or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Loving a house you don't love (update in #35)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Loving a house you don't love (update in #35) - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
Thanks. The main floor has plywood - the house was built in 1969, so no beautiful wood underneath, unfortunately. The rec room is on a concrete slab, so that could be possible for future floor improvement. But that carpet is not a priority to get up - it's the living room floor and kitchen floor that bug me, and those are over plywood.
Plywood can be painted and sealed, and then when you have the money, you can just lay a "real" floor down over it. If you do a google search on "painted plywood floors," you'll come up with a lot of hits of both inspirational photos and DIY advice.

I agree with the advice without painting. The biggest input I can offer is two things: don't scrimp on prep time (I learned this from my meticulous husband) and don't scrimp on decent brushes. Makes a huge difference. If you can afford a better paint, you'll be able to tell the difference as well. But, DH and I like strong colors, so better paint is more important, IMO. With pastels and neutrals, it won't be as pleasant to paint with cheaper paints, but it'll still look great. Oh, and make sure you pick the right gloss. I like eggshell, because it catches a little light and is easier to clean than flat, but it doesn't show imperfections in the walls like a semi- or hi-gloss.
post #22 of 50
A good way to find a paint color you love is to visit coffee houses, book stores and restaurants. Then call up and ask the owner what colors they used. I loved the ginger in La Madeleine restaurants and used that color for my home.
post #23 of 50
I feel your pain, to a lesser degree - we're in an apartment that I passionately hate. We've been trying to move since last year, but our options are limited because we can't afford much and it's hard to find apartments that are big enough for a family of 5.

Like everyone else said - paint! I repainted most of the walls in our apartment about 6 months ago, and it made such a huge difference. I didn't know what I was doing, and I just used Walmart paint and cheap rollers, but it did the job. Also, I couldn't deal with the nasty stained Berber carpeting in the living room, so I got an inexpensive area rug from Target that covered the worst of it.
post #24 of 50
Big, big, hugs and a lot of sympathy! No real advice, but I hope it works out for you and you find a way to love your home!
post #25 of 50
You should post those pics again, or take new ones. Maybe we could help you if we could see the canvas, yk?

Focus on the positives, too -- what DO you love? What do your kids love? What areas are your favorites and why? Can you recreate the feeling a particular space or room evokes elsewhere, with decor, paint, simple trimmings?

I really like our home, but there are a few key areas that I *loathe* (the tiny entry, the laundry in the garage...), and often find myself nitpicking and dwelling on those instead of the spaces and nooks where I find such comfort and joy.

I just found a simple living blog -- someone posted it here, I'll go look in a minute and link if I can find it... She painted her plywood floors white, and they look totally fresh and airy. As they wear, she can just re-coat.

ETA: Here is the blog, and this is the post on painted floors.
post #26 of 50
Also a bit woo woo ... but how about a house-cleansing ritual?
We do one whenever we move into a new home, or need to clear a bad vibe. You can look them up on line for inspiration.

The one I do is super simple, but very meaningful for me.
I start sweeping at the back of each room, 'collecting' all the negative and bringing it towards the front door ... and then you sweep that bad energy right out the door! You can say a prayer while you do this, or not.

And then ... go outside, take a deep breath and sweep in the positive, using your broom, 'gather' that positive, fresh energy and sweep it into the house and all the way into each room and every nook and cranny.
While you do this, you can say a new prayer, meditate on how you want your home to be, or just visualize your home as a cozy, satisfying place.

I need to do this with the place we're in now. I'm always on the verge of moving, when really, I should just embrace it.

And paint.
Can't say enough about paint!

