The “Half-New” Play Room

After setting up the new shared bedroom for Meg and Calvin, it was time to do something with Meg’s old room.  However, after putting a week into that new bedroom, I wasn’t really in the mood to scrape even more wallpaper, so it was decided that the second room would be turned into a play room.  In the interest of maintaining our sanity over this Christmas Break, we decided to leave the carpet and wallpaper for now and consolidate all of the toys into that room.

Well doesn’t that look cozy!

We now have another TV set up for the first time since living here and we have a Fire TV Stick on order to make it a little “smarter.”  The only station it gets over bunny ears right now is PBS, but we can live with that.  We’ve also got the Lego table set up in front of one of the windows.

The wall isn’t quite…”done”…yet…

Brooke had a crazy idea about the wall that will improve over time.  As the kids draw more pictures and do more “art” at school, it’ll get clothespinned to the string she put up for all to see.  The easel is also near two new tables we picked up from IKEA to replace the two we previously had, only this time, we put some chalkboard contact paper on it.

“Look, Mom! We can write on the table and erase it again!”

Honestly, I’m not quite sure how the contact paper will last on the tables, as they’re also intended for Play-doh and other things.  The idea was that roads and towns could be drawn on it for Legos, cars, etc.  We’ll just have to see how they use them…

Storage!

The last wall involved a purchase of a 9 cube organizer and some bins so we could put all those toys in a mostly central location.  Their Kindle Fires can be charged because of the port behind the shelves, so that’s where they’ll live and not in the bedroom (unless it’s during the day).  Hopefully we can foster some better habits that way.

It’s going to be a work-in-progress for awhile, but it’s more organized than before!  And now the Music Room downstairs has many fewer toys just lying around because they’re all upstairs!  There was also a “culling” of baby toys that the kids otherwise wouldn’t get rid of on their own, so this was a good opportunity for “Winter Cleaning.”

The New Bedroom, Part II

Check out the previous post here…

So, the scraping started on a Tuesday and we were mostly done by that Friday, though we got slowed down by the kids getting released early from school due to weather.  That, and we were heading to my parent’s house for Christmas stuff that weekend.

As a brief aside, we were on the road to Columbia for 4.5 hours that Friday due to the weather.  That trip should only take an hour.  It was great fun.  Ug.

Gotta get all primed…

Anyway, after we got back from Columbia, we finished patching things up and finished scraping the walls so that, on Monday, I could prime everything and paint on Tuesday. We had to go with 2 coats of primer in most places, including the trim, and went with 3+ coats over the wallpapered section of drywall that was unscrapable.  We’re hoping the water-based paint doesn’t cause the paper to bubble up, but considering just how stuck it was to the drywall, we don’t anticipate too much trouble.  All the primer was enough to hide the floral designs underneath.

We went with an “off-white” color for the trim so we wouldn’t have to do the doors and windows quite yet…

The trim got a somewhat “off-white” color.  Bright white would have been preferred, but at this point, we really didn’t want to take the doors off the hinges or fight with the windows, so we figured this color would at least half-way match the doors/windows while still meshing well with the chosen paint color.

More of a blue-grey for the rest of the walls.

Like we did downstairs in the music room, Brooke went with a color that was approved by the National Historic Register.  The picture above still had wet paint, and the lights were off, but you can see the blue-grey hues pretty well.  We went with 2 coats of paint for most of the way around and, thankfully, it dried pretty quickly.

While we were doing the painting, Mom and Dad were downstairs assembling the twin-sized bunk beds so we could just carry them up the stairs when we were ready for them.  The room couldn’t really fit more than 3 people anyway, so it was a good way to divide and conquer.

Pulling the carpet up went remarkably well…

Once the paint was dry, we pulled up the carpet.  Dad and I did this the winter after we moved in on the landing to the top floor, so I drafted him into helping for another round.  The hardwood was very much intact, though the color differences between the middle and outside of the room was a bit odd.  Again, someday, we’ll re-finish the upstairs but, for now, rugs will have to suffice…

All done!

