When our Atlanta house sold on February 22nd of this year, I started thinking about all of that freed-up money ;>} we would have without an additional mortgage and the associated second home expenses. Truly, the last few years have been frustrating for me. We could only spend money on necessary fixes for the house (plumbing, roof, etc.). The “decorating” touches came as a result of foraging in thrift stores & consignment shops (actually, those are my favorite go-to places; that will never change!).
I had been thinking for a while about how dark and dreary the inside of the house was. First, the green on the walls in the main floor living area was depressing.
So last fall, Dad and I got out our paint gear, and did a 2-tone color job in the living room, dining room, kitchen, & the upstairs open loft/hallway, using an Eddie Bauer paint-match color called “Hawthorne”, and Sherwin-Williams’ “Inviting Ivory”. (Have I mentioned lately how wonderful my local Sherwin-Williams paint store is? Andy & his gang provide great products & wonderful customer service!)
It is totally out of character for me to use 2 colors in one contiguous space (i.e., the “feature wall”, which always looked to me like somebody ran out of paint, so they added another color to finish the job!), but to my surprise, I loved the results. I also re-finished the cabinets on either side of the fireplace, & we re-did the mantel (which is a huge improvement over the original design, but not quite right, yet.) The entire space looks and feels so much better now. Greg also built a library area in the loft area which turned out so well. (My goal is to find some time to go up there and read.)
The paint brightened the space up, but there still wasn’t enough natural light in the living area, primarily due to the long, narrow screened porch that runs the entire length of the back of the house. I have always considered that porch to be wasted space that, unfortunately, overlooks the most beautiful views of our land. So, in late March, I sent our builder-friend Tony a note, and asked him to come by & quote a job that would entail knocking out the back wall of the kitchen, and enclosing about 22 feet of the screened porch, thus providing a new dining room with a killer vista.
Greg consented to the construction of the new space, but with the caveat that gutting and remodeling our VERY nasty kitchen would have to wait.
I totally agreed, so construction of the space started in early May. The new dining area was completed by Tony in mid-July, but it took weeks of painting by the mountain crew to truly finish the room.
The back wall of the new dining room is all windows, so the natural light that fills the entire living area is fabulous. French doors are installed at either end of the room, one leading out to the deck, and the other exits to the remaining 14-foot length of screened porch.
Let there be light. Mission accomplished! (pics of the new space coming soon…)
Bear update: This past weekend, he jumped back into bed after we had arisen, & before you could say BITE ME, he shredded Greg’s pillowcase & proceeded to “hump” his pillow! He is also a very effective pre-wash cycle for our dishwasher, since there is no way for me to discourage his licking the plates clean as I load them to be officially washed. Below is a picture of my foot in a typical looking, half-eaten shoe..
(Lately, I’ve been spending too much time comparing life BB [before Bear] vs. AB [after Bear.] The same old question keeps resounding in my head: “What have I done???”)