ETA: This ritual is also good if you've had a horrible house guest and want to cleanse your home of their energy.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
Plywood can be painted and sealed, and then when you have the money, you can just lay a "real" floor down over it. If you do a google search on "painted plywood floors," you'll come up with a lot of hits of both inspirational photos and DIY advice.
I would second this idea. My brother and SIL did this because they had a house that was a huge fixer and the carpet while it didn't look too bad it was full of cat smell and allergens for both of them. They ripped out the carpet in their living/dining room and painted it. Then went on to work on some projects that were more structural . They have since installed expensive maple floors, but I am not sure I didn't like them better with paint
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkimum View Post
If you're scared of painting - read up on it a bit and simply take your time (seriously, I tend to take the better part of a week to finish painting a room - pros can do stuff in 1-2 days, but my jobs turn out just fine because I know I'm not a pro and I just need the extra time to prepare stuff and do it carefully - <snip>.
Ha! It took me about 5 weeks to do my living room.

You've gotten some excellent advice. I'm just going to add a couple thoughts:

PAINT:

I've used the discount/cast off paints from Home Depot before - great budget buy! Just check there once a week or so for neutrals or anything that will work.

Go for flat finish as much as you can if your walls have issues.

Is your trim painted? All mine is off-white and I'm painting it (trim, doors and windows) room by room - same color, just fresh paint. I cannot BELIEVE the difference it is making.

Buy good tools and take your time. Painting takes a long time to get it right. Be patient. I'd take one wall, practice with whatever cheap paint you can find until you get it right. Then prime and start for real.

FLOORS:

Peel and stick can be your friend.

Or painted plywood (porch paint!) and cheap area rugs - maybe Craigslist?


Good luck!
post #29 of 50
i agree with so much of what the others say. first off paint will make a huge difference. what is your trim like? you can also paint over your trim if you don't like how it looks.

i spent a lot of time on www.hgtv.com at one time they had a lot of before and after rooms and they have a lot of information on how to do things yourself.

the flooring i would totally take out the carpet and paint the plywood or use the peel and stick tiles and throw some nice area rugs over top. my friend pulled out her carpet and they just painted over the plywood until they can afford something, and it looks pretty good.

if you posted pictures then we might come up with some more ideas for you
post #30 of 50
I recommend becoming a regular at your local Home Depot or Lowe's store. My brother built his own 900 square foot home and bought every single thing to "decorate" either on sale or on clearance. Our local HD only waits 24 hours for someone to pick up their paint, and then they put it on clearance for either $5 or $10 per gallon, depending on the brand. I recommend using Behr paint as it holds up to scratches, marks, etc. well -- and with 4 children, that might come in handy. Also -- they seem to clearance flooring down quite often, as well. My brother laid ceramic tile in his kitchen and bathroom for cheaper than he could have put linoleum down. If you're not sure on how to do it -- they offer free classes. I'll be taking the next one they offer so that I can tile a backsplash and our fireplace.

Don't forget about places like Freds, Dollar General, etc. -- they often have great stuff for super cheap. If you have older furniture, spray paint or regular paint can spruce it up nicely. My older sister gave us a FUGLY Christmas-green dresser that was HER mothers when she was small. It was real wood and in great condition, so I sanded it, spray painted it white and added cute knobs that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off (they run those sales often). If you check the Sunday paper, you can almost always find 40% or 50% off coupons to Michael and Joanns. Even if you just buy one thing at a time, even if it takes you longer to finish the project, that's a chunk of money saved.

Maybe you should post a picture of the room you decide to do first and let people offer suggestions, so you don't feel overwhelmed?
post #31 of 50
We spent a couple of years trying to move house. It was quite stressful and we didn't feel like doing much to the house because we wanted to move soon. Of course we were also doing a lot of thinking about what we wanted from a new house and what was not working with the current one.

When it became clear that we were not going to be moving for a while we decided to "move into" our current house. We went through the rooms planning what we would do with them as we would in a new house and then deciding which of those things to do, form redoing the kitchen to coming up with a system for sorting the post.

It was quite a change in mindset but it really helped us to get the best out of our house and I believe also helped us to sell when the time came. We'd got a lot of the little irritating jobs done and had a much better system for keeping the house tidy.

