Category Archives: Before and After

I Never Get My Whole List Completed

I’m not sure if I’m a pessimist or an optimist.  I always have more on the to-do list than I have time and energy for.

The blue ceiling in the conservatory ties to the curtains in the kitchen.

The blue ceiling in the conservatory ties to the curtains in the kitchen.

I wanted to paint the conservatory and the attached bathroom this past weekend. The conservatory is finished but the bathroom has not been started yet.

The conservatory is painted in Benjamin Moore's "Tea Light" on the walls and Valspar's "Hydrangea" on the ceiling.

The conservatory is painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Tea Light” on the walls and Valspar’s “Hydrangea” on the ceiling.

I also wanted to get the conservatory furniture set up again.

The view standing near the bathroom looking toward the French doors into the back yard.

The view standing near the bathroom looking toward the French doors into the back yard.

Even after all the painting was finished every piece of furniture needed a major dusting.

The conservatory has a television and, hopefully, a sound system (in the future).

The conservatory has a television and, hopefully, a sound system (in the future).

That included washing the windows which were covered with drywall dust.

I really don't know how Charlie can move furniture by himself.

I really don’t know how Charlie can move furniture by himself.

Charlie wouldn’t let me help with the heavy furniture so he carried the hope chest and 2 love seats into the room by himself. Grrrr!

All of this furniture has been stashed in the dining and living rooms. Chaos!

All of this furniture has been stashed in the dining and living rooms. Chaos!

This room still needs flooring, doors, and trim, none of which will happen until the bathroom floor is tiled.

A cute little corner bistro set with a dedicated pendant light.

A cute little corner bistro set with a dedicated pendant light.

I love that it is painted. And I still love the blue ceiling.

Are you a good estimator of time and resources?

Ma Bell is Back

We had just enough changes made to the house that we had to pull out the existing phone jacks. Only one station remained intact and we couldn’t really access it due to piles of clutter in that particular room. (The clutter has now been cleared; thanks for asking.)

The wires hanging across the living room window are just visible in this photo but very visible in person.

The wires hanging across the living room window are just visible in this photo but very visible in person.

The wires outside have been hanging across the window for over a year.

The phones have been trapped in the Diva room since the renovation began in the fall of 2013.

The phones have been trapped in the Diva room since the renovation began in the fall of 2013.

We made a couple of false starts to rectify this situation but each time we could not locate the phone jacks we had removed. (You know they’ll turn up one day.)

Simple phone jacks cost between $3 and $4.

Simple phone jacks cost between $3 and $4.

I bought Charlie two RCA brand simple phone jacks from Lowes and asked him to install them.

Of 4 wires available wires only 2 are necessary for a dial tone.

Of 4 wires available wires only 2 are necessary for a dial tone.

In order to actually figure out how they worked with our wiring we had to take apart the one working jack.

The wires from the phone service are totally different colors from the ones on the jack.

The wires from the phone service are totally different colors from the ones on the jack.

The new jack has 4 wires: red, green yellow, black. There were 5 wires coming from the wall: blue on white, white on blue, orange one white, white on orange, white on green.

Only two terminals were necessary to produce a dial tone.

Only two terminals were necessary to produce a dial tone.

White with blue dashes matched to green and blue with white dashes matched to red.  Yellow and black were unnecessary.

We'll mount this jack on the baseboard after the baseboard is installed.

We’ll mount this jack on the baseboard after the baseboard is installed.

Voila! A phone by the bed.

I haven't used the landline for over a year.

I haven’t used our landline for over a year.

Now if I could keep the telemarketers and politicians from calling I’d have it made.

Do you still have a landline?

One Step Further

My plan was to get rid of the clutter in our bedroom hallway. ( Unlike the red oak floors downstairs, the second floor has pine flooring which is much softer.)

We had a few bags and boxes blocking the upstairs hallway.

We had a few bags and boxes blocking the upstairs hallway.

Our upstairs hallway is now officially decluttered except for Charlie’s shirts hanging in the doorway.

This is not a bowling alley -- it's our narrow upstairs hallway.

This is not a bowling alley — it’s our narrow upstairs hallway.

They won’t actually have a permanent home until the master closet is finished.

From the other end of the hall looking toward the bathroom door at the end of the hall, stairs on the left, and master suite on the right.

From the other end of the hall looking toward the bathroom door at the end of the hall, stairs on the left, and master suite on the right.

But I took the other unsightly bags and boxes and put them in a spot where Charlie (his stuff, you know) can address them at this early convenience.

