Thursday, October 29, 2009

That 50s Bathroom

I don't know if I can say enough about the horror that is the bathroom on the main floor. Let me count the ways: billion year old black laminate; pink sparkly wallpaper (not meant to be ironic), pink plastic tiles; a homemade plywood vanity; a safety bar for a towel rack - with (count 'em) 4 actual towel racks in the tub; the giant, but not very useful medicine cabinet; the buzzing fluorescent light fixture (of the kind found hanging in cheap Chinese restaurants) so great for applying make-up to; the ceramic fishies with gold ceramic bubbles decorating the wall above the tub; and finally, the wooden toilet seat that really brings the whole thing together. The tub itself is a large cast iron thingee that I will have to redecorate around. There isn't a shower - even though there is a shower curtain(?) - and it has this weird little spigot that would be impossible to either take a quick sit-down bath with or actually fill the tub. I have already begun to delaminate. The tub is actually heavily encased in wood. I thought it might be a clawfoot, but I now don't think so. I think the wood is original, as is the laminated rim around the tub. Fortunately, the tub fits end-to-end in the space it's in and I will be able to easily plumb a shower over it. I'm going to tile the tub surround, the face of the tub, and the floor. Add a smaller vanity, a non-tilted toilet*, a real non-buzzing light fixture and some n0n-sparkly paint, a functional medicine cabinet and I will be a much happier camper. If you've got some inspiration for this little room, I'm open to any ideas...

*Yes, I bought the Fun House. Everything has a tilt or angle to it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today's Reality Check: 350

"Melted away: For years, Glacier Chacaltaya in the Bolivian Andes was known as the world's highest ski run, but since the mid-90s, it has not had enough snow for skiing. Protesters held a demonstration on the glacier to call attention to climate change."

For information about the importance of 350, visit

Thursday, October 15, 2009

That 70s Kitchen

Ah, the kitchen...
In this case, these pictures really are worth my thousand words. From the orange and yellow floral wallpaper and the stunning valances to the appliances and drop ceiling with plastic panels (I think there are 4 different types!) with buzzing fluorescent lights, this kitchen is a world of wrong in a small space.

Don't forget to take in the burnt orange carpeting - yes, carpet in the kitchen. If the refrigerator looks kind of small, well, it does only measure about 4' tall. We are pretty sure the 40 year old oven has almost never been used as it's shiny clean inside and still has all the attachments. The part that I (really) do love is the copper tiling on the back splashes and I'm thinking any redo will have to retain or reuse them. Unfortunately, it's going to be this way for quite a while. It's pretty far down on my list of things to get done in this house. I'm hoping that a stopgap measure of removing the nausea-inducing wallpaper will hold me for the time being.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today's Laugh (?)

Sorry, that was as big as I could make it. Click on it to actually be able to read it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Doing the Floors

I knew that all the floors - beside the kitchen and bath - on the main were hardwood under the carpet. I wanted to have them all refinished before I moved in. If you've ever experienced going through this while living in a house, you know it's not pleasant. Has to happen when you and your stuff aren't there, if possible. Thing was that I couldn't tear up the carpet to let the floor guy check them out until I actually owned the place. I got the keys Thursday afternoon and he came over Friday, so Thursday night I started pulling the carpets. I thought best-case-scenario that he'd be able to start maybe Monday or Tuesday and I'd have the weekend to get the work done. He said he could get a guy in to start on Saturday!! This meant that all the carpet, padding, tack strips and staples needed to be gone by then. Thank goodness for the kindness and brawn of my friend Pete, who came over Friday and busted his ass for several hours helping me get it all done (thankyou! thankyou! thankyou!). Here's a "in progress" pix of pulling the carpets in the LR and DR. The bedroom floors had unfortunately been painted too and will take extra work (and $$) to get fixed, but I've been assured they will be beautiful.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Living Room and Dining Room BEFORE

First, from the DR looking into the LR and the foyer. As you can see, this lovely craftsman has had most of the craftsman stripped out of it. The former owners also have covered every vertical surface with either paneling or wallpaper (some of it sparkly!). I'm dying to know what's behind this paneling around the fireplace. I have this fantasy that there are actually windows - like most craftsman houses and that they haven't been "altered". I'll only know once I pull it. Can't tell from the outside either as it has (lovely woodgrain) aluminum siding. The second two photos are looking into the DR - and further into the kitchen - with it's painted (shit brown) box beam ceiling. In the fourth picture you can see the (closed) door leading up to the second floor. The righthand open door leads into the hall, the bedrooms and bathroom.

Needless to say, I have "a project" on my hands

Friday, October 9, 2009

Today's Reality Check

"No school today, or ever: Zubaida, an Afghan girl, holds her younger sister as she poses in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. Eight years after the fall of the Taliban, most Afghan children--especially girls--still don't attend school and face the prospect of a life of poverty no different from their parents. Only about 13 percent of females over 15 years old can read or write -- compared to 43 percent for males."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Got Keys?

Today I got the keys to my new house. Now the fun begins. Soon to follow will be some "before" pictures and you will see just what I have gotten myself into. From what I can tell, the second (later today and tomorrow) I pull up the carpet and strip even one room of it's wallpaper, I will have gained equity in this house!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today's Inspiration

"In this Sept. 19, 2009, photo released by Jumptown, Jane Bockstruck, below, free-falls with her tandem sky diving instructor Paul Peckham in Orange, Mass. It was the first jump for the 92-year-old Swanzey, N.H., resident." She was celebrating her birthday!
(AP Photo/Jumptown, P.J. Jackson)