January 05, 2010




It feels like we have been working daily to remodel "something" for the past 30 years. Always living under a blanket of plaster dust. First there was the big old house in town. Not the best neighborhood but it was our first humble abode. It got some new walls, loads of paint, new carpet and a new bathroom. It was a big, old (built 1920's), city house. Hard to heat and even harder to pay the heating bills. We installed a new furnace and built a chimney and installed a wood stove which helped a lot. But, it needed way more than what was worth putting into in that particular neighborhood.

Our next house was also our next project. A cuter, smaller house in a better neighborhood in the neighboring city. It too needed a lot of work. I mean a "LOT" of work. More knocking down and replacing walls and ceilings, gutting a bathroom and kitchen to the studs, new furnace, roof, windows, and siding. But that house had the most beautiful woodwork (which of coarse needed to be refinished), a great floor plan, double lot, and a small post war house in the backyard. We were able to keep that rented out to pay for all the remodeling. Then we leveled that funny little house and put in a goldfish pond. We might have stayed there forever but we had CraZy neighbors on one side of us and a CraZy pit bull on the other side. So, after 20 years, we decided it was time to move on, and out, to the burbs.
The old house of 20 years

Now we feel like we are living in paradise, except of course for the snow. No more 2 stories with flights of stairs to climb for every little need. No more CraZy neighbors with loud parties and domestic disputes. This is the neighborhood I grew up in and for the first time in 30 years I feel like I am finally home. But even 70's ranch's need remodels and walls knocked out, LOL. At least they do if I am going to live in them!

I couldn't even wait for the Christmas tree to come down before starting the current project. The livingroom was separated from the front hall by 2 perfectly awful half walls. For 18 months I've been dreaming of the day that they would come out. Any pictures I took of the room were carefully take, like tunnel vision, between the walls so they didn't show. And, of coarse you can't "just" remove walls and be done. There is always that snowball effect. Where the walls stood there are blank spots with no flooring. Hmmmm......... guess I must now replace the ghastly navy carpet and stick on tiles with a new wood floor. But the flooring should be the last thing we do so it doesn't get damaged. I guess we better wrap the plastered support beam with wood to look like a wood beam and install crown moulding around the room first. Right? Now if only the budget allowed for new windows. Oh well, maybe next year.
Goodbye Walls! Bring on the dust.

No more tunnel vision
The beam that needs
to get wrapped

Now it's time to start shopping for the new wood floor and trim work. I'm realizing it's not easy to find an affordable wide width plank. I know now that it will definately be engineered flooring in order to get a wide plank but I'd rather go that route than settle for a narrow one. Personally, I'm so happy that the walls are gone that I could tolerate the floor just as it is for some time. Just don't tell hubby I said that.

It hasn't been all work around here since christmas. I got a nice little bank roll for Christmas between my mom and my in-laws. Mom, sis and I started out the day after Christmas looking for some bargains. Not seeing any in our first couple stops we quickly turned our attention to antiqueing. The black chair in the front hall is actually a nice early potty chair I found at my favorite antique store. It took my Christmas money and then some but it was very reasonably priced I thought.

This past weekend there was a really wonderful indoor antique show downtown. The entrance fees were a bit steep at $8 ea plus $7 for parking. By the time you pay all the fees to get in you are already broke! I always wanted a porringer table to set in front of the sofa. I couldn't believe when I found one for just $100. BUT - right beside the porringer table was this other little table that just captured my heart. It had been refinished (as all his pieces were) but he had left much of the character and charm in what hand been a very well used and hand hewn table top. As the snowball effect goes, I now need to find a pewter (or Armetale) tea set to go on it. The coffee set on there now is on loan from my mother.

This dove tailed cheesebox sitting on the table is just a lucky little find from the free column on Craig's list. I am a huge fan of Craig's List. I have several items I have either purchased or gotten free there. I have also sold and given a great many items. It's a great way save some money, clear out your clutter, and keep usuable items that you would otherwise throw away out of the landfills. I highly recommend it.



Jen said...

I love your home and the way your decorating it, love that potty chair too!

Janet - underthewillow said...

Hi Mary!....Thank you for visiting my blog!

You wanted to know where I got the windsor chair that sets on the top shelf of my green stepback? the one with the candle sitting in it? I got that from someone who was selling it on ebay several years ago! I recently saw a cupboard sized chair, not exactly like that one but if I remember where and exactly what, I'll get back to you!