I know it's only Thursday morning of an incredibly busy week, but my mind is already skipping ahead to the weekend.
My focus is on Saturday, which is currently a big blank spot on the calendar and shall remain that way with regard to any plans that involve leaving the house. That's because Saturday is the day I'm finally going to clean out my home office.
It's a task that is certain to take me all day. My desk is piled with paperwork. The floor is piled with, well, all sorts of stuff. I have three huge Rubbermaid tubs full of papers and other items that were hastily removed from my old office area before we remodeled it in [cough] 2006.
I'm going to hate every minute of it. There will be dust and sneezing. I will discover that I've packed away large volumes of junk mail that could have been shredded years ago. I will end up going through my file drawers, the cabinet attached to my desk, and my office bookshelf to find things to dispose of and make room for anything important I find.
However, I know it will be incredibly satisfying when I'm finished. The state of my office has nagged at my subconscious for years like a broken promise. I think that a clean office will increase my productivity when I'm working at home and possibly inspire me to write more.
It'll certainly make my husband happy. My office is right off his recording studio, so he has to close the curtain when he has clients so they can't see the chaos.
If only my office weren't the only room of mine in that state. As soon as I have my sparkling clean office tidied up and perfect, then I'll need to tackle my dressing room. Yep, looks like spring cleaning fever has hit a little early and several years late at the same time.
Now that our room remodel is finished, I find myself constantly doing housework of various sorts. First I got to pack the new closet shelves with stuff. Here's what it looked like empty: Last night I started taking things off of counters, out of cabinets, off the top of the fridge and up from the basement to use my new pantry closet to its full extent. Here's a rather blurry photo of the way it looks now: The contents consist of small appliances, serving dishes, boxed wine and beer glasses, cleaning supplies, baskets, vases, some random nutritional supplements, a big bag of jasmine rice, and my Sex Pistols lunchbox (which I need to use more often).
The kitchen was looking so tidy that it made me take my embarrassing supply of glass bottles out to the garage in the (probably vain) hope that I'll manage to take them to the recycling center on Saturday.
When it comes to furnishing the room, we're falling a bit behind. We ordered a sofa and matching chair from Nebraska Furniture Mart over the weekend. The sofa arrives Thursday and we're keeping our fingers crossed that it'll fit through the door of the new room. Here's the photo of it from their website: It's not as yellow-tinged as it looks in this picture. The description on the website calls it "beige" but I'd say it's more of a cream color. We think it'll be a nice contrast with the room colors. It'll also be a nice contrast with all of our black cats. I'm sure I'll enjoy Shop-Vac'ing their fur out of the cracks on a regular basis.
We're on the lookout for an area rug, a coffee table, and a TV and stand that will fit comfortably next to the closet in a space that's only about three feet wide. So far I've been to Crate & Barrel, Z Gallerie, West Elm, Pier One, Costco and Microcenter looking for furniture and/or a TV. So far, nothing's grabbed me. Have I mentioned how much I hate to shop? I may end up getting everything from Overstock.com.
Wow, was that enough corporate name-dropping for you? If this were on my Twitter account, I'd be deluged with new followers right about now.
So anyway, I'm sure you're all sick to death of reading about my stupid room, so I'll let this be the last update about it until I'm ready to show a photo of it furnished.
I can't make the same promise about other things around the house I'm looking to improve. Next on the list: getting a bid to have the half-bathroom's floor tiled. If home improvement is an addiction, I'm definitely hooked.
For the sake of having something to post, I'm picking up this meme that I spotted on Inventing My Life.
The rules of the game:
1. Go to the the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the photo.
4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun! (Nevermind. You know I won't do this one.)
Here we see a "before" photo from the remodeling-fest we had a few years ago. This is what one corner of my husband's studio looked like from the time we moved in. Note the oddly spiked trim on the mirrored shelves. Also the weird parquet pattern and overlays of the wood on the bar. (Don't mock the naked-lady rain lamp - we bought that on purpose to complement the rest of the decor.)
Now there's a vocal booth in that corner with a window and a door. It's much handier than the spider-infested bar that didn't even have shelves upon which you could store things, much less a sink.
This exercise has made me realize that although I took a lot of photos before the studio remodel, I never a) posted any of them to my blog or, b) took "after" shots, although there's nothing stopping me from doing it now. Actually, there is something stopping me: the unrelenting overcluttering and messiness of the studio. I don't know why I thought that would ever subside, but apparently I did.
If you feel like tagging yourself for this, go right ahead! Have a great Friday and I'll be back with what I hope are the final photos from our current remodeling project (sans furniture, because we haven't gotten that far along in the process yet) over the weekend.
I'm picking up where I left off on the remodeling play-by-play. Here's what the room looked like last Wednesday: Ooh, taped and mudded sheetrock! Then by Thursday it looked like this: Mmm, primer! By the time the guys left for the weekend, we had a coat of color which looked exactly the way I'd imagined it: As of today, we have a new ceiling fan, some painted trim... ...and a little bit of the bamboo flooring in! We love it all and can't wait for it to be finished so we can put in some furniture and start hanging out in there.
Best of all, our only personal contributions to the project (aside from paying for it) have consisted of:
Choosing paint colors and flooring.
Purchasing a ceiling fan.
Buying new outlet covers and a switch plate.
Everything else has been done by the extremely professional contracting crew. They arrive promptly at 8:00 a.m. each weekday morning, put down dropcloths everywhere they're planning to walk, and tidy up any mess that might stray past the dropcloth boundaries. They're almost completely silent except for the work noises: no shouting, no cursing - not even a radio on. It's like we found contractors from Bizarro World, judging from our previous experiences.