I set up the rug shampooer in the dining room because it's convenient to the kitchen faucet.

I set up the rug shampooer in the dining room because it’s convenient to the kitchen faucet.

I had taken the hall runner downstairs with the intention of shampooing it. (My method is here.)

The rug is clean and still damp but back in place.

The rug is clean and still damp but back in place.

Believe me, the rinse water was filled with black silt .  Ewww.  I laid the clean rug back in the hallway on an anti-slip pad and let it dry thoroughly.

The rug will dry overnight.

The rug will dry overnight.

Hallway and stairs finished. Check and check.

What room are you focusing on next?

So I Dyed It

I wanted to change my blue duvet cover to charcoal grey.

The duvet cover just laid on the bed to show the original medium blue color.

The duvet cover just laid on the bed to show the original medium blue color.

My target color is our charcoal grey Ikea sofa’s slipcover.

The duvet cover is bluer but almost as dark as the sofa.

The duvet cover is bluer but almost as dark as the sofa.

I think it worked.

The down comforter is not charcoal grey -- or a very dark steel blue.

The down comforter is now close to charcoal grey — or a very dark steel blue.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you how.

Will you tell me something you did?

Colorizing the New Year

I’ve colorized (in a very general way) the view from the conservatory through the dining room into the kitchen.

The conservatory is attached to the dining room which is attached to the kitchen in an open floor plan.

The conservatory is attached to the dining room which is attached to the kitchen in an open floor plan.

The kitchen is totally finished, the dining room half-finished, the conservatory unfinished.

I wouldn't be surprised if ultimately these three room looked like this.

I wouldn’t be surprised if ultimately these three room looked like this.

The above photo is the direction in which I’m tending.

Happy New Year! Hope yours is colorful.

Is your mind full of unfinished beauty?

House To-Do List – End of the Year 2014

More or less -- the look I'm going for in the living room.

More or less — the look I’m going for in the living room.

I used to organize the house to-do list in one long list that I added to as I thought of something new.  Here’s the updated room by room view.

Some of the furniture has been rearranged for Christmas.

Some of the furniture has been rearranged for Christmas.

Living Room

 

The dining room in 2011.

The dining room in 2011.

The dining room looks into the kitchen from one direction and into the conservatory from the other.

Now the dining room looks into the kitchen from one direction and into the conservatory from the other.

Dining Room

  • Clean paneling
  • Paint paneling

    The paneling in the dining room is partially painted.

    The paneling in the dining room is partially painted.

  • Paper top of walls
  • Clean floors
  • Paint chairs
  • Get a rug
  • Finish cushions
  • Move piano
  • Paint trim

Kitchen

The kitchen

The kitchen

 

Kitchen island and cabinets

Kitchen island and cabinets

  • Take down ceiling fan
  • Remove cabinets
  • Remove pantry
  • Move and replace lighting fixture in mud room
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls
  • Decide on storage – closet, bench, doors
  • Repair holes in ceiling
  • Paint and move dining room table to kitchen
  • Make curtains
  • Buy rugs and runners

Pantry

  • Add shelves
  • Add counter

    Counter in the pantry

    Counter in the pantry

  • Add cabinets
  • Paint wall and ceiling
  • Hang lighting fixture
  • Organize pantry food and tools
The conservatory.

The conservatory.

From the bathroom corner of the conservatory the dining room  and the kitchen can be seen.

From the bathroom corner of the conservatory the dining room and the kitchen can be seen.

Conservatory

  • Paint floor
  • Lay rug
  • Hang drywall
  • Mud walls
  • Paint walls
  • Move furniture
    • Love seats
    • Bistro set
    • Oak dresser
  • Get TV
  • Move file safe into closet
  • Drywall window
  • Mud closet
  • Paint closet
  • Get doors for closet and bathroom
Besides roughed-in electric and plumbing the conservatory bathroom needs everything.

The conservatory bathroom framed.

The back wall of the conservatory bathroom is Hardiebacker.

The back wall of the conservatory bathroom is Hardiebacker.

Conservatory bathroom

  • Choose tile
  • Choose fixtures
  • Choose sink
  • Get shower installed
Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.

Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.

Powder room

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Add paneling at bottom of wall
  • Paper top of wall
  • Paint lighting fixtures
  • Rehang towel bar
  • Fix hole in wall
The stairs and landing to the powder room.

The stairs and landing to the powder room.

Stairs

Looking down the hall from the bathroom to the far bedroom, the doorway on the left will be closed in to become a long wall.

Looking down the hall from the bathroom to the far bedroom.

