Saturday, August 14, 2010

Inspired (or Crazy!) - The Home Improvement Edition

In the 17 years we've been married and lived here, we have pretty much done all of the major projects one might need to do on a 30+ year old house. The only big things that remained were replacing the nasty 70s era carpet and redoing the kitchen in it's entirety. (We also haven't replaced the furnace, and, God willing, we won't have to do that. Each winter I pray, light candles and sacrifice a small, random animal to the Appliance Gods in the hopes we can put it off just One. More. Year.)

This year, I got a bug. I decided we HAD to do our floors once and for all. The three upstairs bedrooms, the hallway and the dining room. I hated that ugly old carpet. I hated how dark it makes our house look. I knew it was going to mean dropping a chuck of change, but it really, really needed to be done.

And so, we embarked. But first, I created a Master Plan of how we would proceed. Since many of the same rooms were in need of being repainted as well as refloored, I figured now was a good time to do that as well. (I'm a messy painter, so painting while there's nothing but subfloor to drip on seemed like a great opportunity.)

The week the kids were at camp was when we worked on their rooms. This also involved moving our son's room from upstairs to the room downstairs that has been my yarn room/office since our oldest son moved out in 2004. That meant moving alllll of my yarn out of that room, along with all of the other crap I've managed to accumulate in there. Yikes. It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff can fit into one room! Anyway, moved my stuff out, painted the room, moved his things down, and voila...first room done:

Chris, who is 15, predictably wanted his room painted black. Basement, windowless bedroom? Um, no. We went with a light gray on three walls with the darker gray on the fourth. I then purchased new black bedding and some black room accessories. He was pleased.

Since the kids were at camp, I was able to stuff all of Emma's furniture in the Chris's-still-occupied room (it was literally wall-to-wall furniture!) so that Kevin could work on the floor in there while I painted downstairs. Thankfully, I'd just painted her room a few years ago, and it's still good. Just flooring in there, so it was a good practice room for him to do:

Oh my gosh! Such a huge improvement! We went with an American Beech Pergo, nice and light and really brightens things up!

So, if you're keeping track, you'll realize that at this point, we now had one empty room upstairs. This was part of my Master Plan. With one empty room, we would always have somewhere to go with the things we needed to move from other rooms while they were worked on, and then that room would be done last and become my new yarn room/office.

Our bedroom was next on the docket. Unlike the kids' rooms, which I wanted to get done while they were away, the only deadline I was imposing was to have the bedrooms done before we start our school year on the 23rd. So, feeling relaxed, I moved all our things in the empty room a couple of weeks ago, but I only got it painted this week. Kevin started and finished the flooring today...

Baseboard coming tomorrow (hopefully) and then we can move back in, which will be nice because we are crammed like sardines in the smaller room right now.

This morning, however, Kevin threw a monkey wrench into my Master Plan. Originally, we were going to do flooring in Emma's room, then in the short piece of hall between our two rooms, then our bedroom, then the rest of the hall, then the empty room. We weren't sure we'd do the dining room just now (before September), mainly as a way to spread out the cost of the project a bit. However, today Kevin informed me he needed to work the whole way down the hall into the dining room before he could work over to our room (something about how the boards need to be put down), so that would require the dining room to be done now too.

Now, let's ignore the fact that I don't have the paint for that room yet, and therefore it has not yet been painted so I'll need to paint on top of the nice, new flooring (ack!). Nor had we purchased enough flooring to do all this yet. But more importantly, nothing was moved out of the dining room yet. And can I say that being told this new plan five minutes after waking up and BEFORE I had any coffee was not a bright move on Kevin's part. I may have snarled. Snapped a little even. Mainly, my brain could not get past the thought of where was I going to put this stuff??? Our empty room -- key to making this whole thing work -- was not empty yet! The only other place to go with it all was the living room. And so that's what I did. Moved all the stuff -- my desk top that was temporarily set up in there, all of the book case stuff and the china cabinet stuff and the other random stuff -- into the living room, which now looks like a freakin' flea market...

Here is where I admit that, while I am not a super neat freak and I don't keep a spotless house, large quantities of clutter make me twitch, big time. It's like visual static. And holy moly

Anyway...focusing on what we're getting done, I'm really happy with how it's all turning out. A side benefit of moving nearly everything we own is that I've purged a TON of stuff to get rid of. I filled our front porch last week with close to 30 boxes and bags for the Vets truck to come and pick up. I've got boxes of books to take to Half-Price Books sometime soon.

And today, I boxed up all of my crystal and stashed it on a shelf down in the basement. Salad bowls, wine glasses, water goblets, etc. that we got for our wedding. We are not crystal people. Why I registered for all that when we got married, I have no idea. No, I do know why -- because that's what you were supposed to do! You registered for pretty things! It was tradition! I lectured my kids today, as I wrapped crystal in tissue, and told them...don't register for things that you'll never use! Be yourself, not who someone else thinks you should be. Wish I'd have learned that back then. Sigh.

Amid all the chaos, there is knitting...

I cast on for my Nantucket Red the other night. This is the first six inches of the back. So far, I love it! The fabric has a wonderful drape to it. It is making me very happy. Let's hope that continues!


pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

The finished rooms look so fresh! I hope you took "before" pictures; it's always fun to look back and compare.

Feel free to send all that crystal and china my way. I love pulling the pretty stuff out; it's like playing dress-up with the house.

Rupinder said...
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