Our House

It’s been a summer-long project to get the place whipped into shape, and I’m really proud of what we got done. Here are a few highlights, apologies in advance for what my camera phone does to things.

The front room was painted and staged. See my earlier posts on wallpaper removal and the stained-glass windows for more.

The main room looks like this now:

The word everyone uses for the downstairs bath is “transformed.” It was a dark narrow room before, with stained wood wainscotting and dingy wallpaper. I’m normally loath to paint over wood, but this wood wasn’t anything special, just out-of-the-box panelling from a home improvement store. So we stripped off the wallpaper, painted it a Martha Stewart vanilla cream color, and painted the wood a very glossy white.

The kitchen of course was done a while ago. New flooring, new countertops, less clutter, and a sparkling white paint job over all of it.

I’ve gotten very fond of high-gloss white. It’s been my go-to paint can for all kinds of trim and mouldings. The boy’s room was done up in pale blue walls, floors that still look good from the refinishing they got 20 years ago (amazing what piles of clothes will do to protect a wood floor). Thanks to LF for the rug.

LF also donated the rug, and the ideas, for the daughter’s room. The floor needed something to bring it up to the level of the rest of it, so we painted it! The effect is really nice.

The front steps are refurbished and repainted, with some fall greenery. I used colors from the porch floor and the porch ceiling to give the subtle two-tone effect. The bold colors against the white really punch things up.

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From the side, the potted mums give a nice focal point. Notice how I still have roses blooming? The gardens here are, if I do say so myself, really good.

We’re catching only the tail end of the season, hoping the market continues its slow-motion rebound. But even in the winter the house can look really great.

Thanks to the ex, who sponsored a window-washing over the weekend. Lots of light coming in now. A professional photographer came in today to take some pix, and by early next week we’ll be on the New Jersey MLS.

I’m tempering my enthusiasm with a certain amount of … I don’t know. Not regret, but something kind of wistful. The little baby we brought when we moved in is grown up and gone. The other baby we had while living there is grown up and about to be. My grandchildren — should they ever show up — will never see the place, except maybe when their mom or dad drives them by and tells them, “that’s the house I grew up in.” Maybe that’s the hardest part. The book of memories for the house will be closed and locked, nothing more to be added.

But you can’t have everything. Life goes on, and it’s very good.

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