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Movin' on UP

Moving in is hard work.

I mean, not to brag or nothin’, but I’m sort of a pro at this moving shit. I’ve moved more times than I care to count – as I said before, 18 times before graduating high school.

Again, not hyperbole.

And generally speaking, it only takes me a few days to get unpacked and my new home in order. That means no boxes and everything is in it’s final resting place.

I am able to accomplish this because I am *usually* a hyper-organized mover with clearly labeled boxes.

So what has made this move different?

I was hoping you’d ask…

For starters, I was unable to get the house painted prior to moving in. In fact, the painters couldn’t start until 2 days after move in and even when they left, there were still some rooms to do a bit of work in. We’ll get into more on that later.

Because walls weren’t painted, furniture couldn’t be put in place, curtains and art couldn’t be hung. And if those things aren’t done, how can I unpack boxes?

But also kitchen cabinets needed an extra coat of paint. AND right after the painters left, we got the gorgeous new back splash and oh my GAWD I cannot wait to show you.

So then we needed to put everything away in the cabinets and I tried putting handles back on but fun story: I BROKE A SCREW.

Let me be clear: the holes are all pre-drilled. I didn’t replace the hardware, I just cleaned it all. Okay we replaced the door hinges because they were a beast to clean and now it looks a little sleeker but I had nothing to do with that.

The door and drawer handles are all the same. Easy peasy.

Except no easy. And definitely not peasy.

I put handles on two drawers. The first one I managed to strip the screw half way in (I’m sorry that sounds vaguely pornographic). And on the second drawer, the screw head SNAPPED OFF.

I didn’t even know that was possible!

And therefore I have been banned from putting handles back on.

Work has been so busy lately that when the workday is done the last thing either of us wants to do is house stuff so we end up doing something small or more often than not, not at all.

I did try to do the second coat of paint on the bathroom cabinets (and I did successfully do the second coat on the walls), but I think the fumes were giving me migraines because I had to keep taking breaks. It’s not like the bathroom is well ventilated.

What this meant is now not only does Rob have to be the one to put on all the handles – and there are a LOT of handles in this house – but he also had to do second coats of paint on any cabinet doors I wanted. Which he has done (the paint part). And everything looks pretty good. I wish it was a little glossier but I think that’s more a result of the doors than paint or painter.

Side note: refacing cabinets is EXPENSIVE.

I spent the bulk of our first weekend without any workers in the house on my hands and knees scrubbing paint splatter off the “wood” floors. I still have the sunroom – for lack of a better word – and the kitchen to do. But all of that repetitive scrubbing made my right hand swell up and I still haven’t fully recovered from that.

In fact, because of the swelling in my hand, typing is a challenge so that makes work fun. But I get by. And no more scrubbing for me. Plus after the kitchen drawer fiasco, we jointly decided that it would probably be best if I didn’t attempt to hang the curtains.

Rob is super excited about all the projects I keep handing over.

In addition to all of this chaos, we’ve ordered furniture. Some pieces we have had to put together ourselves and by we I mostly mean Rob. And some is on order – like the sofa for the movie room that we have to wait EIGHT WEEKS for.

And since we don’t have the new sofa, but we have a GIANT MONSTROSITY TV, we have moved the love seat into the movie room for now.

Which means the living room is not done.

That plus I’ve had a problem with my new shelves but Caleb is coming tonight to fix that. And we are still waiting on the glass shelves for the bar. So none of the bar stuff can be unpacked.

And did I mention that we didn’t get all the pieces for my kitchen chairs and the parts missing are on back order until October?

Fun times.

Also we have too much kitchen stuff. I had to give up my pretty pink pots and pans because there just isn’t enough room. And if I’m being honest, his are nicer than mine even if mine are prettier. C’est la vie.

I also donated a really nice set of glass mixing bowls to Zach because he just asked for a glass bowl for his birthday and we have at least two other sets of mixing bowls.

It did feel like every time I got the kitchen sorted we would find another two or three boxes of kitchen stuff. But I think we are done now.

Think being a key word here because there are still a few boxes in Rob’s office and closet that need to be unpacked but we are 99% sure they all belong in there. We’d know for sure but I keep asking Rob to do things for me instead of letting him build his new bookcase so he can unpack his room.

I am well aware of how selfish that is. I just can’t take the chaos anymore.

Bottom line is my hand has rendered me incapable of doing much that requires fine motor skills. And my lack of innate ability to screw things (insert joke here) has rendered me unable to help much with handles or curtain hanging.

PLUS I offer for your consideration the fact that we are combining two households into a new space at once, instead of integrating one into another which probably would have been a lot easier. And not that I’m looking to blame anyone *coughrobcough* but I did downsize considerably last year and a little more this year. Like I do with every move.

To be fair, Rob downsized a LOT too (I mean a WHOLE LOT) – he came from a 4 bedroom house that he’d been living in for 20 years. I know it is hard to let go of some things. But there is still work that needs to be done.

