The dog days of summer

I’m so glad that we’ve moved into a house with central ac – the temperature has hovered around 100 degrees all week, thought it is raining today so I have hope that it will cool down a bit.  The heat makes it impossible to do anything outside, but inside I can set the temperature and pretend that it’s fall already (I’m dying to start my fall knitting… I need to find a copy of the new Knitscene, and I can’t wait for IK!)

Things that are keeping me sane through the house mess:

My coffeemaker (I love my coffee maker, a hamilton beach model that doesn’t have a pot – it keeps the coffee warm inside and you use a dispenser.)  And – socks in July!  I started this pair awhile ago, simple stockinette over 60 st with an eye of partridge heel.  The yarn is neopolitan by Yarn Pirate, and I can’t believe how nicely it is striping!  This is about the extent of the difficulty I can handle right now, although I am happy to announce that I now have a yarn closet!  Our bedroom has two closets, one  walk-in and one about the side you expect from an old house.  Marc is using the closet in the guest room so he won’t bother me in the mornings (he leaves much earlier than I do) so I get the small closet for yarn!  I’ve set up storage cubes in the main space of the closet, and as soon as I get the rest of my yarn back from storage (hopefully this week) it’s going to be exciting!

On the house front, I have begun my work with the parlor/music room.  This room has to be finished first so that we can move in my baby (grand.)  The first thing I did was remove the chair rail, which was attached with about 3 nails anyway.  Then I took down the curtains.  You may recall the curtains – huge floral monstrosities with a box valance that weighed more than I did.

The window in this room is over 5 feet wide, but you couldn’t tell with these babies in place.  The curtains apparently fell down at one point, so the POs nailed the box back in place using a plank of wood and three 6 inch long nails.  When we finally got that apart we saw that they were trying to cover up the damage to the drywall from the previous curtain failure.  That’s ok – I already have to patch from the old thermostat and a few places where the wallpaper bonded to the drywall.

I pulled the wallpaper down, which was thankfully easy – it was strippable vinyl, and left behind nothing but a lot of glue.  Right now we are engaged in scrubbing at all the walls trying to remove the glue, and once I’ve gotten as much as we can I’m going to cover the entire thing with Gardz sealer to prevent any residual glue from leaking through the paint.  There is a fair amount of drywall repair to be done as well, although thankfully no giant holes.  I cannot understand wallpaper – it’s so horrible to remove, not to mention that this paper was solid colored, leading people seeing the house to say “At least you don’t have wallpaper!”  Actually, there are 3 rooms with this same paper.  Must have been on sale.

The paper was applied right after the house was drywalled, so it’s roughly 20 years old.  It’s actually applied underneath all the trim in the room, as well as behind the bookshelves, although it was cut away behind the individual shelves.  I don’t like those bookshelves too much, but I’m keeping them because it looks like they cut into the drywall when they were building them (about 10 years ago, according to the records the owners left behind) and I’m not fixing that.  I’m trying to decide what color to paint the backs of the shelves.  Right now I’m leaning towards the same color as the wall, in order to minimize their impact, but I’m not totally set on that.  I would also consider painting the shelves themselves – they do not match the rest of the trim in the room, which bugs the heck out of me, and they aren’t made from a super nice wood or anything, although they are solid.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to help me out with my foyer dilemma – I am leaning towards an amber/gold color.  It does look great with the wood and the green – I’ve just always avoided yellow, but this isn’t really a yellow.  Plus it looks good with the berry color in the parlor (thank goodness I’ve not changed my mind on that color – it looks fabulous with the wood and with my piano!)  I’m wavering on the dining room, and now leaning towards a sapphire color.  The room gets such an incredible amount of light from the south that many colors look gray and chalky – but I’ve been leaving a set of sapphire colored prints in there while we work on the foyer, and they look amazing both in the light and against the wood.

In case you can’t tell, I’m having a great time.  I think, having grown up that way, that renovating houses is in my blood.  I hope the house is happy to have someone who cares about it again!

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7 thoughts on “The dog days of summer

  1. I’m sure the house is happy with you. :) Our new-to-us house isn’t even that old, a 1960s ranch, but it’s obvious people have not been in love with it the way we are for at least 10 years. I love seeing the house come back to life as we do things.

  2. It’s amazing what taking down that curtain did for that window. Neat!

    What if you painted the back of the bookshelf a couple of shades darker than the walls?

  3. How exciting. Working on a new home and decorating. Love it. I love the socks you started. There is something so comforting about stockinette – simple, easy and fun when you have so many other things going on.

  4. I absolutely freakin’ HATE wallpaper! It’s expensive, hard to install, hard to remove, and difficult to change. Paint, by contrast, is inexpensive, easy to install, easy to remove, and easy to change. Our house originally had paper in every room, but someone removed almost all of it before we bought the house. I did once find three layers of different wall papers under the edge of a light fixture in the ceiling (!) when I had to replace it. It takes real dedication to install wallpaper on a ceiling three times!

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