Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Attack of the Killer Home Remodeling Projects!

Boy, that just doesn't have a snappy ring to it, does it? It is, however, true. They might just kill me.

Let's review. We spent most of the spring laying down this paver patio ourselves:

Note the out-of-control tomatoes and pumpkins trying to take over the world in the lower right hand corner. I'm seriously considering using pumpkin vines for all my home landscaping needs.

I drove the bobcat with all my normal grace and style.

It's not done yet, of course. Any experienced home remodeler knows that the project is never, ever finished. Where would the fun be in that? We still have to do all the landscaping, and the steps are . . . barely steppable. But I would like everyone to appreciate the lower elevation of the dirt pile that has been my kid's source of joy this year:

Compared to this:

See the difference? One could almost consider that level, if one had drunk a few too many adult beverages. All we need now is the sod. Still.

Anyway, since we're not done with the patio project, we decided to go ahead with ANOTHER home remodeling project: My office. My office was, formerly, a bedroom that some previous owners (yes, I know who, and no, I don't think it was their best idea) carved up to make a huge, massive, gigantic walk-in closet for the master bedroom. I love closets, it's true, but that made this little room the ugly stepchild of the house. See? This is what it looked like before we moved in.

I know you can't tell, but that's not wallpaper. That's contact paper. Talk about your remodeling projects on the cheap!

And, at one time, it apparently had Cubs wallpaper, too. That's what people who partied at our house with various previous owners in the 70s and 80s always ask. "Do you still have the Cubs room?" No, my hubby always answers with regret. No Cubs room. (Lay off, Cards fans!)

Ever since we moved into this house, we have planned on ripping out the newish wall, running it all the way back to the original far wall, and reconfiguring the walk-in closet. They just never used all the space--space that could be better served by bookcases. But ripping out walls and putting in new ones is a major project, best left to professionals. (True, I could rip it out myself. But I couldn't put it back in. "Know your limits" is my wise home remodeling mantra.) And major projects cost major money. Money better spent on other things. Like food. Or shoes. Or more shoes. I could write in ugliness. I just didn't love it.

But then, one wonderful day in late May, my wonderful hubby looked over to me and said those magic words: "When do you want to redo your office?" (The correct answer is "Hand me the phone. I'll call the contractor. Right now.")

What brought on this sudden change of heart, you ask? Did it have something to do with my agent signing me with solid business-style plans for selling my books? Perhaps.

Contractors willing, the wall-ripping process will begin next week. We've moved all my pre-existing furniture out to the landing:

It's like my own little office cocoon. Very . . . snug.

And we tore most of the wallpaper off, too. Well, the kid did. The ability to destroy is one of the more fun gifts I gave him. And then? Well, heck. If you're going to tear walls out anyway, why not let a young child--and his friends--draw on the walls?

The art of a four year old is open to interpretation, but there are Handy Manny screwdrivers, Mr. Tickle monsters, and various attempts at names in there. Needless to say, the kid is already looking forward to the next home remodeling project.

So, off we go. I've got the border ordered (say that one five times fast) and the paint picked out. Some furniture (in my cocoon) is already here; the bookcases and filing cabinet will have to be ordered. (Because you just can't find nice oak bookcases and filing cabinets on the cheap. You can find fake wood bookcases and cheap wood filing cabinets, but they look fake and cheap. And I'm not spending the next thirty years scowling at my office furniture for ruining my vibe.)

It helps tremendously that I just got hired to teach English as a Second Language at the community college. Another part-time gig, but even a part-time paycheck is a paycheck.

Much like a butterfly, my office will emerge from its cocoon lovely and resplendent.

I hope.

Stay tuned!


lucylucia said...

I dream of having a library. You will definitely have to post photos when the room is done!!

Caley Greene said...

Very nice! Gotta love the artwork! I love your plans for your office! Pictures - we want pictures!