Home ownership is weird. It’s so awesome, and then I look at something like the kitchen and the sheer overwhelm of what it will take to renovate and repair blows my mind. So, baby steps. We decided to tackle the living room first as it seemed like the least amount of work of all the rooms, and it’s a room we spend a lot of time in. By the time we returned from vacation, my brother (aka our in-house contractor, and yes, I owe him a new website) had already put 2 days of work in sanding, smoothing, and adding 10 lbs of mud to the walls to try to both shore up the plaster and get rid of the horrible frosting texture. Our first day back, we got in on a 6am flight, drove 3 hours home, and then I spent 5 hours priming and sanding with my brother.
Because the Greek Revival trim in this room is so over the top & the ceilings are so low I decided to paint it the same color and finish as the walls – it’s original to the house so I don’t want to remove it, but it can really dominate the room, so this works really well. I can’t believe the difference smooth white walls make, it’s like a whole new room.
There’s still work to do and moving in to happen, but it’s a good start in making the house ours.
-Smoothed the walls. You can’t see how thick the “frosting” texture was, but it was bad, and hadn’t been repainted in at least a decade. Yuck.
-Primed and painted the walls (Benjamin Moore Natura paint in Eggshell finish, color is Steam)
-Primed and painted the ceiling
-Built bookshelves (five 2″ x 12′ x 14′ fir boards)
-Added a new light fixture (Nelson Criss Cross Saucer)
-Reupholster the couch (And then make the cats wear mittens? I’m not sure what to do here. Some kind of fabric they don’t like to rip up as much as 60s tweed.)
-Add another board to the bottom of the bookcase
-Find a coffee table that’s better suited. Also I found this one in the street and then ACCEPTED A RIDE IN A WINDOWLESS VAN FROM STRANGERS TO GET IT HOME. IN OAKLAND.
-Find a giant painting for the wall (like a huge floral still life? in my dreams.)
-Find a much bigger rug?
-Find window treatments (some sort of light-letting-in roman shades?)
-Mend & paint the window-doors when it’s warm out
-Make nice screens for the window-doors for summer breezes
-Oil the woodstove
-Live in it and bring home treasures for the next 50 years