In my attempt to stay upbeat, I’m celebrating the small successes/wins in accomplishing literally anything.
Here’s why, I read that the word “anxiety” was trending on Twitter and it made me realize people in my small world were using the word more themselves in text and conversation. We were all feeling fatigued and unproductive. These are normal feelings when your world’s turned up-side-down, but I wondered if it was time to step away from the news a bit, and focus on small projects to mentally cope and gain some feeling of control in all this crazy.
Falling under the category of “if I only have time, I would do this” was to organize/or delete 7200+ photos into albums. I started it one morning rather impromptu, and it held my focus here and there through out the day. It was a small win, but filtering through the photos of our house reminded me that it’s so easy to forget all the big wins already made on its progress.
So this blog post isn’t the usual patchwork that you all signed up for and since design inspiration is something that circles through most of my obsessions I thought I’d share some of the house developments to celebrate the small and big wins.
We knew this house was “The One” when its listing popped up late on a Friday night. We were the first in Saturday morning and to place an offer. After 9 months of looking we knew it was a star player. We saw past the carpet and bars on the windows to see the house was well loved and had good bones.
Bye bye to sparkle paint and flowered carpet. Off with the 80s prom dress curtains and the Renoir Parisian cafe border wall paper. Yes, that actually
We knew once we took up the carpet that there wasn’t any wood flooring at the front of the living room. We’re guessing this was once the porch and the old couple had absorbed it to make the living room larger. There was zero insulation down there as well.
There were different stains through out so having them match really gave the house more cohesion.
The previous owner, “Old Man Joe” as we call him had a wood shop in the basement. In my opinion, this is a horrible idea, but a testament to how much his wife loved him, for sawdust magically appears there, no matter how much I’ve vacuumed.
He made wood EVERYTHING for the house including the fireplace mantel. See those tiles? I’m sure there’s a story behind those and we still have a matching bathroom sink that has to go. A signature design for sure.
Since the brick was sanded in spots we decided to just paint it all. I’d like to restretch the wood print in the second photo to fit the opening, but that might be a small project that never sees a win.
The fireplace isn’t up to code and maybe on the list to come down next summer. The brickwork inside and out needs help, and we don’t exhaust an oil furnace through the chimney anymore. Once it’s gone and the new hearth set back we’ll gain space, light, and a better walkway flow to the adjacent little room. I’ve got all sorts of free-standing fireplace dreams on my pinboard.
The dining room windows I have to admit grew on me, especially once the bars were gone.
The mustard tint was dated, they were single paned, but the morning light through them was cheery and they opened. Plus there was a ledge for plants.
It was hard to decide, but we went with a lined obscured glass on all the east side windows in the living and little room. Our neighbors on that side are so close that the privacy is welcome. Someday we’ll finish patching the drywall surround.
The grid front window isn’t missed.
I love the front windows. We’re a total fishbowl from the street, so though I enjoy waving to people I know and don’t know from my couch we’re messing with the idea of panels and plants for privacy instead of a solid fence.
Here’s a little more realistic photo of what it all looks like in the morning and after I’ve moved the cookbooks out. At some point we want a front door with windows and be gone security gate.
There’s that pass through next to the fireplace to what was likely in the past a third bedroom. We call it the little room, Claudia’s or Chris’s room. There’s a small couch with storage that can be made into a bed.
Again with the wood, carpet and bars.
When we took the closet doors off to do the floors we discovered that the backs were modge podged with old posters and magazines, including the World’s Fair when it was in Seattle. There was an unconvincing conversation about them being art pieces in the living room, but I thought they should be hung and displayed where they belonged. Looks like I can count that under ‘win.’
My small win for the weekend was getting my cookbook collection into its new and expanded home. I think this storage will be temporary, but I’m excited to organize them in one place. The artwork and some houseplant rearranging will likely be the next win.
When we received the keys to the house we hosted a ‘post it party’ which basically meant we provided a keg, post it notes and sharpies and requested people post their ideas for what we should do to areas of the house. If you’d like to see the post about that it’s here. I highly recommend doing this if you find yourself with a fixer, it was really fun and we wouldn’t have thought of some of the perspectives.
Like these for above the mantel.
And for the walls.
We’re likely to welcome you to our 10 year remodel still in progress 40 years from now, but we’ve enjoyed the process and creative outlet, especially as a focus now. We’re so grateful.
I guess I’m mentally preparing myself and my family for the long hail in this current state and I want our home to be a visually/functional/happy place to help make that easier., especially with remote learning happening here soon.
Whether it’s sewing, cooking, gardening… I hope you’re all finding an outlet and focus for energy that’s beneficial to your mental health.
Keep it up. xo Katie
p.s. I made you lemon sour cream pie;)