Thursday, October 16, 2008

The remodel

We have lived in our home for a little over nine years. I have removed rolls and rolls of wallpaper from the walls. Painted over every shade of blue you can think of, in nearly every room of the house. At least the blue carpet isn’t as noticeable as it once was and it too will be replaced in time. The only two rooms left to be painted are my studio and Larry’s study. My studio is paint and a wallpaper border on one wall that I can live with for now and a small piece of floral wallpaper behind the sewing table.

Larry’s study is another matter. There was, and I repeat was, wallpaper on all the upper walls, separated by a chair rail molding and a wallpaper border with more chair railing and then what we assumed (you know what they say about assumptions) was oak paneling, but really is plywood paneling.

I didn’t feel well enough to work in the garden a couple of weeks ago but felt like I should be doing something. I took off a corner of the wallpaper and then another and another from the fireplace wall. Off came the first of the chair railing and then I started ripping the wallpaper border off. Then Larry came home from work. He looked a little shocked that all my talking about remodeling the study had actually begun. Later that night I removed the paneling and baseboard molding after we discussed the design for the room. Clean, contemporary, sleek.

The fireplace has been repaired several times and while there was a way to make it work, although cumbersome to me, we were now going to replace it with a new efficient Valor freestyle fireplace. Our friend Dave installs fireplaces for a living and he volunteered to install our new purchase. Good thing Dave also learned carpentry skills from his grandfather because he built us a new surround for the fireplace that he said is design as you build. I can appreciate his carpenter skills and flexibility because my father was a master carpenter and I watched him do this sort of thing all the time.

The fireplace is in and working and Larry has settled on a company to install the new flat screen TV that will be mounted above the fireplace and a new surround sound system in the ceiling. The sheetrock for the fireplace wall will have to wait until after the new wiring for the TV and equipment has been run through the walls.

Friends--what would we do without them? Our friend Rick built his own home and cut trees from his property to build furniture for the house. Rick offered to find a piece of wood that we could use for the mantel. We went Tuesday evening to pick out a piece that he will plane and cut to size. He has his own branding iron and we asked him to brand the new mantel since he is making it for us.

Wallpaper. Back to the wallpaper. I have one wall completely free and clear of wallpaper. All the top chair railing is gone from all the walls. Most of the wallpaper border is gone; all except what the previous owner glued on when he couldn’t make it stick with normal wallpaper backing. Under the wallpaper were more blue walls. What a surprise! Well it was a surprise when the wallpaper came off one wall and we found grass green paint underneath the blue. I can’t even imagine the Moroccan style orange vinyl tile design that we found under the green/blue carpet matching up to the horrible green wall that must have met up to the other horrible orange and yellow 70’s vinyl I know is under the carpet they put in the kitchen. Yes, carpet in the kitchen! What could be worse than carpet in the kitchen? Beige carpet in a kitchen is a nightmare to keep clean. But again that is another project for another day.

I must finish removing the wallpaper and primer the wood trim that abuts the walls and the ceiling in the study. The upper part of the wall and ceiling will all be a creamy white and I must get the ceiling painted before the speakers are installed, so I only need to do touch up paint around them.

The two tone beige carpet can’t be installed until the painting is finished and I have pushed the installers back two weeks. I can’t paint the fireplace wall until the wiring is done and the sheetrock goes up. Then I’ll paint it the same red that I have in the dinning room, Ralph Lauren “Hunting Coat Red”. The paneling on the lower walls will be a dark tan paint and all the trim in the room will be white. I will probably hire Bob, a friend of ours to paint the small bay window bump-out all white.

The green window blinds have been removed and I need to finish removing the shelf over the window I installed when we moved in to hold some of our Harley knick knacks. I will order a sunscreen shade for the window and have red cut velvet drapes, quilted dark tan drapes, and cream linen drapes to dress the windows and just need to find the drapery rod to hang them.

Furniture! What do we want? What will fit? The desk belonged to Larry’s dad and we are going to try and have a friend of Larry’s trim it down and remodel it into a smaller “L” shaped desk and then get a new desk chair. The loveseat we have will stay and the side chair is going to the dining room. Larry’s beloved “Ekornes Stressless” chair has seen better days and last night he went out and test drove a Human Touch HT-136 Robotic Massage Chair and then I ordered it in red and it should arrive in about two weeks.

Today we picked out a new sofa for the room in a heavy duty fabric that looks like leather and it might come before Christmas if we are lucky. The sofa arriving before New Year's Day would be good because we will have between twenty and thirty people over for lunch after a Harley ride that day. Places to sit would be good. Before this remodel began there wasn’t room for a new sofa because that wall is filled currently with stereo equipment, cabinets, speakers, and a very large TV that will all disappear in the next week or so. The study is going from seating four currently to eight comfortably after the remodel, with room for three or four more when we bring in extra chairs.

Lamps, tables, shelves, area rugs, so much more and my mind is swimming. We pretty much live in this room of the house so making it comfy and cozy is a good thing. When we can put the art which consist of paintings of ducks and hunting, Harley prints and collectibles, hand carved fish, neon signs, all back on the wall; it will become Larry’s retreat again. His guy room--just updated with a few new things and all his favorite old things.

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