Monday, April 26, 2010

Progress Photos

Monday 04.23.2010
Not quite, done...but significant progress.


AFTER (or at least current)

What stayed the same:
  • Furniture (except for chair covers)
  • Furniture placement (with small adjustments)
  • Window trim color.
What is biggest change:
  • Tone of color.  While both green, very different feel of cool and calm now.
  • about tonal color change!  From HOT and crazy to cool and neutral.
  • Window treatments - from dorm level mis-fitting mismatched shades, to elegant drapes.
  • Crown molding.  Really stepped up the room to a more elegant feel.
  • Light fixture - although new one is not in the new least we don't have the broken saloon fan anymore!
  • DE CLUTTERING!  We removed a tall misfit bookcase and an antique school desk opening up the space.  We added a closet organizer to better store our materials.  We freecycled several boxes of things and tossed out 4 bags of shredded papers from our files.  We are also trying to be very selective about what lives on our desk and under our desk.  This will be an ongoing battle.
Overall, we've already achieved the greatest goal of this project, even though a few things remain to be accomplished.  This room no longer looks like a dorm room.  It actually is starting to feel like a home  office suited to the two corporate managers who live here, instead of two starving college students (which is so many years ago!).

Still to do:
Wash windows (if only I had done this before moving in the furniture...duh)
Hang artwork and guitars.
Recieve and move in new bookcase (and load with books)
Hang closet doors.
Add wood roman shades (still on order).

Longer term to do:
Radiator cover (but it is hidden under my desk, so not too worried about it right now).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Status Update on Home Office

Saturday 04.24.2010
Remember the Monday punchlist?
We're making progress.

Trim bottom of bathroom door to accommodate new carpet clearance (Mon/Tues) - DONE
Kip took care of this one while I was working late....I haven't inspected closely, but I can assure you it looks like a straight and even cut and it works!  We've had bad luck in the past removing doors and re-hanging them...somehow it never seems to close right after that...but this one hangs straight and true and closes/locks well.

Schedule closet organizer install (Mon/Tues) - DONE
Done and installed.  Remember the design?  Well, we forgot one little thing...the closet is bigger than the opening.  

I believe I put in the measurements on the website, but the design mockup came without showing the walls in front of closet.  Everything fits and works, but a little tighter than I imagined.  Also, one small corner of the closet is essentially only usable for those - "will access once in a blue moon" items.  Items, which we have been trying to rid ourselves of.  Anyway, what's cool is the drawer set is standalone, so I can move that to other places.  Of course the shelves are all adjustable by height as well. So, I can live with one little awkward corner.

Disassemble old ceiling fan/light (Weds/Thurs) - DONE
Install new track light (Weds/Thurs) - DONE

We replaced the old brass saloon style ceiling fan (with broken globe light) with this sleek little number.  It was a PAIN IN THE ASS to put up.  Little tiny screws, big fat fingers.  But we figured it out.  The bulbs are those very delicate halogens too, which means you have to use a rubber suction cup to install them...that was fun too.  But the look is worth it...and the focused light is going to be perfect for desk tasks and also for artwork and guitars.

Measure drapes and clips and hang rods. (Fri/Sat) - DONE
Add drapes to rods. (Fri/Sat) - DONE

I'm really pleased with myself for this.  After reading some of the blogs out there where people are designing and building their own furniture, this seems like such a little achievement.  To hang a curtain rod - and make it level and make sure the drapes just kiss the floor (aren't at flood height and aren't puddled on the floor) seems puny.  But in my life, it is major.  

I initially unpacked the materials for the large window...but then decided to cut my teeth on the small window first.  Glad I did, I didn't make any mistakes and it gave me confidence (and idea) how to ensure I measured and leveled the 4 hangers needed for the big window.  The custom ordered blinds are still to come and will be installed as inside mounts. I almost wish I was just doing the drapes, but with the way the sun beats in at certain times of day, we really need the light control.  And what I didn't consider earlier was with 4 mounts it is difficult to pull the drapes fully closed (not in my plans anyway, but if that had been my plan...would have been problematic.)

Order new chair covers - current don't work with drapes.(Mon/Tues) - DONE
Picked out another surefit chair cover - this time in Chocolate...because who can go wrong with a color named for such a yummy thing?  We'll see how it goes.  Bought the stretch version this time, so may be a better fit.  Just hoping to keep Penny Cat from using it as a scratching post.

Check on custom shade order - when to arrive? (Mon/Tues) - DONE
Looks like they are expected to ship by the 27th, so that should be a project for next weekend.