If there are jobs you want to do but feel under confident then check out your library, we've found lots of DIY books and after reading a few have tackled several jobs I thought would be too much for us.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
and don't scrimp on decent brushes. Makes a huge difference. If you can afford a better paint, you'll be able to tell the difference as well. ....
Oh, and make sure you pick the right gloss. I like eggshell, because it catches a little light and is easier to clean than flat, but it doesn't show imperfections in the walls like a semi- or hi-gloss.
THIS. all of it! If you can get satin paint, that's even easier to clean, and still doesnt show too many imperfections. in a bathroom, you need at least satin, or something with more gloss, to help protect the walls from moisture. We actually used exterior satin paint in our bathroom, since we have no vent fan. water doesnt effect it at all! It would also work in a well loved kitchen or play room, as it's specifically rated to stand up to UV rays, rain, snow, pollutants, debris, etc. An uncle told us this trick, and it's been a lifesaver! (plus, the wall next to the toilet is easier to clean- if you have boys, you know what I mean... eww.)

Oh, and re: tools- you can generally avoid painters tape (very expensive) if you get good brushes. The cheap ones are easy to justify tossing instead of cleaning and reusing, but they start to get all bristly and they can leave unwanted marks on adjacent walls. Good brushes, if cleaned well right away and stored properly during drying (hanging from a nail in a ceiling beam in the basement would work) they will last for all of your projects. wash them WELL. a drop of dawn in a quart of water works wonders to get the darker colors out, just rinse really well after till water runs clear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by akwifeandmomma View Post
I just found a simple living blog -- someone posted it here, I'll go look in a minute and link if I can find it... She painted her plywood floors white, and they look totally fresh and airy. As they wear, she can just re-coat.

ETA: Here is the blog, and this is the post on painted floors.
these floors look beautiful! wow! If you have big spaces between some of the sheets of plywood, get some paintable caulk with silicone in it to fill the bigger gaps. (the silicone helps it to stretch and flex as moisture from the air affects the wood floor and it wont crack and pull away like non-silicone caulk) If done properly, they could look like nice solid surface floors. I bet 1-2 tubes of caulk would do a large room, and costs about $3 per tube for decent stuff. a Dollar General or someplace might even have it cheaper. again, primer is your friend here, make sure to use exterior primer under porch paint! it will make the boards look much smoother and the paint adhere better. and you can even tint the porch paint, to add a painted on "rug."

If you dont have tons of money for fabric, you could find some well loved t-shirts, sweaters, or other clothing and/or linens around the house and make pillows and or curtains with stitch-witchery or with a quick hand stitch. Use those colors as your inspiration for the tone of your neutral walls. if you found some nice vintage sheets at a thrift store, they could make nice window treatments with relative ease! (or even a makeshift bedskirt!)

If you're unsure about colors, Home Depot does color samples for like $3.99 I've used only a sample to paint a small piece of furniture or do a touch up without having to buy a whole quart! it works great and saves a TON when you need quite a few colors in small quantities. Also, you can just do ONE accent wall, in a room, then if you hate it, paint over it with your neutral from the other walls. The colored wall could have very simple neutral decorations or B+W family photos, and the neutral walls can have pops of color, or, just leave the accent wall to speak for itself, simply.

definitely check out the rejects from HD, but check the notes on top of the can! sometimes it's not the sheen that they note on the sticker, sometimes they used the wrong paint base. either way, the clerk will be able to help you- they generally know their stuff behind the paint counter.

We have an MAB clearance center (a local paint brand, i think) where I got gallons of flat paint for $5 each. I mixed 5 different flat paints in various browns/khakis/tans and came out with a color that we adore- and get LOTS of compliments on it. and we got 5 gallons of paint for $25!! can't beat it. You could check to see if there is a clearance center in your area for any other brands, and also post on Freecycle for it, if you only need a gallon. I know I have full "extra" gallons from when I over ordered at the paint store just sitting in my basement.

OK, that was a novel. sorry.

I hope that you can do a few quick fixes in at least one room to get it to where you at least *like* it

oh- one last thing- even trim with dings in it looks MUCH better when cleaned and painted a fresh color!! semi gloss will hide more imperfections and still allow you to clean it easily, and resist water if you leave a window open in the rain. you could even paint the trim a color instead of white or off white, and that will also hide more of the imperfections.

