Sunday, October 17, 2010

hot as the dickens

This room is not only one of my favorites, it was also the room that we really got our feet wet with in home renovation.Take a look:
Of course, one of the first things our angelic agent told us when she showed us this house was that there were hardwoods under this carpet. I laid in bed that night with visions of ripping this out the minute we closed the deal. I'm kind of weird like that. 

There was the same picture frame molding on the walls in here like the dining room. At first I wanted to keep it because it looked so stately. But after we realized it was nailed over painted canvas wallpaper, the only option was to pop it off as the wallpaper was ripped down. It was actually, dare I say, fun? Like I said, I'm kind of weird :-)

This was taken the day after we closed. That morning, I couldn't get dressed fast enough to get over there with my box cutter and start on that carpet. My sweet husband came over shortly after me with McDonald's breakfast. Food?! How could he think of food in a time like this! There was dusty carpet to be pulled up. I remember pulling that first big piece out and my heart pounding with the excitement of the floors looking halfway decent underneath. Much to my delight, they were in absolute perfect condition. Thank God for the 60's when people put carpet over hardwoods. It saved us kids a bundle on replacing floors in these old houses!

We didn't have the same luck when pulling off the wallpaper. The original plaster walls underneath were in major disrepair. Sheets of plaster began to crumble onto the floor as the wallpaper came down. I freaked out a little, but my uncle, St. John, said not to worry. He also happens to be an expert plasterman.

This wall was covered in dry-rotted wallpaper glue. It all had to be cleaned off before it could be replastered. At this point, our air-conditioner was kaput, and it was about 100 degrees outside. We'd been living in filth for days. There was dust everywhere, and keep in mind, the kitchen still looked like it did before we gutted it. Cockroaches were scurrying, the shower upstairs was broken, and I had just realized that we might have to sign our first-born over to Home Depot to pay for all this. My mom, husband, and I were desperately trying to get this wallpaper glue off before my uncle was to start on the plaster the next morning. We had a schedule to stick to, or this job wasn't going to get finished before I reported back to school. There are no lights in this room, so we were also basically in the dark with one lone lamp on the floor with no shade. We were all sweating, I was about to cry, my mom was giggling at what we'd gotten ourselves into, and my husband impulsively blurts out, "It's hot as the dickens in here!" We all immediately laughed at the absurdity of it all, and at that point, we knew that though this road was going to be long, it was, afterall, just a house. Only the people in it would be what made it home.

So after a month or two, it looked like this:

I recently painted the brick on the fireplace after realizing it was never going to come clean. I think it looks so much fresher. We contemplated tiling over it, but I love the look of painted brick.

We truly "live" in this living room, and the memories of that night are what make it feel like home. Those are the parts that make a house great, the stuff you can't buy at Home Depot.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! What a fantastic remodel/decorating project! The room is gorgeous.