Sprucing things up!

It has been quite a while since I last posted on this blog! For some reason it just wasn’t something that seemed like the thing to do but as we all adjust to some level of “life in a pandemic” it now is back on the list of things to do. Probably won’t be every week though. Over the last 6 months I’ve done a lot – sewn 850 masks, a dozen quilts, we’ve taken some day driving trips even breaking out our vintage picnic basket! So to the topic of this post…

When your work space is in your home space that means that 1) you’re looking at the home space all the time and 2) clients are also looking at it. We’ve been in our 1960s built home for almost 30 years. Although we’ve done a good deal, well if you have a home you know there are always things that need to be done. Coming in to 2020 our master plan was to finish the plumbing change (galvanized out, pex in) and renovate 2 bathrooms (a full and a 3 piece) but with the uncertainty and desire to hold contacts down we decided to finish up replacing windows by doing the main living area. This includes our living room, dining room, entry hall, staircase to the second floor and the upstairs hallway. The walls just are a consistent run. The entry tile and wood flooring was put in about 20 years ago but there is no reason to replace it. The windows were the first focus. The triple set across the front would no longer open at the bottom. Getting these replaced also means all the windows in the house would match as the rest have all been replaced and the exterior frames wrapped in white trim that doesn’t have to be painted.

Once we had the windows ordered, I spent some time picking out the wall paint color. Knowing I wanted to update from the former rather “traditional” look I had chips taped to a wall for probably 2 weeks, looking at it in different lights, etc before making a decision! At the same time we kept looking at the scope of the job. Although we’ve always done our own painting we decided this time we were going to hire pros. After doing due diligence we selected Todd Rebone & Son’s Painting. They could start the job August 10th so we finished emptying the space for them. They started by skim coating significant sections of wall to get rid of the remaining chair rail shadows and other damage.

Day 2 was a lot of sanding and I’m happy to say they were vacuuming that up as hey went, priming, etc. Probably the most time consuming part of the project were the 3 built ins – 2 on either side of the fireplace and 1 at the entry. They were here when we bought the house and one of my favorite features but the dark brown was feeling just a bit too dated and heavy. Also when you work from home, at least for me, the tv is often on in the background admittedly often with reno shows on HGTV on! But it was time to update these and so I decided to have them painted to match the trim. This turned out to mean 4 coats! A special paint that would allow the transition from (probably) oil stain to paint, primer, and 2 coats of trim paint. The results are amazing! And yes, I put a note on the mantle as a reminder we were NOT painting that. In these photos the shelves are not back in place as it all needs time to cure. There are also no doors as we are replacing the old louvered shutter style doors with raised panel doors which are at the painter’s shop to be sprayed.

The walls were painted a color from Benjamin Moore called First Snowfall. It is a light blue with a little bit of clear gray undertone. In most light it looks blue but blues can be tricky to photograph. Naturally the windows were delayed and the last day the painters were working the window contractor called to come the next day. The front was replaced with a new look. A large center panel with double hungs on either end. If you look at the photos you’ll note the opening for the front is pretty close to the floor which means tempered glass is required in the center picture and lower half of the double hungs by code. Below is the new look (old is in photos earlier in this post). This was the second time we worked with this windows contractor, John Gawlick of Gawlick Construction.

With the contractors essentially done it was time for us to get back to work on the project. Husband painted the remaining trim around the new windows after we cleaned the factory schmutz and hand prints off. We installed new light fixtures in the entry and dining areas and new hardware on the entry closet doors. All of that hardware going from brass to brushed nickle. We also did a thorough cleaning on the wood floor without any furniture in the way, and put a new finish coat on. The product I used is from Rejuvanate and does a great job. I used it at our son and daughter in law’s home a couple years ago on wood floors that needed a ton of work with very nice results. This just needed a bit of spiffing up and a single coat did the job.

It isn’t done yet. Still need to measure for shades to go on the windows, waiting for the doors to come back from the painter, and furniture is on order. However, we can start to bring a few things back in. We will at the very least get the tv hooked back up, a couple of chairs in, a table and at least 1 lamp. The rest will happen over the next few weeks. I’ll post again when it is finished up, probably around the beginning of October. I’ll still be using space in the dining area for work on a day to day basis but overall I’m hoping for a more “decorated grown up” look! We shall see!