>> Thursday, May 28, 2009

While Bradley was at home on his electrical working staycation I had my own big task. Not quite as big but still an ordeal.

The bedroom had some old wainscotting, which was a little wonky. The slats were varying widths, varying heights, and had some mismatched areas of tongue and groove in the corner where a radiator was removed.So we decided the room would be much improved if we removed it. It was really the only thing that people criticized when visiting our house. The concensus being that it was more weird than charming.
Not being the most patient person in the world I couldn't wait to rip it out and see what was underneath. It wasn't too bad - the walls were intact underneath aside from numerous nail holes, a little strip of old wallpaper and some wiggly lines of adhesive.

Ok, as you can see above it was pretty bad... but not as bad as I had imagined it might be!

The best way to deal with cleaning up walls that have adhesive or other flaws is to chip or scrape off any bits that stick out, then skim coat the walls, then sand, then prime and paint. Usually it will take a couple of episodes of skimming and sanding to get it just right. The big trick I learned is to use a wide tool for skim coating, not a little putty knife.Now that I've done the first coat of paint I can see some more flaws I need to fix. But the walls look much better. I chose a pale neutral gray Benjamin Moore colour called Gray Mist. It's very subtle, quite warm, and just enough colour to contrast with the trim. I like the trim in our new house so I wanted it to show.

So that's the plan for the walls, next I'll show the furnishings!


Hello new house

Phew! It's been a very busy few weeks. We've unpacked most of our boxes and are finding that luckily our furniture fits very nicely into the house. My favourite room so far is the living room which is practically all decorated.
Before we moved in I painted the walls. The original colour was a designer favourite Manchester Tan but I wanted something lighter. I chose a pretty pale blue colour called Green Tint. It looks like a bluish grey on the chip - very pale - but I found once I had painted all the walls you really start to see the blue. A very grey, soft, pale blue that I feel makes the room seem larger and brighter. It's hard to pick light subtle colours like this from the chip, in this case I actually relied on a description of the colour by a designer in House Beautiful magazine.

Then I added sheer voile curtains combined with blue linen drapes with a branch pattern. For the cushions I sewed two new blue and brown floral cushions and bought a velvet and grosgrain ribbon embellished cushion. Finally I hung my favourite picture on the wall, an original antique pen & ink piece that illustrates the Aesop fable The Fox and the Crow.
But the big project right now (being undertaken by my resourceful and talented husband) is updating our wiring. During the inspection we found out that there was a lot of knob and tube wiring in the house. In case you don't know, it's an old style of wiring that everyone used to have.

But nowadays any knob and tube wiring is going to be very old, and a bit the worse for wear. Mainly it becomes dry and a little brittle and can be a fire hazard. Insurance companies require that you replace it, and because you need insurance to get a mortgage we really have no choice in the matter.
Now that we're doing it, I'm glad because the old wiring that's coming out of the walls certainly doesn't look very wholesome.

Next up, the bedroom!


Goodbye old house

>> Thursday, May 14, 2009

We finally sold our house! It took much longer than we expected which I guess isn't surprising since we started when it was still snowing. It wasn't easy but I'll spare you the gory details since all's well that ends well. It was certainly worth the grief since we love the new house.
We moved in to the new house this past weekend. Springtime is a great time to move as everything seems wonderful wherever you end up. The trees are all flowering and it's warm and breezy. Well on the day we moved it was alternately raining and hailing... but we somehow managed to dodge the worst of it.
Before I start to show my new decorating pics, I'm just going to take a minute to say goodbye to our first house. My favourite part of house selling (possibly the only good part) was all the fresh flowers I felt entitled to buy so we could show off the house.
Staging also involved clearing out lots of stuff to make the house look as spacious as possible. An airy, serene look I'm now trying to recreate in our new house.So that's it for the old house, pics of the new house coming up soon!


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