Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Old House

It's pretty unbelievable that last Friday night I was partying in Oakland with hoards of people.
And by Saturday morning I was back in Sac tearing apart our front room and converting it into an office. In order to spare myself the embarrassment I'm not posting the actual before pic and am instead starting with the total accumulation of the contents of the front room's book shelves stacked en masse. It's possible we may need more books.

Our house will be 100 years old next year and I plan to host a birthday party for it in June, the month we moved in. In past lives it was a farm house to the surrounding neighborhood - which was a former orchard, a rental, a so-called 'drug house,' a HUD house, and the victim of a bizarre and unfortunate remodel at the hands of the most recent owners before us. Over the past few years I've been trying really hard to love this house and my frustration with what it's not has led me to let it languish for the past 6 or so years we've owned it.

We bought the house about two months after we got married and Tim's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer right around the week we signed the papers. Moving in was pretty crazy and disorganized and initially was just a process of getting it done. I ripped out all the carpet and threw it away and initially painted the floors red which is a design element I have since decided I am way, way over. It doesn't wear particularly well, nor does it cover well, and the longer I've lived with it the less I'm into it as a design feature.
In it's place is a nice harbor grey a la grad school studio. Good coverage, soothing neutral grey, wears well, easy to touch up, and now in my new office. Note the nasty skin-tag-colored ceiling is gone too. Yuck-ola!

The old man purging. This image is the highlight of my year!

Beyond painting the floors, removing the excessive rubber duck decor from the bathroom and tearing out the spiral staircase in the front room, the interior of the house has been pretty much the same as when we got it. In recent months, however, I've realized that learning to love this house will take some cosmetic touches. I think I've been dreaming this whole time of a kitchen remodel, etc and in the meantime figured I'd just let the place sit until then. I'm glad I'm getting over this wrong-headedness.

I've basically been busting ass since Saturday, working about 14 hours each day to accomplish as much as possible. I'm sorta looking forward to work today but then there's part of me that thinks I could take the rest of this week and still just barely scratch the surface. So far I've cleaned, cleared and begun painting the front office including the walls and ceiling, painted the counters in the kitchen, painted the cabinetry in bathroom, and begun the process of painting the vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Fixing this place up is also taking me deciding it's okay to paint the already heavily over-painted wood work throughout the house which is some places no longer closes because of years over painting. What are ya gonna do? I tell ya what I'm not gonna do... Strip that shit.

Various blogs are assuring me this is a good idea. We'll see if they're right. Regardless it'll be better and easier to keep clean than the dog's-ass, cheap-as-hell, vinyl that was in there before.


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