2012 Cram Session: House

So there are approximately 11 hours left in 2012. It occurred to me this morning that I have not updated my blog since Thanksgiving. Oops. So what follows is a series of “cram session” posts about the house, my running/health, travel, and the holidays.

The house is first.


When I last updated about anything house related, I was refinishing my forty-third (ok, like 3rd?) Craigslist dresser. A series of big and small projects have been finished since.


First, I did a little “lipstick on a pig” makeover for the upstairs bathroom. We have big plans to gut–to the studs–this bathroom in a few years, but until then, I could no longer look at the 8 shades of do-not-match off-white and super baby blue (I hate baby blue) floor. But I am cheap and realized that anything we did to this room in the interim would have to be surface only.




The ceiling got a nice cleaning and a new coat of paint, the walls got a coat of MS Gabardine paint (same dark navy-with-green-undertones as we have in the bedroom), and all the trim and cabinets got a quick recoating of white glossy paint. I hung some “art” and “frosted” the windows (NB: seriously, this stuff is awesome. The Martha Stewart frosting effect paint is super easy and looks better than the Glia film in the downstairs bathroom!), et voila:

image_4 It’s not like the most hard hitting, wowsahs makeover, but it’ll do, pig. It’ll do.

image_5 I have to say, it’s a much more enjoyable room to be in, and it’s so much less…cold than before. Ok, check that off the list.

Second, Steve played Bob Vila for me and built that open shelving insert I’d been dying for under my countertops in the kitchen. The backstory is that some jerk circa 1994 cut a hole in the cabinets in the kitchen to make way for the most indispensable, can’t-live-without-it appliance…a trash compactor. Blergh. So, like 4 minutes after closing on the house, it was ripped out and I resolved to someday have open shelving under there for cookbooks and my enameled cast iron dutch oven collection.  After we got Curious George Agnes, we had to stick something in that void so that she would stop exploring the cabinets. So, china and glass storage bags were it. Thus the before.

image This was just after Steve popped the raw box into the hole (See: highly entertaining, not in any way staged photo below), so obviously it’s not finished.


It is here, though:

image_1 Just have to paint that wood piece on the bottom, oops!

And I enjoy gazing at it on a super regular basis…


Third big project? The dining room. It was the first room I painted all by my lonesome, and I was so happy to be done with it way back in December 2011 that when I realized that I sort of hated the color in that room, I just ignored it and was like “You’ll love it, you’ll see.”

I did not see.

I hated that color in that room. Super clashed with everything. Full disclosure, I have that color in the guest room upstairs, which is awesome (it’s MS Milk Pail Green, btw), but to be enveloped in that color whilst eating, and whilst trying to set a table for any day other than Easter, not cool. Not cool at all.

So gray won the day. MS Cement Gray, to be exact. Loved it, painted the room again, happiness followed.


But I was not done. Rather, poor Steve was not done. I hated the fact that there was chair rail in that room, but nothing below it. It looked lammmmeeee-o. So, I concocted a “super easy, I promise!” plan to install “wainscoting” under the chair rail using simple trim. This involved much mathing and leveling so this was alllll Steve. But here was the basic process:

(1) Tape off where I want boxes. Steve measured and did math (that part is a mystery to me).


(2) Steve did some fancy measuring and fancy cutting, and then he used his new pancake air compressor and nail gun (this was his reward to himself for having to be roped into this project….fair enough) to pop that trim up onto the walls.


(3) I caulked, puttied, and then painted the trim, then we added new baseboard, which I caulked, puttied, and painted as well.


It looks so much better. It’s more neutral, less Easter-eggy, and it has a nice air of formal-when-it-needs-to-be-but-you-can-eat-macaroni-and-cheese-with-hot-dogs-in-there-when-you-want-to.

(That’s a thing of which a room can have an air)

So, that’s most of the stuff you’ve missed (by my own negligence, I grant you).






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