I read and follow a lot of blogs, most of them ‘shelter’ or home blogs. I love seeing DIY projects that they’ve done. I like seeing room renovations and redesigns. I enjoy swoon-worthy posts that make you oooh and ahh.
This, however, is not one of those.
It’s been two months since we moved and I wanted to have the house all fixed up before I shared pics. sigh. It may be quite some time before that happens.
Nope, this is real life, my friends. Dog toys. Papers here and there. Magazines strewn about. Boxes needed to be unpacked.
Life, you know.
Since the day we moved in I’ve been making a list . . . okay, more than one list. I’m going public here, inspired by John & Sherry at Young House Love, and posting my To Do list.
If 4 or 5 months weeks go by and I haven’t done a single thing on the list, it’s okay, you can call me out on it. Go ahead and keep me honest.
Couple of things before we get started – since this house is a rental everything must be temporary. I haven’t asked the homeowner about painting yet. I will . . . eventually. It’s on the list.
Also, we haven’t changed a thing since we moved in. The paint on the walls was painted by the owners. The fact that Mom’s furniture works well with the colors is just dumb luck.
Let’s start with the room you see when you walk in the front door.
We call this the Sitting-slash-Meditation room. Although I’ve never meditated in here, I have meditated about it.
That should count for something.
We got this little convertible sofa at Cost Plus a few years back.
This bamboo side table was a nightstand in Mom & Dad’s room for years.
It’s time to get spruced up with some wood stain, I think.
The silk wall hanging I painted will hang here . . . soon.
I just found the hardware for the rod.
There’s a pretty vase for the bamboo branches but it needs to be glued together.
As soon as I find the epoxy.
Or buy some more . . . which will probably happen first.
Our “drop zone”. Whoever coined that phrase must’ve just paid us a visit.
Actually, I just cleared this space yesterday. The box is unpacked, the cooler shopping bags are back in the car, the empty water bottles are in the recycle bin in the garage.
The case of water is . . . still sitting there.
Entry/Sitting Room Needs:
- Coffee Table
- end table (just bought one at the thrift store)
- Bookcase under window
- Basket for plastic bottles
- Batteries for doorbell
- Hang decorative rods
- Hang curtains
- Hang art
- Hang silk painting above buddha
- Organize black chest drawers
- Stage top of black chest
- Decorative rods (spray paint)
- Bamboo side table (stain)
- End table (not sure yet)
That fireplace, er, wood burning stove . . .
That’s a whole lotta brick going on.
Which means a whole lotta space for . . . stuff.
I like stuff but not all in one corner.
It’s gonna take me a while to figure out how to stage this corner.
I’ll let you know when I have something together.
Mom didn’t realize I was these pics were going to be posted. Sorry, Mom. She’s so used to me walking around with a camera I think she just takes it for granted. Neither one of us like our picture taken.
See the red wall back there? Even when we were just considering the house, we had no idea that this red focal wall, combined with the butter yellow walls, would work so well with Mom’s furnishings.
You just have to look past all of the stuff.
Like Sadie’s new stairs. She’ll be 11 in November and needs a little help getting up on the couch once in a while so we ordered these stairs, I got out the electric screwdriver and put them together, tugged and pulled the fuzzy cover to fit.
It’d be nice if the dang dog would actually use the stairs now.
We have windows looking out to the beautiful trees in nearly every room. Still, Mom wanted to see the trees while sitting on the couch so the hunt was on for a mirror for this wall.
Something about my mother . . . she’s always hunting for something. Always.
We have a number of mirrors not being used that I was going to faux finish.
One was on the list.
When I saw this guy at Walmart for under $30, I snagged it, even though it’s a tad too small. We have some sconces that’ll work on either side.
They’re on the list too.
The mirror that came off the list for this spot was put back onto the list because it’ll fit over the fireplace.
Living Room Needs:
- black swivel chair
- mirror to reflect trees
- sofa table or dresser behind couch
- stairs for Sadie
- get Sadie to climb the stairs
- Mirror behind fireplace
- Stage stuff on mantel
- Hang decorative rods
- Hang curtains
- Move cherry desk to dining room
- Move demilune table to living room
- Decorative rods
- Mirror for fireplace
These barstools had no place to call home for two years. I almost sold them on Craig’s List.
Funny how they just fit here.
You might think that this room looks alright for the most part.
You’re not my mother though.
The square wood thing is an antique desk. A very heavy antique desk. That Mom doesn’t like.
It gets to come live downstairs with me . . . as soon as we can get someone to lift it and carry it downstairs.
I stained this other antique desk a few years back and it’ll move over against the red wall.
This poor thing sat in Dad’s shop for years. He used it for . . . I dunno . . . cleaning fish and things of that sort.
We were pretty amazed at how well she cleaned up.
On top of the cherry desk we’ll put this Pier 1 mirror. By we I mean the we that will carry Dad’s desk downstairs, not we meaning Mom and me.
But it’ll lay horizontally.
That’s what Mom wants but I told her that the mirror and desk will get lost against the red wall. I told her a jute rug might look nice as a backdrop.
She started hunting online for just rugs. And seagrass. And bamboo.
Me and my big mouth.
When we couldn’t find a reasonably priced rug, the Mouth suggested stenciling the red wall with butter yellow. Something light and airy, like this stencil, that’d go with the asian elements she has.
