Mar 23, 2015

New houses are so glamorous

So many of you have commented and emailed to let me know how much you're enjoying the House posts. I can imagine how exciting it all is, what with pictures of Toilets in Garages and all.

As of yesterday, I'd finally reached my breaking point with the state of the garage at the new house. It had just become such a dumping ground for things that needed to move to the dumpster, light fixtures and appliances that have been delivered but can't be installed yet, and the old kitchen cabinets (which we're reusing in the garage), that you couldn't even walk around in there. So I spent a few hours prioritizing, pushing, shoving, cursing and -- ultimately -- making some good progress in there yesterday. (And my friend Bonnie's teenage son helped, too.) Here's that same view as of 6:00 last night:

The pre-move plan for the garage is to:

  • add a "real" wood step into the house where those concrete blocks are now
  • paint the walls
  • pressure-wash the floor
  • replace the mini-blinds with two-inch faux-wood blinds (the garage windows face the street, and the other front-facing windows have plantation shutters)
  • secure the cabinets to the rear wall
  • install our (current) basement fridge in that gap where the blue Rubbermaid container is sitting
  • install birch plywood countertop over the cabinets

At some point I'd like to add pegboard or something over the lower cabinets, but I'm still thinking on that.

Here's a slightly different angle of the garage a few weeks ago:

And last night after we'd worked on it for so long:

I pushed the previous owners' dresser toward one of the garage doors because I plan to sand and paint it next weekend. I'm HOPING that with some paint and new hardware, it will look spiffy enough to use as a buffet piece in our dining room.

One weird thing that we "inherited" from the previous owners is a rather large number of rubber box tops. You'll notice I didn't say "Rubbermaids" or "box tops and bottoms."


You can see a few of them lurking in this picture.

But what I mean to say is, when I collected them yesterday and put them all in one place to carry out to the dumpster, there were MORE THAN 60.


I feel better, though, now that we've talked about it.

The other thing I wanted to update you on is the staircase. I asked our contractor to replace our traditional oak newel posts with shaker-style posts. Here are the original ones:

And here are the (unfinished) new ones.

Every time I walk in the kitchen, I die laughing. I told my contractor I've named them. Their names are "Ben" and "Piper," two kids' names I never got to use.


I thought they'd be about, oh, half that size. Each. I don't want them to overwhelm my kitchen cabinets. (I know there are a lot of cabinets, but they're not overly decorative, and I chose a VERY simple crown to top them.)

The longer Jake thought about it, the more he agreed with me.

I think what I want to do is lighten the decorative detail on the tops of each post a little. I just want a simple square detail on top ... I think what's here is too traditional. It would have fit in better with the house before, but not now.

I love everything about the rest of the detail, though. (And my painters will caulk all of the gaps and nail holes before painting them trim white.)

Basically I want the top to more closely mimic the bottom, really. The simpler, the better, in my mind.

I also feel like all of these corners will be a safety hazard. Can I get an AMEN from the moms out there?

I mean, scroll back up, moms. Every single one of you looked at that first picture of Jakey with his hands reaching up to those posts and you had one thought: LAUNCH PAD. I know. I see it, too. Every time they come down the steps, their palms are going to hit the tops of those posts and they're going to launch themselves off into space.

Did I do it myself yesterday? I'll never tell.

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