Woohoo! The basement is finished! Well, okay, it's not completely finished, but the painting part is done. Now we'll be able to move on to other important things, like moving stuff down there.

Today was spent finishing up the painting, orgainzing the upstairs, and cleaning up the rental. S is over there now performing the last touch-up cleaning duties.By far, though, the best part of today was being able to finally move things into the family room (aka the basement). Here's a before and after view:

My other great accomplishment: I ripped off those stupid shower doors and bought a shower curtain. Well, not a real curtain, it's just a liner, but it looks lots better.

It's coming along, slowly but surely. I have to go back to work tomorrow, so I'll have less time to put things together for the next 3 days. Thursday through Saturday, I'll be on my regular 3 days off, so I'm hoping to finish things up by then. As long as we're done by Spetember 10, I'll be happy. We'll be having a housewarming/barbeque for our friends and family, and it would be nice not to have to dodge boxes to walk around.

More pictures to come...


Moved in... sorta

As of today, everything but the fish tanks and desk chairs have been moved in. And, even more exciting, some rooms actually look like they should. The kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are completely finished. Our bedroom is nearly done, we just have some clothes and miscellaneous stuff to put into our drawers. We'd probably have been done sooner if I hadn't kept rearranging the furniture in there. Today, I took it to a new level and moved the bedroom to a different room altogether. I think I'm finished now.

In spite of the clutter, the house feels like home. It's definitely got its idiosyncracies, which we're starting to get used to. Nothing is coming to mind, but every so often, we look at something and think, "huh...?"

I'm exhausted (very little sleep the past few days), and S declared tonight a night off, so I'm off to do something relaxing. Yay!


Almost there...

Nothing new, nothing exciting. Our house looks like something of a rabbit hole; there are aisles through the boxes for traveling from room to room. The only rooms that are still normal looking are the bathroom and kitchen. At least C.C. is enjoying the packing/moving process... You'd think that by 12 she'd have grown out of playing with her tail. Guess not.

This is what happens when I get bored at work

Click to make it bigger...

They stuck me in medical today at work. I'm one of the few people who like it there; you're all by yourself, and you only have to deal with 25 or so inamtes instead of 170. It's so quiet that it may as well be a vacation. I was happy. And bored, since I forgot to bring a book. So whipped out my handy-dandy graph paper and drew what I wanted the exterior of the house to look like. It's not too much work, I don't think. The windows need muntins (mullions?) to add to the Craftsman character of the house. A new front door is pretty simple. Then just face the cement slab with brick and build up the columns. The framework is already in place, we just need to fill it out with some details. The only thing I worry about is what's underneath the faux brick on the house. It's really cheap-looking stuff, so I want it to go ASAP, but I have a feel ing there's no siding underneath it. I guess there's only one way to find out...

In other news, S. was a perfect husband today. He packed a TON of stuff, plus did some housework. and he even found time to run to Barnes and Noble for me. I heart my hubby. :)


T Minus 3 Days... And Counting!

We are officially living in chaos. Our living room is shrinking, and the dining room has already been taken over. Where in the heck did all this crap come from?!

On the up-side I'm much less stressed today, and I'm actually starting to feel excited again. In just 2 days, we will take possession of our house. It's one of the oddest feelings to own a home, but have someone else living in it.. We closed back on the 2nd, but gave the POs 30 days to vacate. Due to the experiences of A and J over at House in Progress, we made sure to include a clause in the contract saying that the house "must be free of all personal property and debris, excluding appliances and useable building materials." As far as I know, all that they are leaving behind is some lumber, siding, and insulation in the loft above the garage. So you hopefully won't be seeing any "What on Earth" entries over here...!


Are we there yet?

Not sure why I'm so stressed out about this whole moving thing. I'm excited to be moving into our own place, but I feel like a giant stress ball... Maybe it's just all the possibilites that are opening up for us now. Ever since I've lived on my own, it's been in old buildings. When I spent a year at St. Mary's, I lived in LeMans Hall, which was built in the '20s. Hardwood floors, old windows, radiators, built-ins, 12' ceilings, transoms...

My first apartment was built in 1902 and was originally a dress store. My apartment was the original living quarters above the store. It still had the original kitchen cabinets, pine floors, plaster, windows, and interior doors.

The house we're in now was built in the '20s, and it has all the original doors, windows, and woodwork. There's beadboard on the porch ceiling. And the bathtub is still here, though it's no longer installed...!

And with all of the old buildings that I've lived in, worked in, and visited, I've wanted to "rescue" them. From neglect, from remuddling, from future owners who will destroy them in the name of "modernism" and "progress"... So I suppose that, for me, the house represents all of the buildings I've wanted to save, but couldn't. It's the opportunity to finally rescue a building.

I'm not sure when my love affair with old buildings began. For as long as I can remember, I've been intrigued with old buildings and the window to the past that they open. They represent a time when life was simpler, though certainly not easier, and when quality craftsmanship was a priority. Even in the tiniest details on utilitarian buildings. Take warehouses for example. Here's a modern warehouse:

And an old one:

The difference is incredible. Even if you have no love of old buildings, you can certainly appreciate the amount of work and attention to detail that went into the older building. Both serve the same purpose, but the old one is able to do so beautifully and uniquely. It is a work of art...

