Home Tour: A Work in Progress

31 07 2012
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“The Work Room”
Otherwise know as the office/laundry/study room. Originally it was painted the most wretched shade of obnoxiously bright yellow one can imagine. The shelves were painted with a single coat of primer. This room still has the most work to be done. I want to add a laundry station right next to where the ironing board is. I also plan to organize and possibly separate the laundry area. Oh, and I need to start thrifting to find awesome things to fill our shelves!
DSC00200“The Hallway Downstairs”
This is the hallway in the basement. It leads to my Dad’s room, Prince D’s room, and the downstairs bathroom. I’m only showing it because I like how the grey ceiling looks against the pinkish wall and to showcase my Dad’s artwork! That pinkish color, by the way, was made by my Dad using an off white wall paint and regular acrylic paints. So I guess its considered “custom”. Also, this is the only carpet in the entire house That I actually like. By time you finish this post, you will understand why.

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“Prince D’s Room”

This is Prince D’s room. If you knew him at all, you would understand why everything is so… green. He loves green. He has since he was a baby. He also loves Star Wars. He is seven now, almost eight, so having a cool room to hang out with friends in is becoming important to him. I tried my best to put it together in a way he would like. He has his bunk beds, complete with cool bedding. He has his media center, complete with his video games and TV. He’s got his display of favorite Lego’s of the week and you can’t see his little hidden corner stacked to the brim with Lego’s. What I want to do is build him a custom shelving unit in that little alcove so he can have his own little Lego work station.
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“The Playroom”
This is the play room. Notice the carpet? Gag me. When we moved in all of that custom shelving was stale urine yellow. Needless to say, it was actually the first room painted. Which worked out because after we finished it, we had a safe place to send the kids while we continued to work on the rest of the house. Honestly, since we aren’t replacing the carpets, this room is pretty much finished. I do need to thrift and find cool things for this room as well, but its just not that important, since I don’t want anything I would be upset if broken down there. When Lance finishes his time in the Army, all the gear in the back corner will disappear. I’m not sure what will take its place… probably toys.
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“The Master”
Next up is the master room, this is the only room in need of paint because we can’t decide on colors. I think the grey is going to stay, but that particular shade of blue isn’t going to. Aside from paint, this room doesn’t need much more. One more curtain, and maybe some new bedding, but those will come in time.
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“Upstairs Bathroom”
Ahh, yes. The upstairs bathroom painted a green that no one seems to appreciate but me. It goes so well with our awesome shower curtain, and its much much better than the salmon color originally here. I’m only showing this room because I like the color and it was the first room I ever painted myself. But, since its here I guess I can say that the only thing left to do is add one more towel rack, and a shower stand thing to hold all of our soaps. Does anyone even care about that?DSC00215DSC00217
“Prince L & Prince C’s Room”

This is Prince L and Prince C’s bedroom. I happen to be quite proud of it. I really like how the stripes turned out. In a perfect work the room would be a magazine ready child’s room, but I live in reality and that just doesn’t happen. Not without paid help anyway. This room is as good as it gets until my one and three year old boys are grown enough to care.
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“The Living Spaces”
This is the rest of the upstairs. The living room, dining room and kitchen. The wall color is the only one originally in the house that I like. The living room still needs a bit of work, some of which is already in progress. Wires need to be covered, the coffee table finished, sheer curtains added, the bookshelf better arranged, better places found for the toys in there. I don’t want this room to be so perfect that its uncomfortable; I want it to come off as inviting and cozy. The kitchen is tiny, so it still needs expert organization, but that will come in due time, much like everything else.
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“The Decks”
Here you can see my top deck and under deck. When we moved in all of the wood was covered in moss. The kind that gets slimy and slick when wet. Mind you, we live in Washington state, so its more often wet than not. It was a recipe for disaster so power washing was one of our top priorities. Also the under deck was covered in moss. The thick, green, hairy looking kind. So that got washed to. What’s more, is the area under the deck (second picture down on the left) was full of unmaintained growth that was not only an eyesore, but also trapped moisture under the deck causing the moss and mildew to grow faster. So we had to rip out all of the growth and then lay thick black plastic down to help dry it out. It seems to have helped a lot, especially in reducing the humidity in the basement. We still need to dig a trench around the under deck patio to direct water away from there. It has to be done in order to reduce moss growth and the indoor humidity. Also, we will be adding some under deck roofing and making that a really comfortable hangout area. We have even discussed ideas like a hot tub and screening it in.
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”The Yards”

This is the rest of the property. To the left is just a glimpse of the forest. You can’t see them, but there are several trails to explore. Before we can enjoy them, we have to go in and clean them out. The trails were littered with scrap wood that had all sorts of rusty nails and screws waiting to impale unsuspecting children. So far we have burned eight fires reaching up to six feet high. That should give you a small visual of how much junk was in those woods, and we still aren’t done. We have an estimated three more fires worth of scrap left. The picture on the right is of our front yard. Right now it has the play stuff in it, but after we get the back yard (picture on the left) cleaned out and trimmed up, the toys will be back there and the front yard will boast our produce garden.

