difference. The entrance is really opened up, giving a much clearer view into the living room, and the back yard, immediately upon entering. This makes the space feel way more open and inviting.
Looking towards the doorway, it makes an even bigger difference. You can see the whole door, and everything lines up, as the architects intended. We’ll probably get a low-level bench (this would be perfect) to go next to the wall…eventually.
Next step is to follow the paneling around the corner, to the right (behind the couch) and restore the main section, facing our living room. That’s been painted with several layers over the years, so will be more challenging, for sure.