No, by "obsession" I don't mean George Clooney or Hugh Jackman or Alan Rickman, either. I mean the house. The site of Paintathon '09. The obsession with getting ready to list. Hopefully by this time next week, the For Sale sign will be up and maybe the house even will've been shown once or thrice...
Here's what we've been doing with practically every waking hour for the past three weeks. I don't really have before pictures, but here are some almost-completely-done afters for you:
This is our front entryway. I took this sitting on the bottom step of the stairs, looking pretty much straight up. Yes, it is that high. Hubby used a 17 foot tall ladder to get up there to take down the blind we'd had on that window and to paint (which still required an extension pole for the roller) as I spotted him, heart in my throat and praying the whole time that he wouldn't fall. Even Kiddo begged him to get down - little does she know he has to go back up there this weekend to install some kind of window treatment to that window (if anyone has brilliant ideas on that subject that could utilize a tension rod - Hubby doesn't want to install any hardware up there but wants something other than a bare window and I'm without any good ideas) and to clean the light and change the lightbulbs. Good times.
These are the freshly professionally steam-cleaned stairs to the second floor. I took this picture *before* the cat decided to start barfing up hairballs this morning all over the vast acreage of newly-cleaned carpeting. Yes, the cat is still alive, but only because I'm a pacifist at heart, as well as an animal lover.
The upstairs bathroom. This is the one color I wasn't thrilled with. It is "Hydrangea Frost" and looked more like a really, really lightly green tinted off-white in the can/on the chip, but came out much more yellowy green on the walls. I'm used to it now though (that's a new shower curtain and bathmat, and I have matching towels to hang up just for showing purposes as well).
The downstairs bathroom. Now this color - Tear Drop - I love. It too came out much bluer than a blue-tinted off-white, but it works, I think. Love it. Also painted the laundry room (right next door to the bathroom) Tear Drop.
The back hallway. That door to the right there is the door leading out to the garage. Up until two weeks ago, a little, wooden keyrack thingamabob was hung right above the alarm keypad. The furthest left peg is where I would always, always, always hang my keys upon entering the house and from where I would grab them upon exiting. Every time I came in the house for the past nine years, I'd shut off the alarm and hang up my keys in one, continuous motion. I cannot even tell you how many times in the past two weeks I've gone to hang my keys up on a bare wall (fortunately I haven't scratched the new paint at all by doing this), only to have them clatter to the floor as I round the corner into the kitchen. Apparently habits? Hard to break! (Cue Chicago here.....)
This is about where I'm standing as I realize that keyrack thingamabob isn't there and my keys are now on the floor.... Please notice the lack of cereal boxes and chip bags piled atop the fridge and the extraneous kitchen items stashed above the cabinets. Please do not notice the fuzz on the bottom of the fridge grill as I haven't cleaned the fridge yet (though I did de-art-gallery-ify it). Also, please note the pristine, gorgeous toaster oven. That came into my life just 24 hours ago, after Hubby finally admitted that we'd never, ever find a toaster like our 12 year old, been on its last legs for years now model and I should just go get a new one. It was beyond bad - it had unpredictable hot spots and cold spots and the occasional burst of flame. So, so glad to see that nice, new one in its place.
The great room, aka the living room. You have no idea how much furniture is gone - bookcases, Kiddo's art tepee and cubbies... also, many, many, many pictures and even more books have been packed up (another two bookcases' worth, plus 75% of the books that were crammed into the remaining bookcase) in the name of "decluttering" and making the space neutral. These were the walls I was rolling out during the Oscars on Sunday. To reach the peak of the cathedral-ceilinged wall, I had to jump as high as I could while extending the pole up as far as possible. Then Hubby had to come through with the stepladder and go over the top 2-3 feet. What can I say, Hugh was quite distracting...
The front door, newly painted "Garnet" which replaced a slightly purpler Mulberry that the builders painted it back in the day. We chose the color of our siding and then there were assigned shutter/door colors to match; in our case, navy shutters and the mulberry door. I wanted to paint the door a more definitive red this time around, but Hubby wanted to stick close to the original color, for ease of covering it without priming etc. Since the gallon of paint we bought for the door was our 19th gallon by my reckoning and primer for such a dark color would've had to have been tinted and therefore meant a 20th gallon, I acquiesced.
This is one of three outdoor light fixtures we replaced. We paid for this one, but for the other two (a pair of motion-sensitive security lights on either side of the garage), we had an amazing thing happen. See, we bought those two lights at Lowe's about eight years ago. Over time, the little plastic bits that covered the sensor area cracked and broke. They still worked, they just didn't look as pretty. Since the lights still worked, we didn't really want to replace them (to the tune of $45 a pop) so Hubby inquired at Lowe's about the possibility of buying just some replacement plastic thingies. Turns out they don't sell them, though the manager of the lighting department made many calls to try to find out if he could obtain some for us. Mind you, this is eight years later and it isn't like we had the original boxes or receipt or anything. Plus, this is pretty much due to ordinary wear and tear, I mean those lights have been up for the entire time. Anyhow, the manager apologized for not being able to get us just those two parts and said we could bring the lights back in for an exchange. !!! So, Hubby took them down, brought them in and voila, Lowe's exchanged them for us for two brand-spanking-new replacements at no cost to us. How's that for good customer service? Yay Lowe's!!
And thus concludes the photo tour of the object of my obsession of the moment. Now I'm heading back down to the kitchen to clean the fridge and the rest of the cabinets, then finish cleaning the hutch and entertainment center in the living room. Tomorrow it is all about the windows. I'm glad I saved that project for after the cold front came through, since it is now down in the 20s and supposed to start snowing. Though, it was raining pretty hard all day today, so I couldn't really have the windows open today either...
Happy weekend, everyone! Oh, and if anyone has a good, cheap idea about window treatments for the Above the Front Door Window to Nowhere, I'd appreciate hearing them. Hubby's thinking just a valance, which I think will look odd. I bought a sheer panel for it but it is too long so I have to take that back tomorrow. I am voting for leaving it bare but Hubby doesn't like that. Le sigh. Oh - I should also point out that if you are out on the street and you look up at the Window to Nowhere, you can see (from the right angle) directly into the upstairs bathroom. So, for folks who like to walk around the upstairs in a state of undress and/or shower with the front bathroom door open, this becomes an inadvertent peep show opportunity. That was the reason we put a blind up in that window in the first place. I still say let's just be careful with our bathroom-door-closing and not worry about it. Hmmmm.