If I don't go grocery shopping tonight, I'm going to try and work on the wallpaper a bit. It's hard to do anything after work lately, since I'm so tired out. New jobs are stressful, and even though it's a good kind of stress, I'm still pretty exhausted when I come home. Shayne made some good pregress on the office, and now one wall is paneling-free. He also got the furring strips off the ceiling. It pisses me off that they out up those ceiling tiles. The ceiling in the office was in near-perfect shape, and they did more harm than good by putting all those nails in it. Instead of a few cracks, now there are groups of nail holes every 12 inches. I know it could have been worse, but it was just such a pointless "improvement". I suppose I should take into consideration that every other "improvement" the PPOs made was just as pointless if not downright detrimental to the character, integrity, and function of the house... I shouldn't complain, though, since if they had done better work, I'd have a harder job ahead of me.
The first pic is the kitchen right now. The second is my newest idea. The large doorway into the kitchen is not original, and we're planning on closing it in no matter what. We've debated making it smaller instead of eliminating it, but either way, we need some wall there again to re-run the duct work for the office. Some of the duct is still in the wall above the doorway; the rest was removed when they made the opening. Walling in that doorway would really close in the dining room, so we might add some kind of window in the back wall. Not quite sure yet what we're doing there...
Next "weekend" will finally be a work weekend. Shayne and I have 2 days off together, so we should be able to accomplish something in that time. Since it will be nice out, my priority is the stairway and sanding the remaining few bits of woodwork.
I got a ton of stuff done. A couple of days ago, Shayne went though some of the boxes in the basement and got rid of lots of stuff. I managed to consolidate even more, which made it much easier to move around down there. Before you start to think we're psychotic hoarders who save everything and dig tunnels through our junk, I should mention that the storage area in the basement is only about 1/3 of the available space. That's about 200 square feet of space, which isn't much when you factor in all of my backpacking gear and our Christmas decorations. I'd still like to pare it down further, since some of the boxes have been moved to 2 different houses without ever being opened, but it's much better than it was. I also got the dining room cleaned up. It's become sort of a dumping ground, since we don't have a true mudroom yet, and it can get cluttered very easily.
Since I was in a purging mood, I went through my closet and re-organized it and found some clothes for Goodwill. Between the basement and my closet, I have quite a bit to drop off. It's amazing how much crap you can accumulate...
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll be doing some stairway sanding. Yes, I know I was supposed to be done with that about 2 months ago, but you know how I am... I'll also be continuing my organizing and purging. I kind of fell off the Apartment Therapy wagon, since I got to a point where my house projects got in the way of any forward progress. I can't reorganize my living room; it has no furnishings. I can't evaluate the color choices in our bedroom, since we have to redo the walls in there. I'll definitely use the pointers from that book when I'm choosing my furniture and decor. And since I realized that the red isn't going to work, I'm eager to find a rug and get started on a color scheme that will work.
I realized it last week after a discussion with one of my coworkers. I was looking through a magazine, and I commented that I should have painted the livng room green. Two days later, I had a mini-meltdown on the phone with my mom, and I realized Shayne and I needed to have a talk about where we wanted to go with the living room. Since then, I've looked at numerous pictures of red rooms and realized that none of them feel homey to me. Many of them are very nice and well-decorated, but it's just not us. I looked through pictures on OldHouses.com (the archives are like old house porn), and saved pictures of rooms that I liked and that felt comfortable to me, without regard to color. Without exception, every room that I picked had light walls with either a cream-colored or leather sofa. The majority of them had gold or tan walls, with one being green. Red is used as an accent, but not the predominant color. Here are the photos I came up with (All but one of the photos have links to their respective owners):