Begin reloading room with furniture (Tues-Sat) - STARTED
As you can see in pictures above, the storage space is already filling up and my desk is back in place.  The printer stand is in the room, but in the wrong location and Kip's desk (where I'm sitting) is still upstairs.  When I stood in the empty room, I could envision a double or queen bed under the small window with two small tables and lamps.  The desk along wall adjacent to the closet and maybe a small reading nook in opposite corner.  A true 3rd bedroom/guest space.  So there may be changes in the future.  But the upstairs guest room is another room on my list for this depending on how that room shapes up....(Kip rolls his eyes here).

Determine yes/no on bookcase to order - does it fit? (Sat) - YES, ORDERED
Since I ordered the bookcase today, I guess my ideas of changing the room around are a little more difficult...but that bookcase can always go to another room!  Kip again rolls his eyes here and now they glaze over....but we need book storage so that will be a much needed arrival.

Sunday To Do's
Hang closet doors (we hope!)
Hang guitars/mandolins - position track light to highlight
Hang artwork - position track light to highlight
Merchandise and accessorize 
Return Dining Room to normal!

...and begin planning next room...hmmmmmm

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's Next in the Home Office

Monday 04.19.2010
We arrived home from a weekend away and I couldn't even think about working in the room.  But now my mind is beginning to click away at building a detailed punch list to finish.
  1. Trim bottom of bathroom door to accommodate new carpet clearance (Mon/Tues)
  2. Schedule closet organizer install (Mon/Tues)
  3. Disassemble old ceiling fan/light (Weds/Thurs)
  4. Install new track light (Weds/Thurs)
  5. Measure drapes and clips and hang rods. (Fri/Sat)
  6. Add drapes to rods. (Fri/Sat)
  7. Order new chair covers - current don't work with drapes.(Mon/Tues)
  8. Check on custom shade order - when to arrive? (Mon/Tues)
  9. Begin reloading room with furniture (Tues-Sat)
  10. Determine yes/no on bookcase to order - does it fit? (Sat)
  11. Hang guitars/mandolins - position track light to highlight (Sat)
  12. Hang artwork - position track light to highlight (Sat)
  13. Merchandise and accessorize (Sun)
Devil's always in the details.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Under Foot

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

I'm happy. And for those of you who wince at the coverage of real hardwood floors, here is my disclaimer:

No wood floors were harmed during the makeover of this room, they were just lovingly covered to be revealed by some future purist homeowner with warmer feet than mine.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

14 hours to go!

In about 14 hours the guys from ARTISTIC FLOORS will arrive with my carpet.  A beautiful gold broadloom stain resistant berber that will make my toes so happy. 

Last night we tackled some more of the room (isn't it amazing how long details can take?).  While I carefully poured out three different paints (wall, trim, ceiling) into small trays and allocated a brush to each, Kip tackled the containers of odds and ends still in the closet.  I worked my way around the room with my new favorite tool - a handy dandy little corner/edger that helped me to get the blend I needed on the interior corners that the roller had missed and also got a clean(er) edge around the trim.  I added trim paint to the sanded and caulked crown molding, and touched up the ceiling where there were some paint smears, and hammer smears left over. 

Kip, we discovered, is not a true freecycler.  He has standards that are much too high.  He doesn't understand that a freecycler isn't picky....well...we are...but garbage picky, or pickers really.  He doesn't understand the dumpster diver mentality has gone all cyberspace.  He doesn't understand the rush one gets from a CURB ALERT!  So before I could stop him all the loose computer wires and outdated computer accessories, partially used stationary supplies, and other miscellaneous items were in garbage bags and hauled to the bin.  Sorry Freecyclers.  Next time I'll pay more attention.

When we were done, we surveyed the space.  The room looks pretty darn good.  And tomorrow it will look even better!

It will be a bit wrenching to leave it behind in all it's gold floor covered glory when we have to head upstate for a family weekend.  I know I will be tempted to spend just a little more time loading furniture in...measuring and hanging the new drapes...hanging pictures and guitars...making a shopping list for other items we may need...but we'll save all the anticipation up for our return. 

I may, just maybe, post the before/after pictures tomorrow before we go.  But if time runs out, you'll just have to live in anticipation too.  All two of you who read my blog.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crown Molding - A day of revelations.

Sunday 04.11.2010
 It's Crown Molding Day!  I finished sanding and painting the molding and waited impatiently for our friend Rob to arrive.

He finally arrived and brought his toys!

