Tuesday, August 16

Catch Us If You Can

We're busy with so many things - big and small, but all different - that it's hard to blog about it. I'll cover as much as I can.

The biggest development is that our house has really become a home. We've moved upstairs to sleep (and the noxious fumes from the polyurethane seem to have given me some killer allergies) and unpacked our clothes into a closet (what an invention!).

Someday soon, we'll have an operating shower on the second floor and a laundry center too. The whole two-story lifestyle thing is still fun, though we really don't spend much time up there. There's no furniture, for one thing. Of course, that's all the better to see the gorgeous wood floors.

Downstairs, there's been a complete transformation. D's parents arrived bearing a truckload (literally) of gifts and heirlooms. The functionality and comfort of our home has quintupled. It's so nice to have guest, chat, relax, explore the area. Life seems so much more slow-paced and relaxing when you're not running a restoration marathon. Here's a few shots, D. will post more later.

The Dining Room now has an actual table and chairs to dine on:


A view of the table's base. This set is from D's grandmother:


Also from his grandmother is this cool Castro convertible table, with a nice smooth dark finish. First it's a coffee table:


Then, with a flick of the wrist, it's a dining table for four:


I've already wiped off that dust, and it looks brand-new. Unlike the kitchen table I picked up for FREE off someone's front yard:


It's perfectly serviceable for now and goes well with the 50s kitchen, but it's got peeling veneer, rusting legs, and a few stains on the top. Also in the kitchen, we're experimenting with cabinet hardware:


The knob on the left and hinge on the bottom are the kitchen's original forged iron style hardware. The hinge on the bottom is hammered-copper style and poached from the second kitchen, which unfortunately has pulls instead of knobs so we bought a 98-cent version from Lowe's.

I think the copper hinge looks good, because I want to create less contrast with the wood. The knob, however, feels terrible. It's uncomfortable on your fingers and feels ten times cheaper than its actual cost. Any comments? In the absence of any information about our larger kitchen vision, I don't expect many.

We're also working on colors for the den, kitchen, and both bathrooms. The latter are especially important because we do have to buy shower curtains soon, but also especially tough because we're working with so many existing colors (tiles, fixtures, towels). What I can show you is a test patch for Eddie Bauer's Bungalow Gold in the den:


No real decision on it yet. We'll get back to you.

Another inchstone is a working front doorbell:


Pretty ugly, huh? I was replacing two old doorbells with one, and it was a pain. I'm no electrician, but I think this thing is going to blow up any minute now. It's hot to the touch - eek! However, I did manage to rig it so that it rings both upstairs and downstairs bells at the same time.

We're also excited because I learned in one of my networking meetings about a local program to help us pay for exterior restoration and repair. This month, we've been focused on what we needed to do to make the house livable, but pretty soon we have to turn our attention to what will keep it sound. The exterior paint is in pretty bad shape (I got especially worried when I noticed that this is the condition of one of our window sills) and in a very dull all-white. The bricks and mortar look 95 percent fine, but there are a few spots that need attention. The bottom line is that the funding program might provide us with a zero interest loan for up to $4,000 worth of work, plus an additional grant, if we qualify. This could really make the difference between a nice job, possibly even guided by an architect, and a frugal job we can manage ourselves. Either way, that door frame around the bell will get painted up nicely at some point.

Lastly, we now have seating in the living room, however mismatched:


That's one of the few rugs that we have in the house at the moment, and it's thanks to D's mom. So in the meantime, we're stocking up on "floor protection devices:"


Here's a tip: you might want to buy stock in felt.


At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Trissa said...

I love that table that goes from a coffee table to a dining room table- sweet! Be careful with those fumes!

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot doorknob -- danger! Danger!


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