After carrying the bunk beds upstairs, laying down the rugs, and installing the new curtain rods and freshly dyed curtains (repurposed from those that were in the room to begin with, but now a darker navy color), we were all done!  We also moved Meg’s vanity (my grandmother’s, but painted last winter) into the room to give them a little bit of storage.

We’ve made it clear to the kids that this is a “sleep room” and not a “play room,” so with the exception of a few stuffed animals, no toys are supposed to be in the room.  Clearly, this is easier said than done, but we’re going to try and keep it that way for the time-being.  Hopefully that’ll stave off any markers on the walls for a few, er, days…

A view of the other corner…

Meg’s old bed was moved in and new sheets/blankets were added to match the bunk beds.  Obviously, the bed color is different, but oh well…  It’ll serve as a good guest bed should we need one!

Calvin enjoying his new big-kid bed!

Calvin was at school while we got all this done, so he was pretty excited to lay in his new bed!  He had a toddler bed after his 2nd birthday and, while he still fit in it, the twin sized bed is substantially larger!  He’s slept in big beds already, but this new spring mattress should be a bit more comfortable.

Meg’s up in the top bunk!

Meg’s up on the top bunk, as she’s the older kid.  Eventually, we can relax for Calvin, but for now, he won’t be sleeping up there.  We’re doing our best to keep him off the top bunk unless a grown-up is upstairs to monitor their play time, but again, this is easier said than done…

We’re pretty pleased with what we were able to accomplish in about a week!  It certainly went faster than the music room did!  And help from Mom and Dad was greatly appreciated!

Now, the play room…eventually…

The New Bedroom, Part I

Here’s what we had to work with…

So, Calvin’s been sleeping in a room with creepy quetzals (or some other bird…I’m not an ornithologist) since we moved in, but we’ve left it up until we could decide what the long-term plan was for the bedrooms, and also because we had other projects on the docket first.  A few months ago, the kids started sleeping together on weekends and, for the most part, they’ve done pretty well with this arrangement.  The idea of bunk beds came up at some point, so we all decided that the kids would share a bedroom for a few years, and the other room would serve as the kid’s “play room.”  For various reasons, Calvin’s room seemed like the better choice for “sleeping,” while Meg’s substantially larger space would become the “play room.”

It begins.

As we already knew, plaster was behind the wallpaper.  Some parts of it were cracked, necessitating patching with plaster and joint compound, but there wasn’t substantial damage to the plaster like we had down in the music room.

There were 3 layers of wallpaper in total, as well as an old border that was running along the top.

In this image, you can make out the green-ish wallpaper underneath the “quetzal paper,” as well as a border along the top.

The scraping wasn’t as bad as it could have been, honestly.  It took at least 4 solid days of scraping (largely completed by yours truly), but again, it could have been far worse.  The dust got pretty bad, but we kept the carpet in for the time-being to let it “soak up” the debris so we could remove it later.

We did run into a little issue on one wall, though…

…a little hiccup…

I started scraping it and the material underneath the wallpaper was quite a bit different than the other walls.  This is the one that was on the bedroom door side of the room.

…yup…that’s drywall…

With a little more investigating, it turned out that, somehow, drywall had been used on that one wall.  It’s possible that the wall had previous damage to the plaster, so the owners had to replace it with 1950s-era drywall, and then wallpaper over the whole room at that time.  Indeed, there was only the top layer of wallpaper covering that wall, so the whole room was done at the time the wallpaper was put on.

There’s a special place in Hell for people who wallpaper over joint compound…

On the wall adjacent to the drywalled…er…wall…we also ran into some large patches of joint compound that were directly wallpapered over, which slowed things down considerably.  I ended up scraping off a layer of joint compound in a few spots…

Ready to prime!

