16 May

And So It Begins

We have officially bought our first house. Unfortunately, I won’t move in until nearly August, as the kids need to finish the school year and I have some east coast commitments. But, Team Decorate/Renovate is already on the job! (see my inspirations on this previous post.) Let the house transformation posts begin!

Facebook friends were introduced to the house with our entryway. There’s a real commitment to wallpaper in the whole house. Note the racing stripe on the door, wallpaper on the molding, on the baseboards — and even on the heater!

Entry before


There’s even wallpaper between the ceiling joists in the basement work/storage room!

Storage before

Team Deco/Reno made quick work of it though.

Entry removal

That said, they tell me real work doesn’t happen without coffee, their union rep insists they can’t work past 6pm, and they charge by the layer not the wall.


Luckily for us though, they are amenable to payment in tacos. And they do a great job!

BR Removal


Meanwhile, I found the perfect sink in Alabama via eBay and it has arrived safe and sound. I am inexplicably excited about this sink.

The sink


I’m doing what I can from afar — looking at materials and sketching possibilities for the sad downstairs bathroom. I realized the quartz or recycled glass countertop I loved was more expensive than I thought — boo. Then I did some calculations and realized that bathroom counters are pretty small. Yay! Also, my tile aspirations are quite modest. Now to decide if I want contrasting tile color on the floor of the shower, and if I want it on the bathroom walls or not (there’s a mysterious panel that may actually be important access to plumbing which may determine the extent of tiling). At sometime there will be a trip to the Re-Store to see what we can find in an interesting cabinet. Not sure if that will happen in person or via text. 🙂

Downstairs bath reno sketch


25 Sep

I Hit a Wall

Remember the mess that was my studio/guest room? I did manage to clean it up enough to bring in a mattress for my mom to sleep on when she was here. Plus, she helped me organize it even more. My original plan was to put some shelves and storage on the walls, but even with a stud finder, we found no studs. I’m not sure how a house can be build without studs, but everywhere I’ve nailed or drilled, it’s always been just drywall — even if the stud finder, or rapping on the wall, suggests that one area might be more solid than the others, it’s not. So, I put artwork on the walls and some drawers re-purposed as display shelves, but nothing too heavy. However, behold the clean floor and usable ironing board in the background! Perhaps I will post more another day when the sewing area to the left is more resolved. I do need to show off the wall crammed with more mushrooms, art and inspiration.

I had originally planned (medium to long range) to buy a new sofa for the living room (leather!) and move our IKEA Ektorp sofa-bed up here. We got our last delivery of stuff (the things that had been in storage for the last eight years) and that has changed my plan. I’ll share our “big furniture” another day when it’s not surrounded by boxes, but trust me, it’s BIG! I think it grew in the warm darkness of the Arizona warehouse.  Needless to say, it dominates our living room and the addition of a dark leather couch would only worsen the effect. Now I’ve pretty much decided, for my sake, and the sake of future movers, to get one of those fold out foam bed/lounger/teen sofa things. Maybe I’ll get an ugly one at a box store and make a slipcover out of something cool and polka dotty.

What I really wanted to say though, was that with the much anticipated arrival of the big furniture, our washer and dryer, and more boxes, I’ve hit a wall when it comes to this moving process. I thought I’d be elated at having everything back together again. Instead, I am on the verge of tears because I now have more things to unpack and deal with. I guess my subconscious thought we were done. The big furniture, which was awesome 15 years ago when I was a graphic designer and really needed the flat files in it, and when we didn’t know how nomadic we’d become, is now a giant monument to immobility. I look at it and want it to disappear.  In fact, I’d like the moving fairies to come and finish off all my house projects: empty and remove the boxes; find places for everything that we love and use; make everything else disappear; make it all magically look wonderful.

Luckily, cherful things are happening too. Deborah sent us a sweet housewarming gift of a book for the kids we had been talking about, and a piece of art for my walls. She thought it would go in my studio, but I think it will be perfect in my blue bedroom. (Terry‘s bird is there too, as are Sandra‘s vikings.)

It’s entitled “House Upon a Rock.” (See the actual little rock sewn on?) Deborah says it developed unexpectedly, but is appropriate for my new home on a big hunk of lava, and also because it is so important for military families to be built on a strong foundation. So true Deborah! I will frame it soon and get it up on the wall where it belongs.