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Curtains!

11 Nov

Today was supposed to be a day of major transformations. I had a handyman coming by who was going to install the rest of that striped wallpaper on the downstairs stairwell, install a tin ceiling in the guest bathroom, and wire up the closet -> kitchenette in the guest sitting room. We’d had a date set earlier (in October), but the tin ceiling panels hadn’t arrived by then. We’d be in touch via email and phone. I was sure he’d show. He didn’t. Sigh. So back to the drawing board with finding someone.

In the meantime, I worked on sewing up some drapes for the guest sitting room. I found a very charming P. Kaufmann fabric at Osgood’s (greatest fabric store in New England, if not beyond). It features elephants and viney things and is a heavy cotton velvet. It looks pre-aged. Just the thing. Unfortunately, I under-estimated the amount of blackout fabric I’d need, so I have to go back to get more and sew up one more short central panel.

Summer curtains.

Summer curtains.

Fabric and liner from Osgood's

Fabric and liner from Osgood’s

First panel up. Inspector Walter.

First panel up. Inspector Walter.

Fabric next to wall. Cute!

Fabric next to wall. Cute!

Trying to show the (mostly) finished work.

Trying to show the (mostly) finished work.

At least I managed to get some things done, since I arranged to work from home today to be here for the no-show handyman.

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Painting a grotty floor

14 Oct

The floor in the guest bathroom was pretty grotty. It looks much nicer in photographs than it did in reality. I read  this on other people’s blogs (like two of my favorites: Manhattan-Nest and Design-Crisis) and I think “eh, it looks great in the photo, how bad can that thing look in real life?” and now I know, that thing can look pretty awful in real life while looking quite decent in  a photo. I’m also one of those people who laments nearly every time someone paints wood.

It looked much worse in person, believe me.

It looked much worse in person, believe me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the floor was awful and it would have cost a lot of money and made a huge mess to sand it. It had deep splinters and grooves (possibly 40+ year old sanding machine marks) and nailheads sticking up. It was stained and just plain grotty, really that’s the only word for it. So I decided to paint it.

I had seen all sorts of lovely white painted floors in books, magazines, and web sites. Perhaps they, too, looked better in the photos than in real life. Because the white I chose (milky something from Benjamin Moore mixed up as floor paint at Rocky’s) looked like there was a yellow flourescent light glowing on it at all times. And the big gap between the floor and the skirting board became very noticeable. I gave it two coats, but it just wasn’t working.

Whitish floor paint going down. White does not hide flaws, FYI.

Whitish floor paint going down. White does not hide flaws, FYI.

Whitish, ickish floor.

Whitish, ickish floor.

Even a bathmat didn't improve the look.

Even a bathmat didn’t improve the look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had heard that you MUST use floor paint on floors. So I trotted over to Home Depot to have them mix up a quart of floor paint in the color that is on the walls in the bathroom. I used leftover exterior paint from my stoop on the walls thinking (a) I had it hanging around and (b) if it’s supposed to withstand exterior conditions, it will probably do okay in the bathroom. Waste not, want not. Well, Home Depot only sold gallons of floor paint, and the white had only used half a quart, so I figured I’d do an experiment and use more of the leftover exterior paint on the floor. I also got $5.00 worth of some quarter-round-ish gap filler baseboard shoe molding and stuck that in the gaps, and that is a huge improvement up close (you can’t see anything in these photos, sorry. But trust me).

Taggy doing an industrial chic modeling shoot.

Taggy doing an industrial chic modeling shoot.

All this work is making Taggy sleepy.

All this work is making Taggy sleepy.

Blue paint on walls in bathroom

Blue paint on walls in bathroom

Blue floor and skirting boards. Hooray!

Blue floor and skirting boards. Hooray!

Long shot, while paint is still wet (it's less shiny dry -- satin finish)

Long shot, while paint is still wet (it’s less shiny dry — satin finish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll see how it wears (I’m hoping the two coats of actual floor paint under the two heavy coats of blue will act as a primer), but it looks great. I’d like to replace the threshold with one of those nice marble ones, but I forgot to measure it when I was at HD, so I decided to just paint it in the meantime (i.e. forever).

Ceiling repair

22 Sep

We’ve had a difficult few months here at Townhouse Turnaround and there hasn’t been much home improvement. My dear sweet cat Jerome died on July 30th. He had feline leukemia and became very suddenly extremely ill. He’d been tested for it and vaccinated against it, but the vets think it must have been dormant in his little system. They tried extraordinary measures to save his dear little life, but couldn’t in the end. He was only seven, and I’d had him for only four short years. It’s been a huge loss; he had an enormous presence and personality. Everyone who met him loved him and he followed me everywhere. I miss him terribly.

I also fell down the cellar stairs in late August and sprained one knee and the other ankle, so I’ve been hobbing around for a month. I was lucky to walk away with such minor damage to my aged frame, and everything’s healing up on its own now, so I’m thanking my lucky stars and getting back to things around the house.

Next up is some work that a professional will be tackling — ceiling repair. Here are some before photos:

The pro will be removing the tin ceiling on the top floor and replacing it with sheetrock. He will also repair the crumbling ceiling and walls on the fourth and third floors, including the treacherous under the stairwell business. NB: everything looks worse in reality than it does in those photos. The halls are horrid and this is going to make things much better.

And then I’ll “just” have to come up with the funds for the wallpapering and the halls will be finito!

 

Nemo blizzard

9 Feb

I am so over winter.

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2012 Christmas tree

25 Nov

I don’t like to put my Christmas decorations up before Advent, but I was worried about gas explosions, so I decided that Christmas decorating would keep me occupied. Here’s the lovely tree I got (from CL) earlier this year. So pretty! I’m hoping to share my old tree with someone else on CL to free up some room in the attic. ho ho ho!

Love my dogs?

18 Aug

I’ve started a tumblr blog (I know, I know — a tumblr blog AND an iPhone — I’m entering the 21st century!) with photos of Trixie and Taggy (and the cats if they feel like it): http://trixieandtaggy.tumblr.com Check it out if you want to see pictures of those two fool dogs doing fool dog things.

Taggy!!!

4 Aug

I adopted a second Boston Terrier today! Acutally, I think he’s a Frenchton (part BT part French Bulldog). Trixie’s boyfriend is a Frenchie, so we’re going to say Taggy is their son (even though at 8 years old he’s older than the two of them combined). He’s a funny looking little creature — gremlin bullfrog.

He and Trixie seem to be settling in together just fine and the cats couldn’t care less (he’s smaller than the cats and they might think he’s a toy).  He likes to chew on toys and makes crazy grumbling noises when he does. This is a very cute little dog!

Here he is!!!

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