Sunday, July 20, 2014

Home improvement, Sciba-Price style!

It was love at first sight- as soon as we visited this house Sarah and I were confident it was the one for us.  A "four-square" style home, it is filled with beautiful original details, has three bedrooms, a spacious back yard, and located in a lovely historic neighborhood not too far from ISU and downtown Bloomington.  After closing we rapidly started the process of moving in and making some changes/improvements.  While everything was in pretty good shape, there were a lot of things to be done.  With only two weeks before I left for the Tamarind Institute summer workshop, we really had to prioritize what we could best afford to do with our time and money.  The room that most offended me was the kitchen, which was painted a rather drab beige color and sported this weird grapevine wallpaper trim.  Sarah was most bothered by the lavender bathroom outfitted with wooden wall fixtures.   


For the bathroom we went with our very first color sample- a light seafoam green.  We had a room-painting party, playing music and working together to repaint the entire room.  The color was a big improvement, and we replaced the moldy wooden towel racks and toilet paper holder with some nice metal ones.  The final aesthetic touch was Sarah’s touchup staining of the cabinets which transformed them amazingly.  Where the bathtub met the tiled walls had been very poorly sealed with a calk tape and I peeled that away, cleaned out the mold and grime that had accumulated behind it, and ran a nice bead of calk around the tub.  After replacing the old crummy shower head and some serious cleaning efforts from Sarah we were all set!  The work served not only to brighten the space, but also made the room feel like it was fresh, clean, and all our own.


First step in the kitchen was stripping off the wallpaper.  In the process of doing this I found there was an area of damage to the wall and some chunks of plaster were removed.  This section of wall was the original lath and plaster so I got the correct type of spackle and repaired all the damage.  


A challenge of picking a color came from the fact that the cabinets are creamy white and the counter is somewhat lavender in color.  We wanted to brighten the space but found that lighter colors were too similar to the floor and cabinets while a number of colors clashed with the counter.  Although first thinking of something in more of a peach color we auditioned a progressively deeper colors until finally settling on a warm red.  While Sarah worked on some deep cleaning of the upstairs, I went into a painting frenzy, completing the whole room in the evening.  Once we hung some clean curtains and decorated the space, our new kitchen was complete.  Eventually we would like to have glass fronted cabinets to show off our beautiful collection of dishes, but for the moment we are quite pleased.

The rest of the house is taking shape pretty well, I unpacked my stuff in a bit of a frenzy, leaving some rooms a bit less photogenic.  Sarah did a lovely job of arranging the dining room and sunroom, although the enamel-topped table has been replaced by a round wooden dinner table.

More pictures to come once I return and finish some cleaning/tidying.  While I'm away Sarah has been doing some serious work on the yard/garden areas and picked up a few more items to spruce up the place so that will be a fun improvement to see when I get home.

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