Maybe, she said.
She started hunting for a stencil she liked and decided on this one, a totally different direction than the Mouth had envisioned.
Um, hello . . . Mom? I don’t need a forty-something-dollar stencil for that. “You don’t?” No, I can paint cherry blossoms.
“Ok, put that on your list,” she said.
Dining Room Needs:
- Light fixture over table
- Convince Mom we need a light fixture over table
- Move Dad’s desk downstairs
- Move cherry desk to red wall
- Hang mirror over desk
- blossoms & branches on red wall
Hello Yellow Kitchen
Be prepared. You might need to put on sunglasses for this.
I warned you. That’s a lot of yellow . . . or harvest gold, as it was called in the ‘60’s, when it was installed.
Held up well for 50 years too.
Besides doing something with the color there were two main issues we had with the kitchen – storage and counter space. Storage was easy. I simply rearranged everything and wound up with two open cabinets. I’ll show you my organizing trick in a bit.
For the lack of counter space we decided on a kitchen cart. So Mom started . . . you guessed it . . . hunting for one online.
That cart is a story in itself, believe me. Suffice it to say, we now have an additional 26” x 45” work counter. With 4 drawers and 2 cabinets.
That have absolutely nothing on them.
That’s not even on the list yet.
This is our splendid view above the sink. Oh yeah, baby. The harvest gold linoleum goes all the way up the backsplash except for this insert of striped gold wallpaper.
Don’t be jealous.
I’m going to get some removable wallpaper paste and try a small sample on top of this existing wallpaper. I’ve used it a lot for kids’ murals and it works great on painted walls to remove a canvas after the kids outgrow the mural. Not so sure about on top of wallpaper though.
I don’t have to hunt for what I want. I know white beadboard wallpaper would be perfect to lighten and brighten the kitchen a bit.
Now, for that atrocious vintage linoleum on the counters and backsplash. I know Rustoleum makes Counter Transformations and I’ve seen bloggers have great results. (I’d definitely have to get the owner’s approval though.) What I don’t understand is the difference between the $250 stuff and the $20 stuff.
That’s a huge difference. But this is way, waaaay down on the list.
Mom says the color doesn’t bother her and the kitchen cart has made it at least functional so, pffttt, this room can stay this way for a bit.
But I gotta show you these lights. Not horrible. But I like these a lot better.
They’re on my Wish List. Which is a totally separate thing.
- Kitchen Cart/Island
- overhead lights or frame for existing
- kitchen faucet (it leaks and, yes, there’s a story about that too)
- assemble kitchen cart
- move microwave by fridge
- install beadboard wallpaper
- hang bamboo blind
- install new faucet
- beadboard wallpaper
- pantry jars
- countertops (coved where backsplash meets, not sure if this is feasible.
- trompe l’oeil over kitchen sink (if I don’t use beadboard)
This little alcove is between the dining room, her bath and bedroom.
She’s hunting for a dresser.
Her bedroom’s not bad, huh?
The walls are bare but that’s an easy fix.
We already have curtain panels but I’m afraid they won’t be wide enough.
That little black dresser is temporarily next to her linen chest. It’ll go into the closet after I reorganize her closet.
We have, hands down, the best thrift store in Northern California. I’m not kidding.
I have to limit my visits there to once a week. Seriously.
This ivory swivel chair was $30 and is in perfect condition.
Mom loves sitting there, reading or just looking out the windows.
Have I mentioned how much we both love this house?
Well, there are a few quirks, like this half wall of corkboard.
This lamp was another steal. Two lamps – and shades! – for $5.
Mom’s Bedroom Needs:
- Chest or shelves for alcove
- Extra dressers
- Swivel chair
- Lights for nightstand
- Fabric to cover corkboard
- Assemble dressers
- Hang decorative rods
- Hang curtains
- Cover corkboard
- Hang artwork
- tchotchkes or plants on ledge
- Paint door going outside white
- New art
Mom’s Bath & Dressing Room
Speaking of quirks . . . no, not the floor in her bathroom . . . who builds a house and doesn’t put a sink in the bathroom?!?
I mean, really.
The sinks are in the adjoining dressing area which is accented with frilly knobs and drawer pulls.
They don’t bother Mom but still . . . ugh.
We have some issues with “stuff” in this area.
Which is why she’s always hunting for something.
Keeps her outta trouble.
Mom’s Bath/Dressing Room Needs:
- Matching ceiling lights in dressing room
- Small chest or shelves for storage
- Large bath mat to cover floor
- Some sort of art or wall décor
- Curtain for window over shower
- Decorative shower curtain
- Towel Bars
- Drawer pulls
- Hang bamboo shade over vanity
- organize drawers & medicine chest
- Install towel bars & drawer pulls
- Hang curtain
- Hang shower curtain
- Medicine cabinet frame
- Countertop, possibly
- Painting for bathroom
- Possibly shower curtain
That’s it for the upstairs. Our house is called “dual-living” and my space is downstairs. It needs a lot more work than Mom’s so I divvied up the posts. And there’s still the garage, the deck, and the yard.
I guess it isn’t too bad for two months especially since my work has gotten super busy since we moved here. Good thing too . . .
I’ll be able to buy whatever Mom’s looking for this week.
Have you moved recently? How long did it take you to get settled? How long is your To Do list?