I had no idea when we started our house projects that I wouldn’t have a single finished room by February 2011. After all we’ve been in this house for what, six months?? Don’t get me wrong – each room is partially finished and totally livable. I’d blame the puppies but really the only things they’ve done is ruin two rugs, three plants, require the entire house to be steam cleaned and put kitchen decorating and the new drapes on hold. So really, I could blame them for a lot. *smile* However, there is no reason why I cannot finish the bathroom, my room, Drue’s room and Jason’s room. I suppose it is a combination of sheer inertia after a day of picking up after the puppies. And Drue’s room and the bathroom are almost finished so there is really no reason why I shouldn’t suck it up and get those two rooms DONE this weekend, since we are chained to the house until we place six of our eight puppies in their forever homes. We started with the bathroom and Drue’s room first. The bathroom was a necessity since we only have one and Drue’s room is always first to ensure she has a place to study, practice and hide amidst all the chaos. We also wanted to get the front yard in shape before the rains came in and that was no easy task, let me tell you. The first challenge was working within the current color scheme of the house that can best be described as “old lady”. Luckily the walls are a mottled eggshell ergo not too bad but the sea of blue and mauve carpet is a challenge and the pink curtains are disgusting. Not only are they dusty and smelly but they are PINK and we knew that eventually they would have to go.
The first order of business was spending a little time pulling out all the disgusting, old shelf paper in our closets. The linen closets were, by far, the worst and we spent the better part of a weekend stripping out two layers of shelf paper, washing the shelves in bleach and letting them dry in the sunshine. Finally, after 2 days of hard labor, all three hall closets were ready for linens, camping gear and other items (see thumbnails above). The next week, we tackled the kitchen and by the Sunday after we moved in (we got there on August 4th), the kitchen cabinets had fresh shelf paper and all the items in our kitchen were sparkling clean and placed within easy grasp for cooking, baking and other fun kitchen projects. We decided to embrace the blue and ignore the godawful mauve and pink colors in the house. We figured we could temper everything with a palette of blues, creams, and rich browns and hope people did not notice the fact that the bedroom’s had carpet the color of Pepto Bismol mixed with a heavy dose of mud. Replacing shelf paper is the most obnoxious task in the world and the older and moldier it is, the harder it is to come off. After scraping as much paper off as we could, we finally purchased shelf paper remover and a steamer and steamed the first layer off. The second layer required a heavier hand and we found a seriously toxic shelf paper dissolver that we may never use again. After peeling off a layer or two of our skin, and requiring us to air out the shelves before we washed them, the shelves were ready for cleaning. Usually I am not an advocate of bleach but the mold on most of our shelves was pervasive so we used a one part bleach, two parts hot water solution and scrubbed each shelf until they were clean and white (their original color). After leaving them outside a day and a night in the summer heat, we were comfortable enough with them to reshelf paper them with a lovely paper in blues and whites with a gentle linen scent for the linen closet. The big hall closet got a face lift via a new coat of paint on the outside and fun blue and brown polka dot shelf paper on the inside. I loved that shelf paper so much, we decided to paper the kitchen shelves with it! Luckily after the agony of removing the shelf paper in the hall, the kitchen was a thousand times easier and most of the gaudy 1970s gold and brown flower shelf paper peeled right up. We cleaned off the wood kitchen shelves using hot water and Murphy’s Oil Soap and after letting everything dry overnight, papered the shelves with glorious, fun blue and brown polka dots and called it a job well done when we were finished.
Once the kitchen was in order – albeit not done – but usable and clean, we devised a plan for Drue’s room and the bathroom that would take a few months of heavy furniture and accessory shopping to complete. We also hoped to have the living room in good shape by Christmas but not worry about finishing it until after the holidays. Our goal was to finish both Drue’s room and the bathroom right after Christmas. We failed in meeting that goal. In fact, it is now approaching the tail end of February and we still aren’t finished. However, as of this weekend, we will have the final accessories for both rooms and an idea for drapes for Drue’s room and I plan on finishing them both by this Sunday, come hell, high water or additional puppy poop. The living room was put on hold once we realized Sunny had infested the house with fleas (no new curtains until all the additional puppies are gone and ALL our dogs are treated with Front Line) and once we replace both carpets Sunny destroyed when she decided to decorate the entire front of the living room with diarrhea. But enough about that. So right now the plan is as follows:
1. Finish Drue’s room (drapes on long window, art work framed and hung, art over bed mounted, floor steam cleaned and room dusted and cleaned by Sunday
2. Paint ceiling and door in bathroom, hang art, buy additional vase for cabinet, clean bathroom by Sunday.
3. Finish organizing my creative space in my room, hang the additional white boards and my photographs, determine where the scanner will live permanently, steam clean my carpets, dust and clean room by 3/1/2011.
4. Purchase drapes for two windows by 3/1/2011.
5. Paint Jays’ room. Construct new armoire, hang pictures and purchase two Billy bookcases by 3/1/2011.
6. Once the puppies are out, steam clean the entire living room and hall.
7. Once second dose of Front Line is on dogs and final Capstar treatment given, steam clean the entire living room and hall. Replace ugly pink drapes with new blue and beige drapes (@5/1/2011).
8. Build roof over outside patio. Purchase dining room table, chairs, buffet and hang tin paintings and lanterns (before Drue’s birthday).
9. Once puppies are potty trained, bring in new rugs to living room and purchase pillows for big beige couch (@6/15/2011)
10. Purchase outside seating and pergola by 6/15/2011.
11. Determine budget to purchase wrought iron bed frame and desired mattress. Replace dresser and bedside table over the course of 2011.
12. Jays will purchase bed frame, mattress and navy, white and beige accessories for room including new drapes.
13. Finish kitchen including new drapes for window, herb garden on window sills, new rug for floor and all my new Le Creuset pieces.
Honestly, all that really matters is that we are MOVED, moved in and the house is finished before we hit the one year mark here. But then, I’m crazy like that.