After I got scraping done, Brooke came back through with vinegar water to clean off remaining glue, and then worked her plaster magic to patch the walls.  You can see in the corner all the wallpaper that had fallen onto the carpet, so it was great fun tracking bits of trash throughout the house for a few days…

The rest will appear in another post.  That’s enough pictures for now!

For the second part of this project, click through.

Some Spring Break Work

Garden 2.0
Garden 2.0

I’m on Spring Break this week (yay!), so we’ve been trying to get some things done around the house. Though it’s been somewhat wet, we’ve been able to get a shocking amount done. Mark and Diana were kind enough to haul along their tiller this past weekend when they were here for Meg’s 6th birthday (Happy Birthday, Meg!), so Mark turned over the garden for us.

Some new plots...
Some new plots…

He also made a few more plots for us. The one in the foreground has peas, carrots and radishes in it. We’re planning on installing raised beds for herbs closer to the house, so the tilled space is a bit smaller than the large one from last year that sits next to it. The narrow patch in the background next to the berry bushes is intended for rhubarb and asparagus, as they should return each year just like the berries will. It may take a bit to get those established, so we’ll see how that goes…

Moved some appliances!
Moved some appliances!

For the past few months, we’ve also been meaning to move the chest freezer and one of our (three) refrigerators from the garage into our basement. Now that it’s warm outside, it’s kinda past the cold period of the year when you don’t want to go outside to the freezer, but oh well. The fridge will likely get used for beer, mostly, and the other fridge will remain in the garage for lawnmower beer, soda, juice boxes, and other stuff we’re likely to want when we’re actually in the garage this summer.

Garage 2.0
Garage 2.0

Speaking of the garage, we also got some organization done in there. Brooke stayed home from work today to get some other stuff done, so while she was here, we took this opportunity to rearrange a bit in a fashion that makes more sense than the way we had things. The other fridge is in front of my car now (not pictured…), and we mounted our new car top carrier on the wall over the wagons. The fridge is a bit further from the door to the garage now, which isn’t ideal, but we’ll live.

SOOOOOO much better...
SOOOOOO much better…

The real reason to get this done, though, was to open up the tool bench and organize the tools to access things more efficiently. Seriously, that table had everything piled on it for the past year or so.  The power tools and other bins are on the new shelves we picked up, and Brooke brought up the pegboard from our basement and put it up on the wall in the garage where it belongs so all those tools can be mounted and accessible.  The various battery-powered tools have their chargers working there on the corner as before, but at least now, all the tools are off the table, leaving it open for actual, you know, work.

We aren’t completely done with everything in the garage yet, but this is a good start.  The garden stuff and the kids toys still need to be organized, but it’s way better than it was.  The toys will go on a shelf between the two garage bays, and I think we’re going to put in some other shelves for the garden stuff closer to where the door is.  I’ll probably pick up another shelving unit tomorrow for these various purposes.

But hey, not too bad for Spring Break 2016, right?

The Music Room

1

When we were looking at this house, the main level had an interesting floor plan: it was very open with doors between the living room, the dining room, and this “extra room” that had a fireplace.  It was referred to as a “den” on the listing, though its bay window provided enough light that “den” didn’t seem right.
2

This room also had some “extras” to it, specifically some additional woodwork that was not original to the house.  They made up a bench, a toy box, and a series of “cubbies” that you could stash a variety of trinkets in.  They didn’t look all that great to us, nor did the aged wall sconces, many of which didn’t work.  When we had the electrical re-done, we kept the sconces next to the fireplace, but had the others disconnected.

We decided to christen this space “The Music Room,” as we needed a place for all our musical instruments to go.  The guitars would go up on the walls, the drums would be put, er, somewhere, and we’d also put the kids’ downstairs toys (i.e. everything that isn’t in their rooms) in here.  Generally, we thought it would make a good play space for kids and adults.  But, the wallpaper and extra wood had to go.
3

Brooke decided my Spring Break was a good time to get this started, so on March 13th, she took a day off of work and took a crowbar to the wood shelves.  We found red paint on top of old layers of wallpaper behind them.  Also, some plaster started to come along for the ride.  Lastly, the floors were covered in dirt, much of which we ultimately couldn’t remove (without taking a sander to the floor…).