The doorway was drywalled back in December but the hall still needs to be painted.

The doorway was drywalled back in December but the hall still needs to be painted.

Hallway

  • Repair wall where door was removed
  • Paint wall
  • Hang gallery
After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.

After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.

Laundry Room

La buanderie means either laundry room or utility room in a house

  • Finish floor
  • Hang closet door
  • Add hanging pole to closet
  • Add baseboard trim
  • Add chair rail trim
  • Paint and install inside shutters
  • Paint and install old kitchen cabinet above dryer
The master bathroom needs lots of decisions and lots of work.

The master bathroom needs lots of decisions and lots of work.

The master shower is almost 8 feet long.

The master shower is almost 8 feet long.

Master Bathroom

  • Choose tile
  • Choose sink
  • Choose shower
  • Choose vanity
  • Choose fixtures
  • Choose placement
  • Design linen closet
  • Buy toilet
  • Have shower installed
Lots of finishing details for the master bedroom.

Lots of finishing details for the master bedroom.

The ceiling is painted in the master bedroom.

The ceiling is painted in the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom

  • Tear out closets
  • Erect bookshelves
  • Patch holes
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls

    Blue master bedroom

    Blue master bedroom

  • Paint trim
  • Lay rug
  • Make bed rustic
  • Refinish tall dresser
French doors in the master bedroom lead to the second story private deck.

French doors in the master bedroom lead to the second story private deck.

the exterior of the deck off the master bedroom has been finished.

The exterior of the deck off the master bedroom has been finished.

Master Deck

  • Rug
  • Paint vintage garden furniture
  • Have railing built
  • Have deck surface finished
A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room

A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room

Diva Room

  • Paint trim
  • Add shutters or curtains
  • Clear out boxes
  • Refit closet after ductwork
The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.

The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.

Treetops Room

  • Clear out boxes
  • Wash windows
  • Move large painting to living room
  • Reorient bed
  • Paint lamp and refinish shade
  • Paint door
Front porch

Front porch

Front entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose blue stone or paving
  • Make planters
  • Add landscaping
  • Paint door
  • Door mat
Side porch

Side porch

Side entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose bluestone or paving
  • Make planter for front edge
  • Make wood box
  • Bench or chair
  • Door mat
The conservatory is one of our favorite spaces.

The conservatory is one of our favorite spaces.

Back entrance

  • Paint railings
  • Stain steps
  • Plant grass
  • Lay stepping stones or temporary deck
  • Door mat
The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.

The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.

Garden

  • Make a plan for foundation plants
  • Plant grass
The shed is both charming and useful.

The shed is both charming and useful.

Wee Little House

  • Organize tools
  • Paint shutters
  • Clear work bench
  • Organize garden items
The Cottage in November

The Cottage in November

Glade Cottage

  • Clear up unfinished projects
  • Move paint to house
  • New water heater
  • Install kitchen sink
  • Move tools to shed
  • Move and repair drafting table
  • Clean up old lumber and flooring
  • Vacuum well
  • Dust and wipe clean
  • Rent

Exterior

  • Paint shingles
  • Paint and install shutters
  • Paint trim
  • Hang gutters and downspouts
    New gutters and downspouts on the entire house

    New gutters and downspouts on the entire house

     

     

We’ll be adding and crossing off as time progresses.

How do you manage your lists?

The Drawbridge is Finally Finished

Charlie has been building a ramp up to our front door for our friend who needs to enter the house in his wheelchair.

The support of the ramp is two long 2 by 4s.

The support of the ramp is two long 2 by 4s.

What started out as a fairly straightforward project ended up looking like a drawbridge over a castle moat.

The platform at the top raises the porch deck up to the door sill.

The platform at the top raises the porch deck up to the door sill.

When the front door was moved to the center of the front façade and a new porch put on, the excavating called for a major swale running around the perimeter to keep the water out of the basement.  Said swale has been doing a great job.

This ramp is nailed together.

This ramp is nailed together.

The ramp starts out in the yard, crosses the swale, and meets up with a platform on the porch.

The plywood end of the ramp was replaced with deck boards.

The plywood end of the ramp was replaced with deck boards.

When in use we plan to cover it with walk-off mats.

The ramp is supported by cinder blocks.

The ramp is supported by cinder blocks.

In the mean time, during the next heavy rain I wouldn’t be surprised to see 7 swans a swimmin’.

The ramp is removable but for now we'll leave it in place semi-permanently.

The ramp is removable but for now we’ll leave it in place semi-permanently.

How are the 12 days of Christmas going for you?