He took some measurements and promptly set to work.  First revelation was watching him cut the profile of the crown molding into cardboard and then creating a reverse template in wood.  By doing this he had a repeatable consistent way to hold the molding in place with the same angle every time. 

He and Kip set to the work right away.  See Kip drooling over this saw that does both right and left 45 degree angles?  But we quickly realized the tools are a great part of what we needed, but we could NEVER have done what an awesome job Rob did.

This is the tool (nail gun) I drool over, but that compressor is huge, heavy, and loud!  See Kip holding the wood template to keep the crown at the consistent angle?  The 2nd revelation of the day was watching Rob use glue (duh) and caulking on the molding before installing it.  We'd always just nailed it up and filled in gaps.  Ours, as Kip made sure to point out, has not fallen down, but Rob's looks tight and finished and, well, professional.  Guess that's why he does woodwork for a living.

A little hard to see in this photo, but the right side is the old molding, the left is the new. The old molding is hard to see because the paint doesn't go all the way to the edge of it.  But believe me, the difference is big.  It really finishes the room.

Just look at that corner joint.  A thing of beauty.  And when we saw what a difference it made, we not only broke out the mexican takeout dinner for Rob and his wife, but also the checkbook.  So worth it.

Some touch ups remain, and then carpeting on FRIDAY.  The room is finally coming together.

A One Day Facelift

Saturday 04.10.2010
What happens when you rid your house of lots of stuff?  You get more stuff of course!

Do you have a "Tuesday Morning" in your neighborhood?  It's a hit or miss place...sometimes I spend an hour and walk out without a thing.  This was obviously not one of those days.

And with what I found, I decided to focus on a quick facelift project in our upstairs bath. 


My dirty little secret is my messy linen closet.  So I tackled that, but what really drove me to shopping was the state of the rugs.  One small loose piece of weaving and the cats attacked it with a vengeance.  The center of two of the rugs were threadbare.  I've been reading alot of articles about the "white bathroom" - you know, very spa-like feeling.  So when I found a great deal on white linens at Tuesday Morning.  It seemed like a natural fit.

Step 1 - empty everything out.

Which quickly fills up the floor.

Step 2: Clean, Clean, Clean. Sort, Sort, Sort.

Step 3: Re-stock.

Is this the same closet?  Let' see how long it stays neat.  Look at all those fluffy white towels.

White, indeed.  Now I'm adding pops of color for interest.

The first one makes me smile....a little painting project between Kip and our nieces.  They painted sunflowers on 5x7 now they are framed and a beautiful memory on the wall.

I will be repainting the walls soon.  Going for that spa feeling with a softer tone.  But that's for another day - because today is CROWN MOLDING DAY!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Artistic Floors

The owner of Artistic Floors in Suffern was here today.  He gave me a good deal on a beautiful remnant berber carpet that will add a lot of warmth (literally and aesthetically) to our room.  They will be here on FRIDAY! to install the carpet.  Of course I was all concerned with room transition - and learned that there are a few options - (1) the metal trim piece (not very pretty); (2) a wood saddle; (3) a standard fold over install.  We're going with the fold over for now for all the transitions.  I don't think it will cause a trip hazard, but we can always go back to a wood saddle.  And of course I totally forgot to ask about carpet padding options.  So I'm stopping at his store on my way to the gym and Home Depot today.

This means I have to get my butt in gear and finish all the messy work so there won't be a need to plastic cover the carpets while we finish the room.  So today, I'm off to the Depot to get another length of crown molding (since we had some cutting issues and are a little low on total linear feet now), and then I'll be back at the paint can.  But first! i will be taping all the trim edges so I can make as clean an edge as possible.  HGTV says to use a brush as dry as possible to do this because it is the thick paint that causes either leakage under the tape, or issues when you pull the tape off.  I will also paint out the new pieces of crown.

Tomorrow our friend Rob the master woodworker arrives with the grown up tools.  He is bringing his nail gun and compressor, and a few big man saws.  Kip says that he will be an extra pair of hands for Rob and just there to follow orders.  I know Kip wishes I could learn that behavior as well.

And just to prove we know we have the right folks for the job...let me show you some of their other work.

Artistic Floors - Mannington Slate Floor in Kitchen/Eating Area (yes - it really is laminate!)

Rob Wilson - Custom Wood Table

Only one has "Artist" in their names - but they are both of that ilk.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How AWESOME is Freecycle?

I'm not really a hoarder (how scary is that new show anyway!?!), but STUFF as George Carlin said, always managed to accumulate.  So when I started my YCC project, I hoped part of the result would be some downsizing of the STUFF.  So I offered up a few things on this blog, but honestly, the hassle of shipping was a bit of a pain.  Plus, you know, I have like 4 people reading this blog and how many of them (you?) actually want my cast-offs?

