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Part 14 of the Dumpster Diaries: Finishing the Back Room AND Bye Bye Dumpster! (plus other updates).

I *thought* I had a half finished blog post draft saved, but when I went to find it, it was gone.

It’s been SO BUSY around here that I have had barely enough time to think, much less write.

I am NOT going to post more pics of the back room til I get more decorating done- most people are shocked currently by the incredibly orange walls LOL! It has to be entirely finished to understand… I am doing a hippie dippy music theme melange in there. I feng shui’d the CRAP outta that room, to boot.

Here is a rundown of what happened:

~Finished the back room drywalling and painted the walls/ceiling.
~Added an area rug that the neighbors didn’t want anymore
~Moved the sofa bed from the front porch(!!) to the back room
~Assembled and set up the desk
~They took away the dumpster(and I miss it already)

We still have to:

~Finish decorating back room
~Move the rest of our clothes from the back room closet to the master bedroom walk in closet
~Get all of Sam’s crap that’s piled to the ceiling out of the dining room
~Hang the Ikea Kirp shelves for his video games and books
~Wait for the art to arrive from Thailand

What else I did (mostly purchases for back room):

~Ordered curtain panels from India

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

~Ordered white wooden plantation blinds for the windows

plantation blinds

plantation blinds

~Ordered some awesome throw pillows for the sofa

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

this album isn't his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

this album isn’t his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

The dumpster was taken away last Friday… I must admit, I am really sad to see it go.

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View from my porch… it was almost TOO full by the time they came to get it

bye bye dumpster...

bye bye dumpster…

We will probably be renting another one in a month when we start the downstairs bathroom renovations. This thing was almost TOO full by the time they took it back. R and the rest of the guys spent the last day filling it with refuse and junk from the basement and garage. They didn’t even bother telling me what they were tossing out- I told them not to.

Sam leaves tomorrow for the Pax Prime convention in Seattle and will be gone for a week. My dad has cataract surgery tomorrow morning and will be spending the night here because it’s closer to his doctor’s. Connor and Maisie’s birthdays (and my dad’s) are coming up in the next 2 weeks- and school starts on the 8th!

I have to devote my time to finding birthday presents, planning parties, getting back-to-school supplies, AND CLEANING THIS F*CKING HOUSE UP! I am toying with the idea of hiring some of the cleaning out at this point.

2 of our Dyson vacuum cleaners decided to die within a week of each other. The last one started going out 2 days ago. This is not good when you have 3 giant, perpetually shedding Newfoundland dogs.

Also, last but not least, Maisie is finally starting to walk!

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Part 12 of the Dumpster Diaries: NO MAJOR CLOSET RENOVATION HAPPENING- but We Got the Ghetto Walk In Closet Installed!

11880343_10153244967374024_8626816994711455902_n 11233773_10153244967354024_7552789740213235370_nI have to say: I am getting burnt out.

This has been the theme song for the kitchen to closet renovation:

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He had a hard time with the gas line- it was so old that the valve took a lot of work to shut off

We decided NOT to do a full redo on the closet… for a couple of reasons:

1. We’re freaking TIRED of living like this
2. We have no place to put our clothes
3. We discovered that our kitchen sink lines are SO OLD upstairs that there’s no turn off valve for the water!!!  The main also is difficult to turn off and we don’t need the additional cost right now of a plumber.
4. We are going to do a REAL redo of the upstairs bathroom and this old kitchen NEXT YEAR and gut the entire thing- enlarging the existing bath and redesigning the walk in closet.

Anyway, so ghetto closet renovation is what we ended up with!

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My friends graciously came and removed the appliances, plus an old airconditioner and toaster oven- which was a great relief! I dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed the disgusting walls and floor… then we put down a large, almost new area rug that the neighbors didn’t want.

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here is the BEFORE- just to remind everyone

Of course, while putting up the closet system, ANOTHER thing went wrong when we discovered (or remembered) that the house’s chimney runs along the corner where the closet was going up. Luckily, he worked that out.

