Transforming Home

December 5, 2009

Readers & Nonreaders

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 10:08 pm

Here as I approach the end of my remodel, I am running out of money.  I am not going to have enough money to finish the patio (which was disassembled due to termite damage), replace a shattered window, replace a cracked window, paint the sun room and install a ceiling fan in there, or do any landscaping.  But worst of all, the built-in shelving unit seems to be on the chopping box.

Joao, my beloved contractor, says stuff like, “Well, it’s a living room, not a library; put your books somewhere else.”  I do have bookcases throughout the house, and I can put another several rows of books in my bedroom.  The bookcases in the office, though — yes, they are for books — English teacher books — but the shelves are also for binders and papers and notebooks, and the other detrius that comes with my profession.  These things reside in stacks, in boxes, in bags and they make my life feel unorganized and cluttered.  I put something in a bag, and instantly forget that it exists.  I must SEE what it is I am working with.

Other teachers do a great job without all this STUFF.  How?  I feel like all of this stuff is essential, but it must not be.  There is something wrong with my process — or not wrong, exactly, but off.  Perhaps I need to see a shrink.  I definitely don’t want to end up on that show “Hoarders.”

Meanwhile, I’ve been looking at the Levenger book cubes…I can get myself set up for right around $2000:  3 deep boxes with bases, 2 medium boxes with bases, and quarter round pieces for the four ends.  I would put a space between the two medium boxes for the TV, put all the console stuff on one shelf, and call it a day.  But such a set up wouldn’t come close to holding all of my books, and where would my 400+ CDs go?  Yes I know: CDs are passé, like 8-track tapes, but still…I have them, I love them, and I want to display them.  Books and music have been central to my decorating scheme for my entire life.  Yes, I’m a grown up, but I don’t want to live in a house where the books and music are kept under wraps, and instead, there’s…what?  Decorative stuff?

I NEED those built-ins.  I am going to have to scrimp and save, which means maybe a different choice for granite? Keeping the 25-year old washer and dryer for another year?  Keeping the white dishwasher in a black & stainless world?

Maybe I’ll just have to wait for the damn shelves.  But that means the books will live in boxes, and that just doesn’t work.  First of all, right now I need my copy of The Bedford Reader and I don’t know where it is packed away.  The books are important to me, and nonreaders don’t understand that.  For a nonreader, a book is just an object.  For me, it’s part of who I am, it’s a thought process, it’s a conversation, it’s a history and it’s a future.

I need ideas.

October 24, 2009

Sandblasting Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 4:50 pm

IMG_0255I have so much homework today and I need to go to the library, but how can I leave my dog Bonnie home alone on a sandblasting day?  It is LOUD, it is DIRTY, and people are walking around with masks on, dragging fat hoses around.  This seems to be a dog nightmare.  I just walked around and took pictures of the walls.  I hated that nasty butterscotch texture coat, and in places it was peeling off in sheets — but where it isn’t peeling off, Baby,  it hangs on.  The roses are THRASHED, the mint is dead — every plant covered in grime, and in many cases, hanging on for dear life.  It will take weeks to get all of the sand out of here.

October 12, 2009

The tile work

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 4:23 am
Decorative tiles from Arizona Tile, and a brick shaped bone colored tile from Daltile.  Pedro Marques did such a beautiful job on the installation.  He's a meticulous, patient craftsman.

Decorative tiles from Arizona Tile, and a brick shaped bone colored tile from Daltile. Pedro Marques did such a beautiful job on the installation. He's a meticulous, patient craftsman.

Hall bathroom, in progress

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 4:15 am
No walls were harmed during the installation of this tub.  I wanted a deep soaker (no jets: I prefer quiet) that would fit in the space, and this one filled the bill.  It's 60" X 36" and 22" deep.

No walls were harmed during the installation of this tub. I wanted a deep soaker (no jets: I prefer quiet) that would fit in the space, and this one filled the bill. It's 60" X 36" and 22" deep.

October 11, 2009

Hall bathroom, before

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 5:50 pm
IMG_0053

Frosted shower door, oak cabinets, shallow little tub.

October 4, 2009

Still not done, but so much nicer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 6:13 pm
There's no mantle yet, but we're looking at options.  New windows add light to the living room.  Wood floors are installed and "resting."  The fireplace is framed by a stone that has been cut into squares, like tile.  The stone is from India, and it's called "forest" or something like that.  It's very textured and interesting to look at.

There's no mantle yet, but we're looking at options. (The wood pieces propped up by the fireplace are mantle candidates.) New windows add light to the living room. Wood floors are installed and "resting." The fireplace is framed by a stone that has been cut into squares, like tile. The stone is from India, and it's called "forest" or something like that. It's very textured and interesting to look at. By the way, that's the wrong ceiling fan; that one will be moved into my bedroom. The correct living room fan will be installed on Monday. Recessed lights in the ceiling, and spot lights on the fireplace...can you see them?

The fireplace, the ceiling, the floor

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 6:06 pm
Once the furniture was out of the room, the fireplace looked especially shabby.  I think my dad painted the bricks white, and I know he installed the mantle, a big beam painted white.  The beams in the ceiling are decorative, and the white wall to the left is actually just wood paneling nailed onto the wall studs.  There is no drywall.  And of course, there's the rust colored carpeting that I've been complaining about for years.  I have a picture of me sitting on that carpeting at age 20.  That's 32 years, folks.  It's time to GO.

Once the furniture was out of the room, the fireplace looked especially shabby. My dad painted the bricks white, and he installed the mantle, a big beam painted white. The beams in the ceiling are decorative, and the white wall to the left is actually just wood paneling nailed onto the wall studs. There is no drywall. And of course, there's the rust colored carpeting that I've been complaining about for years. I have a picture of me sitting on that carpeting at age 20. That's 32 years, folks. It's time to GO.

Once the paneling was torn out…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 5:59 pm
No real wall behind that paneling. I remember when my dad painted that paneling white.

There was no real wall behind the paneling; the paneling was nailed directly to the wall studs. I remember when my dad painted the paneling white.

Same corner shown again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 5:43 pm
Popcorn ceiling gone, cornice gone; new moldings, new paint, orange peel texture on walls and ceiling.  Lovely.

Popcorn ceiling gone, cornice gone; corners softly rounded, new moldings, new paint, orange peel texture on walls and ceiling. Lovely. Paint color: "Distant Haze." This is the color of the living room, the entry way and the hall. So much more light in the room; doors painted white on this side only; still brown inside the sun room.

Some water damage

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex @ 5:22 pm
This is where the room addition attaches to the main house.  The dining room wall is stained and bubbled.

This is where the room addition attaches to the main house. The dining room wall was stained and bubbled, and I thought there was going to be mildew in the wall, but there wasn't -- thank goodness. This is the spot where my dad lived the last months of his life, and this is the wall he stared at day in and day out. It makes me sad when I think of that.

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