Archive for November, 2009

Coming Along Slowly

You probably can’t tell from this photo (yup, we’re still mobile blogging!) but we finally have some painted walls. Our friend’s brother, who is a professional painter, came in and banged out our cathedral ceilings, the high stairwell walls, and some other ceilings. It makes such a difference to have painted walls rather than just primed or, even worse, taped and mudded drywall. Saturday night after Sadie went to bed I painted most of the living room and half the dining area. So we are making progress, bit by bit!

I also painted the walk-in closet in our bedroom, and Nick installed closet rods so we were finally able to hang up some clothes. I still can’t find half my socks, buy at least my work clothes will be less wrinkled from now on.

Other than that, it’s catch as catch can. After a full day of work and toddler minding afterwards, I don’t have a ton of energy for projects. It really doesn’t help that it’s been dark for hours by the time I get a breather–but we will get this place in shape soon enough. Stay tuned!

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Blue Kitchen

We’ve started paining the house white–Atrium White, by Benjamin Moore–and we’re pleased with the way the color looks in the living room and on the hallway walls (pictuers tk). But this weekend we decided our kitchen needed some color. A pale, bluish-gray, to be exact. I found this color, Silver Gray, today, via Remodelista:

Benjamin Moore Silver Gray

Described as “… a beautiful pale gray just tingeing on blue,” the original posting is at House Beautiful, here.

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This morning we had two painters and our carpenter at the house. The painters are here to tackle the high cathedral ceiling. It will be nice not to look at drywall mud anymore.

Not sure if you can see the color samples below that I painted on our kitchen wall. There are three squares of white paint, from left to right, Atrium White, Dove White, and Decorator’s White, all by Benjamin Moore. We decided to use Atrium White for our walls (a warm white with pinkish undertones) and Decorator’s for the ceiling. I’d read that many standard white ceiling paints can tend to have a grayish cast to them. Since the cathedral ceiling is such a major element of the upstairs architecture, I wanted to be sure it was a clean white, so we went with Decorator’s. Though initially we planned on using it on the walls as well, we found it to be a little too cool as a wall paint.

I think the painters are having a hard time painting around all our stuff. But we’ll be happy with whatever they can get done today–I think it would be really hard for us to get up on ladders to reach those tall ceilings and walls.

In other news, our carpenter stepped on a rusty nail on the deck, where he is cutting wood for the trim. The nail went right through his shoe and about two inches deep into his foot.  Apparently he is allergic to tetanus shots, and therefore has not had one. Nick found the hydrogen peroxide and had him wash out the wound. Though he was debating whether or not to have it looked at, we insisted he go to Brighton First Care for an evaluation. Puncture wounds are not to be trifled with!

Luckily, Ben, our contractor, has workman’s comp insurance. I guess that’s just one more reason to hire a general contractor.

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All the Trimmings

I can’t believe I actually thought we could do this ourselves. Reid got out the router and the table saw and built the trim around one of Sadies windows today and it looks GORG-eous. We are thrilled with the results and can’t wait for the whole house to be trimmed out.

A window without trim. Sad.

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Another task completed: Reid installed our glass blocks to make a window for the half-bath. The little space is completely dark, with no windows at all, so now it will get some light from the kitchen, which will save us from having to turn the light on every time we go in there.

In other news, we decided today to bite the bullet and have Ben’s crew finish all the trim. I thought we could potentially save some money by doing it ourseleves. But I’m beginning to realize that will probably never happen. Plus, we want the trim to look good, not like some hack job (which it probably would if we were wielding the table saw). It will take about two weeks and will really be the last thing the house needs before we get to the fun part of decorating.

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One Day at a Time

Nick and I are putting a couple of hours each day into unpacking/setting up/organizing/fixing. And that’s on days we work at our jobs. On Nicks last day off, he spent about 14 hours straight doing…stuff. He wired every outlet in the house, sanded our butcher block island, fixed a leak in the washing machine, collaborated with contractors and made numerous trips to Lowes. There is just so much to do. I admit I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and I kind of just want to get into bed and read my chick-lit novel to escape it all. I’m usually much more of a doer but right now I feel like burying my head in the sand and hoping it just all gets done.

