Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Before and After at the Boxmoor

Remember that I told you that the house we live in used to be a school. Well, here you have what was the art room. Notice how they decoupaged the windows with tissue paper and other such stuff. Oh, this was a nightmare to remove! I wouldn't advise doing this to your windows--inspirational, I am not trying to be! Also, notice the linoleum that they GLUED to the wood floors! Another nightmare--even worse actually!

And I already told you about our fire alarms, exit signs, and doors that opened out to greet visitors in the southerny-schooly fashion. At one time, this house was actually considered a mansion in our town. Honestly, I have an old book referring to it as such!

Believe it or not, after getting at least one bathroom working, those windows were my next priority. I could not stand them! Ryan finally was able to steam the windows clean.

A window was cut into the kitchen area and the beadboard went up next.

Then we tried our hand at removing the flooring. This, probably was one of the biggest mistakes we made. It was best handled by professionals, which we were more than happy to pay any price, after working on them for two weeks.

Eventually, we had one room to relax in. It was only a very small corner of a massive house, but it was clean and tidy. It remained the den for several months and then turned into my husband's office.

After splitting the house in two a while back, Kelly and family now use that room as their dining room. She's beachy as you can see! She also is a whiz at making Roman shades out of shower curtains or whatever. Maybe that is a mistreatment? *wink* Notice all her Uppercase Living stuff on the table! Need wall words?


This is definitely a trip down memory lane for me. Our first 'ahem' house (shack) in Tennessee was more than a fixer upper. It literally was the house that Jack built--with whatever he probably found on a trailer construction site. We had a vision for the property--not necessarily the house. But as is our life now, we had to make do with what was there in the meantime. Too bad the before photos of this house are not digital. Now that I think about it, they'd actually be a bit too scary to post. Some things you really don't care to re-live.

Anyway, our dream was to build a log cabin on the top of the hill--it was a really big hill, I might add! To appease myself while I patiently waited, I faux logged my son's bedroom walls and added a friend to his pocket door. That dream of building the log cabin never did materialize for many reasons, and that's okay, because God had much different plans. Times change and so do tastes, but the cozy feel this room gave then still makes me feel good so many years later.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


The Nester announced a mistreatment party and I wanted to go so badly. I do think I have my ticket in! I live in a circa 1860 house which was previously used as a school. Time and money is our constant struggle as we attempt to renovate each room--my husband is in the business so that is another reason nothing is done!

When we moved in four years ago, every room had drop ceilings (usually with spitballs stuck to them), sprinkler systems, commercial grade wallcoverings, and carpeting glued to the wood floors. All lighting fixtures and mantles had been removed. There were five bathrooms, but none of them worked properly. There were no laundry hook-ups, but we did have our very own water fountain and light-up exit signs. And let's not forget the fire alarm system that was directly linked to the fire station--for the protection of all the little children no doubt. Don't ask us how we found that out on our first night in the place. Maybe I'll post that photo another day! Oh, and I must mention that all the doors opened out--like
Welcome, let me smack you in the face with my door before I let you in!

Anyway, I am guilty of mistreating ceiling tiles. They were in every room as I mentioned before to cover up the sprinkler system and extensive electrical upgrades to support about eight fluorescent lighting systems in each room! Because every room could not be done at once or in my wildest dream--before we moved in, I had to resort to creativity to buy time. I've grown accustomed to the look, and while I'd prefer the ceilings to be done, there is only so much sheetrock dust one can breathe in each year and remain out of intensive care. So, I offer you my ceiling mistreatments! And as a bonus, you can see my temporary wall made from a tablecloth (the best thing for curtains in my house because of the very high ceilings and large windows and the fact that they can be washed when we do sheetrock) and Ikea lace panels. They are hung using ceiling tile hooks and a rod. A little later on I will show you what is behind curtain number one!

The ceiling tiles have been wallpapered with textured white paper to resemble old tin. I then painted them--actually several times and colors which I would not advise--do try to get it right the first time if possible. I do like the metallic gold since I'm all about having something different than everybody else. Well, technically, drop ceilings are something different than everybody else, aren't they?

In the upstairs hallway, I've covered the ceiling tiles with tablecloths I purchased for less than $20 from TJ Maxx, one of my favorite stores. I love this so much that I doubt I'll ever do this ceiling properly. There are more ceiling mistreatments, but since I'm not sure they actually count, I'll stop here.

Behind curtain number one is a sort of dressing room. I have a small desk with my devotion books, some extra clothes and shoes, and sewing supplies. On the wall, I hung a piece of an old mantle, attached a curtain rod and hung all of my necklaces. Before I went to work two years ago, accessorizing meant putting a clip in my hair to keep it out of my face. Now I try to wear something snazzy every day. The necklaces hang from curtain clips and shower curtain hooks. I actually prefer the latter and am on the lookout for some on markdown to add to my rod.


I really wasn't looking for a deal--actually I went into Hobby Lobby for a spool of thread and some air-drying clay. I was just browsing, trying to get some inspiration for my estate sale find. I don't know why I went down the Christmas light aisle, but I did, and what follows is what I found. Of course, that means that I have more things to think about, but it will come eventually!

From $99.99 to $9.99

From $59.99 to $5.99
I bought two of these!

From $79.99 to $7.99
Not quite sure what it is, but I liked it!

Keep watching because eventually these will find a home, and it promises to be interesting, functional, and not what you expect!


Okay, I admit it--I had no idea what I was going to do with this thing I bought at an estate sale across the street from my house last week. I just knew it could be something great. I since have come up with a few ideas, but am not for sure or for certain yet! My number one pick is virtually impossible since I'd have no where to put it when it was done. I'm sure it will come to me--most likely in the shower where all my good ideas seem to blossom. If you have any, I'd be glad to consider them. Perhaps adding yours and mine together will end up a winner. At one time there was a wooden shelf on the place that is obviously missing something. The poor women across the street has Alzheimer's and her daughter found it in her suitcase when they moved her to Virginia. She had no idea why she wanted it, and did not take it from her.


Here's a great project if you have about $2 to spare! All I did was decoupage scrapbook paper to $1 clipboards, added ribbon and a notepad, and personalized with names ordered from Uppercase Living. The three below are on their way to Canada. My friend, Justine, is currently in Ethiopia picking up her newly adopted daughters, and these are for them. I wrote sweet notes for Gadisae and Mesai, welcoming them to their new life! You may want to read Justine's very detailed blog, chronicling every moment of their adventure. It's very moving!

I have mine conveniently placed by the back door to use as a shopping list. I just rip the paper off on my way out of the door. At least that's the theory. As you can see, mine has not been personalized yet!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Making Progress

We are four years into the ten-year plan! We certainly are not spending as much time on renovating as we did the first few years--just got too old and too broke to keep that pace--but we are still plugging away! Michael Jr. and Travis did all the painting, and I think they did a great job!