Monday, February 23, 2015

The state of the house

I can feel my winter funk starting to lift. I'm sure I've written on here before that winter is not my season, and my ideal way to spend it would be curled up on the couch with a blanket and my laptop, and not go outside from November to March. Sadly, I can't make that happen, mostly because there's no grocery delivery in my area. But I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, or a warm temperature at the end of the season, and I'm starting to think about home projects again. First I felt like decluttering (which you probably won't be able to tell from these pictures), so that's what I've been doing for the past few days. So far I've done the dresser in the living room, most of the kitchen, Baby Girl's closet and dresser, Baby Girl's and Yaya's bookshelves, and the bookcases in our room. I also finally decided to get rid of the play kitchen I built forever ago that was not built well and really too big. Here's the Goodwill pile so far, minus the kitchen set. The Little Green Machine is just there to be returned to my mom.

I've never shared pictures of most of the rearranging we've done over the past few months, so I think it's about time for that. I'll also share where we're at with the new room switch we're doing. There is no end to the room switches.

I was going to do more cleaning up for these pictures, but I still haven't been cleared to do as much cleaning as I have been so my back hurts, and the idea of either bending over or crawling on the floor to pick all that stuff up doesn't sound good to me.

So first of all, the living room is now where our bedroom used to be.

Spot the dogs. This is actually the second or third layout I've had in here since we moved it. The room is long and narrow, but it's not big, so most of the advice on furnishing long and narrow rooms is a bit tricky to adapt. I like this so far. My main complaint with the last layout--couch against the wall where the toys are, chairs in the center of the room where the couch is now, desk against the back of the chairs--was that the children would take flying leaps onto the furniture and the desk and chairs would end up pushed against the back wall. Also the back of the desk is ugly. They still take flying leaps onto the couch, but it's heavier so it only gets pushed a foot out of place instead of six feet. Plus now we don't have to see the back of the desk.

Here's the back half of the room.

Only one dog in this picture. The upholstery on those blue chairs was almost perfect when we got them, but of course it's destroyed now. I don't know what to reupholster them in, so they're getting dropcloth slipcovers. They also need new foam in the seats; I need to hit a sale for that. Also, you can see the bench that was in the entryway over there. I want something much more low-profile for the entry--I have a shelf to hang--so that's homeless for now. I might put it next to the couch instead of that table that's there now since the table is too high.

It took a while, but I think I finally hit on a reasonably decent layout for the toy room/sewing room.

It's hard to discern because it's messy. Story of my life. Here's just the toy room side.

We also have the small toy storage chests in the entry of the storage area under the stairs.

My sewing room.

This has also had several arrangements, but this one works for now. This layout actually allows me enough room to get to my chair and sit in it, so that's a plus. I've actually done a fair bit of work in here; the white table was just a pile of junk before, but now there's actual work space. Well, there was actual work space before I put that dollhouse there. It was on top of the play fridge that we got rid of, so it's temporarily homeless. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it; it was $1 at the secondhand store and I couldn't resist.

The dresser is another thing I couldn't resist. My dad called me one day and said "Do you want this dresser in my garage? If you don't take it, it's going on the burn pile." I couldn't let that happen--it's got a few inches of missing veneer but otherwise it's in great shape--so for now it's sewing storage. I might fix it up and sell it at some point in the future, when I get a permanent sewing room and can therefore install permanent storage.

Here's our current bedroom.

Itty bitty living space. That TV stand makes it look messier than it is. It's not too bad, at least on my side. B is a slob.

The walls will eventually be finished, either later this year or next year, after we get the foundation plates (helical plates? I can't remember the technical name) installed. At that point it will really be too small to be a bedroom, so...we'll be moving everything back! Yeah, I know. I really like having the living room downstairs; I love having that extra space. However, like I said, that room will no longer be usable as a bedroom so we'll have to go somewhere else. There may be a small period of time where we switch our room and the sewing/toy room, but ultimately we'll be going back to the living room space. When we sell this house (2016 oh please oh please oh please), we want to market it as a four bedroom. In order to do that, we have to have another room with an attached closet, and while we could probably do that in the sewing/toy room (probably; I haven't really thought about it), it would be much easier to do it in the living room. In fact, we might do a huge walk-in closet the full width of the back basement. I don't have enough clothes to justify that, but it seems like it would be a selling point. I'll ask my real estate agent.

So then, of course, B's game room would go back downstairs instead of being in the original living room space. I don't foresee this as being an issue, because a big part of the reason they moved upstairs was because it was cold in there. If the walls and ceiling are finished, the basement will be much warmer. B doesn't actually know that my intention is to have him go back to the basement yet. Again, I don't think it will be an issue once the basement is finished, and mostly I don't care, except that when we go to sell the house I'm pretty sure we should have the living room staged as the living room. I could see the potential in having it as a different room even if it's set up as a game room, but according to HGTV most people can't see that potential. That'll probably be something we address in early 2016, so no need to worry about it now.

Anyway, I said earlier that we have another room switch going on right now, because I can never leave things alone. Mr. Man, when he gets upset, tries to destroy things, and he doesn't discriminate based on size. He's knocked over dressers before. As a result, his room is pretty much completely empty except for his mattress on the floor. He did have a twin bed, but now he has a queen mattress. My mom had an almost-new queen mattress that she didn't want, so Yaya had that for a while, but then we traded our old unused chest freezer for a loft bed (and two hamsters that promptly had babies), so Yaya no longer needed the queen mattress. I want to get Mr. Man a platform bed, something very low, but that's been hard to find. I don't want to build it, but that's the way it's looking.

Baby Girl's room has always been too small for her from the beginning. Her room is the smallest room in the house, and I don't know how you could fit anything in there with a regular-sized bed. The vent is directly in the center of the room under the window, and will probably be covered up by any size of bed except crib/toddler. When she switches to a twin bed, she won't be able to have that and her dresser in there; there won't be room to walk. So it makes a lot more sense to have the kid with no furniture in the smallest room. Of course, when we go to sell the house we probably won't be able to have a queen mattress in the smallest room, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Mr. Man's room gets the best light, and I thought I wanted it to be yellow for Baby Girl. I thought I wanted a very definite yellow, with brown/orange undertones so it wasn't lemony. I painted these samples on the wall, with a sample of her dresser color. From left to right, the colors are Behr Pale Honey, Benjamin Moore Peach Cloud, and Behr Amber Moon.

I have now learned that I do not want a strong yellow. I'm not sure what I do want, but it'll probably be cream. I'm going to dig out the leftover kitchen paint and, if it's still good, put a sample of that up and see how it goes. I'll write more on that later, when I've actually made progress.

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