4

The wallpaper was hit-or-miss in its removal.  We had a series of metal scrapers to use, as well as a spray bottle of dilute vinegar to loosen up the layers of wallpaper.  And by “layers,” I mean four.  Oddly, there were two layers of the same wallpaper

5

…the same wallpaper, mind you, that was lined up and matched.  Very weird.  You can tell how dark that outer layer was, likely caused by decades of cigarette smoking.  These outer layers weren’t all that much trouble, but the layers beneath this were more challenging.  In total, it took a few weeks to get all of it off.  We worked our way along the larger sections as best we could in the evenings, but weekends ended up being best, as scraping on the walls of the house tends to get a bit noisy when the kids are in bed.  I stopped jogging in the afternoons after 3:00 so I could come home and keep working on it before picking up the kids.6

Ultimately, the walls underneath weren’t in terrible shape.  We couldn’t remove the painted-over sections that were behind all the wood additions, as they were effectively sealed onto the wall.  Brooke used a “screen mesh-style” sander to smooth everything out as best as possible.  She also used a mix of plaster and joint compound to fill in the various holes in the wall.  In the pictures above and below, you’ll see circular patches where a wall sconce used to be, that Brooke filled in with either plaster or joint compound.  It just depended on how large the patch was.
8

We tried to be somewhat careful about the woodwork that we wanted to keep, so Brooke made sure to use plastic tarps to cover the fireplace and other sections of the room.  The existing wall sconces didn’t put out much light, so we had to rely on them in the evenings, as well as a portable light fixture we brought in from the garage.
9

Eventually, after all the patching was done, we took primer to the walls.  Lots of primer.  Especially in these corners, where we were trying to cover up the red painted-over sections of the wall.  We spent a few days priming to make sure we got good coverage.  Brooke also had some plaster to fill in at points, so we had to prime over that, as well.10

Brooke wanted to do most of the detail work…though, I was up on the ladder more.  Getting around that bay window took some extra effort, as the wallpaper was somewhat difficult to remove.
11

The space above the fireplace cleaned up pretty well.  For some reason, it seemed like the paint roller wasn’t working very evenly, though we never figured out why.  It seemed like the previous owners played with joint compound a bit more than they should have, and laid wallpaper on it before the compound had finished drying.  There were a few spots on these walls that featured near impossible-to-remove sections of wallpaper…12

Finally, after about a week of priming, we put on the paint.  We went with a color that would be similar to the old color, but a bit brighter.  We also chose a color that was approved by the National Historic Registry, so it should be a color that was somewhat common at the time this house was built.13

Brooke spent a good afternoon on hands and knees scrubbing the dirt off the edges of the floor.  It definitely looks way better than it did on that first day after removal of the wood additions, but it’s still pretty noticeable.  However, we’ve put some stuff along these walls, so perhaps it isn’t that obvious.  When we have these floors refinished someday (after we don’t have a 1.5-year-old dropping things on it all the time), it’ll finally go away.

Also, notice that corner in the picture above.  That was one of the worst spots, where Brooke had to put a few layers of plaster and joint compound to fill in the gaps.14

The color during the day looked quite a bit nicer than it did at night!  Brooke also made some lace (and later sheer…) curtains to go over the windows.  In the picture above, they aren’t all around the windows yet, but the window facing the porch has it.

Also on that porch window, you’ll notice the toybox is still there.  That’s a pretty functional piece of woodwork that we keep toys in, and can eventually hold blankets, pillows, and whatever else someday.  Though it doesn’t match the rest of the wood in the room, it still fits the space pretty well.