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A closet full of vintage fiesta ware in my pantry- yeah, my closet has a closet

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how disgusting is this? What it looked like after appliances left

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after washing walls and floors, he unrolls rug to cover the ancient linoleum

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Maisie in beast mode!

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helping Daddy install closet system

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Maisie checking out the new room

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the install

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the corner is where the house’s chimney is- and where we momentarily ran into trouble

AFTER!!

AFTER!!

Tomorrow I have to hang clothes, do laundry, put away stuff, bring makeup up, etc. R is back at work til Wednesday, so the big stuff will have to wait til then.


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Part 11 of the Dumpster Diaries: MUDDING, Spackling, and all the icky drywall stuff nobody likes… plus preview of kitchen into closet hell

looking good! We have walls!

looking good! We have walls!

Today was the day when the first coat of joint compound went on the drywall seams and the cracks in the plaster walls were spackled… R did a fantastic job. The room will need 2 more coats and sanding- so no painting for a couple more days, unfortunately.

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the sanding part (that’s coming up) is the worst part

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cracks are spackled

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more spackled cracks

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not too shabby

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the smooth new ceiling makes me so happy

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new outlet box

We will be working on the upstairs kitchen while the joint compound dries. The upstairs kitchen to walk in closet redo is seeming even more daunting than the back room project now… AND we have only ONE WEEK in which to complete this closet room (dumpster goes back on 21st).

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OMG HOW AM I GOING TO GET THIS EMPTIED AND TURNED INTO A CLOSET IN A WEEK?!?!

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I have a lot of shoes. I think I may need to sell my dressers, no room in here for them.

R is now thinking that we won’t have the time nor wherewithal to remove the cabinets and sink. We also discovered that the ancient gas line to the stove has a stuck gas valve- so we have no idea how we’re going to cap this damned thing off. I may have to call the gas company.

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Dumpster Diaries: Upstairs Kitchen Into Walk-In Closet for Master Bedroom Redo Ideas

this is the very pale peach color I plan to make from the leftover orange paint I used in the backroom. It will make a nice, soothing color in the closet.

this is the very pale peach color I plan to make from the leftover orange paint I used in the backroom. It will make a nice, soothing color in the closet.

For those just tuning in, my house is 103 yrs. old and was turned from a single family dwelling into a 2 flat in 1929, as the Great Depression hit. We are the first family since then to live on both floors as one house. The master bedroom currently has NO closet space- instead, we have another kitchen off the room (as well as an amazing sleeping porch and back stairway entrance).

As I was laying quietly in bed tonight, waiting for Maisie to fall asleep, my game plan for the upstairs walk in closet came to me. Until now, I just resigned myself to the idea of quickly throwing shelving and hanging systems in there and calling it good, but that no longer suits me.

While I still want to do this on the cheap, I now want to put a BIT of effort into it.

Here’s my current plan:

1. Remove every item from the kitchen. Give the appliances away.
2. Cap off the gas line and water lines
3. Rip out the bottom shelves and sink
4. Use whatever leftover orange Behr paint I have from the downstairs back room and mix it with lighter paint from the storage to make a nice peach colored shade. Why peach? It looks good next to my skin and is a warm, soothing color.
5. Patch the crumbling holes and spackle room; paint the entire thing peach
6. Install all the closet hardware systems
7. Use whatever large area carpet I have left on the floors over the old linoleum-
8. Add a middle of the room table/folding island
9. Make a sewing area
10. Hang a full length mirror on the door
11. Hang clothes-
12. Install makeup vanity and move my makeup into this room (I *NEED* a dedicated makeup place- so that my makeup is no longer in the downstairs ‘public’ bathroom)

similar to the heavy steel framed office desk his parents gave him- but much nicer (the photo).

similar to the heavy steel framed office desk his parents gave him- but much nicer (the photo).

