131. The sixth wall

There’s nothing like company coming for Easter dinner to inspire…

The crown is finished; crown moulding the pocket door runs smoothly on its track and actually locks; Bathroom pocket door painted in Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk the built-in display has trim and real shelves and serving dishes; dining room built-in art is hung on the painted walls; Dining room and our black and white photo wall is done, mostly.

bathroom pocket door

Our shoulders are light, the weather is warmer, and it’s time to think now of outside projects.

But just in case the gentle reader thinks we now live in a perfect-ly beautiful house,

we open the lovely pocket door to this:

Bathroom -- Before

Yeah, paintbrushes still compete with toothbrushes in the bathroom sink.

129. Cottage Move-in Day

It’s been a long time coming.

We dated our first day of work on the cottage: August 12, 2011.

1,310 days.

Sometimes there were days weeks months when nothing happened except, you know, Life. And death. And taxes.

There was is so much work to do on this small humble cottage. New windows. New roof. The bathroom still isn’t done. Each room we do needs to be rewired. The back porch and the garage and the driveway need some TLC. And Mr. H.C.’s workshop is still a disaster area. But…

…there is so much that Has. Been. Done. And last month I promised you pictures. So here are some Befores, Durings, and Afters:

Mud Room/Entry
We left the mudroom a few posts ago with the floor finished and hardiebacker board under the window awaiting tile of some sort. After a few days of waffling, we bit the bullet and went to a tile store. We had in mind black slate, but we ended up with black travertine subway tile. It looks gorgeous, but it doesn’t photograph well, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We got the wood stove hooked up just in time for Frigid February, and Henry the cat found a new favorite spot to snooze the month away. We, on the other hand, worked the month away, delighted to have the house warmed by a toasty wood stove. All three of us fought over the rocking chair in the evening.

Living/Dining Room floor

Mr. H.C. spent the better part of two weeks taking up boards from the old floor, trimming the ends, and replacing them like a jig saw puzzle. In the end we only had to buy four new boards to put against the far wall. They stained a tiny bit differently — but only we would notice.

For three days we had to go outside to get to the bedroom, and this was during the nationwide frigid temperatures of February. Henry the cat was most unhappy as he was imprisoned in the basement. Here he is tiptoeing against the wall on his first foray upstairs:


Sixth Wall in the Living Room

The wall going into the bathroom had to be ripped out. We wanted a pocket door to make more space in the bathroom, so the doorway had to be moved to the center of the wall. A heating vent also had to be moved. The last wall is still in progress, and the door is awaiting painting. We reused the same door and Mr. H.C. bought the pocket door kit at a Habitat for Humanity Restore for about half-price.

Living Room Bookshelves:

We knew we wanted bookshelves along the back wall and over the door; we just weren’t sure how they would take shape. But with an inspiration picture, Mr. H. C. pulled it off again. If you ask me, these are the highlight of the room.

Moving Day
Saturday March 7th dawned cold and sunny. We had been chipping away ice and snow for the last day and a half. The truck was picked up, our friends were cheerful, and the heavy leather couch got moved without any damage (to the couch or human backs). The city mice were finally moving to the country…

And we were so excited to get here, that we didn’t get a single photo of Pedro and Pete, our moving helpers on the country end.

And finally…

In decorator speak, it’s called the final reveal… But I look at it and think, “Wow, is this really the cottage living room? Where there were once dead mice in the walls? And a terrible smell in the floor?”


Life is Good.

128. Perfectionism, Part 3: the struggle

Yes, (sigh) perfectionism has been addressed here before. Twice. Part 1 and Part 2.

The tension between
perfectionism the blessing
and perfectionism the curse
hasn’t been perfected.
Hence, the struggle.
With Imperfectionism.

Let me introduce you to the two characters in this drama —
Mr. H.C. Dunright and Mrs. AHC Doquickly.
Was the tension
and dissension
when one strives for perfection

Things need to move quickly because there is now a CLOSING scheduled on the City House.
Hooray and Hip Hooray.
Thumbs up!
Prayers answered,
and a sale in the middle of January, yet!
And now,
they have only until the end of February to GET THINGS DONE.
Dunright, that is.

Because in March, there is a move scheduled on the calendar.

Mrs. Doquickly hasn’t yet waxed poetic over this end to the three year saga
of renovating a little cottage in rural Pennsylvania.

That might be because
the charming little cottage
isn’t quite renovated.
Not everything is Dunright.

However, Mr. Dunright and Mrs. Doquickly are both working feverishly
to get as much accomplished as possible for two more weeks.
And then there will be pictures.

In the meantime, they are looking for that perfect middle ground
between Dunright and Doquickly.

That perfect middle ground where the uneven floors look level
and the crooked walls look plumb.
Is it level?