One Month Progress Report

I love my house.  We had a picnic in the backyard today then ate pumpkin pie at the bar.  Then Salty brought me an umbrella to protect my hair from rain (in the family room), curled up on my lap, and fell instantly to sleep.  I held him for half an episode of Scandal admiring the light in my morning room, then walked around taking pictures.

You see, I made myself promise to do a house tour at the end of the first month in the new house so that I would have to unpack and get started on home improvement projects.  I also thought you might want to see what things look like now because in a week I’ll be putting up fall decorations and rotating in seasonal stuff without returning to baseline for half a year.

It has been an eventful and exhausting four weeks of work, but somehow when I walked around snapping pictures today to document it, it didn’t look that dramatic.

The problem is that nothing is finished.  Nothing is fully decorated.  It is at best, unpacked.  And even that is not absolutely complete as I am still scavenging for a few furniture items that will aid in the last of the unpacking.

But here we go.



Oh transom windows, you’re so fine.  You’re so fine, you blow my mind.  I’m auditioning this lantern up there which is why it is betagged and returnable.  I don’t know.  I like it.  I don’t love it.



I’m still supremely intimidated by the backsplash, but I love the blue in here.



I ordered some longer pulls for the biggest drawers.  I’m no engineer, but I’m at last persuaded to protect the tracks of the drawers by not putting two pulls on them.  As much as I love the look, it does wreck the drawers if, as happens all the time in reality, you pull on only one of the pulls instead of both.  It’s going to take some major psyching up for me to drill holes in my kitchen cabinets.  The stakes could not be higher!



I love the table here because it keeps the kitchen so open to the family room.  However, everyone in the family wishes you could see the television from the table which would mean moving it over beside the island.  I think I prefer to turn off the television when we’re eating.  I can’t believe I said that.


Definitely still planning to reupholster the chairs.  I don’t know if I really want to get into painting them though.  I love the idea of going gray, but honestly, the black looks really sharp in an otherwise very bright space.  Hmmmm.  Anything I’m unsure of gets pushed way down the priority list, so I’ll keep thinking about it for a couple months.


That picture grouping is too small for the wall.  I’m planning to eventually do board and batten  here with those pictures on a ledge, so it probably doesn’t bug me enough to change.  I hung up all my large pictures one day following the number one rule of the Heather Craw school of wall hangings:  Do It Wrong.  I usually don’t do it wrong, but I always give myself permission to get wall hangings wrong the first time(s).  Do it wrong doesn’t mean leave it wrong.  It just means, put the dang things up on the wall and see.  Don’t think of hanging a wee picture as a lifetime commitment.


Speaking of which, I put this in my hallway so it’s the first thing I see when I get out of my room in the morning.  EGAD what horrible proportions.  Definitely did it wrong.

But back to the family room.  Kent hung the TV!!  Yeah, it’s a little crooked, but the bracket can be adjusted without major surgery.  IMG_1335

That sad, sad little particle board TV console is a testament to why double knobs are for design magazines not real life.  Replacing this piece of furniture is my number one priority.


Funny thing:  I’m completely over all my paintings.  There’s hardly a one I want in a room.  So I hung most of them in hallways.  Ha!  Kent says, “Why don’t you put The Music Lesson in the music room?”  Facepalm.  “For the hundredth time.  It is not, “The Music Lesson!”  There is no music.  There is no lesson.  It is called Artist’s Honeymoon.  The guy is drawing.”  I like to think Kent is incapable of commiting the substance of this artwork to memory because he thinks of it as him teaching me music theory rather than me with some artist/sculptor when in truth, he just never liked it enough to care.


And you’ve seen the music room.  I have this fabulous idea for decorating this room that I’m so excited about I can hardly stand not to spill the beans right now, but I will wait.  I will wait and then amaze you all with the power of beauty!




Now, can you stand how well the Balinese furniture fits into the Living Room?  Everyone doubted me.  They said it couldn’t be done.  But I had meticulously planned it on, and I was right, ye nattering nabobs of negativism!



Please imagine that this Craigslist coffee table is wearing one or the other of the blue paints atop it, and that the walls are also blue and possibly stencilled.  Oh yeah!



Now, please imagine everything about this dining room different.  Those lights were chosen for the table I want, not the table I have.  Even my gruff Supernintendo immediately observed when he saw this room, “You need a bigger table, Dear.”  Yup.  I also need to donate/Craigslist all the great but no longer needed stuff in those boxes.



I debated whether or not to wait on hanging the decorations in the boys room until after I get it trimmed out and painted as I would like it to be.  In the end I decided, just get the stuff up and let them (and me) enjoy it in the interim.  All the decorations have been in storage for a year already.  Let’s have some flags and porthole mirrors, and when I get it trimmed, even better.



This fan now makes complete sense in the room.



I have developed a love of towel hooks in lieu of towel bars.  Were I living alone or with some careful, neat roommates who were as consistent in dressing the towels on the bars after using them as I am, I would go towel bars all the way.  Unfortunately, all of my roommates treat the towel bar as a towel hook anyway.  Why not make it look intentional?  They make shelf-hook combo pieces, but the thought of my kids yanking on something attached to a shelf with stuff on top didn’t sit well.  So I painted a shelf I had on hand with navy spray paint, located and marked the studs and hung this display shelf and hooks for my favorite three year-olds.  I love my new DeWalt drill/driver!!  It is such a better world using that thing.  I’ve already done endless finding and drilling and driving into studs with not a single screwhead stripped!  Just kidding.  I stipped a couple.


