Making it Livable

Austerity (or the fear of unannounced visitors)

Progress has been slow these days and work happens in fits and bursts. In the 3 years since we’ve taken over care of the Pink Lady, there has been a grad school graduation, a new job, and a miscellany of small events that go along with being an adult (ha!). In other words, life continues to chug along and compete for time with the house projects.

We got to the point where we grew accustomed to the detritus that comes with living through construction:  don’t mind that door leaning against the balustrade; pay no attention to that massive tile cutter in the foyer. Oh, those 803 bricks stashed under the stoop? Yeah, we’ll get to them at some point. You accumulate things you have grand plans for, yet never seem to get around to the execution phase. (We are prolific accumulators of architectural salvage. In my mind, that makes it all OK and not crazy. Not at all…)

I’m tired of the piles of stuff everywhere, the stuff we’ll get to eventually, yet never seem to. I’m so tired of being worried one of the neighbors might knock on our door and I may have to invite them in and let them see our utilitarian hovel. I don’t know about you, but I believe that unannounced visitors are the Kryptonite of the DIYer. Anytime we have friends over, there is a at least a half day worth of frenzied cleaning and organizing and just shoving things behind a door we won’t let anyone open (don’t go in there – fumes! the magical word that keeps people away). As we learned, normal people don’t have a 120-year old salvaged sink and marble vanity sitting in their hallway for months. Weird.

All this brings me to the Austerity Measures we have just declared. This year, no big projects will get started. Instead, we’ll focus on finishing what we have already started, then we’ll focus on “quality of life projects,”  like finally banishing all traces the Muppet Flesh paint (even if it means painting over it for now), to pulling up the shitty parquet floor in the parlor (the floor has been helping us along by removing itself from the subfloor) and finally  accepting the fact that our new kitchen is light years away and might as well spruce up the one with have.

We haven’t been total slackers, though. After redoing the bedroom ceiling and stripping the walls, it’s looking like this (walls have been primed, not painted yet).

Progress has been made

Progress has been made

Still working on that picture rail that lost most of its detailing in the stripping process.

If you recall, it used to look like this (shield your eyes, not for the faint of heart):

At the point of no return.

At the point of no return.

Our seam-taping skilsl have improved considerably and I’m happy to report that there are no visible seams, bumps or other unsightly blemished on our new ceiling.

On we go. What are the odds we get to move back into our bedroom before August 3, 2015 (the 2 year anniversary of this project)?

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OH C’MON ALREADY!

The glacial pace in which things are moving these days is starting to get to me. In my mind, by now,  we would be throwing fabulous parties and our house would never be messy (ha!).  In my mind, we’d already have a gorgeous kitchen and a working oven. OMG! No more having to bake in  a countertop electric convection oven. How great would that be?

Well, that’s a question I can’t answer  because we’re still using the old kitchen and the old stove is still broken. The room that will house our future guest room is still the dining room, and quite possibly the second most awful room in the house. It’s always messy and we spend no time in it – because it’s just terrible.

Don’t believe me?

It's hard to even begin to list everything that is wrong with this room, but let's try, shall we?

It’s hard to even begin to list everything that is wrong with this room, but let’s try, shall we?

This room was never meant to be for this long. This room tries (unsuccessfully) to function as our dining room and pantry, but the only thing it succeeds in is being a catch-all for all sorts of junk. Once we build a new kitchen, this room will become a bedroom. Painfully, it’s becoming quite evident that this will happen sometime it the future, far, far away (probably around the time when the sun runs our of fuel, or when the melting ice caps flood our world – whichever one happens last, because we’re going to need that extra time).  With that in mind, it became  pittifully obvious that we can’t live with this room one. More. Minute.

From the depths of my hopelessness, I decided the sign up for Apartment Therapy’s Style Cure. The fireplace mantel will finally be fully stripped. That half peeling, half painted trim will be dealt with. The pantry will become organized and everything will turn out unicorns and rainbow.

Or so I hope – Lordy, this room needs help!