"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Home: A Work in Progress

As you may have noticed, it's been pretty quiet around This American Home lately, and that's due to a number of things including summertime travel, back-to-school madness and ironically, home improvement.
 I've been so busy working on the house 
-I haven't made the time or space to write about it.

Our home is a 1914 white clapboard style that defies definition. The seller billed it as a Victorian, but truth-be-told that is stretching both the period and the architecture. It's not quite a bungalow or Craftsman either. 

Our realtor advised us to run screaming from the place. Fortunately, we've never been good about taking direction.
In spite of layers of wallpaper, a slightly sloping floor (I'll probably slope too when I'm this old) and "bright" (read garish) Caribbean-themed paint coloring each room from top to bottom, we bought the little house with high ceilings and two layers of shag carpeting on the floor (yes, carpet over carpet). It felt like home. That was twelve years and many memories ago.

Before moving in, we (and I write that in the loose, royal we sense of the word since I was very pregnant at the time) stripped the wallpaper, pried open the windows, knocked out a makeshift entry wall (yes, it was as hideous as it sounds) pulled up the carpet, refinished the floors and had the place painted. 
It was a start.

A dozen years later, it needed to be painted again. Funny how that works.

This time, we had a craftsman repair cracks (in some cases entire sections) in the plaster ceiling and walls, and green-lighted replacing the ropes in the double hung windows and prying open the tops of the windows for increased ventilation. The windows actually work now, and I marvel at them.

We hired pros (Kenna's Painting) to prep and paint the trim and moulding -it was a big job. In some places they stripped the paint down to the wood -using a blowtorch.

That left the painting of the walls to us. 

This time though, instead of keeping a baby and toddler out of the way, the boys were able to suit up and help out. A learning opportunity! Hurray for teachable moments! And barring a few frazzled nerves (mine) and flaring tempers (mine, again) everything went pretty well, and the boys are now available for hire. Kidding. Sort of...

 So far, so good, but we're not done yet. The living and dining rooms wait patiently for their turn. Work, and school and life demanded our attendance.

For now, however, the wave of plastic coverings and drop cloths has receded back into the garage and most of the furniture has been returned to its place. 

The kitchen has become the dumping ground for the flotsam and jetsam of family life that no one is sure if or where it should be put back.

 Mom knows, right? Oh wait, that's me.

1 comment :

  1. I can't wait to see what the end product will be! I do hope it's as beautiful as the homes I've seen in Skyridge apartments in Crystal Lake.


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