Dave hurt his back several weeks ago and is just now starting to do better. The big projects we had planned have been temporarily replaced by small projects and lots of couch time for him. We are both looking forward to this being over. The five of us are all sharing one small bathroom as the master bath sits torn out and I have been the one carrying heavy things around (which I can only do if I am super-motivated)! To top it off, my car got recalled and Dave’s had three major repairs, so we’ve been coordinating a lot of doctor’s visits and car-dropping-off at different mechanics. I quit.
Then I came to Panera to have a little time to myself to write, and from across the restaurant, a noisy blonde lady was having a meeting with someone and every word was hitting me in the head like a paper airplane. I almost threw something back at her but I didn’t have anything that would make it that far. Then I moved, and despite a wobbly table, I am sitting in peace.
Anyway. As Dave has been getting better, we have been working on a few small projects and will hopefully be back in full swing soon. One of the projects was continuing the wallpaper onto the small triangle of wall under the stairs. I had long wanted to do something with this wall, and we had just enough wallpaper left from the formal living room to do it. Here was the before (with kids, for fun):
And here is the after (see how I discovered using filters?!?):
I love the idea of adding wallpaper to small spaces because it makes such a big impact and doesn’t cost much. And, if you decide you don’t like it, it’s a small job to take down (especially if you used wallcovering primer) and you’re not out a lot of money or work.
The next thing we were planning to do was change our little chalkboard in the dining room to a big chalkboard. We use the chalkboard all the time for homeschooling and really needed a bigger one. There was a vintage one I loved for $1100 at a shop in downtown Franklin, and one for $500 for a different shop that was actually just laminated board painted with chalkboard paint. Since the laminated board one erased well (even though the chalkboard paint was wearing off), we hoped we could create one from similar materials that would look vintage if we made a wood frame for it. But before we got started, we came across a real vintage one with a metal frame in the dusty basement of an old house, bought it for $70, and gave it a good scrub-down. Here it is:
It has preprinted white lines on it, which I would rather do without, but it erases better than any other chalkboard I’ve ever used. This coming year our older two will be in second and fourth grades, and are learning cursive together. So, we are utilizing the lines anyway, and are coming to like them.
Here’s a view from straight on:
Little Bennett wandered in front of it one day and looked so cute I just had to take a picture:
Bennett is a dear little person. She is a little designer-to-be and loves to make things pretty. She bought a piece of marble in a unique color she loved from ReStore with her own money, and then left this at the top of the stairs:
She loves to clean, too, which has been very helpful to me. It’s a lot of work to live in construction and still keep things even moderately clean, and Bennett is the reason our bathrooms stay maintained (except for the ripped-out one).
We’ve also been working on the kitchen pantry. The builder put in two pantries right next to each other, and when you have one of the pantry doors open, someone can’t walk in from the garage without slamming that door into it. Since the microwave is in the pantry, we decided to remodel it into built-in storage with a bar sink, a marble countertop, a beverage fridge, and a built-in microwave. It has been on hold because of Dave’s injury, but at the moment it looks like this:
Those two doors are the pantries, which do not connect to each other, and to the right is the door to the garage. Right now we’re working on getting a new 6-foot beam in near the ceiling, because some of what we are ripping out is structural and we don’t want the house to fall down.
Speaking of structural, you won’t believe what we found at ReStore!
These are vintage Doric columns made of wood! I usually don’t see vintage ones (they make new ones out of vinyl/metal/cheap stuff) except for at salvage places, so here is where they went afterwards:
This is me one summer day enjoying them (you can’t see my magazine and italian soda). They are now in the four corners of our screened-in porch, where they will live until they are used for a project. We have an idea in mind for them, and if it happens, I will definitely do a blog post about it!
Hope all of you are having an injury-free summer!