The last thing to go up in the corner pictured above was the guitar holding system.  We looked into a few options but decided to get the slatboard music stores use to display guitars.  The main reason was so that we could add and remove guitars from the wall without tearing holes in it each time.15

The guitar display worked out pretty well, we think.  We primed and painted the panels the same color as the wall and positioned it at a level high enough to keep Calvin from it (for the most part…).

…also, we don’t know where that purple bin is going to go, yet…but it looks hideous and out of place in that room.  It’s got all of Meg’s craft stuff in it right now, so we need some kind of replacement…
17

Here’s more of a “wide shot” of that section of the room, now with the sheer curtains over the bay windows, a bench Brooke picked up underneath the windows, the rug we used to have in the living room and moved into the music room, and the various instruments.18

The last section to finish was the fireplace, which involved finding something to go above it, and finally replacing the functional sconces in the room.  Brooke picked up the new sconces last week and we made my Dad install them on Mother’s Day (because it was Mother’s Day…so, Mom couldn’t do it…).

We couldn’t decide what to put above the fireplace, but Brooke found this canvas print that seemed to fit the vibe and color scheme we’d set up in the room.  We may eventually replace it, but honestly, it seems to fit pretty perfectly right now, so I suspect we’ll keep it for a few years.

That’s it!  Long process, long post!  We don’t really have anything else in mind for upgrades on the house in the near future, though sometime this summer, I’ll likely get started on the kitchen, which needs a serious fix-me-up…

The New Garden

A wide shot of the garden area.
A wide shot of the garden area.

When we were looking for houses last summer, the building itself definitely caught our eye, but the extra lot next to the house was the real selling point.  If we weren’t going to live further out in the countryside, we’d at least like to have the space to grow a metric ton of produce and still have chickens like we’d had in St. Louis and Iowa.

We tried killing off some of the grass over the winter by covering patches of the property with large tarps, yet all that seemed to do was store leaves, sticks and live grass for the spring.  In the end, we ended up borrowing our neighbors front-tine tiller and renting a rear-tine tiller to get a bit deeper and pull all the sod off.  Though we’re still dealing with some grass trying to reclaim their previous home, the tilling generally worked alright.  We’ve currently put in two plots: one larger, the other smaller.  Next year, we’ll add another plot that’s the same size as the larger one, but for now, we figured we should start with something manageable.

So far, Brooke has planted peas and carrots, with radishes yet to go in this weekend.  We didn’t have much luck with peas up in Iowa, but we’re hopeful that planting them a bit earlier will make a difference.

Ultimately, we’ll put corn, green beans, soup beans, tomatoes, and peppers in the ground between the two plots currently dug out.  A third plot will go in next year, but more on that in a bit…

Spinach and lettuce in the cold frame.
Spinach and lettuce in the cold frame.

Brooke also set up the cold frame we picked up at an end-of-the-season sale in Iowa, this time with lettuce and spinach.  We tried putting herbs in it in St. Louis, but didn’t find much success.  I think we got a little lettuce out of it, but probably not much beyond the paltry salad or two.  Based on our current trajectory, I think we’re off to a better start…

Blackberries and raspberries.
Blackberries and raspberries.

As I said, we’ve got two plots going right now: one larger, one smaller.  The larger one will be replicated next year, giving us two of the same size.  The smaller one, however, will live on its lonesome, and in its twin’s place, we’ll put in some bushes.  That is, we already have put in some bushes, but more will likely grace that location in the future.  Currently, raspberries and blackberries are already in, some of which we may already harvest by the end of this year, yet we suspect it won’t be until at least next year when we start getting enough to write home about.  Ultimately, we’ll probably put some hops there and maybe some other bushes.  Brooke also has some blueberry bushes to put in, but we haven’t decided if they’ll go in this plot, or if we’ll put them somewhere else.

