Category Archives: den

The Blind Guy

The blind guy was here and, though I’m not proud to admit it, I did place stumbling blocks before him. Of course if he had called to let me know he was on his way, I could have done a little cleaning first.

Nearly four months of living here and we’re ready to get rid of those temporary blinds. You know those cheap paper things? We’ve got them everywhere. Well, not everywhere, in our bedroom, we draped a dropcloth one of our workmen left behind.

Yes, I washed it before hanging it. (And it was brand new, FWIW.)

I realize we’ve taken shabby chic to a new low, but that’s how I roll.

We’re ordering most of our window treatments from a Big Box store. For less than $120 they will provide the measuring and installation for all of the window treatments. Given that we’re covering nearly 20 windows, it’s a worthwhile expense.

Now that the measurements are done, we’ll be able to place our order next week. Or the week after. We’re not great at making decorating choices, so I tend to drag my feet on them. Eventually DH gets fed up with my procrastination and I wind up making some random choice just be be done with the process. Wow, seeing that on the screen makes me realize just how dysfunctional the process is.

Is there a home decorating version of Garanimals? I need that.

I Got the Renovator Blues- Now with Video!

I am exhausted. I had no idea that given the number of workmen in and out of our house, I would be so tired and achy. This might be due in part to the fact that I stopped taking one of my arthritis meds prior to my surgery and it’s finally catching up with me. Or maybe it was the midnight shopping spree after Thanksgiving dinner (a supposedly fun thing I will never do again).  Or perhaps it was the days of nonstop fun with my kids, nieces and nephew over the holiday break. At any rate, I made a video last week but never managed to post it here. See below for even more updates!

We expected a few slow days around the house after Thanksgiving, but it’s been anything but. The tile guy that was supposed to show up this week decided to start the job early. (OMG, tile guys; I could write an entire blog about the many guys we had out to quote us–another thing that was keeping me busy in recent weeks.) And the floor guy showed up to lay down new hardwood in the bare spots.

Today the trim guy replaced our old kitchen door and trimmed several windows. The tile guy (his helper, really) laid out the kitchen floor, the drywall guy came to patch a few spots and…

(drumroll, please)

Our kitchen cabinets arrived!

There was a bit of drama when it appeared the corner unit would not fit through our front (and largest) door, but the issue turned out to be the large box, not the cabinet itself. That said, I’m not thrilled to have that piece unprotected while there’s a lot going on and a lot of workers coming and going around it.

I’ll be back soon with tales of paint colors! And tile (installed) that might not actually match our cabinets (uninstalled, but not returnable)! Stay tuned for this and more!

It’s Like a Giant Puzzle

I’m up and about a bit more, but the last few days have been a flurry of activity- hardware store, lighting store, back to the house. I have a video almost ready to go showing our recent progress. I suppose in an ideal world, we’d have a complete vision for each room in the house.

We don’t.

I think our vision matches our builder’s in that all we picture are the completed rooms, not the furnished and fully decorated rooms. We have an unexpected soffit in our den because we asked the contractor to rework some exhaust ductwork. In that case, the soffit is not unexpected- the issue is that it’s unexpectedly wide.

I was all What?!

Until he explained why it looked the way it did. And then it all made sense. *sigh*

Now this is design inspiration.

What’s an old house without a few quirks?

But now there is the matter of whether we should put electrical service in or near the soffit.

It depends on your plan for the room, said the electrician.

Uh, we’ll probably have the TV in there. Or maybe bookshelves with a built-in look under the soffit. Or…

We’re putting in an outlet high up on the wall near the soffit. I guess we can always cover it with a picture frame…

So anyway, it’s all kind of like this. We didn’t/don’t have the full-finished version in our minds and trying to make the best decisions we can as long as the walls and ceiling are open.

With the guidance of a patient plumber, a patient electrician and a patient GC, we’re piecing it all together.

It might be just as well that we don’t have a long-term vision for our rooms. It’s helping us be more accepting and flexible now (see the part about the large soffit). At any rate, I think we’ve had enough change orders* that we’ve pretty much blown the decorating budget.


*We decided to install new windows now rather than later $$$, we’ve added extra outlets and recessed can lights $$ and made some plumbing changes. $

Week Two Progress Report

Last Friday I mentioned that our builder made excellent progress and now you get to see for yourself. This video provides a walk through of the kitchen, main floor hallway, den and the master suite (my, that sounds fancy) You’ll also get a peek at the upstairs laundry room. It’s all framed up, but the drywall won’t go up until after the plumber, electrician and HVAC guys have worked their magic.

Take a look!

We also ordered our kitchen cabinets last week. It seemed like a never-ending process (our first meeting with the planner was on July 4), but we know we’ll be spending a lot of time in that room and wanted to get it right. Hopefully all the right pieces will come in and they’ll all be in good shape. It can take 4-8 weeks for our order to arrive, so the cabinets can really make our break our construction timeline (which right now is ahead of schedule).

We also picked out kitchen tile, found out we don’t need it for the hall outside the kitchen after all (did you watch the video?), and I think we settled on bathroom tile. We have our bathroom fixtures on hand (FTW!), but we still need need to find a vanity. Oh, and for the laundry room tile, we’ll pretty much be scouring the clearance aisle; we’re not too picky about the overall look of that room.

The biggest challenges ahead are lighting and electricity, but I think we have at least one week before the electrician stops in, so we have time to do a bit of research.

Thanks for following along; we really appreciate your feedback and advice!