Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog Days

Summer is winding down here in Minnesota. We have a law which prevents school from starting before Labor Day, and it means that we're at the end of the longest summer ever. I am not complaining.

I spent a big chunk of the summer making my home more homey. I'm not with-it enough to have before pictures, but here are the after pictures.

I got a new bathroom faucet. This is the kind of thing you use before pictures for, I think, but it makes a big difference to me, and so it makes the photo gallery.

I tried to take a picture that looked daunting, because that's what it felt like to think about the task of replacing the bathtub rubber hose with an actual diverting faucet. I did the plumbing myself, with just a little bit of last minute rescue help from a good friend. This change may have improved my lifestyle the most. I can now bathe, not just shower. I love baths.
The second biggest lifestyle change is hidden in this picture. Can you find it? It's not the beaded unicorn or the spice rack. It's the remote control light switch for my kitchen ceiling fan. Now, instead of groping around in the dark for the pull-chain I get to flip a switch, just like a civilized human being.

The kitchen received the most attention. You can't see them, but I refinished the floors (hired someone to refinish the floors). I sold the World's Heaviest Butcher's Block (good-bye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out) which made room for my great-grandparents' kitchen table.

And I bought the Best Thing Ever on Craigslist. It's called a Hoosier cabinet, and now I finally have more counter space and more storage, and I didn't have to buy crappy Ikea cabinets to do it. Also pictured is a broom that is so attractive I don't have to hide it in a closet. It's called "Sweep Dreams". Are you cracking up?
The Hoosier cabinet gives me room to store my food, and it also helps me answer one of life's most persistent mysteries: "Where are my keys?" I try to hang them on the hook in the cabinet as soon as I come home. I'm not perfect, but I can see perfect from here.
There actually is a before picture for my two-tone cabinet paint job. Painting is a lot of work, but it makes the kitchen feel lighter and airier now that it has mellow green trim. Besides, who am I to complain? I am legally required to stay on vacation for three more days. Oh, and just so you know, I do have dish towels to match my trim. I'm so Martha Stewart. They're just dirty. I think Martha has people to do the wash for her, now that she's out of the Big House.

Here's the dining room, getting all decked out for Tuesday's dinner party for eight people. I can throw dinner parties now that my house doesn't suck anymore.
The book I was following ("The Eight Step Home Cure"), said to put the bed where the king would sleep. I know a certain older brother of mine who would freak out that it's not centered on that window, but I'm willing to trade symmetry for being able to navigate past my dresser. The king has never slept in such tight quarters. It's good for him. It builds character.
My yarn stash gets its own cabinet. The artwork in my bedroom is courtesy of my three-year-old nephew. Nothing like a cheery scribble to greet you first thing in the morning.
Here's my writing corner. Even though I don't use it religiously, it's good to know that it's there for whenever I'm ready to start my novel. And it's labeled with my name, just in case I get confused and think it belongs to someone else who lives here.
New couch, chair, and footstool courtesy of Craigslist. I rented a moving truck and conned my brother into helping me carry it, and then I got it all home and realized that it stunk like someone else's house in such a way that I couldn't even stand to sit in my living room. I spent an entire day throwing as much of it as I could into the washing machine, and then airing it out in the yard. It now smells like me. Thank goodness. I might not always smell great, but at least I always smell familiar.
Yes, that's Buddy sleeping next to his bed.
With my new system, everything has a place. The place for random papers waiting for me to eventually sort them, is here in my sun room/office. Well, at least they aren't all over the house.
The daybed isn't new, but doesn't it look nice? The drawers under it are newly sorted. If you were a small child who visits me, you would know that the one of the far left contains all of my stocking-stuffers from recent years, and it's the one place where Auntie Al has anything fun.

So, that's it, then. My house. I now know what I want my house to look like. I just have to manage to keep it looking good while concurrently working full-time. We'll just see about that.


Jill said...

Good job, Al! That looks like a summer's worth of projects completed! I admire your focus and diligence.

OneN said...

Bummed I didn't get to see you lying in the tub to take that cool photo of the new shower/bath solution. And where was my invitation to the dinner party? Your place looks great...not that is wasn't great before, but you know.