Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Countdown to the New Old House: This Is How the Sausage Is Made

Thought I'd provide a little tour. Starting at the front door: check out our mail carrier's helpful reminder to himself. "VAC," I believe, stands for "vacant."

Lovely. Thanks for advertising.

Here's our red tag.

Hopefully it's coming out of the window TODAY, Wednesday the 11th of January. HOPEFULLY.

This is how you walk through the living room and dining room:

I will go as far as the plywood rectangle on the right.  And then I stop, retreat, and enter through the back door.  Although entering from the rear has its own unique challenges.  THIS is our home office:

The home office is affectionately referred to in our family as "The Island of Misfit Fixtures."

MESSAGE TO CONTRACTORS:  the ceiling fan can go to ReStore, because, frankly, I don't have a place to put it.  BUT I WANT THE PULL-DOWN SPICE RACK.  That sucker can, and will, be repurposed.  Possibly in my new craft closet.

Hey, look!  I have an electrical outlet over my mantel now!

Thanks, City of Fort Worth, for requiring an electrical outlet . . . um, every so many linear feet.  I didn't pay attention when Spouse told me how many feet.  All I know is that I have a plethora of (THREE-PRONG!) outlets now, including one that will permit me to illuminate my holiday garland.  Woo hoo!  And, yes, I am excited about three-prong outlets, and you would be, too, if you lived in a house that was pushing the century mark.  I already had them in some rooms, but not in others.

Not quite as thrilling:  the inexplicable chunk taken out of the molding and wallboard in the living room.

It looks like the work of a drill . . . but why was a drill anywhere near the ceiling?  Did they accidentally drill DOWNWARDS when they were pulling electric in the attic?  Seriously, people, there's enough sheetrock to patch and baseboards to replace without you screwing up other junk.

An example of an area where a sheetrock patch is required:

THIS hole excites me, because . . . THIS hole is where the old junction box used to be.  The box that became superfluous when they built the addition and moved the fuse box outside.  The box that, years ago, I was informed could not be removed, because it contained capped-off wires, unless we completely redid the electric.  HA!  Gauntlet accepted.  Electric redone, and awkwardly place junction box GONE.  GONE, BABY, GONE!   Along with the hideous ugly metal door that covered it.  Sayonara!

Remember reading in the Bible about Joseph's "kitchen of many colors"?  Well, here it is in all of its glory!

What's that you say?  It was a coat?  Okay, but you have to admit that, right now, my kitchen has MANY HORRIBLE CLASHING COLORS.  You have:  the pumpkin orange (that would be the current wall color); the Pepto-Bismol pink that the owner before our seller favored; the Martha Stewart green that was Owner Twice-Removed's go-to when the Ugly Paint Store ran out of pink; some segments of unfinished wood; the wallpaper (contributed by the immediately prior owner) that we left behind the refrigerator when we texturized and painted because we were too lazy to move the refrigerator; and the tile backsplash that looks absolutely ridiculous floating in mid-wallspace.  It's all going bye-bye.  I am told that it's entirely common to install cabinets on top of whatever wall surface or color happens to be there, but I am seriously considering having everything textured and painted the same way so that some theoretical future buyer, should they need to move a cabinet or appliance, will be surprised and pleased to find a kitchen of ONE uniform color.  It's my little way of paying it forward.

Here's the hallway leading out of the kitchen.  What to look at first?  The horribly chewed-up door molding in the foreground?  The horribly chewed paint in the lower corner of the wall?  The fact that the doorway molding (original to the house) was separated from the wall when the baseboards came out?  It's all being repaired and repainted, people - so focus on that gorgeous LVL board that was installed to shore up the original beams.  I HAVE LVL BOARD - just like the people on HGTV! 

Look!  An electrician signed the wall.  Because, apparently, Blackmon Mooring did not box up the chalk on the picture molding, and the electrician mistook the entire wall as a chalkboard.  (Actual chalkboard to which the chalk related now hangs in the foyer here at the apartment.)  Or maybe he was just REALLY PROUD of the work that he did in the hall (although I note that, while he has removed one of the three uneven plug and switch covers on that wall, he didn't straighten up the remaining two . . . and so the "sheetrock patch" portion of the punch list expands).

Perhaps he read the part above about everything getting repaired and repainted.

Here you see boxes and boxes of hardwood flooring stacked in a bedroom, getting acclimated to the house.

Small problem:  the wood inside turned out to be the wrong color.

Wood on the left:  the original wood (as damaged by 130,000 gallons of water).  On the right:  some red s**t that does not remotely resemble the sample.  We took it back to the showroom, and they agreed.  Apparently, the manufacturer applied the stain to red oak instead of white oak.  We selected a darker shade that is supposed to camouflage variations in natural wood colors - but the manufacturer is also getting a stern talking-to.

While we were at the showroom, we visited our kitchen floor and held it up to a dark wood, similar to the lower cabinets. 

Then I saw a large slab of the granite I was planning to use and decided, once and for all, that I didn't like it.  Too yellow.  I have been living in denial, but no more.

The quick trip to the showroom became a LONG trip, but I THINK that we have settled on an engineered granite (Cambria) product that brings out the reddish-brown in the lower cabinets, the putty color on the upper cabinets and the pale green that is going on the walls.

Yeah, I know, it looks busy in the small sample - but I have high hopes.  Bigger sample is on the way.

Spouse drove the (female) showroom rep crazy with his various, way-out-there product suggestions.  It was refreshing to listen to someone else tell him,  "Listen.  You have a lot of pattern in the floor, and a two-tone cabinet thing going on, so - while the granite that you are holding in your hand is beautiful in the abstract - IT WILL COMPLETELY DERAIL YOUR KITCHEN, AND YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE, BECAUSE HER INSTINCTS ARE REALLY, REALLY GOOD."  Okay, I'm paraphrasing - but not a whole lot.

Spouse did resolve the backsplash dilemma, when he brought over a sample of a way-too-contemporary metallic tile.  On the BACK of that sample was a sample of a coordinating product utilizing the same tile in very thin widths, translating into a backsplash that is the correct color for our kitchen and that also has a little bit of modern flare to it, while still reading "traditional."  Consultant and I LOVED the B side of what Spouse picked (and Consultant and I rejected).

Spouse insists that all of his random stumbling-in-the-dark behavior up to that point was just a warm-up.  "I was working up to that backsplash."

Of course you were, honey.

Progress being made on all fronts. And sausage SLOOOOOOWLY being stuffed back into its casing.

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