So that’s my house so far. As each room gets the finishing touches added, I’ll update them. I’m even thinking of making how to posts for organizing each room on a budget. Even with all of the work still left to be done, I really can’t believe how unbelievably lucky I am to live in a place like this. This is my dream home. Private, safe, full of nature, plenty to explore, plenty to see, plenty to do. I look forward to many years in this home–many happy years.




The Move.

24 07 2012
When summer break started after my first year of community college I expected to relax and enjoy the next three months with my kids.  No work, no worries, no stress.  I was really looking forward to it, but then our lease was ending soon and it was time to move again. 
Moving itself was nothing new for me or my family.  I had never lived in any town long enough to plant roots and neither had my boys.  Lance?  Well, Lance was luckier than us.  He grew up in California, although he did move many, many times within there.  This move was different though.  Our original plan was for my dad to buy a house large enough for all of us consolidate our two households.  It made sense for everyone, but as life would have it, the purchase didn’t work out.  So there we were, struggling to find a rental to move into quickly.  We saw two properties, both of which were perfect.  We had our hopes set on either, but one didn’t take pets and the other decided to go with other applicants.  Then there was this one.  Lance found it on craigslist:  an add with no pictures, just a vague description of a large home, with a large deck, and over two acres of property within our price range.  He was elated…  I was apprehensive.  It seemed too good to be true.
 
As we were pulling down the drive all I could see was overgrown, unmaintained forest which was filled with piles upon piles of half rotted scrap wood lying all over the place.  When the house came into view all I could see was an almost failing roof, a garage filled to the brim with…junk, a quite large deck covered in a decent amount of mildew, and more overgrown forest filled with even more scrap wood.  I thought to myself, “This place looks like a dump.”  We went inside.  It was too good to be true.
 
As soon as I crossed the threshold, any hope I had of the inside being a pleasant surprise was gone.  First of all, the house had a odor that was quite offensive.  The only description I can come up with is old carpet, mixed with mildew and decomposing trash.  I cautiously continued through the house, all the while breathing through my mouth, and viewed the rest.  All of the rooms were very dirty, the carpets were scary, the smell never lifted.  The basement was like walking into a cave.  Very cool, but very moist.  I did not, under any circumstances, want to rent this house.  Lance was very, very interested.  He walked through the whole house with the shit eating grin and couldn’t wait to talk rent. 
 
And so it became ours, and with it the list of things to be done in order to bring it up to our standards.
There were so many things that had to be done.  First things first, we had to get the rest of the crap out of the house left behind by the landlords.  So much was removed that we ended up with about several large piles of things to burn, and rented a dumpster that was filled twice. 
After that came cleaning the place up.  Every room had to be sprayed down with vinegar water, every surface scrubbed, every windowsill vacuumed, every window cleaned, every cobweb cleared.  The bathrooms were so filthy that we literally had to take a wire brush on a power drill to the tubs and toilets, and bleach to the rest.  The work seemed endless, but after 14 hours of pure labor, we finished. 
The next day we moved our stuff.  Thanks to the generous help of two good friends, we were able to get all of our belongings.  This was no easy task as we were in the process of consolidating two households into one.  I dreaded moving day, but in the end it turned out to be no where near as hard as I thought it would be.  We had fun, and got our home situated. 
Unpacking was another story.  Lance had to get back to work, so it was up to my dad and I to unbox our lives.  A task that wouldn’t have seemed so pointless if we didn’t need to paint.  But we did it.  We hastily unpacked, not really putting much thought into it.  We just did enough to get everything in the right room so that we weren’t living in chaos. 
When that was finished we started on the painting and bigger projects.When we first started this move, I never thought it would be as stressful as it was.  First, it looked like we were going to have to move into a hotel for a while because we had such a hard time finding a house.  Then the house we are in now seemed like such a dump that I really didn’t want to move in.  I was so stressed through it all.  But after all is said and done, I’m happy with the house we ended up in.  Its going to be a lot of work, but I think that this house will be full of positive changes, and happy memories.