Gearing up...

I've been on a renovation vacation since my burthday dinner at the house (December 21), so I'm thinking it's about time to get moving again. The holidays are over, the puppy is mostly house-broken, and I'm starting to feel lazy. The goal for 2008 is to re-do the upstairs, and we've started planning to that effect. Aside from the bathroom, all of the work is fairly easy and mostly involves paint and shellac. Not too bad.

One of the things I've realized about myself is that I have to have a clear picture of where I'm headed in order to work on a project. If I don't, I stall. For example, when the living room was red and gold, I couldn't figure out how I would decorate. I couldn't function with that color in the room, and it kept me from even working on the project. Even unrelated things, like stripping the woodwork, didn't get done because I was so fixated on the problem of wall colors. Once I repainted the walls gold, the project started flowing again. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it kept me stalled for about 8 months. Talk about wasted time!

I'm trying not to have the same problem with the office. The problem is that there was originally a 24" wide door for the closet. Remember, this is the closet door they paneled over and we rediscovered over the summer. If we retrim the door as it was, we will have an awkward closet with hanging rods running depth-wise. What we're considering is doubling the width of the door (either tasteful bi-folds or two 24" doors) and having shelving and hanging rods the entire width of the closet. This would more than double the usable space, but I'd have to remove part of an original plaster wall.

I know there are folks out there that would have gutted any original plaster and replaced with drywall, but I'm not one of them. I have a really, REALLY hard time getting rid of anything original. Even though it would improve the function dramatically. And wouldn't hurt the character. And the wall already has damage in that spot from a non-original heat duct that we're getting rid of.

I suppose I've already decided to cut the new opening, I just need some reassurance I'm not ruining my house...!

But before I jump back into the office project, I'm going to paint the little front bedroom. Once that room is done, I can move all of the office junk in there (what little hasn't made it there yet!), and dive back into my wallpaper removal. I only have about 8 hours worth of paper left before we'll replace the wall that used-to-be.

We're also starting to seriously plan for the bathroom remodel. Right now we're trying to decide between subway tile and beadboard for the wainscot. Opinions are always welcome!


Houseblogger resolutions: Insulating the attic

I was looking through the posts on houseblogs.net tagged in the New Years Resolutions feature, and I was surprised by how many people plan to insulate their attics. Obviously, this is a smart move, since most heat loss occurs from your ceilings and roof...

And, in an odd fit of smug happiness, I realized that our house has an insulated attic! In fact, there's so much insulation up there, I can't even see the joists that hold up the ceiling. It's packed with insulation!

So what that the previous owners did it and not us? I can still take some credit, right? After all, it's done...


The Resolutions

I know, I know, it's such a cliche, and I've never been much of a New Year's Resolution kind of gal. But I do have some things I'd like to accomplish this year, both personally and with the house.

For the house:
  1. Finish office, master bedroom, and little front bedroom.
  2. Find and install a "new" front door
  3. Finish the stairway

The list is pretty short, and none of the items are huge projects. All that needs to be done in the office is to finish the wallpaper removal, skimcoat the walls and ceiling, and close off the doorway to the hall closet. The master bedroom needs a new east wall, but that's it. The little front bedroom needs a coat of paint, and the cove piece on top of the baseboards needs to be installed (I have no idea where the original went, but at least I found matching replacements). I'd like to refinish all the floors upstairs as well, but I can live with them for a while.

The front door... Just about every single craftsman house in our area has the door I'm looking for (9-lite prairie style), but I can't seem to find any for sale.

The stairway will be my first spring project, as soon as I can open the windows to vent the sawdust.

On a personal level...

  1. Create a vegetable garden and grow carrots, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and maybe broccoli.
  2. Learn to can my own veggies, sauces, and meats.
  3. Increase our food storage to a 3 month supply.
  4. Take at least 6 backpacking/camping trips (to keep my sanity)

There's more I'd like to do as well, but these are the things at the top of my list...