A long house post

Finally, some major progress!!

I got back to the house at almost exactly 5 pm (love that commute!!!) and cleaned the garage until it got too dark to see well. It was a little bit of an archaeological dig – the “finds” ranged from carpet and tile that didn’t match anything in the house, to spent florescent bulbs behind the furnace, to 70+ half-empty cans of paint, to plenty of chemicals and some not-diminutive furniture. The most confusing items to pull down were two projection screens that I found 10 feet up on top of a cabinet. The most potentially horrifying were three bags of cotton batting – all I could think as I got ready to pull them down was that if I was a mouse, that’s EXACTLY where I would want to live. Luckily, they were rodent free.

I stacked all of the “remnants” in the middle of the garage, and then swept out everything that I could reach (and see – by that point, especially with the clouds, it was pretty dark – this picture is from the next morning).

And here’s the pile from the back of the garage:

At that point, I decided to start in on cleaning the kitchen cabinets. They’re going to be a little bit of a trial, I think, and we’re hoping to renovate within the next year or so. It’s just old, sticky, heavy wood, and most of the rollers don’t work, and most of the hinges are a little bit off. The shelves aren’t adjustable, so I’m worried about what will even fit, and between the antique(:-)) microwave/oven and the trash compactor that we had removed (leaving just an empty hole), the cabinets likely just won’t become fine once we get used to them.

That said, I love our corian counters, and that big sink, and the wall tile, and I suspect I’ll like the stove a lot. And the bow-out window is awesome. So it certainly isn’t all doom.

Before I could clean the cabinets, I needed to remove all of the baby-proofing – took longer than I was expecting! I only made it through two cabinets and two drawers by the time we decided to break for dinner.

Meanwhile, Kevin came home, we turned on the stereo, and he started to go to town on the “wood paneling” in the family room.

It turns out that the wood was more of a sticker/wallpaper than it looked. The wall has a weird bump-out shape, and so we were hoping to correct that, plus removing the “wood” also took along a fair amount of drywall. Kevin had a blast with his brand new crowbar and the sawzall from his family. He definitely made fast work of the demolition.

It turns out that the wall is bumped out because they poured the foundation unevenly. Oops. We found about a good number of bottle caps and three ping pong balls sealed into the former wall – perhaps the construction was some sort of fraternity reunion bonding exercise?

We’ve decided to keep the bump out – I actually don’t mind at all, since it will be a good place for potted plants, and the part that grated for me was the faux wood. Kevin’s going to add some insulation, since they did a spotty job and missed entire sections. Then, he’ll put in new drywall and we can start painting. I can’t wait to replace the blue! 🙂 It’s sort of a big, undefined room, so we’re thinking of putting in an off-white chair rail to continue the line from the bump-out, and doing a medium café-au-lait below the line to ground things a bit and a lighter shade above. It will need to coordinate with both that fireplace brick and the “cedar” (green-grey) couches. I’m hoping that those colors and a light neutral rug will really work well? We’ll see. Choosing paint is so hard.

(An aside – like the fire screen? I’m such a big fan. This, along with the buffet cabinet and the sofa/chair/ottoman were what we purchase furniture-wise from our wedding gift money. I can’t wait until the rest of the room matches – so pretty!)

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