Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wreck it Rebecca and the 5 P's

That sounds like the movie of a washed up aging singer!
Wait, that's been done.

Well, it came down to the wire!

Gandalf the Grey and I found a house about one week before we went on vacation. I saw the listing on a Thursday night. Gandalf went to visit the house. I went by the same night after class. And that was that!

It is oddly like our old home-just smaller.  And just to make me feel right at home it has: popcorn ceilings, smelly flooring, odd room layout, wallpaper, phantom flushing toilets and bad lighting.

I finally figured out why past generations stayed married so long-the lighting was so bad they couldn't see each other day to day! Looks like I landed another Fixer Upper.

But there are a lot of things I like.  The yard is fenced (happy dogs) with beautiful oak trees.  The rooms are a nice size. A smaller home is easier and less expensive to up-date. Most importantly, I feel no pressure for a "prestige" home. This can be the funky quirky home that is probably the most like us. The Dude and I are both a little bohemian in nature.

Luckily, I did not have time to think about such things before the closing. Jeremiah Johnson and I had a date in Canada.

 After a fun few days in Vancouver, I went on a cruise ship with Steve Zissou.  The Life Aquatic indeed.

We went to Alaska.  Here I am with Obi Wan Kenobi at a glacier!

And then on a train to Denali my husband, Bruce beard-less Hairless Potter, suddenly decided to show-up! Bummer. I was enjoying dating Bearded Legends of the Cinema. And I never made it to Rooster Cogburn! 

If you follow my Facebook or Instagram posts then you know we had a great time and Bruce was doing really well. Until the last day when it all caught up with us and we became sick.

 Moving 4 days after a two week vacation and when you are sick is not just exhausting- It is awful. I swear I perspired out my illness loading The Pod. It was like a Native American Sweat Lodge. I think I saw my Spirit Animal!

Thanks to my sister Sally and my great friends Sue and Jeanette (my traveling/class wolf pack), we got everything dumped moved in the house. And I found time to run Rock the Crossroads.  Unpack boxes or run in 103 heat index? Hmmm..

Anything to deflect unpacking.  It must have been very hot for me to wrap my head like that!

But my true nature can't stand waiting. If my spirit animal is Grey Goose then my alter ego is Wreck It Rebecca.  Like her:

but with a sledgehammer
We were in the house less then 12 hours and already a wall is gone!  This is the interior wall with the creepy triple glass window:
This non-loading bearing wall chopped the space and made it look like which of the following?
A) A doctor's waiting room
B) A workout facility
C) A police interrogation room
None of those choices fit my design plan.  Our buddy, Bailey, was feeling the need to tear things up and the wall came down!
So much better! Now I can actually place furniture and create a space with two areas-one for TV and one for relaxing by the fire.  But it will have to wait before it gets Wrecktified because I did learn a few things from re-doing 4 house (this is our 5th).
1. Purge. If you don't love it or absolutely need it, set it free! Everything we are keeping has either a purpose or a special meaning. The rest  went to a good loving home, the garage sale pile or the dumpster.  It is very freeing to get rid of clutter!
2.  Prioritize what HAS to be done.  There are a lot of fun decorative projects to up-date this house that I would like to begin with but our number one problem is storage. Going to a home less then half the size is a challenge with closets being a fraction of what we had before (first world problem I know). The other issue is flooring. There is 30 year plus carpet everywhere except in the kitchen which is lovely sheet vinyl. The carpet upstairs smells. Based on the windowsill scratches in that room.....
3.  Plan. Create a plan with colors, fabric, and finishes. Research the costs and sourcing of materials. Decide on one or two inspiration pieces. For me, I go by the art that we like to place in a room. Next I selected the fabric (drapes, pillows, linens, and upholstery). Then hard surfaces like flooring, counters, and cabinets. Last is the paint and faux finishes.  Buy samples of everything that you can and test it in the room with various lighting throughout the day. Did I say this house is North facing?  It is and it is dark. Many colors go very purple in the rooms.

Every paint color I have sampled is hideous in this house. 
 And these are just the start. Pretty soon the walls will be painted patchwork!
4. Pyramid. Do the room right the first time and work from the basic design elements up.  I am great at starting a project and then starting another one before finishing the first. This time I am finishing the foundation of a room before moving to the next. This means taking off the popcorn, replacing the floors and base painting before the decorative (fun) stuff. 
5. Play. Throw in 1-2 fun small projects to keep you motivated. For me this was our front porch.
It took me less then a few hours to source a fun outdoor rug and pillows. From those colors, I selected pots and flowers. Moved some inside furniture out and added some little art pieces. Now my neighbors will know what type of person has invaded their neighborhood! I've actually had several people compliment the color and a few who are curious about what I am doing "inside."
Back to Prioritize. We needed 2 things right away. As I mentioned the closets needed to be finished. Currently our clothes are either in boxes, suitcases, or thrown on furniture.  The other thing is a table.  Both my dining and kitchen tables stayed at the other house.
This is my $35 solid oak find. It had already been sanded. And at 41" across it is perfect for our kitchen.
I gave it a good cleaning and painted it with my opaque stain, Duck Egg Blue. This is a color I make from Faux Effects Cabinet products.