If budget weren't a consideration, I'd immediately sign them up for additional projects around the house once they finish. Unfortunately, we can only afford one house project per year unless I happen to win the lottery. In case you're wondering, my chances of winning the lottery are exactly zero because I never buy lottery tickets. So that's where that ends.
Next I'm going to need to find some furniture for the room. I've ordered a bunch of swatches from my favorite sofa company, FunkySofa.com, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they all look like against the rather boisterous color scheme I've chosen for the room. More photos to come as things develop...
On Thursday, February 5th at 6:00 p.m., Ultimate Fakebook and the Republic Tigers will be co-headlining the JayRock4 Benefit Concert, an all-ages show to support the JayDoc Free Clinic, which provides free health care in the Kansas City area and the social education of medical students.
Help support free health care and the local music scene at the same time!
The JayDoc Free Clinic is the ONLY student run AND student governed free clinic in the country. They are the only clinic in Kansas City that: - Provides absolutely free care to ALL patients - Requires no patient identification or proof of income to obtain services - Receives ALL funding from community grants and student-organized fundraisers
Sorry to exclude all of you from other parts of the country and world, but I have a special giveaway just for Kansas City area folks. I have TWO PAIRS of tickets to the show to give away. If you're interested, just leave a comment by midnight, Friday, January 23rd and I'll draw a winner the next day and mail out your tickets.
Even if you don't win tickets, I hope you'll buy some and support this worthy cause and great local bands.
No photo today because our remodeling project has reached a stage where there's not much to see. The sheetrock is up and mudded, the knockdown texture on the ceiling is finished, and there's a nice, solid new sub-floor down. Yawn.
I did notice that they have the paint purchased. I'm looking forward to seeing what the room looks like once it's painted and the trim and flooring are in. The whole room should be complete by mid-week next week.
The last time we had some remodeling done, it spurred me to repaint our living room. The painting bug has bitten me again, but this time it's in relation to our kitchen. Once I realized that the hated paneling we removed from our new TV room was the same as the wainscoting paneling in our kitchen, I started thinking about how icky and unlikeable it is in that context as well. I'm not about to re-panel the bottom two-thirds of our kitchen walls, but it occurred to me that I could paint the paneling and refresh the look of the kitchen a bit.
Someday we'll gut the kitchen and start over, but until that magical day comes, I'm contenting myself with incremental improvements. I have a pocketful of paint chips to take home and hold up against the painted wall and slate tile to see what I think. Right now I'm torn between something grey or a copper-y color.
Of course, the last thing I need right now is another time-sucking project, so I might just let this one percolate in my brain until later on. Or I might wake up early on Saturday, buy all the supplies, and have it done by the time my husband wakes up that afternoon. Guess we won't know until it happens.
Yesterday the construction crew arrived promptly at 8:00 a.m. and immediately began tearing up carpet, removing paneling and taking out the old closet doors. They also took out an old, disused gas heater that straddled the wall between the guest room and the kitchen.
I was concerned about how they would be able to repair the wall on the kitchen side, but it turned out that the kitchen wainscoting is actually the same as the guest room paneling (or close enough, anyway). The previous owners must have gotten a heck of a deal on paneling. Here they're about halfway through covering up the hole:
Fortunately, I have extra slate tile and leftover paint.
I called my husband yesterday afternoon once I knew he was up to ask him how the work was going. He had absolutely nothing to report. He was completely incurious about the whole process, whereas if I had been home, I'd have spend the entire day shadowing the work crew and being underfoot like a cat to watch what they were doing. Sometimes I don't know him at all. (And I'm sure the work crew doesn't know how lucky they are that I have to work all day instead of being home to pester them.)
So here's how the room looks now from the same angle I showed you yesterday: Admittedly not very exciting, but it's fun to see any progress, I think.
As expected, there was no sheetrock beneath the paneling; it was merely attached to the studs. Unlike much of the house, there was some insulation in the walls, so the fact that the room is difficult to heat and cool must have some other cause.
I was pleased to see that they'd been able to remove the dividing wall between the sides of the closet. That'll make for a much more satisfactory pantry. You can tell from the doorway area in the previous photo and the next one that this was once an exterior wall. Like most of the additions to the house, the workmanship in this room was a little shaky to begin with, so I'm looking forward to having some of the more glaring flaws remedied, at least cosmetically. By the end of the day today, I imagine they'll have the all sheetrock hung and mudded, and any flaws in the subflooring remedied. It's all very exciting!
When I woke up this morning, our guest room room full o' crap looked like this: Hello, the nineties called, they'd like their halogen torchiere and Bondi blue iMac back. Oh, and there was the little matter of the excessive amount of musical gear and giant tubs full of the unknown.
By 11:30 p.m., the room looked like this: There, now you can see the purple carpet, Ozarks-like paneling and the cheap plastic blinds I probably bought for $3.00 at Wal-Mart around the time we moved in. I didn't bother to vacuum because all of it is being ripped out and disposed of tomorrow.
Within the next week or so, this hideous room will be completely transformed into a room that we'll actually use. The flooring is going to be pre-finished bamboo. The paneling will be replaced by fresh sheetrock, which will be painted a rich amber color. The trim will be a glossy deep brick shade. You can't see the ceiling in this photo, but it's that horrid popcorn texture with glitter in it. They'll be scraping that off and bringing the ceiling into this century.
There's a closet in the room that I've having turned into a pantry with shelves for all the stuff that sits on my kitchen counters but doesn't really belong there.
The room will basically be a TV room/sitting room. When we have overnight guests (which is very seldom), they can stay in there. I'm planning to choose a couch that's comfortable enough for sleeping.
This room has been off-limits for the cats forever because it's the only room in the house that still has carpeting. They've been beside themselves with joy all day long because they finally got to go in there.
So that's this year's home improvement project. I haven't actually budgeted for the furniture, area rug or a TV for that room, but I'll worry about that when it's finished.