Friday, September 17, 2010

The elusive Ikea Stockholm Rand rug

For years now, I have gone to Ikea hoping to the find the Rand rug. It was always, always sold out. But today, when I went to get a canister for sugar, I came upon the rug I had always wanted. And now it is mine.

(Note: Good Lord, I misspelled elusive. So sorry. I'm losing it.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Curb appeal (or lack thereof)

I realized a couple of days ago that we didn't have any pictures of the front of the house (probably for good reason). But if there's going to be an after, there's got to be a before, so here it is.

That's Keith, trying to take down one of the awnings. We haven't quite succeeded at that yet, but we're trying. The things that need to be done to the front of the house are almost too numerous to count. But let's try to make a list.

1. Remove awnings.
2. The carpet has been removed, so now we have to patch the cracked concrete and paint or stain it.
3. Replace the beadboard porch ceiling. (See below.)

4. Do something about the gray paint. (Yes, only the porch is painted gray. The rest of the house is unpainted.)
5. Get rid of the white iron railings and replace with something period-appropriate.
6. Get a new front door.
7. Get rid of that tree and those bushes and replace with something better.
8. Get a new mailbox and a period-appropriate porch light.

This is not a short list. There are no short lists in this house.

New door = natural light

Ain't it gorgeous? Okay, so the walls in the basement still look awful, but we do have a new door that opens and closes and the hinges stay connected to the wall. Also, instead of the tiny, postage stamp window the old door had, this door has a big pane of glass that lets lots of natural light in. You can't imagine how much this changes the feeling of the basement. Doing laundry will be a whole different experience now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Painting trim

We painted more trim. It looks lovely. Above is a close-up of the after. See below for the before.

And here is how it looks in context.

New adventures in carpeting

If you recall, the first project in our new house was pulling the dirty red carpet off the stairs and the upstairs hallway. We loved doing this. It was so satisfying to pull up nasty carpet and see beautiful hardwood floors underneath.

Well, today I got to pull up more carpet, but the experience wasn't quite as fun. We have (or had) gray carpet on our front porch. The porch is concrete underneath. We hadn't bothered with pulling up the carpet because the outside of the house just hasn't been our priority. What led to the carpet stripping, then? A while back, I started smelling this earthy smell, a smell that reminded me distinctly of the smell in our old apartment when the ceiling fell in because of a water leak. We were freaked out, convinced there was a leak or mold or both. We searched for the source of the smell, but couldn't figure it out. Finally, it occurred to us--the porch carpet. Our window air conditioner drips water onto that stupid carpet, plus it gets wet whenever there's a big, windy rainstorm. One lift of the carpet and it was confirmed. So the carpet had to go before my itchy eyes, sneezing, and headaches drove me crazy.

Good-bye carpet.