We own a two-family house that contains two two-bedroom apartments. We rented out the downstairs apartment until last year, but we have three children and two bedrooms and it was getting crowded. So we are taking over both apartments. Because our children are young, we can’t sleep on separate floors, since that would be sleeping in different apartments. So the plan was to convert the downstairs living room into our bedroom and put the kids in the downstairs bedrooms. Yes, it is going to be weird, but we will be used to it very soon, because people get used to things like this fast. And yes, in a traditional house the bedrooms are upstairs, but the upstairs kitchen is leaps and bounds better than the downstairs kitchen. So this way makes more sense.
We hired a guy to drywall and replace woodwork in the downstairs living room and we were all set to start moving in when, whoops! Turns out our entire house needed to be rewired or our insurance company would drop us! Ha ha ha! $6500 later, our contractor informed us that the main gas line in the house, which was original to the house, ran the entire length of the attic (so as to better feed the gas-chandeliers, you see) and was old and liable to snap at any moment. Ha ha ha! $1500 later, and our house is much, much less likely to burn down. So that’s good. But it also brought us to September or something, and left a lot of patched up holes in the walls. But! We soldier on.
We spent the winter thinking a lot about painting and choosing colors and actually doing some painting while also talking about rugs and floors and furniture layouts and so forth. This was all around regular living, and we are very slow renovators. Eventually, we painted all the rooms that MUST be painted before we move, and it was during this time that my FIL saw the state of the floor in what would be Jack’s room, and was horrified. Fair enough, because the floors in my house are, frankly, horrifying. I’m not talking “those cheap laminates are not to my taste,” here. I’m talking, “The living room and dining rooms have huge unfinished pine in the middle and the finished boards in all the rooms are all covered in stains and paint spatter and spackle and who knows what all.” In our room, for example, you can actually see where they put down the can when they were painting, because the spatter left a nice paint-can silhouette. But we’ve been living with it like this for seven years because floors are such a pain and are expensive, and we had to do other things first. (Did you see our “before”kitchen?)
BUT THE TIME HAS COME. On Monday, a guy is coming to refinish all the floors except for the downstairs living and dining rooms because 1) they have wall-to-wall that we put in so they’re in decent shape and 2) we need those rooms to pile all our stuff into while he does the rest of the house. We will hopefully do those rooms in the summer when we go away, but we shall see.
I am so excited to have this done. The floors are truly terrible. And as a bonus, we are going to paint the upstairs living room which is long overdue, but which we have been putting off because moving the furniture out of that particular room is so daunting. So we will strike while the iron is hot; ie, while the furniture is out of the room for other reasons, at any rate.
I have a bunch more boring details that I am refraining from telling you, about how we chose the paint colors, and how we rushed out to buy paint before Sandy and before last weekend’s blizzard but then of course did not paint during either storm (I can’t remember why for Sandy, but we were a smidge busy with snow removal last weekend). (Oh, wait, now I should explain: We are going to paint the downstairs dining room the same beige as the upstairs living room. We can’t paint upstairs until after the floors because the furniture has to be out, but we thought we might try to paint downstairs.)
It’s happening agin. I’m becoming the person who talks endlessly about paint, rugs, floors, curtains, etc, etc, etc. And I’m on a Lenten Twitter fast, so you will get to hear ALLLLL about it in the upcoming weeks.
I will post some before and after pictures, but Andrew and his dad moved a bunch of stuff downstairs today, so I have to dig up some before pictures of the furnished upstairs apartment so you can see the nice new living room color.
And after we finish painting the two living rooms, the dining room, the main entry way, and the two bedrooms, we get to paint a kitchen, two bathrooms, another bedroom, and two apartment entryways. And then break through a wall. But more on that later.