Sunday, February 15, 2009

What is the absolute BEST thing to do after spending about a month being sick?
Taking on two new home renovation projects is, of course, NOT the right answer.
But I did it anyway.

Last weekend, JP was still in Africa, but I knew that our good pal Cristian the Romanian Handyman was available for the week. So, I picked him up at the Swiss border on Sunday morning and brought him home. After a big lunch, we went to work.

The first project we tackled was the smaller of the two. Our downstairs entrance hall has been looking distinctly shabby, as you can see below:
The wallpaper that my father in law and I put up when JP and I first bought the house was looking pretty bad. And, frankly, I was no longer happy with the whole striped wallpaper and pale peach trim look. It was just not working for me.
So, we pulled it all down. The green paint you see below is the original wall color from back at the turn of the century, when the house was built.
The "1994" was painted there by my FIL. Roger taught me everything I know about hanging wallpaper.
When we got the old paper off, we put on a base coat. Then Mallory and I painted the woodwork. I went with Provençal Green paint that I chose after much anguished deliberation in the paint section of my favorite DIY store.
Although JP and I chose the wallpaper together, we never got around to talking trim. And JP tends to have definite ideas about these things.
I loved the green, but was somewhat afraid that JP would return from Ouaga and the first words out of his mouth upon entering our home would be "Well, THAT'S sure ugly" or something equally uplifting.

But the green turned out great, with a softly old-fashioned feel to it and it looked wonderful with the retro wallpaper.
We took down the raditor and repainted it.
And Cristian put in new light switches. They're a bit too modern looking, but much safer than the old ones.
All this took about a day and a half. By Tuesday morning, we were ready to start on the twins' bedroom.
I knew it was going to be a pretty big job. The room hadn't been touched in decades. When we bought the house back in 94, we kept the same wallpaper. We didn't even repaint the hideous gray woodwork.
And the room only got worse while we were away in Africa. The walls had terrible cracks and one was even crumbing away under the window sill.
This was going to be bad. And we only had five days. CtRH had to leave by Sunday morning and I knew that without his energy and know-how, I could never finish it on my own.
So, we went to work on Tuesday morning, really motivated to get things done. Unfortunately, within five minutes we hit a major roadblock. And little did we know this would be the first of MANY!
To be continued...


babzee said...

I'm tearing up already...

oreneta said...

I like the way the hallway turned out, I am a little leery of wallpaper after removing four or five layers of wallpaper from our entire house, including the ceilings(?!?!?). All of it a hideous dark funereal grey and not that easy peel off stuff. Scrape scrape scrape. My sympathies.

That said, the hallway looks really really nice!

Beth said...

Our walls are so bad that wallpaper is really more merciful.

But wallpaper on the ceilings? That's twisted!

Don't bother. I've cried enough for the both of us. I appreciate the thought, though.

La Framéricaine said...

Wow! The hallway looks beautiful!

And it gives me courage and hope because I have a hallway just like yours waiting for me to give it a face life this year!

Good luck on the next project.

Beth said...

Thanks so much!

If you need advice when you are in the midst of your own French redecorating adventure, just call or write and I'll give you any help I can!