February 18, 2014

Upstate house: it's on.

In case you were wondering what was going on with that house we bought, roughly what's happened in the last two months is this: 

We knocked down a large wall with a door and two windows. 

We redid floors, and repainted every (beige) wall in our entire house. With two bathrooms, a loft, a downstairs bedroom, and a great room with 18-foot ceilings, that is a lot that is no longer beige. Our new color is Polar Bear White, which I like for it's not-so-subtle intonations of winter forever, and the fact that it is white, with no shades of beige. Whoever lived in our house prior to us really loved beige

The trick to painting a lot of non-rectangular rooms: use high quality edge-lock tape. There's cheap blue painter's tape and edge-lock tape, which you still have to press down firmly. It'll assure you much cleaner lines, especially when you're trying to delineate lines between materials, like drywall and wood. 

The other big things we did: pulled up wall-to-wall beige carpet upstairs and re-coated the subfloors in white enamel floor paint. 

Next, we redid the downstairs floors, which were painted dark brown. As Jacob pointed out, they were not beige. Unfortunately, they were poop brown. Now, they are a nice, polyurethaned pine plywood with lovely wood pegs that were buried underneath. 

This required three separate sanders: a drum sander, orbital sander, and corner sander. Nobody needs to own the first; it's like a human size zamboni, but they are easily rentable if you check your local hardware shop. 

We removed ungodly numbers of vinyl blinds. Vertical ones, horizontal ones, all of them broken to some degree. I sewed a few new curtain panels; others are still in the works. 

We removed 20 years of moldy grime from window sills. 

We removed so much dust from a wood ceiling fan that we had not previously known it was a wood ceiling fan. 

We painted one wall of our kitchen a beautiful bluish, light gray called Whitestone. 

We repainted our upstairs bathroom cabinets a dark, lush, deep blue-gray that reminds me of the depths of the ocean. 

We built a custom bookshelf with the welding skills of our friend Dustin. 

We got a couch and a dining table and chairs, then thrifted a chest, some night tables, and a coat rack, and a bunch of other things. 

I made oodles of mugs, plates, and ceramic planters for the house. 

We got two mattresses from the Sleepy's outlet store, which is brilliant (they sell half-priced mattresses because someone, often before they have left the store, accidentally ripped the tags off new ones). 

We hung a beautiful light from our 18-foot ceilings from atop a precariously positioned broken ladder. 

We ripped out all fixtures from two bathrooms, including a very baroque faux purple metal mirror frame and a number of extraneous plastic other-things. 

We replaced most outlet covers in the house, which had about four layers of beige paint apiece. 

We learned how to emergency refill our gas tank when we accidentally let the gas run out. 

Jacob built a desk into the new upstairs loft that exists now that we broke down a wall. It's made of beautifully white-washed birch wood and some plumbing pipe legs and it's the best place to work from ever. 

We installed some new lighting. 

We added dimmers to all said lighting. 

We made (only) one trip to IKEA which actually has the BEST $50 HYPOALLERGENIC DUVETS ever. Just saying, cause we have three. 

IKEA is also the best place to buy large quantities of inexpensive unscented candles. We got like 50.

Aside from the house we've done countless hikes, walks, climbs, drives, a snowshoe, a lot of raking and shoveling snow and experienced many lovely meals at our new dining table. We continue to work on the house, ever in progress, and enjoy this thing we are creating. 

We're keeping a blog of renovations and adventures at our upstate outpost of ours over here

p.s. Yes, we plan to airbnb it starting in not too long.