Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Risks of Renovating

New medicine cabinet, light fixture and towel ring.
Clicking to enlarge the photo will show some of the flaws we are trying to work around.
The "tape" in the corner join of the two walls hadn't been applied smoothly or securely. This is rather surprising as the walls in the rest of the house are smooth and properly finished.
Short of cutting out a sizeable section of sheetrock and replacing--with the considerable mess that would entail--J. hoped that the troweled plaster technique would disguise the flaws rather more than it did.
He has done some growling about trying to make poor workmanship look better.

Work on the bathroom continued today.
We are having mixed feelings about the progress. 
When I stripped off the heavy vinyl wallpaper I decided it must have been original to the 30 year old house.
It had been applied before any of the "woodwork" was installed and thus the edges of the paper were stuck beneath the door and window moldings and under the edges of the built-in cubbies. This made for a removal that wasn't as clean as I would like.  In some spots I used a razor to trim the paper as close to the moldings as possible.
Yesterday J. discovered that the opening had been cut incorrectly for the existing medicine cabinet and then rather clumsily filled in with bits of wood and sheetrock.
The circular hole cut to accomodate the light fixture had been made too large as well as lop-sided---and these flaws masked by the heavy wallpaper!
I tried two different camera settings attempting to get a true representation of the paint color, "Fireweed."
We have several partial gallons of paint left from the painting in other parts of the house and wanted to be frugal rather than choose another color.
I dithered over the "safe" option of painting the walls in "Oatlands Yellow" [from the basement room]
or  "Kashmir Beige" [the soft sandy peach from the master bedroom.]
Having lived very conservatively, paintwise, for years, we decided to be daring and have vivid bathroom walls.  Errr--we're not sure yet if this is quite the effect we were expecting!  The deep color may have made the flaws in the wall more obvious.
We don't intend replacing the sturdy white cabinetry; I changed the worn brassy hardware for shiny chrome-look pulls.  The basin and countertop are on the list for upgrading.
The interior finish of the bathtub is worn, but it is certain that the tub had to have been put in place before the partitions were built.  No way are we going to gut the entire space to replace the tub!

I suspect that in a decade or more of building [and living in] custom homes we have gotten very particular.
We think that as we work through the down-sizing, and the months of renovating draw to a finish,
we'll be satisfied.
Oh, I'll surely yearn for my big walk-in closets and my roomy pantries which were features of those other houses.
There is security in knowing that we own this little cottage, these 28 fertile green acreas, without a mortgage.
There is space enough for the two of us and our feline companions.
Each improvement that we make here, both indoors and out, gives a sense of accomplishment.
We'll live with the "fireweed" paint for the winter.  If our eyes don't become accustomed
to this swath of color, there's always another can of paint!


  1. I LOVE the color! But then it isn't in my home, you are the ones that gotta love it. Nonetheless, I do indeed love that red!

  2. Oh don't change the color -- or the color of the towels! I love it. Isn't it nice owning something mortgage free? We moved here just before the price of houses skyrocketed. So thankful for that now that we are retired!

  3. I agree with Kim. I had a red bedroom in my last house and it was SO cosy. This house somehow dosent suggest strong colours to me, becuase half the rooms face NW.Your bathroom is looking very smart and I had to laugh about the paper, in our last house they had done the same.

  4. That is a nice color, although it would be too warm for down here. I see those colors as more up north colors. Your built in cupboards are nice and I like the window shutters too.

    Living with a few flaws isn't bad. They sort of grow on you and give the house character.If anyone mentions them to your face, just kindly show them the door. Your sweet place is paid for and that's what counts. Having 28 acres surrounding our compound would be nice.

    Enjoy, and have a lovely Christmas season.


  5. I love it too, in both incarnations!

  6. Now if I was going to be cynical I would say the important sentence in this post is " We think that as we work through the down-sizing, and the months of renovating draw to a finish,we'll be satisfied....."

    As a husband of some years standing my experience tells me that just when you think any renovating and DIY is finished is exactly when the lady of the house produces another list!!!


    {It looks great by the way!}