Monday, August 8, 2011

What a Week!

Oh, my goodness. Has it really been a week since I've posted anything?

Apparently so. But MAN, has it been a busy week!

To catch you up to speed, the outside of the Funny-Looking House (a.k.a. "the FLH") has gone from this...

...to this:

Ick! The ugly phase, which went on entirely too long as we dithered over whether to pull off all the plaster, or just most of it.

The neighbors were beginning to wonder just what sort of lowlifes were moving in to their sweet little section of the city.

But then one day last week the FLH suddenly looked like this (that's the primer, going on over the newly repaired stucco):

And now the FLH sports new stucco and a spiffy new coat of paint on all the exterior walls and the trim:

(Exterior lights still to come on each side of the door, and the mailbox on the top step has to be re-attached as well.)

On those three brick-topped steps, I am imagining three turquoise pots, one on each step, kind of like one of these:

image: livelikeyou.com

Or if that's a little too pale a turquoise, then something more like this shade:

image: homedecodirect.com

And in the pots, I'm imagining some flowering plant that's sturdy and cheerful in a red that echoes the red peekhole in the door:

(This is the inside of the peekhole, but you get the general idea, no?)

Something like red kalanchoes, for instance:

image: healthyhomegardening.com

I'm just imagining; it's up to the LD's to decide what, if anything, they put there. (But I get to give them design hints, because they are lovely and very patient with me. And because I have good design ideas. Heh!)

Anyhoo, inside, we've been very busy, cleaning like crazy:

Lovely Daughter #1 tackling her bathroom's blinds.

Lovely Daughter #2 making faces at the crud on her sister's bathroom tiles.

She had a right to be pulling faces. This is what we were dealing with:

Euwwwww! It took three of us 2.5 hours--that's 7.5 person-hours!--to clean just one teeny little bathroom. Everything, from the ceiling on down, was covered in construction dust:

And underneath the construction dust, there was your basic bathroom crud. Baked-on, neglected bathroom crud:

Every surface of the little bathroom was filthy. We stoop tiptoe on stepladders, sprawled on our bellies, and clambered into the clawfoot tub to attack the bathroom with rags, cleaning products, and elbow grease:

Meanwhile in the kitchen, the carpenters installed all the glass and china knobs we got on sale at Anthropologie:

I love how the blue and green knobs pick up the colors in the glass-tile backsplash, above.

LD's #1 and #2 went for plain, Shaker-style white cabinetry and a dark floor, then added sparkle with the mismatched knobs for a Bohemian-meets-Uptown-meets-Country look. (I love it!)

Last Saturday, my very exclusive moving company (that would be The Hubby, LD's #1 and #2, The Boy, and I) moved in most of the big stuff--the beds, sofas, side chairs, and boxes and boxes of kitchen things, clothes and books.

Now the bedrooms are a big, fat mess. Here's Bedroom #1:

And Bedroom #2:

And Bedroom #3:

The bedrooms are serving as our temporary staging areas while we get the public parts of the house all set first. For instance, the kitchen is taking shape:

These Martha Stewart cannisters, which LD #1 bought several years ago, were in the back of our collective mind when we picked out the backsplash color:

(The little hand-carved wood duck bowl is a souvenir LD#1 brought home from a study-abroad program in Mexico.)

After a hard day of shlepping furniture, sweeping floors, and wiping down walls, we sat down to our first meal as a family in the FLH. It was just take-out pizza and tap water, but it was so lovely. What a special moment, as we gathered around the table (which LD #2 and I found for just $45 at Goodwill).

On Sunday, LD#1 trawled through Craigslist and found this beauty to serve as a sideboard in the dining room:

It's a lovely, mid-20th-century Scandinavian bureau made of teak. She bought it from a woman in her late 50s or early 60s, whose uncle used to own a furniture store full of this stuff.

This piece would be perfect if one or two of those drawers were cabinets instead, so the girls could store bottles and large serving pieces. But they are decorating on a shoestring, the price was great, and the LD's have a wood rack they can put elsewhere in the dining room for storing wine.

Did you notice? The bureau has a nice little four-pointed star detail around each knob:

I think they're going to love this piece. For the price of a new, pressboard-and-laminate piece from IKEA, they got the Real Deal from an important time in interior design.

To cap a very busy week, today, LD#1 went off to her first day of medical school:

And LD #2 went off to her first day at her new job as a teacher's aide:

And I took the day off from cleaning the FLH (there's still plenty of construction dust and grime to clear out of the crevices). Because I wasn't sure I could stand one more day of being sweaty and dusty and using my fingernails to scrape off paint and plaster spatters.

I'll get back to that tomorrow.

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