They just don't make 'em like they used to...


Enough about the bathroom...!

I'm driving myself crazy over floorplans and ideas... Can that shower fit or not? Do I really want a clawfoot tub, or would I be just as happy with a drop-in style with a nice subway-tiled surround? I'm unfortunately one of those people who, once an idea is planted in my head, I'll obsess over it until I drive myself (and everyone around me) insane.

So...I'll talk about the downstairs instead. :)

There's not much to do down here, especially not right away. I'm curious about what's under the stick-on ceiling tiles, and I'd like to strip the trim in the living room and rip up the old carpeting. I'm nearly positive that the old pine floors are still under there, and I want to refinish them. There's some mismatched trim on the windows by the stairs that I will fix also. And the ever-present wallpaper...

The PO's put some kind of laminate flooring in the dining room, which I can't figure out. Does that mean the hardwood is gone? I don't want to rip it up for a few years, since it's in excellent shape. I don't particularly like it, but there are other things to worry about right now (like the bathroom...). There's also some more mismatched trim between the dining room and the kitchen. The original walls are for once lacking wallpaper, but they have painted wood paneling intead. It would look good in a country farmhouse, but I'd like something a little more "Craftsman-ish".

And then there's the kitchen. It's carpeted. I don't know why. And of course, it's wallpapered.


Pipe dreams

So... I'm still stuck on the bathroom. I found this great little program at Kohler.com that allows you to design your own bathroom. Unfortunately, all you can use is their products, but it gives you an idea of what can fit in your bathroom and where it would look best. So here's what I've come up with so far...

Now, to me, it looks like I might possibly be able to fit a shower in this bathroom. The question is, would it be too cramped? The bathoom is only about 6.5' by 10' (these are rough measurements; I'll take new ones when we move in), so there's really no other way it could be set up with a separate shower. The only other idea I have is to use a rectangular/square shower enclosure, since those seem to be slightly smaller.


Before & After: The Bathtub

Going back to last weekend... I wanted to post "Before and After" pictures of the bathtub. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it when it was upsidedown, sunk 2 inches into the dirt... But here's about what it looked like when I flipped it over (minus the cobwebs and loose dirt that I'd already swept out). Ain't she purty?

Twenty minutes later, with some serious elbow grease and the help of Murphy's Oil Soap, I had a rather pleasant surprise: a (fairly) clean bathtub! I still need to get some Lime-A-Way in there, since there are some serious hard water/rust deposits near the drain. I think just about all of it will come off, though. Another surprise was that the porcelain is in near-perfect shape. It looks like someone used abrasive cleaners on it, but there arn't any chips or cracks at all. If our stupid landlord hadn't stuck the tub outside, the exterior would likely be perfect as well.

Now I just need to find some feet and hardware for it. As far as hardware, I'd like something like this, in the polished nickel finish like the inset pic. I love the gooseneck faucet design... :) I'd really, really like to have a separate stand-up shower stall, so that the bathtub can just be a bathtub, but I'm thinking our bathroom is really too small for that. As whoever designed our bathroom has taught us, there's only so much you can cram into a 6' by 10' space.


Starting From the Top

Reading about all the hard work going on over at House In Progress has me thinking and planning away for our little Foursquare. It will never have as much character as a bungalow, but sinplicity is an integral part of its design. How much "character" can you really have in a house that starts life as a cube?

The previous owners were doing some work on the house, but they'd only gotten as far as the office and baby's room. I think they probably did the dining room as well. Every other room in the house is coated in outdated wallpaper. Thankfully, it's in neutral colors, but it's still wallpaper. So it will all have to be peeled off.

The only room in the house that desperately needs re-doing is the bathroom. It's not hideous, but it is very cramped and has minimal useable space. It's only 6' by 10' and has a countertop sink directly across from the tub, which leaves about 18" of space to walk to the toilet. The previous previous owner was obviously spatial relations challenged. What I'd like to do is move the tub under the window at the far end of the room, which will free up the rest of the room. I already have a tub, courtesy of our current landlord. When he re-did the bathroom in our rental, he pulled out the old clawfoot tub and left it ... in the backyard. It's been sitting out there for about 2 years. Last weekend, S and I flipped the thing over, and I cleaned it off as best as I could. The inside enamel is nearly perfect, but the outside will need to be sanded, and the whole thing will need to be refinished. Still, it's a start.

In the hall, there's a linen closet that is a little... odd. Instead of the usual shelving, there's a rod for hanging things, and behind that is the master bedroom closet. You can walk straight through into the bedroom from the hall! So I'd like to frame the linen closet in and separate them, adding shelving for the linen closet, and organizing the master bedroom closet.

The bedrooms are all basically okay, but they will need a little touch-up work. The master bedroom has some mismatched trim, and I'd like to find some closet doors that are a little more period-appropriate. Same for S's office. My office, which is the current nursery, will need a coat of paint, but that's it. At least one room will be really easy!

I'll stop at the upstairs for now...

I'm sure I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight will all my ideas running rampant in my skull. Hopefully they won't keep me up too late...