We haven’t picked them up yet, but we’re also planning on putting some fruit trees closer to the road, at the far side of the first image posted above.  Cherries, apples, and quince are currently on the docket, though we may add another (pears?).  I’d never heard of quince until last year, but apparently they’re a fruit you wouldn’t necessarily want to take a bite out of, yet they have high concentrations of pectin, meaning that you could add quince to your preserves to somewhat naturally produce jellies and jams, among other things.  Seems interesting, at least, and they should do fine in our climate.

Other than that, I’m all for adding more garden space.  The more the merrier.

Less space for me to mow…

The Bathroom

IMAG1765

This post has been “in the making” for, well, months.  When we first moved into this house last August, we knew that the upstairs bathroom was probably going to be the first thing set for a “re-fit.”  Largely, this was because the toilet (pictured above) had to go.  It must have been one of those top-fill types that used to have the tank suspended high above it, yet no such tank existed.  The toilet actually flushed just fine: you just had to fill it by opening a valve inside the tank, effectively rendering it useless to our 4-year-old (and a hassle for us).

IMAG1767

The rest of the bathroom was “fine,” at best.  Tiled all the way around.  Nothing too offensive.  Everything else worked fine.

2014-08-28

So, we got a new toilet.  One that flushed.  And filled.  Of course, in doing so, we lost some tiles behind it.  As we clearly couldn’t leave it like that, Brooke started looking into replacing those tiles.  As she tried removing a few of them, they started crumbling all around her.  To make matters worse, she removed the towel rack from the bathtub area and found that the lathe behind it was wet, suggesting that the grout had to go.  Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned “crumbling” part, re-grouting wasn’t a viable option.

So, I came home from work one day to see much of the bathroom looking like this…

DSC_0096

…minus the ladder, of course.  I came home in the middle of this debacle.  You can see some of the less-broken the tiles in the sink there.  Brooke did nearly all the tile removal and I contributed by hauling tiles and debris outside.  The wallpaper came down remarkably easy (though unsurprisingly, as the humidity in the bathroom made it pretty loose).

As you can tell, the plaster underneath the tiles came along for the ride, while the plaster behind wallpaper was mostly unscathed.

DSC_0094A similar story around the bathtub.  Firstly, we had to solve the tub problem so we could actually shower in this bathroom (it’s the only one in the house).  We grabbed some moisture-safe drywall and put it up where the tile used to be.

DSC_0100

Next, we had to replace the tile, or at least line the tub with something more water-resistant than drywall.  After looking around online a bit, we settled on fiberglass sheeting.  As you can see in the picture below, we got it done in time to give the kids a bath.

DSC_0105

It was a similar story across from the tub.  This time, however, no fiberglass was necessary, so Brooke just used joint compound to merge the plaster and drywall, plugging a few holes in the process.

DSC_0106

Not all that attractive, we know, but nothing a coat of paint (or two) can’t fix.

IMAG2051

After filling in the gaps and patching the ceiling a bit with plaster, we primed the walls in preparation for paint.  We decided to go with a brown-ish color, as it seemed to go pretty well with some of the shades in the floor.  In the end, we think it came off pretty well.

DSC_0099

Finished product in the tub!  We added an organizer to the corner and put in a new mirror that didn’t look like it was from the 1940s.  We’d still like to replace that pedestal sink sometime, but for now, it’s functional.

DSC_0100

The wall across from the tub looks better with some paint, right?  Brooke put up a rack of hooks for all our towels to go on.  Nice and accessible from the shower.

DSC_0102

The finished corner.  It’s probably worth scrolling all the way up to the top to compare these images, as we think it looks quite a bit better.  New towel rack, new toilet paper holder, some shelves above the new toilet, and the lack of tiles.

It isn’t perfect, though.  The wall under the window there is a bit rough, as it’s still the original plaster and not drywalled.  We may add some trim there eventually, but for now, it’s alright.  I also need to remove the paint on the wood frames, the doors and the window, as I suspect they’re laced with lead, but that’s a job for another time.  Perhaps this summer that’ll get done.

