Hallways: A Bit of Progress

April 27, 2018


I just got to thinking - I didn't include any "before" pictures in the initial post for this project.  That's probably because - once again I don't have any!  This is the closest I have.


This green was applied in around 1997, and was part of the initial move-in phase here at 173.  Back then I didn't keep track of paint brands or colors, so I really have no idea what it is.  The color was very nice back in the day, but as all things go - it was (finally) time for a change!

Today I made a little more progress.  It's a funny thing, in my middle-aged years (ok, who's kidding who?  I'm 54 years old - can I really expect to live to 108?), anyway - I've found myself less than excited about standing on a plank mounted on a windowsill and a ladder at the top of the steps.  Be that as it may, I'm doing it, and the stairwell is under way!


Here's another angle - really not that far above terra firma but geeze - less than thrilling!


And the view looking down:


Now time for two of the most boring pictures ever posted anywhere:


The plaster in the corner at the top-most part of the wall (of course) had cracked over time, so I took care of that today.


Ha!  Told you they were boring!  Well, I suppose this is as good a spot as any to register the wallpaper so I'll know later what brand, etc was used.  Also boring, but not quite as bad as above!


Now, don't we feel better?


It's paintable wallpaper, I've never used it before, but thought it would be nice to change the color without having to re-paper!  The one flaw I find with this kind of wallpaper is that it's very difficult to trim when it's wet, otherwise it's a very forgiving paper.  Thank for bearing with me on this post - they can't all be exciting!  LOL


Hallways: Getting the Wallpaper Started

April 22, 2018


With the dining room 99.76% finished, it's time to get one last project completed - hopefully before it gets way too nice to be inside.  The goal is to finish wallpapering the hallways and stairwell, get it all painted and new lights in.  Let's see, April 22 - not sure how that's going to go!

Wallpapering has never been a strength of mine, so I've had to do some studying, lots of YouTube videos and peoples' blogs.  But I also turned to (as I often do) an old DIY book that is old enough to address many of the peculiarities of old 173.


In particular, I found this page to be very useful:

The project is well under way at this point, the front porch is once again the staging area:


Ladders are set up...


The downstairs hallway in nearly complete...


The upstairs hallway is almost papered...


And now it's time to turn the corner into the stairwell.


One last thing for now.  I want to go on record what I think will be the color of the hallways and stairwell...
It's the Sherwin Williams Lily.  I put that in here because often a color is chosen at the beginning of a project but is changed at the last minute.  But for now - that's the vision!

812 - The Home: The Back Porch

April 16, 2018

From time-to-time I post about my parent's house, the house I grew up in and the house my dad has rebuilt in its entirety.  After all, my dad and 812 are the reason for 173 - following in my father's footsteps is really my way of thanking and celebrating him.

Today I want to show the back porch.  When we first moved into 812, the first floor footprint was a little on the small side, especially for a growing family.  The kitchen, while not small, was laid out kinda wonky, and there was very limited space for things like a wash machine and dryer and a refrigerator.  Back in the day, the back door entered directly into the kitchen and there was a window right next to the door.  Here's a shot:


There's mom, dad's mom and dad!  Over Gramma's shoulder you can see one of the appliances, but what I really want you to notice is that table.  Those tables are very popular in some mid-century modern circles these days - goofy as it is to say, I almost wish I had that table now!  But I digress, the important piece of this picture is the door and window, both of which opened onto the back porch.

From the outside you may get a good sense of it all:


Obviously someone's birthday party - I suppose.  Of course it might have just been a summer day.  Our neighborhood was like that - kids everywhere...all playing together and living in our back yards and the street out front.  Halcyon days for sure!

Alas, the time came when dad decided more room was needed in the kitchen, so off to work he went.


Looks like dad couldn't get the dryer onto the back porch fast enough!  Hey, I just noticed, dad had a Black & Decker Workmate even back then.  I remember him raving about it when he got it, so when I bought 173, that was one of the first tools I bought.  And last year I bought a second one.  I don't think you can have enough Workmates!  (That's not an add by the way!).  


There's Skipper, my childhood dog!  So, I'm not sure what's happening here.  At the bottom of the picture you can see the porch floor, and that big concrete thing - that's the back steps.  Lotsa memories sitting on those steps, and check this out - the step railings were made of pipe.  That pipe railing is where I was initiated into the "stupid-kid-sticks-his-tongue-to-metal-in-the-middle-of-winter" club.  I'm happy to tell you - that's the only time I ever did that!


And that's my big sister.  Of course, if she ever sees this she'll probably kill me!  But, looking past her, you can see the back porch in progress.  The fridge is out there by this time, and dad had installed sliding windows and insulation.  And of course he had to frame in the ceiling to be able to put in sheet rock, and I think he had to frame in the floor to make it level.  Looks like there had been a window to my sister's right too!  I'll have to ask my folk about that...I don't remember that one.


And there's yours truly.  I thought I was something back then, but I guess most teenage boys did!  Oh to have all that hair again!!  But...here you can see a bit of the finished product.  If you look closely you may be able to tell that dad had done a swirl pattern on the ceiling.  He did that kind of treatment in a couple rooms back then and they turned out great!  He still maintains that he was never taught how to do it - he just took a brush and some sheetrock mud (I think) and made the design - impressive! 

There's more to the back porch story, but there were various incarnations over time, so I think I'll treat them as different projects - which is what they were.  But before I go, I should add one more picture...


That's my kid brother, clearly unhappy that he got a bunny cake for his birthday!  My baby sister isn't in this post, and before she sees this and gets all "what about me??"  she comes later!

Dining Room Details

April 15, 2018

It's that time again!  My class is done (I got an A by-the-way), and spring, although officially here, is just around the corner.  That means it's time to wrap up some indoor things before the outdoor projects take over.  That said - a few details are done in the dining room, marking the room being 99.76% done after completing the built-in a couple months ago.  The only outlier is the radiator, which I have plans to make but probably won't be 'til next fall or winter.

In the meantime, a couple details were done, although one is a pretty significant detail - the painting.  Lo these many years ago the dining room was painted Dutch Boy's Missoula Blue.


It was a great color at the time, but after nearly 20 years on the walls it was getting a little tired and faded.  Lots of colors were considered, St. Bart's came out of the blue (no pun intended) and won out!  So here's a shot of the old color:


Here's one with the new color:


The woodwork here at 173 is old-growth chestnut with amber shellac, never been painted.  As it turns out, it's time to get going on shellac maintenance!  The dining room windows have been pretty well baked over the years:


Much better after a shellac refresher!


After that, I accidentally bought a painting off Amazon.  Accidentally you ask?  Yep, I saw this painting and put it in my cart, then meant to move it to "Save for Later", but when I ordered some dog food or something, I apparently forgot the paining was in there, and - surprise!  A couple days later there it was!  And now, here it atop the hutch:


It's called Chichester Canal by John Mallord William Turner, and just seemed to go with the hutch-top vignette.  Here's another shot:


Then there were really little things, but something I really liked so here it is!


That's right - a switch plate!  Not sure anyone blogs about switch plates, but I thought this was cool enough I just had to mention it.  It's metal, and has a bit of architectural interest and added just a nice little detail to the room.

Then, the piece de resistance.  After all these years, the dining room at 173 actually has blinds!  Not sure why, but the decision was made early on not to have them.  For nigh unto 21 years, the south-facing dining room windows let all that wonderful sunlight (and heat) inside unabated!  No longer!  Additionally, a great set of curtains went up!  Kind of a muslin-shear type fabric!


And another angle:


And there it is, a 99.76% complete dining room!  You can see why the radiator needs some work, but like I said, that'll have to wait for now!

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