This is approximately how that dresser will look when I finish potty training the Presidents and remove the diaper changing station for good.



Nautical LED light missing the entirety of the year in rental — found!




I don’t know why I even bother to show you my room except to show you how far I have to go.  I thought painting here was imminent which is why I haven’t hung the artwork (and because I’m so over generic florals), but apparently other things were more imminent.



That’s my other drill battery charging in the corner.  I love that thing.


I even put up towel hooks in the master, and I must say, it was the right move.



I considered not showing you this until the big reveal, but here it is.  More use of drill in mounting the towel bar by the sink, plus painting.  Also just borrowing Flufferella’s chair till I get a proper stool.  Can you spot the problem with the paint job?  No?  Me neither.  I lived with it for over a week until I slapped my forehead and said, “I forgot to paint the wall under the vanity!!”



Now tell me these fixtures don’t look glorious with these blues.  I dare you.  Wait till I get this mirror trimmed.  I am still waffling between doing it espresso like the vanity (which would be matchy-matchy and kind of dark) or white like the casings and trim (which might look like a cop-out since painted is easier to do than stained).  There’s no right answer.  I just haven’t settled on MY answer yet.  And I need to borrow Kylee’s compound miter saw.  I fear saws!



That slanting daylight makes the teal look darker than it is.  My tub is otherworldly though.  It’s even longer than I am.  It’s like it’s known me all my life.



Furniture placement in the Princess  Room is meeting expectations.  It’s awfully drab in there without color on the walls though.



This is the paper for the accent wall.  Which do you think, pale powder blue or this light seafoamy teal?



I know you can’t tell because of the off-white walls, but there is a dresser in this shot which fits precisely how I measured it when I planned this room a year ago.  Laaah!



These chairs are just placeholders to show where her tea party armchairs will eventually go.  And that drop wing table is currently sporting two coats of white primer in my garage as it undergoes a makeover.



The Princess Ensuite had to have a girly towel hook bar.



And since I had all sorts of extra crystals from the other fixtures in the house, Fluffs and I bestrewed her vanity light.





I have major plans for this vanity, but until then, these guys have lain fallow in storage for too long.

What isn’t that obvious from these pictures is how thoroughly things are organized.  I won’t make you look at each and every drawer organizer, but…



Huh?  Huh?  Would you say this is a paragon of compartmentalization?  If I paid you $10, would you say it?



I found the large ramekins, the medium ramekins, and the small ramekins.  I did not, however, find the china dinner plates.  I hope against hope they are in one of the few boxes left in storage.



This took me a solid day’s work and involved more drilling and driving (I prefer that verb to screwing).  I don’t love the wire look, but I love the functionality of these stadium seating spice rack/pharmacies.  Kent’s philosophy is that when you need medicine, you feel too awful to go to the store, so you need to have a complete set of all OTC stuff on hand.  When we had it all in bins, however, you spent almost as much time hunting through the haystack for your needle as you would have spent on a trip to the store.  No longer!



They even pull down in case Kent wants to see what’s on the back row.  Tall people burn!  There are actually 2 more of these dandy items for a total of 5.  I told you we have every OTC.  Also, I believe that Pepto is 8 years old.



Friends, I have hung my hat.  This is finally my home.  I actually hung the hooks in here today.  All that measuring, marking, drilling of pilot holes (which I did not skip), and setting, and now we are ready to go back to school with a dedicated backpack hook for everyone who might want one.


The front door knocker was probably the project I had the most trouble psyching myself up to do so far.  It’s a lot of pressure drilling a hole through your front door.  “Don’t screw it up, Ace,” I kept telling myself.  I measured half a dozen times before I finally lifted the drill and wincingly drilled into my mark.


I needn’t have worried so much about it.  It was actually very easy, and I managed to hang my door knocker perfectly level, flush, and centered (despite what that shadow may make you perceive).



This is not a comprehensive tour, but it does give an idea of what we’ve been up to.  And here is a fabulous room to end on:


What on earth?  This is the art room.  It remains unfinished for a reason.  In the nearly 7 years I have been a mother, I have never let any of my kids use markers, crayons, playdough or paints unsupervised.  I am terrified of art supplies and their implications for my new home.  But I want my kids to be able to scribble and cut and create, right?  This is my solution: a table and chairs that aren’t remotely precious, walls that either don’t exist or may be written on, and a carpet remnant that nobody is going to worry about getting stained.  This room has already provided much joy and satisfaction to the whole family.




Some day I will finish it and make it pretty, but for the moment, I don’t even want to paint the one wall.  I don’t want to invest any work into it that I will be tempted to protect.  This room belongs to the kids, and they may do with it as they see fit.

Now to decide when my next progress report will be so I can force myself to make some progress before the deadline.



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4 thoughts on “One Month Progress Report

  1. Sweet frog in a basket, this all looks amazing! It looked great empty, but wow! I can’t believe how much progress you have made already. You are a force of nature, girl.

  2. It looks great. Thanks for your two cents about not putting two cabinet pulls on big drawers. I have been debating that just yesterday. And since I value your opinion and experience, one it will be. Now just to make the other decisions on those silly cabinet pulls. (It really is hard to open cabinets without the pulls.)

  3. Pingback: Screen Time | Put That On Your Blog

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