Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Former Rooms of the Offspring ...

Well, the Gothic Mansion is finally ready ... the last of the staining and varnishing completed, and everything within cleaned and polished until it sparkles. It was only listed for sale last week, and already the insomniac  grows weary of trying to keep it tidy.

This week, she'd like to share some photos of the other two bedrooms, formerly the lair of the offspring, but ever so much cleaner and tidier than when they were inhabited by them. 

We'll start with the eldest's room, which the insomniac  has been in the process of redecorating since he moved out seven years ago. Originally, this room was covered with stipple paint - the walls, the floors, the wood trim - every surface was coated with the stuff. Which, somewhat surprisingly, stripped off quite nicely and protected the wood underneath from further damage. It was actually a blessing in disguise although, upon first viewing the room, one certainly didn't appreciate the fact at the time.

The insomniac  enjoys good graffiti art. Which clearly this isn't ...

Normally, terra cotta would not be the insomniac's  first choice for a paint colour. Since the carpeting chosen for this room was shades of cream, green and rust, and the room had already been painted cream when the eldest was a baby and forest green when he was older, the only remaining colour that hadn't already been tried was terra cotta. Unfortunately, during the redecorating process a number of items were purchased to coordinate with this colour scheme, which means at least one room in the new house will probably end up being painted terra cotta.

The colour does kind of grow on a person after a while ...

This isn't good either ...

... but it's now a perfect corner for reading on a sunny afternoon.

Especially without a giant eye peering over a person's shoulder.

The daybed's the best part of the room ...

The eldest's bookcase.
Also with a wee bit of knife damage.

A fun restoration project for after the move ...

The following are photos of the youngest's room, having only just recently been vacated by her and thus having been spared from the insomniac's  incessant redecorating. This room never suffered the indignity of lousy graffiti; merely a bit of water damage and some broken windows. It was one of the few rooms where picture rail still existed, which was used as a template to create matching rail for the rest of the house and also provided a clue for the proper installation height. For some reason, the woodwork wasn't stained as dark as it was in the rest of the house, but that was rectified during the restoration.

As the house was gutted to the studs in order to upgrade the wiring, plumbing and heating, the insomniac  had a choice of where to put the light switches and also add more outlets than were originally installed; generally only one or two per room. This was one of the rare times in her life she actually used a power tool - an extremely large drill roughly half her height - to bore holes in the studs to pull the electrical wire through. Miles  and miles  and miles  of electrical wire.

Every door in the house looked as though
it had been crow-barred open.

More than once ...

The wood looks nicer stained dark walnut, doesn't it?

This room has been many different colours; starting out cream, then pink and rose, a dark royal purple (during her LOTR phase), and now Victorian Mauve. The youngest always enjoyed completely redoing her room far more than her brother ever did. A chip off the old block.

Lovely view from the window ...

There used to be a makeup vanity on this wall.
It's been moved to the garage, much to the youngest's dismay.

There's another project for after the move ...

Hopefully the insomniac  can match the paint.

Or it won't just be the vanity that needs redoing ...

One of only three spots in the house
where we found original wallpaper ...

The youngest may have vacated,
but her belongings haven't ...

She's now 5'10".  She couldn't possibly be comfortable in that little bed ... 

A closeup of the above pictures; another late night eBay purchase of three hand-tinted lithographs to replace Frodo, Bilbo and Samwise, and more suited to the current decor. It seemed wrong to split up the group of three since they'd obviously been meant as a set, but the insomniac  is only going to share the two she likes and ignore the third.

Those eyes ...
That hat ...














Next week, once everything has been finalized and for a complete change of pace from Before and After photos (of which one is quite sure you're all getting very tired) a preview of the next big project for the insomniac. And her very Long-Suffering Spouse.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The “Staged” Master Bedroom ...

It's been a busy few weeks here in the Gothic Mansion, trying to finish up everything before the big day. Although the insomniac  had originally started out with the intent to merely touch up all the little dings on the woodwork, after adding a new coat of varnish to the master bedroom closet door, it looked so good she has decided to re-stain and re-varnish ALL the woodwork in the ENTIRE house. While this has made an already tight schedule even more so, it feels like the right thing to do, and has brought back fond recollections of when the wood trim was originally stripped of its fifteen layers of paint using an arsenal of heat guns, sandpaper, putty knives and dental picks. And some not-so-fond memories of just how much a one-inch sliver from a piece of fir hurts.

In staging the master bedroom, one has attempted to go for the Victorian Country Style rather than the usual Gothic Mansion Style. After removing a few pieces of furniture and opening the blinds, the room is now quite open and light, and really doesn't even look like our bedroom anymore. It does, however, look a lot less cluttered - a look which apparently prospective buyers do not find appealing, and a concept completely beyond one's grasp.

The following pictures clearly emphasize how important it is to hire a professional photographer to take some decent photos before we leave ...

Glare on the pictures, glare on the mirror,
too bright in the foreground, too dark in the background ...

But doesn't that newly varnished closet door look amazing?

Just for fun, here's a picture of the closet 25 years ago. The door appears to be missing - it was probably in the basement along with a lot of other doors. But that was a long time ago and we really can't remember. Note the large piece of plastic taped to the ceiling, to keep the water leaking down from the attic off whoever was sleeping in there at the time. Lovely.

Decorated in the Skater/Post-Apocalyptic Style

The spouse hasn't quite grasped the concept of staging yet, and enthusiastically packed away absolutely everything on top of his dresser. The insomniac  was forced to retrieve two of her his favourite pieces from the boxes, and bring up a bouquet of dead roses from the dining room, in order to make it look a little less barren.

The dresser still  looks a little too empty for the insomniac's  taste ...

Straying slightly from the Victorian Country theme ...

Okay, it was really hard sticking to the Victorian Country theme ...

Even though we may be leaving the Gothic Mansion, little traces of our existence here will always remain. The insomniac  got a tad emotional and shed a few tears upon seeing her Father's handwriting on the back of the hot air register. Although that may have been due more to the giant sliver lodged in her thumb than the writing - or perhaps a combination of the two.

Everything was labelled so we knew where it belonged ...

The floor hasn't been that shiny in decades ...

And doesn't that newly varnished baseboard look amazing?

Before ...

... and after.

Back on track with Victorian Country ... or as close as it's going to get.

The insomniac  has been somewhat less enthusiastic in her packing; her dressers look the same as always - minus the two dozen small vials of perfume samples, and the safety pin and penny collection that was always spilling out of their silver dishes. And although she has been told numerous times that personal items and pictures must be stowed away to avoid making anyone viewing the home uncomfortable, she plans on keeping those items out until the last possible second.

A picture found on eBay and identical to one in 
the Sainted Father's baby book ...

This picture used to hang over Grandma's bed ...

The offspring, when they were too young to question
their mother's fondness for dressing them in black ...

A person has a tendency to forget how large this house really is, until faced with the self-imposed task of refinishing all the woodwork. And cleaning all the windows. All thirty-three of them. Each with a separate storm window. Some of which are only accessible from scaffolding. See you in a few weeks ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA