Loving a house you don't love (update in #35) - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 50 Old 03-10-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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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.
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#32 of 50 Old 03-10-2010, 01:51 PM
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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.


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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!

The babymoon isn't over! Our long awaited A born 7/18/10, making us laugh and smile every day.
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#33 of 50 Old 03-10-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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I hope you will manage to get something better soon to live in. I sounds like its really getting to you. Hang in there.

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#34 of 50 Old 03-10-2010, 10:49 PM
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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.
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#35 of 50 Old 04-11-2010, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#36 of 50 Old 04-12-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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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.
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#37 of 50 Old 04-12-2010, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#38 of 50 Old 04-12-2010, 01:48 AM
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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!
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#39 of 50 Old 04-12-2010, 08:33 AM
 
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Great Amanda! It's nice to know the worst is behind you right?? Congratulations on such a productive week!

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#40 of 50 Old 04-14-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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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!
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#41 of 50 Old 04-14-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Great!! Getting started is the hardest part!

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#42 of 50 Old 04-15-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Great thread! I'm so glad I found this since I'm doing some similar work in my home.

I haven't seen these things mentioned, so here are a few more ideas. These are all "small stuff" but for me, taking care of a lot of the little, neglected details has been helping me to feel better about my home. Even though none of these things is major, leaving them the way they were just seemed to reinforce the sense of apathy I had. I lived in a house where noone cared about the dirty windowpanes, the scuffed paint, the mismatched hardware, etc. Caring for the little details made the house feel more like home.

1) Scan each room for minor scuffs, worn-out things, chips and nicks, etc. Fill in chips and nail holes. Touch up paint over these and other scuffs and blemishes.

2) Replace switchplates and outlet covers (new switchplate/outlet covers were $1.75 for a pack of 10) or even just replace the screws if the plate is good but the paint is chipped off the screws. It's amazing how this little improvement helps things look fresher.

3) Clean out crevices, corners, air duct openings, etc. (The places that don't quite get thoroughly cleaned with ordinary housekeeping.) Replace the air vent covers if they look old and worn out or too dirty to clean.

4) Consider some new hardware for drawers, cabinets, doorknobs, even faucets if you can afford it. I couldn't afford major changes like faucets, but I did find some cute drawer pulls and new doorknobs for a real bargain price online and replacing these gave the place a very different and updated feel.

5) Remove old caulk in bathrooms, kitchen, etc. Replace with fresh white caulk. You'll be amazed how much cleaner and new everything looks.

6) Replace inexpensive, but relatively high-impact, accessories like shower curtain, doormat, table cloths/runners, outdated light fixtures, old lampshades, etc.

7) Clean all the windows and glass inside and out really thoroughly. Things will be much brighter and fresher.

8) While you're still thinking about #7, go through the house and replace any burned-out lightbulbs. This should be obvious, but until I consciously made the effort, I didn't realize how many bulbs were out. The house is brighter now, which makes me feel happier.

9) Trim bushes, hedges, trees, etc, and cut back weeds, brush, etc that block the sun or look out of control. Keep the porches, walkways and driveway swept. Plant flowers if you like.

10) Put out some new and updated photos of your family. I hadn't changed family pics in forever. Having special pics up of the people I love makes home so much more homey. I didn't realize how much impact having new pics would have. With current images of your family all around you, you're less likely to feel like you're "just passing through" that home.

Hope some of these ideas might be helpful.
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#43 of 50 Old 04-19-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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This was just the thread I needed to stumble upon today. OP I could have written your post, oh man could I ever have. I despise our house. I figured we would be preparing to move now, but circumstances have changed and it seems we will be here for a while. I need to do something. I am miserable...I hate my house!! And the girls and I are here a lot. My house is cluttered, drab (all walls are paneled except the kitchen and laundry room), and just ugly! The space is odd and not being used to its full potential. I am inspired now! I am going out tomorrow to get some graph paper and price some stuff at Lowe's. I know exactly what room I will be starting with (it is the current play room but will be the school room/arts and crafts room). I am so excited. Thanks for all the great suggestions and thanks OP for starting the thread

Beth

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#44 of 50 Old 04-20-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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My family and i are renters, and i think sometimes we always will be. So, we have to come up with temporary ways of changing spaces without doing any permanent damage. Honestly on our tiny budget, that means not much. Right now, I dont even have any art hanging because we are afraid to make any holes we may have to repair and or paint over.
So, the most helpful, and free thing I've found lately is Fresh Flowers!! Oh my, what a difference they make. Im so glad its spring and I can find flowers generous enough to share themselves in my space. So I've put a vase ( okay an old spaghetti jar in a focus point in every room, even the back of the toilet and its been a really lovely way to focus my attention on this when i come in the room, when there are so many other things i want to change but can't, flowers remind me of this simple beauty, and I relax and feel more grateful.

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#45 of 50 Old 04-21-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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My house is cluttered, drab (all walls are paneled except the kitchen and laundry room), and just ugly!

Beth
Just think of how you'll be boosting your resale price by removing the panelling!
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#46 of 50 Old 04-21-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Well we bought our house not because it was gorgeously decorated (it was a miss-mosh of furniture & wall art that made no sense, had way too much furniture for the space, had wall to wall dingy blue carpeting & all white walls. But I have an eye for seeing what could be, we liked the layout & were more than happy to make it ours by making all the changes that would transform it into our home! We have been here for 5 years & have done many small things that have mad an impact as well as bigger things that have been major projects. I will say this I'm the biggest frugal girl that I know & I'm very picky about the aesthetics of my home & we have managed to do things on a tight budget. Look around online a little to see what style you like & what feels comforting to you. I happen to love this blog they have done such a great job on a budget to turn their house into such an inviting home! They have a how to section that will take you step by step through many things such as how to paint a thrift store chair & reupholster the seat cushion, to how to pain a brick fireplace. They are very inspiring & do most of the work themselves. I also like to look at apartment therapy for inspiration.

My tips, are to start by cleaning. It will get you into the mindset of respecting & honoring what you have, & it will feel much nicer. In the mean time look around & find your style. Paint the walls a neutral color. Get rid of wall to wall carpet, painted floor boards are much more attractive imo, use porch & floor paint. We did this in the kids rooms it looks really nice & is way cheaper then new flooring! We also painted all the wood trim in the house white, which DH was leery about at first but now loves! Look at the bones of the house de-clutter & organize your space as you go making it function better & look better. Plan for furniture pieces that will hide away the visual clutter. We have a cabinet in the living room for all the kids books & drawing supplies, if it was on open shelving I would go crazy looking at the mess all the time. The kids closets are tiny so we built an additional closet in the girls rooms with a shower curtain rod & curtains to hid all their toys, games & craft projects. My computer & TV are both in armories because I don't like to see either one unless I'm using it, which really makes for a peaceful feel to the home.

Do you have an Ikea near you? Just walking through for inspiration is lots of fun & they are cheap even if just for accessorizing. Stalk Target's clearance racks & TJ Maxx, Marshalls for home items & only buy what fits into your style! Check Craigslist & Freecycle regularly! Home Depot & Lowes have clearance sections too, check them out weekly! Anything from flooring to a new bathroom vanity can be had a half price! We just got a new stainless high end stove for 1/3 the ticket price!!! Our dishwasher came from the ding & dent store. We got our beautiful porcelain tile flooring for our bathroom remodel from a local flooring store in town that has a remenent section for $1/sq ft! I also went to goodwill & salvation army regularly seeking items for the house. Most of our furniture was from family & friends & tag sales if they know you are looking they might offer something as they update. We happened to luck out with people with amazing taste getting rid of perfect furniture! I knew the look I wanted & stuck to it. Keeping linens (for windows & bedding) neutral or white is very inviting & can be done at IKEA so cheap with curtains & duvet covers.

It sounds like you are well on your way since you've been painting!!! I'd love to see pictures of your space & I'd love to give you advice to help you finish the look!!!

Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#47 of 50 Old 04-21-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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Just think of how you'll be boosting your resale price by removing the panelling!
Unfortunately, the paneling won't be going, but we will be painting it which will be a huge improvement. I also hope that we can replace the drop ceiling that we have in our big living room/dining room combo.

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#48 of 50 Old 04-26-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I'm loving this thread. We love our house, but it's too small and it's been badly abused (by us.) -- We're not going anywhere, though, so I need some of these ideas to make it more workable and homey. Anyone have more thoughts?


Decluttering SAHM of three. Going for 2011 items in 2011.
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#49 of 50 Old 04-27-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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My tips, are to start by cleaning. It will get you into the mindset of respecting & honoring what you have, & it will feel much nicer. In the mean time look around & find your style. Paint the walls a neutral color. Get rid of wall to wall carpet, painted floor boards are much more attractive imo, use porch & floor paint. We did this in the kids rooms it looks really nice & is way cheaper then new flooring! We also painted all the wood trim in the house white, which DH was leery about at first but now loves!
I totally agree with you CookiePie, especially about painting the floor boards. That would be the first thing I would do, (along with painting the trim white and the walls a neutral color.) Carpet is so gross, bad for the environment, shows wear and builds up dirt easily, is bad for allergies and you can never get them really clean or at least keep them that way for very long. Plus it will probably have to be replaced again before you sell the house, or a replacement factored into the price. Painting the floors is such a great, inexpensive option. If that weren't possible, I would probably just shop for a inexpensive laminate that's easy to install. If you find a good price or clearance sale, it could be just as cheap as carpet, or even more so.
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#50 of 50 Old 04-29-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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some great advice here...
i understand op all too well, not because my house is run down or ugly, because thats what it is - a house, not a home.
i moved in here 3 years ago when i got married and my husband had owned it for about 5 years at the time.
it has always felt like its 'his' house, you know? even things ive changed dont make it mine...
some time back we were invited to a party, and it was the first time i went to these people's house. when i walked in i was overwhelmed by how "homey" it was in there.
there was no fancy design or layout, no brand new furniture or super modern accessories, but you could tell it was a HAPPY HOUSE, house where kids were born, learned to walk and read, where they built forts of pillows and so on.
they had kids' handprints framed on walls and all sorts of weird pictures taken over the years... every single thing in there had a STORY...
i told my husband when i grow up, i want my house to look like that...
it was sort of an "artistic chaos" and it was very endearing.
... agh... i hope you'll find the perfect home in your house, i bet its hidden somewhere, and you just have to discover it. me, im still looking for mine :-)
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