Up until now, I've used the website organization mostly to see if someone wants something that I'm willing to give up.  To date, I had responded and delivered an ellyptical machine, several framed prints, and a mountain bike.  I give away some good shit people. Especially if you are willing to come to my house and pick it up.

Looking at the piles in my dining room the other day, I decided to get proactive on Freecycle.  I posted 14 items (actually more than that, since some were multiple) and as of tomorrow, they will all be gone!  Gone people.  Ah...the unbearable lightness of being.  (I don't think that the title actually ties to my giving shit away, but that is how I feel).  Stuff, even sentimental stuff, even stuff we spent money on, has a way of strangling you when it just piles up in dark corners, closets, and collects dust.  It is guilt.  It is waste.  And ultimately, it is something someone else might just treasure.

What's now gone from my home?
  • Assorted cookbooks, some used and some new that were overcrowding the kitchen nook.  They are going to a woman who loves to cook and experiment with new recipes.
  • Yankee photographs that were really nice, but were just getting damaged and dusty in the back of a closet.  Now they'll be in a young boy's room who will appreciate them!
  • Games and puzzles just wasting away on our shelves and taking up valuable room.  We had several versions of Trivial Pursuit and it's been years since we played at all.  We kept our favorite version - the original - and got rid of the rest.
  • CD racks - wood and wire....they'll help organize someone else's stuff - they were just crowding my desk at home now that I'm an i-tunes person.
  • Artwork - mostly just store-bought prints from past homes before Kip became such a prolific artist.  And the frames weren't worth re-using for his pieces, so now they find a home (or 3 or 4).  The only one hard to give away was an original chalk drawing my Great Aunt Wilma did of a Tiger that was over my bed as a girl.  I loved that she drew it and she loved that I loved it.  But now some other child will be able to enjoy it and that makes me happy.
  • Kitchen Items - including a Mikasa sugar/creamer  and a little christmas bowl and spreader that I never used. Someone will love them.
  • Whiteboard/bulletin board - ugly as sin and never going up on my wall again.  But a little boy nearby will use it to tack up his awards and homework and calendar.  Perfect.
I genuinely love love love this process.  The email management is a bit of a pain...getting 30+ responses for some of the items was hard to manage. But the feeling of lightening the load is wonderful. 

Today, I posted the oak wood items I removed from our bathroom.  So far no takers.  Can you imagine?  Do you really not want my used wood toilet seat?  Come on, admit it, you do.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Everyone Needs a Deadline Right?

Ok- visitors will be arriving.  Not immediately - one month away...but having the house as it is right now is not feasible.  First off - our dining room is uninhabitable and definitely unhostess-worthy.  (Like how I just make up words like that?)  And our guest room, is neat, but is housing several home office items that need to return to their roost.

So I have a deadline of May 11.  The day before my mother and aunt arrive for a visit.  I'm determined to make it!  That was a long list I posted from this weekend, so I've no doubt that it will be a struggle, especially since some items depend on supply deliveries and vendor installation. 

Progress:  our friend the wood working genius and his wife are coming this weekend for a meal and some carpentry help.  Woo hoo.

Now I just need to find time to get to the carpet place and schedule installation of the remnant (preferabally after my final paint touch-up.)

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Some Days You Should Just Stick to Laundry

Sunday 04.04.10
You know, laundry never ends.  And I get a perverse kind of satisfaction from this task as it feels like I accomplish a lot, but overall, it is just a few trips up and down stairs with 45 minutes in between each run. On the home improvement front, Kip and I made progress on the room - although it didn't feel nearly as satisfying as finishing laundry.

Saturday was shopping day and while Kip was running his folks to JFK to get a flight out, I was at Home Depot being an independent woman and checking out the lumber section.  I have to admit - although this whole year of home improvement projects was my idea, I have to rely a great deal on Kip and his good nature for the hardware/tools end of things.  But not on Saturday!  On Saturday, I walked in with my list and my credit card and went to town.  The most interesting part of the task was definitely selecting and carrying the crown molding.  Luckily, a nice gentlemen in an orange smock helped me by cutting the material down from 20 feet to 12 feet, but still, a bit unwieldy getting that cart around the aisles.  I finally managed to circumnavigate all the other shoppers without injury (to them or me) and parked my loaded cart by the CONTRACTOR section (thank you Judy for the manned check-out tip) and proceeded with a new cart back to the paint aisle.  On the way I stopped and picked out a track light fixture and a much-needed dehumidifier.  Once done, I racked up a $400+ bill (yikes) and then had the joy of loading up the vehicle with 12 foot lengths of molding sticking out the back.  I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out the best and safest option using the full length of our mini-SUV plus some strategically placed bungee cords.  Needless to say, I completely forgot I had also intended to stop for groceries.

