Our new storefront seemed nearly move-in ready when we decided to purchase, but we're going for a particular feel for the shop. Of course we had a few projects in mind...
In the front room we wanted to move the slat wall. Slat wall is great for movable shelving and hooks, but we had pegboard planned for the rest of the space, and thought it might be useful in the center room, which was to be our work room. Kate and Dad tackled the removal, and found plenty of screws through a layer of paneling, all installed while the previous paint was wet! But, off it came. The wall repair was minimal, and there was leftover matching paint in the back room. What luck! When we put it in the center room we made it a little shorter and cut a hole for the precious outlet.
The other major project in the front room involved the ceiling tiles. Several of them had stains, and the realtor told us to just swap them with a few tiles in the middle room. Rumor was another buyer was interested in tearing out the drop ceiling entirely to expose the original tin ceiling.
Kate and I sort of allowed each other one vanity project each in this remodel - a project not absolutely necessary, but one that would add to the "feel" of the place. This ceiling was Kate's vanity remodel. Kate and I both really like tin ceilings, but renovation/restoration on that scale was out of the question. Kate looked into other options, and found a really neat product that simply installed over the existing tiles and replicated a sort of tin ceiling look. It took a few evenings on a ladder and some sore arms, but the result was totally worth it.
Aside from the slatwall I mentioned above, we didn't do a thing to the middle room except move furniture in and replace a TV mount. The original mount was meant for a very large computer monitor and wouldn't fit the extra TV Kate had. But, the bracket was already drilled into a stud, so we used the same wall placement. It's nice to have music or a show on while we repair items.
The back room was another story. I don't think it had been touched since the 1970s. However, we were going to use every square inch of this shop, back room included. It has our desk, shipping station, furnace, internet modem and router, dressing room, bathroom, staff fridge and drinking water dispenser, vacuum closet, storage closet, and back door. Phew!
With Kate working days at a home center she was able to snag some mis-tinted paint. It was a shade pinker than either of us liked, but after we swapped the one ceiling fixture's bulbs from old incandescent to a blue-leaning fluorescent the tone evened out to a more neutral. We gladly said goodbye to the brown paneling.
My vanity project was the carpet in the back room. It was brown, and worn out. I don't think either of us expected that removing it also removed much of the old building smell! Underneath was worn out linoleum, so we had to cover it again. I used the same carpet tile that I had installed in my sewing room, and saved a little money by using the leftover tiles from that project. It looks like a patchwork quilt back there, which usually makes people smile.
And finally the dressing room. We didn't want a permanent structure since the room served so many purposes. As for the location, there were already hooks on the wall in one spot, and a plumbing access hatch that was begging to be covered by a bench.
The walls were cheap curtains strung on narrow PVC pipe. The outer corner was another vertical PVC pipe stuck in a bucket of concrete, and joined at the top with a T-joint. The pipes end at the walls with a closet pole mount. It provides privacy and stands up on it's own, but comes down pretty quickly when it needs to.
Oh - and we hung curtains around the furnace, plus put an outdoor plastic screen around the base. It seems less scary walking into the back room that way now that the corner of your eye only sees neutral curtains, not a large metal box.
I'll leave you with pictures of our outdoor signage so far. We have another vinyl sign to mount above the window outside, but we'll have to borrow a taller ladder.
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!