Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where have I been?

**random side note, before I begin… the title of my post reminded me of this awesome Liz Phair song from back in the day (before she started to suck) and now it's stuck in my head.

Well folks… its been a crazy couple of weeks! I don't think I've ever felt quite so disconnected from my email, my blog, Facebook and the internet in general as I have been lately. On the one hand, it's been refreshing to take a break. On the other, it's been discombobulating to be so far away from my normal routines.

The big news, and reason for my absence, is that my husband Dave and I BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE!!!!!!!!! (yes that sentence deserves that many exclamation points and screaming caps!) It's been what can only be described as a long and arduous process but we found our dream home here in Beacon, NY - the town we've fallen for - and finally closed on Friday April 15th!

The house is a lovely American Four Square built in 1930. It has GREAT bones, but is definitely in need of a lot of cosmetic updates (aka: lots of love and elbow grease.) In the two weeks since we moved in we've made quite a lot of progress already. Our AMAZING family came down to help us move in and start some of our home improvement projects and we literally could not have done it without their help. They are truly The Best. Ever.

The first order of business was to conquer and destroy the fugly faux wood paneling smothering our living room walls…

Exhibit A:

(the plants add a bit of life to this otherwise lifeless den of dated grossness, but not much)

While the fam packed and unpacked the uhaul, my father-in-law (talented builder and model train afficiando) immediately got to work ripping down the paneling, patching, sanding, and repairing the original plaster walls unearthed below…

He and Dave made a lot of progress on that over the weekend and Dave took over solo wall repairing duties after everybody left.

I've been working hard on transforming the original moldings, trim and built-ins which have 2 coats of primer thus far, and are now ready for their third and final coat of white paint.

OH MY GOD what a long process that has been, but it will be so worth it. Just look what a difference it makes in this side by side view of those lovely windows above the built ins…

White trim really brightens it up, no? We also plan to paint the fireplace bricks white to better blend with the built-ins. You can't tell by these pics, but the previous owners did a horrible faux-brick paint finish on them which looks awful up close, so believe me, we're definitely not destroying anything precious by painting them white (for all you brick purists out there!)

The walls have now been primed and are ready for color! We also painted the ceiling - which desperately needed some brightening after years of woodstove usage (yup that's a working woodstove. We're thrilled about this, though we don't intend to use it as our primary heating source like the last owners did.)

Here's a close up of the beautiful glass doors that go on the built-ins. I've been painting them white as well. There are four doors, and the front and back of each gets 3 coats of paint - talk about time consuming…

…but again, totally worth it. We love our new house and know it will be a labor of love for many years to come. I'll try my best to keep you all updated as we go, but for now, I'd better get back to my paintbrush!

8 comments:

sassypackrat said...

I love that style of house! Such character! I know you have lots of work ahead and I wish you much love and joy in your new home!

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Oh good lukc with everything! It will definatrly be worth it in the end :)

Jen V. said...

Just thinking of all that elbow grease makes me tired...best of luck with all the projects! I'm sure it's going to be absolutely FANTASTIC!!

Kory Okno said...

Congratulations. I hope all goes well for you. A new space may open your imagination even more and hopefully we'll get to experience even funkier pieces of work from. Love your stuff.

Margaux Lange said...

Thanks all! I appreciate your enthusiasm! It's been a lot of fun so far! :-)

Doug Steward said...

Glad to see you back. Having lived in Amawalk NY were we redid a 1911 Cape Cod I know what you are going to be doing for the next 5 years. If the furnace is over 15 years old, start saving your money for the replacement. :-) Hot water heater is next. I love your work and it always makes me smile. I should do the same to GI Joes but I don't think that men would go for it.

Ashley said...

Your new place looks amazing! I can't believe how much better you have made it already. Love it!

Janice said...

Oh YAY! How exciting!!! I follow a couple of reno blogs - House Tweaking and Young House Love - they have been great inspiration. I'll be following along to see what you do with yours now too! I am hopefully settling on a home in June....and while it doesn't need a TON of renovations - I'll be doing some tweaking. :)

Great job on those walls! and on your studio. I'm jealous.