So I mentioned this briefly earlier, but we have had to (and still have some to do) touch up painting around the house. Tommy and his crew did a great job but I never make things easy. Nearly every paintable surface was painted and then as an extra bonus I added a pretty big extra project.

And because it is me, the ceiling color is 50% lighter than the wall color in all rooms – except the kitchen and that’s because I didn’t like my color choice and changed my mind. But the ceiling was done already and I am not *that*sadistic. So what that means is, there was a lot of moving parts and making sure the right color went on the right wall – because you know they are all different – and there was patching on ceilings and walls that needed to be done and it all took longer than he thought.

Plus the aforementioned big project.

Neither Rob nor I liked the tile on the fireplace. Sure it was pretty I guess but the color didn’t really work with the rest of my color scheme. But mostly it was just too contemporary for us. Magan had an idea of adding drywall to the upper portion and just leaving the bottom half tiled. We thought it was a great and affordable solution because retiling the whole thing would just not be in the budget right now.

LOL budget ahhahahahahahahahaha

Rob just cried a little reading that.

It turns out it was inadvisable to add the sheetrock/drywall directly to the surface of the tile, it had to be removed. But Tommy said they could do it and it wasn’t going to cost that much and would make everything so much better so why not?

Lucky for us, the former occupants (or their contractor) did not do a great job and the tile came off pretty easily leaving the brick underneath mostly intact! We couldn’t believe our luck! Even the crew was excited. So all of the tile has been removed but you will have to wait for the after photo until the living room reveal.

But suffice it to say, we are VERY pleased with the results.

At this point I am just trying to get all the curtains hung and boxes unpacked and then I will go room by room for final paint touch ups.

But there is one room that is finally and completely finished.

Sort of.

It’s done enough.

A before shot from the listing. #before

The dining room is ready for dinner parties. Assuming we can ever have those again.

We kept Rob’s traditional and gorgeous dining table and china cabinet (currently full of stemware destined for the bar shelves we don’t have yet). We put both leaves in the table to extend it to its full length because we have the space so why not. We used my beloved dining chairs – really photos do not do them justice. I dare you to not pet them. For the walls I chose Sonaran Teal to match the chairs. Bright white crown molding and trim really sets it off. We kept the existing light fixture because we like it a lot. I love the curtains from Wayfair and added white sheers because privacy is not an issue there – those windows look out on our little private side yard. The black wooden chair at the head of the table belonged to Rob’s father so that will be his seat at the table. Now I just need to find an appropriate chair for me. I am also on the hunt for tablescaping (is that a word?)…placemats, centerpiece, etc. I’m good on the upcoming seasons, but I need something year round. Who has ideas? I’d like to incorporate a little more of the white and red/coral from the curtains in the table settings.

What? 2 photos in one post? I had to show the after, duh. #AFTER

I am aware the table is not centered on the room and I am working really hard to accept that. It just made more sense to put the China cabinet on the shorter wall so we could have the big wall for art. It’s a bit heavy with my art for the moment but Rob and I plan to travel a lot – someday – and we will add more from our travels. At least that is the plan. The centerpiece on the wall was left for us by the former owners - she was an artist - so that seemed the appropriate starting point. There is a piece from our Dominican Republic trip that he bought and the large flower painting was his as well. I’ve also explained to him it is a fluid wall and pieces can be moved as we add to it. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

I’m also pleased with this little moment by the front door.

OMG a third pic in one post? #itsallchaos

Rob has a fantastic antique book collection and this lovely barrister bookcase so we put that in the entry. Above it, I hung my door knocker canvas I had printed. (in case you don’t know the back story: I was obsessed with all of the gorgeous doors in Paris and could not stop taking pictures of them. When we got home, I turned it into a collage and had it printed on canvas. I just think it belongs by the door, don’t you?) On top is a crystal bowl he had and liked – I need to find something colorful to put in it though it is September so I can officially start my fall decorating so it will be filled with pumpkins and gourds soon. And before your know it, colorful ornaments…so I guess I’m good until January.

I also added my owl door knocker (and in case you don’t know the owl door knocker story: I was telling my new friends Afy and Sandira about it when they were showing me around London. We were at Portobello Road Market at a door knocker stall when inspiration struck and I KNEW I needed an owl door knocker. Of course they didn’t have any. But a couple of stores down I found a lone brass owl door knocker and I knew it had to be mine. I painted it blue because I thought it would stand out more on my former door – and it did – and I like the idea of the paint eventually flaking due to weather and revealing patches of brass underneath.) and I think it is the perfect home. While I still plan to paint my front door (for the record, the door is a veneer and not nearly as special as you all think) I just don’t think the door knocker works on this one because of the glass.

More room pics will be coming soon – I am DYING to show you the kitchen – but I need to tweak things a bit more first.

OK my lunch break is almost over and I know that was a lot to read. I hope you liked it and I can’t wait to show you more soon. Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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