It glides on like an oil and as it dries, I just wipe back with cheesecloth to flatten my brushstrokes and reveal areas of the base wood. An added bonus of this mix, the color pops hints of green, turquoise and marine blue. It looks like 3 subtle shades.  I glazed it with a black and van dyke brown stain mix and tipped it in a black with pearl concentrate mix.

I sprayed Aquaguard Gloss and the C500 Satin with my HVLP to topcoat.

And this beauty which took me about 2 hours to complete made it into our new home.  The chairs were from a previous project and are finished in a warm taupe/silver with a turquoise glaze highlight.

My cowhide rug which has made the cut in 3 homes and a favorite piece of Bruce's pottery completes the look!

This was the Master Closet.  A few poles and a metal piece that was kind of cool but limited the storage. First I purged our clothes. 

Next I prioritized. Bruce has a large dresser in the bedroom but my folding storage is limited.  He has a lot of hanging things (mostly Hawaiian shirts) and several pairs of pants. I need a place for my painter's whites and my workout/running clothes. And we both have a few pairs of shoes we keep in  rotation.
I decided that meeting our needs meant this is a gut job so I ripped everything out! My Pyramid:
Remove currently fixtures. Pull out carpet. Pop-off the molding and label.  Scrape popcorn. Mud and sand areas. Paint. Install flooring. Replace molding. Attach fixtures. Deck it out.
At this point, I have taped and mudded where I pulled out the closet supports (and bits of the wall).
Popcorn gone!  Get a bug sprayer and fill it with warm water. Then really pump the sprayer and dowse the ceiling. It should be raining on your head. Use a large putty blade and scrape it off. It is not hard-just really messy.  Make sure you wipe the ceiling down with water to get all the dust.

The ceilings were in OK shape. I decided to prime and then texture the walls and the ceiling with leftover Plastertex. When the plaster was dry, we painted. The walls are Faux Effects Neutral White and the ceiling is Benjamin Moore Guilford Green.

I used Luxury Vinyl Planks that look like wood for the floor. They worked great and even feel like hand-scrapped wood. An affordable and durable solution!

Now the fun part. I went to IKEA and pulled a brochure on storage systems which has lots of ideas. Then I went to the Algot site where there are more configurations.  I found one that matched my measurements and got to work on some graph paper.  It took me two hours to design my plan and write out the pieces I would need.

It was time well spent.  I purchased everything for under $300 including 6 wire pull-out baskets, 6 shoe racks, 6 pants hangers, 8 shelves, 2 -3 hooks and 3 side hooks.

Time to Play.  I bought the fun poster at IKEA that I applied to the attic access door. Oh yeah, I also got the crumpled paper light shade as well.

A refinished cabinet with rippled glass provides medicine chest and linen storage. The carpet was in the entry of our old home.  Add some pictures and my bobble heads-a cute functioning closet. To save space and because we like it so much, I removed the door.

With this one under my belt, I tackled the dreary larger walk-thru closet in the basement.

This one had the shelving built into the stucco walls. Since my priority here is hanging and storing garments out of season I left the fixtures in place. I did take off the popcorn, the molding, and the gross carpet from the concrete floor. I batched up a bunch of old plasters and re-stuccoed the walls so they were not so rough.

A concrete floor takes more work. I had to level it, sand it, and apply a primer before I installed the Vinyl "wood' planks. A fresh palette in shades of celery, black and white really make the room fun. I switched out the old bulbs for Edison ones and covered them with cages from Lowe's.

There is the recycled metal shelving from the upstairs closet. The polka rug and garment bags also with dots are from IKEA. Someone came to shop today and said "have you gained weight?" I may need to rethink those $1 cinnamon rolls!
Bruce had an old metal cabinet that I recovered in contact paper. I placed IKEA fabric bins in them for sweater storage. Now I am really hungry thinking about those cinnamon rolls!

Play time! A circle mirror, the silver croc, a sweet daisy picture and a cartoon of us, make the space look more like a room!

Wreck It Rebecca! Onward and upward to the next project!
PS....I think I found another house to love......

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