Our Old House

Okay, I need to qualify the post title in two ways: “our” is actually “his”, and “old” is actually “35 years old”. It is a midcentury-mod box, with a perfectly rectangular foundation and the roof all sloping one way. There are barely any windows, but lots of sliding glass doors to the front and back porch. And inside…

Exhibit 1: view from the front door

There is a cavernous great room with this Big Orange Wall that greets you as you enter. We both want to paint the wall. Probably a biscuit-color, to contrast slightly with the white drywall everywhere else in the area. He thinks that the wall needs some kind of art on it–and I can’t argue–and we have a preliminary idea that my transferware plates could be arranged in an artistic flourish going up it. We’ll see. That’s just preliminary. Since I do have like… forty spare transferware plates.

Exhibit 2: the big orange wall

Here’s the rest of the Big Orange Wall. This will also be painted a biscuit color. Then, I think, we will put my biscuit-colored sofa and armchair here. We will put a colorful rug between them, and put up Amy Butler curtains around the glass slider and scatter floor cushions made of Amy Butler fabrics around. We’ll put bookshelves up either side of the fireplace. There will be no coffee table… it will be an informal reading spot that invites people to flop down on the very squishy and comfy carpet and leaf through a pile of picture books or magazines. It’ll be very cozy.

Exhibit 3: the dining area

Here is another corner of the L-shaped great room. Here you see the second glass slider in the room, as well as the pass-through to the kitchen. This pass through currently has kitchen cabinets blocking half of it; that situation will be remedied. We will also put cabinets under the breakfast bar, turning it into a sort of built-in buffet. My dining table and chairs will go in front of the slider. My hutch will go behind those, in a nook that is just the right size for them. We will trade my current red dining room rug for my mother’s gold and aqua dining rug.

Exhibit 4: the problematic corner

Here is the third corner of the L-shaped great room, between the fireplace nook and the dining room. Both Sparks and my mother tell me that I really should put my sofa and chairs there, not in the fireplace nook. I can’t argue that it’s a nice big area that begs to be populated, but that raises two issues: 1) so what do we do with the fireplace nook? and 2) the comfy vibe I want in the fireplace nook won’t happen if there isn’t some seating furniture in it. If you understand me… it’s no fun to sit on the floor if you aren’t flagrantly ignoring the real furniture. Right? So I’d have to buy some more furniture to go in the nook.

So my plan right now is to ignore the problematic corner, thinking it will eventually be filled with an office armoire, who knows what.

Exhibit 5: the kitchen

The kitchen as well as the 2.5 baths, we are planning to tear out and replace with IKEA cabinets. We are going to move the refrigerator in order to free up existing counter space and create even more. This means that even if we wanted to save the existing cabinets, there wouldn’t be enough of them. So… whoopee! New IKEA kitchen! I’m so excited, I can barely stand it.

And those are the public spaces of the house. Besides those, there are 2.5 baths, three bedrooms, and a very large media room in what used to be the house’s garage. Oh, and the new garage, which breaks the otherwise-perfect-rectangle of the house. And outside–which I’m not comfortable showing pictures of–are mature apple and pear trees, a redbud, maples, a huge beautiful deck just begging for a table and chairs and lots of planters, and really a lot of lawn–enough for a huge garden and a pool to go in, which is what we’d like to eventually do.

This is gonna be fun.


6 thoughts on “Our Old House

  1. Nooo! I get miffed when people paint wood walls. Might I suggest you restain it to a different color? Or tear it out completely?

  2. How big a deal is it to remove stain? Isn’t it called “stain” because it stains the wood permanently? Some kind of pale pickled-white finish is the only thing I’d consider…

  3. I love the wood too, like Bryan, but I understand how the color could bother you as some types do tend to darken (and get orange-ish) with time. We pickled the ceiling in our kitchen and it came out fabulous – please do consider it before painting. Um, hang on and let me see if I’ve got any pics of it – yes, I do! Go here:
    http://www.vtroom.com/2007/08/03/more-kitchen-during-but-closer-to-after/ and look through the post. You will see that the wood under the breakfast bar was pickled the same way and in that photo the lighting is actually better. I can send you bigger pics if you like, just let me know.

  4. Thanks, teeni. I guess we have to find out just how onerous the prep work for painting will be… people are telling me that we’ll have to sand no matter what. A pickled stain is precisely the stain I would want to do, on that wall, I just dunno how realistic it is to expect to get the orange stain out…

  5. Tee hee. No… a washing machine, a dryer, and a stove. Sparks has lots of stuff sitting around, but not that much stuff.

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