Sunday, August 23, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend

It was quite a whirlwind of a weekend for me. I'm going to do a brief recap, and then I'm going to bed because I'm tired, and I'm told sleep can help with that.

Friday the electrician came to do some work, resulting in a new ceiling fan in the master bedroom, an exhaust fan and new outlet in the bathroom, and outlets and switches in the basement that actually work! There is still so much to do, but at least some of the projects are getting close to completion, instead of having tons of loose ends. Those loose ends tend to rattle around in my brain and cause me to lose sleep. Moving day is Saturday, so those loose ends need to get nailed down, and soon.

Today I was blessed with lots of help. I started off the day by meeting my father-in-law, Bob, and my brother-in-law, Alex, at Home Depot to pick up a new bathroom vanity, sink top, and faucet. They spent the entire day at my house working on the plumbing in the bathroom, and they only set the house on fire twice. Really. Apparently even the smallest of blowtorches can cause a real problem. The wood behind the drywall caught on fire a couple times, but it was not a serious issue. Of course, the water to the whole house was shut off at the time, so if it had been a serious issue, we probably would've been screwed. The main floor of the house smelled like a campfire for hours. I found myself with a strange craving for s'mores. Note to self: it's time to go ahead and pick up a fire extinguisher.

Anyway, most of the basement was primed today, which is cool, because I wasn't sure there would be time to paint the basement before moving in. Little things, like vent cover installation and paint touch-ups were done today as well. My feet hurt. But you don't care about my feet, you want to see if there are any photos in this blog post. So here you go.

Here's the "before" shot, in all its glory.

And here's the "after" shot. I know, it's still pink. I assure you, the pinkness of this bathroom cannot be squelched in one day. Oh no, that will take time and plenty of careful planning. For now, I'm incredibly happy with a new vanity and sink. There's still work to do, though; as you can see, there's a tile missing behind the sink - that's where a soap dish was ripped out of the wall. The backsplash hasn't been put on yet either, but that will be coming soon. Oh, and the sink is only usable thanks to the bucket that's hiding under the sink. Something about some pesky missing plumbing parts...


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Change on the Horizon

While progress is being made at the new house (seemingly at a snail's pace), there are parts of the house I haven't shared with you yet. These areas are going to be changed and improved, but since the "2009 War on Pink" has taken longer than expected, the work is not yet underway. Today I will show you the kitchen. The cabinets are original to the house (1958) and are in pretty good shape. However, everything you see in the kitchen will be gone soon. Everything. There will be new floors, new cabinets, new countertops, a pass-through in the wall between the kitchen and dining room, a new ceiling fan, new paint, and new appliances. (You can't see it in the pictures, but there is pink paint between the cabinets and the ceiling!) It will be quite a job, but I think it will also be totally worth it. As it is now, the kitchen isn't exactly an example of an efficient use of space. There's no way I could even fit all of my dishes and cookware into the cabinets. And the cabinets are hung so low on the walls that even I (at less than 5' 2") think they're too low. And there's no dishwasher. Without a dishwasher, I might as well just start using paper plates and cups. Handwashing dishes on a daily basis is ok if you're camping, but in my normal, day-to-day life, I know it just wouldn't work.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Paint Colors

Here are a few photos I took yesterday. It's tough to accurately show the paint colors via digital photo, but I gave it a shot anyway.

On the left is a shot of the dining room wall. This, of course, shows the pink trim that hasn't yet been painted white. The second photo is of the third (smallest) bedroom. I really like the deep blue color. It'll look great once the trim is painted and all the blue tape is off. The third photo shows the corner where the dining room meets the living room. The living room is currently painted a color called Natural Linen, which I thought was just going to be a nice beige color that would go well with the green in the dining room. But once it was up on the walls, it took on a rather green tint all its own. At night when the room is lit only by lamplight, it actually looks mint green, which is one of my least favorite colors. After painting the second bedroom a subtle gray and falling in love with it, I decided the living room will be repainted that color, too.

Painting this house has been less like simple painting and more like a battle against the pink. If your house was painted pink everywhere you'd probably understand why I can't wait to cover every last little speck of it. I want to defeat it soundly and never look back! I started painting the trim last night, so soon I'll be able to step back and look at the nice white trim against the newly painted walls. I can't wait.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where are all the pictures?

OK, I haven't posted any updates since Sunday. What in the world have I been doing all week? Did I run out of steam and decide to be lazy and idle? I can tell you what I haven't been doing: relaxing, getting massages, and eating ice cream. Work has continued at the new house, mostly in the form of painting; all the ceilings are done, and the walls are nearly done as well. The trim hasn't even been started yet, so the whole house has beautiful, freshly painted walls framed by - you guessed it - pink trim.

The wall in the master bedroom has been repaired; after the first area was patched, another soft spot in the drywall showed itself, so that had to be repaired, too. After a second coat of paint, the master bedroom will be ready to rid itself of the yucky carpet that is in there. That will be exciting because that carpet is pretty gross, and it will be nice to see the hardwood floor.

So if work has continued, why are there no new photos on this blog? Well, every evening this week I've been working at the house, but by the time I think to grab my camera and take some pictures, it's completely dark outside, and we don't have enough light inside the house to properly illuminate the new paint colors. My mission for tomorrow is to take pictures as soon as I get to the house. I certainly wouldn't want you to miss out on seeing the place in its "pink-trimmed" glory!


Sunday, August 9, 2009


This weekend was supposed to be all about painting. There was to be paint just flying onto ceilings, walls, and trim. In fact, a great symphony of painting was going to be conducted, resulting in a beautiful outcome. Then I got one of my headaches.

For over a month I've been going to physical therapy for these 'headaches' I get frequently. It turns out they're not normal headaches; they are the result of extreme muscle tension, which in turn causes occipital nerve pain. NERVE PAIN. All I can say is, well, ouch.

