The architect’s plan called for the wall at the top of the stairs (pictured above) to be cut back to about the studs where the lightbulb is and a waist-high railing to be installed. As Stuart and I talked over this plan, it became clear that the door frame is load-bearing. They could work around it, but it would be better not to cut those studs near the door.
So we came up with an alternate plan that I really like. They will cut open the area that is marked on the sheetrock, including that single stud going up through it (the one that has all the plugs next to it). Then in order to make the roughly 21″ x 28″ opening into a faux Gothic arched window, I’ll need two wooden porch brackets like this one from Victorian Woodshop. The brackets will be mirrored in the top corners of the opening, creating an arch like this, but on a smaller scale.
The next photo shows the Book Nook which is what I’m calling this little area to the right of the door into Aslan’s Tent. (The styrofoam cup is sitting next to the wall of Narnia.) The Book Nook will be about 4 feet deep and 6 feet long with a slanted ceiling. The plan is to put book shelves in there, hence the name!
The LVL will definitely be a factor in the ceiling height of this open hallway-sitting area where Todd is standing. He is right next to the bathroom wall with the opening into Narnia right in the center of the photo.
This photo shows a better view of the hallway-sitting area. I call this whole area the Cair Paravel Library, and the Book Nook is part of it. (There’s no such thing in the Chronicles of Narnia, but we know Cair Paravel was a glorious castle, so I imagine it had a pretty stupendous library!) I spent quite a bit of time doing research and calculations today, concluding that between the Book Nook and the long hallway wall between The Lodge and Aslan’s Tent, we should be able to fit in enough shelves for our collection of books.
Approximately 600 books have been residing in boxes since we moved here four years ago. I collected them (mostly used) for our kids and carted them to Africa, then France, then back to the States. It was important to us that our kids grow up able to read English books while we were living in the francophone world. Kara learned to read French before she could read English, but she has read most of the classic books that well-read American kids have read. I can’t wait to share those books with our grandkids!