Saturday, February 6, 2010

An Anniversary

Exactly one year ago today, Erik and I unlocked the front door to our new house and stepped over the threshold into what would become, so far, the biggest project of our lives.  It was an exciting time to say the least.  I've always been the type of person who needs to put down roots and to feel really stable and grounded in my home life.  Finally a home that didn't feel temporary! And finally a place where I could put to test all my decorating ideas that weren't possible as a renter.
{erik removing wallpaper on our second day of home-ownership.}
Over the first few months, we threw ourselves into these renovation projects with such gusto.  When I look back at the photos in my early blog posts, I think, who are those people?  Where did all that strength and enthusiasm come from?  It was like there was an internal motivation spigot that got turned on full blast.  We even look younger back then.  :-)
{me - reglazing two pairs of beautiful wood windows}
It was truly a wonderful thing to work so hard on something together as a couple.  Though it's only been a year, Erik and I reminisce a lot -- gosh, remember all that leather wainscoting in the dining room?!  We'll probably do that for the rest of our lives, retelling these stories of our first house and the joy of making it our own.  
{contractor York taking down the chimney -- the most practical of our improvements}
Our renovations were low-budget (we did most of it ourselves with the help of a contractor for the extra messy and extra complicated stuff) and focused on highlighting (or, in the case of the bathroom, bringing back) the original character of this 1924 bungalow.  We wanted to un-remuddle the house, but still divert as much from the landfill as possible.
 {tile zone - restoring the bathroom to its former glory}
A dear sweet old lady, June, lived in our house previously (since the 1970s) and she loved the color pink.  I like pink too (in moderation).  But it needed to be toned down in a few places.  Like the kitchen, which had pink floors, walls, ceiling, and counter tops.  I kid you not.
 
{erik removing a bazillion staples in the kitchen linoleum before making his way to the original wood floors.}
I've been told by neighbors that the upstairs was where June did her sewing and that it was also home to her pet bunny.  It's now my sewing room, too.  I like that little bit of domestic kinship we share.
{me painting everything white, including my socks}
And yes, it seemed like more than anything, we just painted.  And painted and painted.
 {dining room sans the leather} 
But pretty soon the house was filled with light and the dust was settling and we could see what we were creating besides more messes.  These days were the sweetest ... when you'd look around and say, oh yes, this is a pretty room.
 {new old windows installed}
So thanks for indulging me in this little visit to the recent past that often feels so long ago.  I'm happy to be home. 
 {june 2009 when most of the work was done}