I plan to repurpose an old, HEAVY steel framed office desk into an industrial sized makeup vanity in that room. I have A TON OF BEAUTY PRODUCTS that require storage. The desk will get a thorough cleaning (to remove years of nicotine stains et al, because R’s parents used to smoke like chimneys) and plexiglass will be put over the top, for easier cleanup. If I am feeling ambitious- which I doubt- I may paint it all, too.

The GREAT thing about using an old office desk as a vanity is that the top has ENORMOUS space. I want to buy some nifty clear cosmetics organizers and this thing will be my new ‘countertop’. It doesn’t have to be pretty- I am going for functional and FREE here… which will leave me more $$ to buy the chair I want for the vanity. It’s a reproduction mid-century modern design (I think Eames) and is a steal on Amazon right now-

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I want this to be the chair for my reclaimed steel desk makeup vanity-

I am hoping, hoping, hoping that we will be able to finish all these projects BEFORE the dumpster goes back in 10 days.

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Part 9 of the Dumpster Diaries: Less Dumpster-More Diary. Good News and Bad News…

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

The GOOD NEWS:

I bought the ‘inspiration piece’ for the back room.

Sam is SOOO picky about the art I put on the walls and liked this one. He was worried it would scream “I’m a little kid living at Mommy’s house!” or be too ‘busy’… he won’t like the fact that it’s going to be bigger than what he wants, but he gets no choice in that since he has no sense of scale.

This is hilarious and will tie in all the colors of that back room.

All the drywall, paint, and things (we think) that we need so far have been purchased, too.

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I ordered this canvas print tonight from Thailand- was a good deal at $45US for a 3 ft print.

We found a light fixture in a burnished wood that we LOVED.

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude's office, I think

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude’s office, I think

We also bought the paint at Home Depot- R prefers Behr products. The color we’re using is a bold orange for the walls- white for the ceiling.

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange- and that gouge above the swatch is ready to be filled with drywall mud-

We installed a new electrical outlet and are running entirely new lines to the breaker box. All of the electrical will now have it’s own breaker in that room, which will safeguard Sam’s show if another breaker in the house pops.

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

drywall waiting to be installed over light fixture on ceiling

Now for the BAD NEWS:

After getting the cracks scraped out to fill and fix, the new electrical boxes installed, buying all the stuff, and putting up exactly HALF A SHEET of drywall, we discovered that the light fixture in the ceiling was connected to AN ANTIQUE GASLIGHT PIPE.

Our house was built in 1912 by a German wagonmaker and his family. 1912 is kind of late in my area for gas lighting, but he must have thought it was a cheaper option or something when he built this house.

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

It now requires a new thingamajig (don’t ask me the name of it, I don’t know) in order to connect the new light fixture.

see that pipe? It's for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

see that pipe? It’s for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

Plus Sam was doing his internet show, so we couldn’t turn off the electricity like we needed to on R’s last day off this week. Everything is on hold until next Wednesday (R’s next day off). Hopefully, we will be able to finish the drywall, plus mudding and sanding- and hopefully paint the new ceiling/walls then.

We have less than 10 days left of dumpster rental. I was hoping that all of this stuff would have been finished by now. Everything has been SO slow going.

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Part 8 of the Dumpster Diaries: THE BACK ROOM IS *FINALLY* EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!! Drywall starts TOMORROW!

getting MUCH more filled now

getting MUCH more filled now

After being pretty half-assed about the project this week, the males dove back in with less-than-gusto (but more than the usual half-assery).

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Hoping we get this project done and this dumpster full

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I threw away a perfectly good stainless trash can if anyone wants it

I had a ladies’ ‘mom night’ on my porch last night with my cousin, her friend, and bottles of vino- which I sorely needed! I probably could have done without the hangover the next morning, though. I don’t drink much and am a horrible lightweight.