Prior to Home Depot, I took advice from a friend and hit the small hometown flooring store to review carpet options.  The owner happily showed me their remnants in the back (not an option at Home Depot or Lowe's and we so often forget that!) and of couse on the way out, I selected a carpet board sample which he smilingly informed me would be about double the cost.  Of course we loved that sample....but upon reflection, we decided the wiser cost - for color, material, and cost, will be the remnant.

So that brings us to Sunday - and Sunday is the reason for the title of this post.  You know how there are days of great achievement and progress and then there are days....well...frankly...when you should just stick to the simple brainless tasks like laundry.

I had about 4 loads of laundry to do on Sunday, so that did start my day.  I then progressed to setting up the sawhorses outside and painting the molding.  One of my favorite things about installing new molding is painting it before it goes on the pesky edges to deal with, just make sure its applied evenly and without drips and you're golden.  Add to that a gorgeous 75 degree day and an iPod cranked up with Pink at top volume, and I was pretty happy with that chore.  Although the neighbors who got to hear my tuneless singalong might not agree.

I then progressed indoors where for the first time I used a power sander.  Where has this tool been all my life???  It made quick work of the window sills although I still had to do some fine hand sanding for the more detailed trim molding.  I think there must be at least 8 layers of paint on this trim, so I did my best and chalked up the imperfections to the character of a 1930's home. 

As I finished the sanding, Kip took the extension cord from me and tried his hand at miter cuts for the molding. A little history on mitered corners.  We've done this before.  Although it is always such a trial and error process, we keep forgetting how it works and have to go back to square one.  Which way is top?  Ok and which way does the 45 degree cut get made for an inside angle?  and an outside angle?  and this piece has two inside angles right? and that piece is an inside and an outside right?  Ugh.  We did our dining room about 7 years ago and Kip cut every piece with a hand saw and miter box.  Then when it came to the living room and kitchen, we were having other work done, so we had a carpenter take care of that.  This time, we were sure we could handle it.  We now have a small power saw, we bought molding of a size that should be able to be cut (the dining room was too large for the saw size), we should be ready to go.

After scratching our heads for about 30 minutes and searching on the internet for instruction manuals, we finally figured out the geometric equation...but the saw is indeed too small for the reverse angle cuts.  So...we mumbled a bit more and decided it was time to call in the experts.  We have a good friend who has his own custom woodworking shop and is a master craftsman...why we don't think of these things earlier, I have no idea.  Hopefully for the price of a good home cooked meal and a couple of quality beers, we'll soon have some molding in place.

In the meantime, while Kip could not be talked out of kicking himself for this exercise, and continued mumbling to himself, I proceeded inside to paint the freshly sanded trim.  Knowing my mood, I should have given it up for the day, but I didn't.  And I proceeded with the trim.  Without taping.  Needless to say, I now need to go back and do the walls around the trim again.  This time, to ensure I don't have to go around the room for a third time, I think I'll break out the painter's tape. 

So, after a promising start...the day went down hill fast.  Like I said, some days you should just stick to laundry.

Wrapping Up -
Progress Made:
  1. Carpet samples picked and selection made
  2. Molding purchased and painted
  3. Light fixture purchased
  4. Trim sanded and painted
  5. Closet doors removed and one coat of paint
Still to do:
  1. Pick up one more length of molding due to bad cuts and paint
  2. Wrangle friend to help with miter cuts (and install?)
  3. Tape trim and neaten paint around edges (sigh)
  4. Order carpet and schedule install
  5. 2nd coat of paint on closet doors
  6. Select/buy new closet door handles
  7. Select/buy closet door rail/hangers (old ones rusted and broken)
  8. Order 2 shelf bookcase
  9. Install light fixture
  10. Install window treatments (after custom shades arrive)
  11. Move furniture back in and arrange
  12. Hang artwork and guitars
  13. Freecycle outgoing items from home office
  14. Schedule closet maid install (awaiting parts order)
Oh, and keep doing laundry...especially the stuff spattered with paint.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Your Host

Blog Archive


Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved | Revolution church Blogger Template by techknowl | Original Wordpress theme by Brian Gardner