Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Room Remodel

Wondering where I've been since I returned from Pennsylvania? I've been putting the family room back together. It's the domino effect! We love the remodeled kitchen, but it made the adjoining room look dowdy. So we decided to finally commit to the built-in bookcases we talked about over 13 years ago when we bought the house.

The finishing touches of the installation were done right before I left town, so I came home to find the sofa in place with the TV and stereo installed by my husband, but all the other belongings still packed away. Important things, you know! Actually he did clean the floors and unroll the rug and bring back in a couple of chairs, since replaced. I've been busy unpacking boxes and scrounging decorative items from elsewhere in the house to stage the built-ins for a photo shoot this morning. The remodeling company is entering photos of the kitchen and matching family room cabinetry into a remodeling magazine competition. Let’s hope Heather takes better photos than I did this morning.

Despite more than a week of furious work, I still have lots to go. My antique oak buffet is half refinished after hours of applying oxalic acid to bleach out the water mark from a leaky houseplant, then more hours staining just the top surface dark, and even more hours applying two coats of Old White chalk paint (all the rage in DIY blog land). I'm almost to the point of distressing the paint to highlight the carved details before waxing the entire thing multiple times. Funny how I thought one of those blogs described this as a fast process. Not for me!

Then there's the window treatments and throw pillows. I have the Roman shade over the kitchen sink made (it's too embarrassing to admit how many measuring/sewing/ripping errors I committed!), and I’m taking a breather before the one over the breakfast table. The kidney pillows for the white chairs are cut (1" too short in one direction, sigh), so waiting my trip to a fabric store to search for trim to extend them. Rolls of fabric, green with arabesque embroidery and cream linen, are standing at attention waiting for me to construct the color block draperies for the family room. I’m so glad I’m saving zillions of dollars by doing this all myself, but I understand why these things are so expensive to hire out.

What do you think of my tuxedo cabinets? The cabinetmaker came out to see them installed and told me he thought I was nuts when he saw the design called for half dark and half white. I wanted to tie into the kitchen, which has a dark island and dark counters, as well as balance the super dark brown leather sofa sitting on the opposite wall. The cabinetmaker now says he likes it, but maybe he was just saying that to please his customer.

I only finally started to unpack my class luggage this morning, when it occurred to me that I left an almost full syringe of silver clay hanging out in there. EEEK! I need to finish the house (this area anyway!), so I'll have some creative energy left to get back to jewelry.