Good Luck!
post #33 of 50
I hope you will manage to get something better soon to live in. I sounds like its really getting to you. Hang in there.
post #34 of 50
you can also consider epoxy for the floors. usually, it's what is done on concrete floors, but some of them can work with wood. and they are very durable--though more expensive than regular paint would be for the floors. difference is, you may have to repaint more often, whereas epoxy can last for many years.
post #35 of 50
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: DH went away for a week and so this was the week to dive in headfirst with the painting. I decided to do the hallway first (three levels, basically the most-traveled "area" in the house) and then the playroom (huge, biggest eyesore). These were the two biggest headache projects.

I had an experienced friend come stay with me for a few days to help me get started and build confidence. Later in the week I had three other friends come to help also. (Including a very tall friend who helped me get the high-up stairwell painted.)

The first friend who came helped me assess our tools and supplies and shop for the things we needed. I decided to paint the hallway a light buttercream color and the playroom walls a deeper yellowish color.

I worked so hard this week! I am so glad the "worst" is behind me. What is left to do is smaller rooms and projects. The next-biggest is the kitchen, which I plan to tackle next month when DH is on a business trip.

The prep was the worst. So much prep. I tried to do a careful job because I don't want to have to do it over for a loooooong time.

Oh, about colors, one morning I was feeling especially decisive (LOL) so I picked colors that day. I had already collected some paint chips. I had my friend confirm my choices (she thought they were all great) and we bought small amounts to try first.

Unfortunately, there is no "local Home Depot" here. The nearest one is about an hour round trip. We still ended up there or at the hardware store something like four times in the week, even with careful planning.

So anyway, I decided the walls were the first priority. Ceilings and floors can wait until the walls are done. And the walls were a higher priority than trim, though I did paint some trim (the windows in the playroom that were previously dark gray).

I can't believe how much calmer my house feels with those freshly painted walls. It is really amazing. The niggly visual clutter is gone (crayon markings, wallpaper remnants, dirty dried wallpaper glue...)

And now I am totally exhausted! It did take me over a week. But it was like doing four rooms - three levels of hallway and the playroom. I am frustrated that it doesn't yet look like House Beautiful, because there are some remaining smallish projects to do before that will be possible. I don't want to lose my momentum, but I need a break after such an intense week.

I think now every other (smaller) room will feel much easier in comparison to what I just finished doing.

I am not ready to post pictures yet, but I will definitely share before/after at some point. Thank you all for your suggestions and insights and encouragement. It helped a lot with my thought process.
post #36 of 50
When you look at the "edited by..." it should be a purple link. If you click on it you'll see the old versions of the post and you can C&P your original.
post #37 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
When you look at the "edited by..." it should be a purple link. If you click on it you'll see the old versions of the post and you can C&P your original.
Thanks so much, delicateflower! I was able to restore it. I had no idea that feature even existed.
post #38 of 50
that's awesome!

i bet your place will look great in no time at all. it's so cool that your friends were there to help you!
post #39 of 50
Great Amanda! It's nice to know the worst is behind you right?? Congratulations on such a productive week!
post #40 of 50

Paint colors

I don't have time to read the entire thread right now but I got far enough to see you're worried about picking paint colors. We're putting our house up for sale so I've been checking colors as well and I found a web page that lists good colors for selling your house. I know you're not selling, but the list contains neutral colors that work well for a lot of circumstances, so maybe this will help.

http://www.sunonmybackredesigns.com/...for_resale.php

Also, if I had limited funds I would get a good designer in. It's amazing what they can do to make a house look good even when it needs some work. You'll spend the money on the service, but you'll save money by re-using what you own or picking up some inexpensive accents. Then you can feel better and be "at home" while you slowly work on the other things.

Good luck!

ETA: Read the whole thread and saw you've already done some painting. I'll leave the link in case someone else needs it or you need some neutral ideas. Congrats!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Loving a house you don't love (update in #35)