Here are some things we have gotten done over the last few days:

-Put our bed together (no more sleeping on mattress on the floor!)
-installed outlets, and as a result were finally able to take the construction lights down (a major milestone)
-purchased two electric hot plates to sub in for our sad sack stove and made a full meal (sausage with marinara and pasta, from colluci’s on the hill, yum)
-assembled the couch
-did lots of vacuuming and wiping down of …stuff

Our contractor accomplished the following:
-installed, mudded and taped the cement backer board in the tub surround
-fitted two really old doors we saved from the reno onto our new downstairs closet

A big part of the stress is our lack of storage. And all of our stuff. Maybe I’ll try an experiment: I’ll post photos of “stuff” and ask you guys whether it’s worth keeping or not. It’ll be like wiki-clutter control, a collaborative effort.

Still mobile blogging for now, so pardon the lack of photos and the typos.

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In the Thick of It

I took these photos on the iPhone before leaving for work this morning.

I once read that you should take photos of your home to help you figure out how to decorate/design it, and now I understand why. When I look around our house, I see only possibilities. But when I look at these photos, I see the harsh reality of how far we are from the vision we have in our heads for this house.

We have a lot of work to do!

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Day ?

We decided we aren’t going to count the days anymore, now that we are living in the house. Or, should we reset the counter?

We haven’t been posting because one laptop is on the fritz, the other is missing its power cord, and our desktop is still packed away in a box. So we’re blogging on the new WordPress iPhone app.

Today was kind of a crappy day. Nick spent all day (his day off) trying to get our craigslist found Dacor gas stove up and running, but it looks like it might need major repairs. We’re trying to decide if it’s even worth fixing. He also didn’t make much progress on finishing the electrical work. My car got towed at work. The house still has sawdust floating around. We had to go out for pizza (again) because the kitchen is still a mess. We finally put the bed together. One of the animals threw up on the comforter. Internet is not working. We’re still taking baths because we still havent tiled the shower.

We’re roughing it.

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Last night was our first night in Casa dos Gatos! We felt like we were sleeping under the stars in our new bedroom, with its vaulted ceiling and former attic windows letting in ambient street- and starlight.

Sadie had some trouble settling down to sleep, but that was probably because she doesn’t yet have a bedroom door. We also didn’t have any heat last night, so she wore her warmest flannel pjs and snuggled under three blankets. Not to worry though–Nick got the furnace up and burning this morning.

I finished painting Sadie’s room the day before we moved in. Using Benjamin Moore’s low-VOC paint in “Robin’s Nest,” we got Sadie’s little nest ready just in time, with no lingering odors at all.


Sadie's room--bye bye Miami Vice, hello Robin's Nest

We can’t shower yet, but the bathtub is plenty big! Sadie and I both took a bath together this morning.

We’re still working on arranging the kitchen and dining room. CIMG0466CIMG0468

Overall, the experience of finally being in our new house was somewhat surreal, somewhat disorienting, but mostly…well, magical.

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So…for some time now I’ve been dreaming of a soothing, bluish-green color for Sadie’s room. Not robin’s egg blue, not baby blue, but a blue tinged with green, the color of Casco Bay on a still day in late summer just before twilight.

Unfortunately, I’m terrible at picking out paint colors. Nick is really good at it, but he wasn’t with me when I picked out a gallon of “Green Flight” by Mythic Paint from the Paint Pot on outer Congress. I love Mythic paint–it’s completely non-toxic, zero VOCs, and has great coverage–but this just was not the right color.
Actually, it doesn’t look all that bad in this photo, but in person, it makes you feel like you’re waiting for a flight at the Miami airport: it’s bright, garish, and unnerving.

Luckily this paint job went pretty quickly, so I’m not dreading having to paint over it. I’ve already taped the top of the walls near the ceiling, and we don’t have trim yet, so the rolling goes pretty quickly. I just hope I don’t have to prime over the Miami Vice paint job in order for the new blue to look okay.

Thanks to some internet sleuthing, I’ve already got a new color picked out: Robin’s Nest by Benjamin Moore. Fingers crossed that a coat or two of this new color will do the job.


THIS is the color I was going for. Photo taken from Ohdeedoh (http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/nursery-tours/my-room-little-p-massachusetts-076389)

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