Much better than we found it, though!  That’s the most I can ask for.

Furniture Projects

Shortly after moving in, Aunt Diane and Uncle Mike were looking to unload some old furniture from an outbuilding of theirs that they’ve had for awhile.  By “old furniture,” I mean it was my grandparent’s set, and various parts were used by them and my Dad (among others, I suppose).  It was a set they picked up in St. Louis sometime in the 1950s – it still had the furniture store’s information taped onto the inside.

Regardless, we’ve had quite a few furniture pieces in a bay of our garage since it all arrived.  Two matching three-drawer chests made it into the house right around Calvin’s birthday, but some other pieces were taken care of over the break.  The priority was a vanity that my Grandma Corine used.  As with the other pieces, the wood was veneered in such a way that wasn’t particularly “modern,” so we sanded it down and repainted it in white.

2014-12-30

The above is something of a “Work In Progress” shot.  It actually took me awhile to complete because it was, well, really cold out in the garage and I could only tolerate sanding sessions for limited periods of time.  I ended up putting a few coats on it as I was battling the effects of “drying” and “freezing” of the paint throughout.

IMG_20150111_092040345

In the end, it turned out pretty well!  The mirror could use some restoration still, as it looks like a 60 year old mirror, but it fits perfectly in Meg’s room, as if that’s where it was meant to end up.  I’m sure Grandma would be tickled to see Meg sitting at it. 🙂

IMG_20150118_163327567

The next piece of furniture was a larger, four drawer chest.  We weren’t sure where exactly to put it initially, but Brooke thought the dining room would be a good fit.  The weather was unbelievable today (almost 60 F in mid-January…seriously?!), so Brooke sanded it down outside and got a few coats of paint on it in the afternoon.  Clearly, the paint could dry a bit more efficiently when the temperature wasn’t 15 F.  The inside of the drawers weren’t all that spectacular looking, so Brooke used some blue paint (from the entryway…) to “spice it up” a bit.

IMG_20150118_180220

Ultimately, the muted red color Brooke went with paired nicely with the wallpaper in the dining room.  It’ll probably end up containing place mats, table cloths, etc.  At the very least, it’s yet more storage space for all our stuff, so the more the merrier!

I’m just glad Grandma and Grandpa’s stuff has a new home!

…and glad my garage is nearly empty enough to fit both cars… 🙂

A Busy Christmas Break…

I’m hoping to queue up a few posts here, as we’ve been pretty busy over the past, well, few months…

First of all, as I now have the privilege of working for a college, that means I get a month off at Christmas and three months off over the Summer.  Aside from the whole “much needed break” part, it also provides a substantial amount of time to get some stuff done around the house.

I should start by saying that this house is filled with wallpaper, most of which we’ll be pulling down over the next few years.  In some cases, it doesn’t really look all that bad – tasteful, even.  But in other cases, it’s simply got to go away.  As we don’t have much experience with wallpaper, we started small, with the back entryway to the house [though, technically, we pulled down wallpaper in the bathroom first, but I’ll return to that in another post…].

2014-12-17

Meg and Calvin actually got started with pulling down the wallpaper in the entryway a few weeks before, thus accelerating the need to do something about it.  In the picture above, you can see the drywall along with some white “patching” I did to seal some cracks.  I took care of this in an afternoon, as well as some patching on the ceiling above.

IMG_20141219_091904550After it dried, we painted it with a light blue-ish color.  The image above was taken without a flash, so it looks a bit deeper than it really is.  However, this is a blue color we were considering putting in a few other places, especially the kitchen, so we’ll probably scale back our use of it.  In the end, however, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out!

As a test run, it went pretty well.  The wallpaper came down very easily, though it’ll be more challenging in other areas of the house where plaster predominates.  More pictures will be on the way as we make various “upgrades” (including some of the projects we’ve already completed, of course), but next on the docket we’ll be covering the kitchen and what is to become “the music room.”

Onward!