July 27, 2010

Working Vacation: Pass The Strawberry Slushie

The joys of renovating!  We've been on summer vacation for over a week but so far there hasn't been much down time. Busy with our "big" living room renovation it wasn't until this Sunday that we took a break and lounged around in our sunlit garden, sipping strawberry slushies spiked with Vodka, reading, and contemplating how good life is. The pictures still had to be hung at this point but we decided enough was enough and took advantage of a rare quiet afternoon, when none of our neighbours were mowing lawns, or pressure washing, or weed eating, or using some other noise making contraption.

It's funny how house repairs go, isn't it?  Ever the optimist, though I know things generally take twice as long as you think they will, I somehow figured I was allowing for that and thought it was realistic to start on Saturday and expect to be done with everything by Thursday.  This, even though the carpet installer was only scheduled for Thursday.  And I was sure that even on days we'd be painting etc., we'd only have to work partial days with lots of free time to laugh and play, lounge around in our sunlit garden... 

Crazy?  It just didn't seem like the job was all that complicated really. I mean, how much is there to putting in new crown moldings, painting a ceiling and walls and three door frames and two doors, and putting in new carpeting?  Easy right?  Well... 
  • Saturday and Sunday: to purge five boxes full of books and other "treasures" we've been hanging onto for no real reason, pack up everything else in the room and distribute it, judiciously, throughout the rest of the house 
  • Monday (until 8 at night): deal with the crown molding and figure out how to make the tricky angle cuts and install it
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: mask, prime and paint the ceiling, walls, baseboards crown moldings, and doors
  • Thursday (until nearly midnight): get the carpet installed, touch up some minor dents made during the install, and buy and assemble a new wall unit
  • Friday: fill the new wall unit (artfully) with the books and stuff we decided to keep, during our pre-reno purge of same, and build a new CD cabinet that will match the wall unit and hold all of our CDs in one place
  • Saturday: make three separate trips to three separate stores to find the right stain for the CD cabinet and stain it to match the new wall unit
  • Sunday: install the CD cabinet, hook up the stereo and TV, and clean up the mess in the rest of the house
  • Monday (half a day): hang pictures
Plus, all the above activity was regularly interrupted by trips to General Paint: for primer (when the latex primer we had in the garage turned out be oil-based) and for more paint when one coat, even with primer underneath, didn't cover the paint we had on the walls before.  And I'm not even going to get into the issues we had with finding a stain for the CD cabinet that would match the new wall unit. 

But we got it all done at last and now something we've been talking about for a couple of years is done.  Almost.  R still needs to finish up the fireplace mantel but that won't happen for a couple of weeks.  Now, with what time there's left, we're vacationing.  Here's a couple of pictures: 

We've even made room for some of my work on the walls.  Before this, most of the wall space was taken up by my dad's work which is still there, but there's a bit less of it now. 

As I said, the fireplace is still raw.  It'll be trimmed in white with a dark mantle, to match the other dark pieces in the room.  But, despite an unfinished fireplace, we're thrilled with how everything turned out.  Even if it did  take a little longer than I thought it would, and even if I didn't really get any time to do anything with my prints other than hanging some on the walls.


1 comment:

Libby Fife said...

It looks good but what a lot of work! My husband and I have done two remodels now and honestly, it always takes longer and is more involved than you could possibly imagine:) You need a vacation from your vacation!