My cousin and Miss Maisie

My cousin and Miss Maisie

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my little urchin in her fave place- the front porch

We lost my youngest son to a weekend away at his friend’s, which leaves just the remaining 2 (and me- kinda-since my back is on the fritz again). I am not going to lie, I’ve had to resort to screaming at this point to get anything done around here… I hate that. When I simply asked for others to help, they all ‘had things to do’.

 walls ready for drywall over the plaster- the former door once lead to the downstairs bathroom


walls ready for drywall over the plaster- the former door once lead to the downstairs bathroom

No. FUCKING. Way.

walled off the doorway to the downstairs bathroom about a dozen years ago and we're finally going to cover it with drywall

walled off the doorway to the downstairs bathroom about a dozen years ago and we’re finally going to cover it with drywall

In the end, it’s finally coming together. Thank goodness. The carpet in the back room is even clean enough now (for the moment) that Maisie could crawl around tonight and play while we discussed the future decor.

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a little bit of playtime with Daddy

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yay!

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the ceiling also needs drywall- a flood from the upstairs bathroom previously ruined the plaster

Tomorrow we go to Lowe’s and buy the thinnest drywall to cover the ceiling and back wall- and new lighting, new electrical boxes, mud, paint, primer- you name it.

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Dumpster Diaries: Turning the upstairs kitchen into a closet room/sewing room

My house is 103 years old. Originally, it was built by a German wagon maker as a single family dwelling. In 1929, with the Great Depression looming, the owners turned it into 2 flats. It spent almost 80 years as apartments.

Instead of having a closet off the master bedroom upstairs, I have an extra kitchen that I don’t need.

My oldest son, S, asked if he could move back home a couple of weeks ago. He’d been living in Chicago for many years (he left home 6 years ago). I was suddenly faced with the dilemma of having a boomerang child who needed his own private space (he works from home) IMMEDIATELY. My red room/office is filling in for his work area now, but that isn’t private enough for his needs.

Luckily, the house has 7 bedrooms (actual and potential). I was planning to use the former servant’s room off the kitchen for a guest room/play room for Maisie, but it would better suit S right now. I’d been using that back room as a hoarder’s paradise clothing room for us.

The back room has it’s pros and cons. It features a built in cedar closet with loads of storage and drawer space, probably circa 1930s-40s. However, the back wall and ceiling have suffered water damage from a previous flood in the upstairs kitchen/bathroom. We will need to drywall over the damaged plaster with thin sheetrock and paint the entire thing. I did the same thing in Maisie’s room upstairs and it turned out great.

In order to turn the small upstairs kitchen QUICKLY into a walk-in closet, I will need to remove all the furniture that’s being stored in there currently AND get rid of the stove/fridge. I don’t plan on any major painting of this room, just clothing storage. After it’s emptied and cleaned, I will be purchasing Rubbermaid Configurations Closet systems in Titanium. Amazon is having a GREAT sale on them right now.

Offhand, I'd say I need at least 2 of these

Offhand, I’d say I need at least 2 of these

We will probably also buy one of these 10 tier shoe organizers.

I am hoping I can pare down to under 50 pairs of shoes. I haven't had less than a 100 pairs of shoes in decades. Wish me luck.

I am hoping I can pare down to under 50 pairs of shoes. I haven’t had less than a 100 pairs of shoes in decades. Wish me luck.

I will add a large metal desk ‘island’ in the middle- if it fits- for my sewing machine(s) and sewing notions. R’s parents are giving him the desk and it’s the right size to store my machines and things underneath. This island thing also takes a page from my aunt, who has a fancy island in her clothing room. She uses it for folding, etc (her washer and dryer are also in her room… I want to do this eventually, too).

I don’t plan on PRETTY for that giant glorified closet, just organized and serviceable- we still have that back room downstairs to redo. Besides, not many people will actually need to go into that closet once my clothes are in there. Eventually, when we have the time and funds, we’ll do something fancier… until then, I just want to get this done.