Anyway, I am incredibly lucky, because Rita is over at the house with Matt, painting away. The living room, dining room, and hallway should be done today. And all I've done to help the last two days is tape off the trim in the living room, dining room, and part of the hallway, and get the first coat of white paint on a few of the interior doors. It's a terrible feeling to be stuck at home on one of the few weekends I have left to get things done before moving in. Not only is it very frustrating, but it's horrible to be sitting here with ice on my neck, while other people are working on my house, which is what I should be doing. If I felt better, this actually might not be a bad deal, sitting around and having other people doing the work. I guess that's how rich people do things. But anyone who knows me knows I would rather be doing the work myself, not relying on someone else to keep things rolling.

I suppose I'd better get over it because right now there's nothing I can do besides try to get myself feeling better and maybe eat some Oreo cookies. I'm hoping that tomorrow night I'll have photos of the fabulous paint job to share. And oh yeah, when painting the ceiling in the dining room, there was a pretty large area just outside the kitchen doorway where all these little brown spots kept showing up through the paint. I hadn't noticed them at all before the painting started. I'm pretty sure they're grease spots, so that whole area is going to need a coat of primer and then another coat of paint. Ugh.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Step Forward...

The painting has begun! Christi and I started by painting the ceiling in the master bedroom the other night. The walls were started a couple days ago. I am an experienced painter, so I figured the master bedroom would be a breeze to paint. It would be done in no time, right? Well, after the first coat of paint went on, a soft spot was discovered in one of the walls, so the drywall had to be pulled out and the area had to be patched.


But at least it will be fixed properly now so I won't have to deal with it later. I decided to take the day off work tomorrow so that I could be at the house all day, painting and cleaning. Right now the focus is on getting the painting done. Since every surface except the hardwood floors is getting painted, there's a lot to do!

Anyway, tonight I went over and started priming some of the interior doors. They are unpainted wood, and I'm painting them all white. As I said, every surface except the floors! I'm hoping to have a different photo of the master bedroom for you soon, once it's all finished and flawless!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Out With the Old...Carpet

I said I would post more photos, some showing the results of the work from yesterday. I know you've been on the edge of your seat. The highlights of the day were that the yucky carpet was torn out and the drapes came down. Maybe it doesn't sound like we got much done, but with all the staples we had to remove from the hardwood floors, it took quite awhile. I seriously think I sprouted a new gray hair every time I wrestled out a staple. Today was mostly about cleaning. I spent about two hours cleaning the mini-blinds in the master bedroom, which was exactly as exciting as it sounds.

Today was interesting in that I got a revelatory nugget of information - the electricity in certain parts of the house no longer works. No light in the bathroom, no working outlets in the bedrooms and part of the basement, no obvious cause, and no electrician skills to fix it. Sweet.

OK, so here are some more of the photos I took on Friday after I got the keys.

Here's a shot of the hallway. You can see the master bedroom also. The glass in the light fixture is currently held together with masking tape. It's clear the fixture has had a long life, but it is showing its age and needs to walk toward the 'bright light' to that final resting place in the sky.

This is the master bedroom. Thankfully, the drapes are now gone. I'll show you all an updated photo once it's painted and the carpet comes out. At least it's not pink.

Remember the "before" shot of the living room? Well, here it is again. So far, it has gone from this:

to this (Christi's sweeping pose is super):

to this (yay)!

Maybe there's been no exciting stuff yet, but have no fear, I'm working on it! I'm hoping to get the painting started tomorrow after work. I'll be posting photos of the kitchen and basement soon.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I finally bought a house. Finally. It's nothing fancy, but it's mine. I got the keys yesterday, and now the cleaning, painting, repairs, and home renovations will commence. I'm excited and relieved that this has actually happened; I hated renting, and have been ready to move into a house of my own for a while. But it's also overwhelming because there is a lot of work to be done. I will have my apartment until September 9, which means I have about a month to get a whole mess of stuff done at the house before moving my things in.

The house is in Catonsville, only a couple miles from my current apartment. It is a ranch-style house that was built in 1958, and has three bedrooms and one (very pink) bathroom. While it is actually in pretty great condition, there are A LOT of small repairs that need to be made, and there are quite a few changes I'd like to make as well (NO dishwasher?!?! This MUST change!).

I will be chronicling the changes to the house as progress is made, not because it will be especially exhilirating, but because I have had requests from friends and family from out-of-state who are interested (or are pretending to be interested) in seeing the house and what I am working on.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday; they show the house exactly as it was when I got the keys.

Here's the front of the house. There's a driveway to the right. The shrubbery will eventually have to be torn out and replaced with some more appropriately-sized plants. There is currently a battle between the shrubs and the walkway to the front door. The shrubs have won. For now.

Here's a dark shot of the living room, taken from the dining room/hallway area. The draperies in this house are overwhelming; they're heavy and multi-layered, and also pretty ugly.

This is the dining room. The chandelier is pretty horrible, and yes, the walls are pink. I don't know why. That's the back door; it leads out to the screened-in porch. You can also see the lovely orange-pink-beige-brown carpet. Fortunately, it was all ripped out earlier today.

And this is the fantastic pink bathroom! More pink! Can you tell how excited I am about the pink-ness?!

I'll post some more pictures tomorrow. And I'll have the first set of progress photos, which will show you the work we (Matt, Christi, Ted, and I) got done today. The drapes came down, and the carpet was removed (requiring the painstaking removal of hundreds of staples (thanks, Christi) and nails). I'm exhausted, my knuckles are swollen from plucking staples with pliers, and my back is in the throes of organizing a protest.


  © Free Blogger Templates Blogger Theme by 2008

Back to TOP