Friday, October 26, 2012

Northwest Gothic

Once the wallpaper was off, we were left to ponder the state of what was underneath.

Like living in a Faulkner novel.

Water-stained plaster-and-lathe walls, in kinda rough shape.

To be fair, we didn't have to strip wallpaper from this wall. It came that way!
Only one wall appeared to be held up by the wallpaper,though. This wall, between the living room and the kitchen, was in the worst shape. Nothing is more frighteningly exhilarating than taking this:

to this, in the house you just bought.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's only a wallpaper moon

Goal #1: Paint. Paint the dining room, living room, master bathroom, bedroom, office, landing, stairs and guest room.

Before we move in.

We knew the walls had been wallpapered at some point -- the seams were clearly visible in nearly all the rooms.  We agreed that looked terrible, and if we were going to do this thing, we were going to do it right.  And doing it right meant removing wallpaper.  We'd heard horror stories, but we girded our loins and prepared for battle.

I found a bubble in the dining room wall and made a start.  The paint, and top layer of wallpaper, never to be seen by human eyes again, came off easily, leaving several layers of wallpaper below.

I loved the archeology of the task, and, to be honest, the picking off of long strips of paint and wallpaper.  Bit by bit, we unearthed our vintage dining room wallpaper.

I know it's crazy, but I kind of love it.

The seasonal snowflake wallpaper, however, seems like a questionable choice.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Was it like this when we bought it?

So it's not like we didn't notice the imperfections. That upstairs window really needed some love. The ceiling in the living room had some imperfections. We'd want to repaint. The bones -- and muscles, and joints, and tendons -- were great. A new haircut, some make-up, maybe a good night's sleep was all this body needed to be looking her best.

Then we got the keys, and got inside. We started to notice more of her imperfections up close.


How many layers of wallpaper could there possibly be?

Maybe a facelift and some Botox would help.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm not a contractor...

...but I'm pretty sure a cardboard beer box and 3 inches of spackle isn't the correct way to patch a hole.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This new old house.

Hello, family and friends! Welcome to our new house.

We've made a bit of a mess of the place already, so I thought I'd start you off with the MLS photos so you could get a sense of how we first saw it.  See if you can count all of the area rugs!

You enter into the living room:

Which leads to the dining room:

Which leads to the recently redone kitchen:

It has three bedrooms -- two upstairs, one downstairs (the brown room). Collin will use the yellow room for his office:

And a funny little landing at the top of the stairs. I think this is going to be my favorite room once it's full of books, plants, and a basket of yarn.

There are two full bathrooms. The upstairs is entertainingly quirky. It's a recent addition -- you can see it in the front of the house, upstairs. It's about 18-20' long, and yes, that whole far end of the room is a side-by-side, completely open bath and shower.

There's a sunny, south-facing back deck. You know, for when it's sunny in Portland:

And a blank slate of a backyard:

It has its charms and quirks, and we discover more every day. Smartly-arranged kitchen organizers? Check. Friendly neighbors? Check. Rooms without electrical outlets? Check. Bathroom lights that turn on by themselves? Check.

Neighborhood feral cats? We've counted eight so far.

Welcome wagon or harbingers of certain doom? You decide.