Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Totally on my case...

Well-- I've finally been harassed into action.

My dad has been sending me helpful email messages like "Hey, hey! Check your last (6/13) message (BACK SOON) on After Dinner Design!" and saying things like, "As you know, it's been over a month since your last blog post...", which mostly makes me want to go berserk, but I suppose he's got a point.

It has been over a month since my last blog post.

So last night, while slaving over my latest professional project (yep-- I confess-- I'm spending the vast majority of my time working in exchange for money, which is why I've had so little time to blog about my extra-curricular activities and cooking successes) I came up with a solution that will hopefully pacify my dad as well as interest anyone else reading my blog...

If I can't write about what we're doing right now, the least I can do is show you've what we've done thus far! So my plan is that every couple of days, I'm going to post photos of our almost-finished Catskills' Farmhouse and give you a little blow-by-blow of what I did, where I bought it, how it was done, what's left to do, and occasionally, how it looked before...

Let's jump right in today and check out the current state of our living room!

What's that? Did you just ask me how I came to own a PAIR of faux-albino alligator chesterfield sofas with burgundy mohair contrast cushions?!?!? A good question my friend! Believe it or not (I know-- I'm full of surprises!) I bought those babies on Craig's List, from a guy selling furniture out of a garage in Newark for $300.00 for the pair. And I was so nervous about buying a pair of them that my friend and I dragged them out into the street and set them up "mock-living-room-style" with a stand-in coffee table and end table and everything. If he'd been selling a rug, I would have laid it down to really give me a better sense. 

Because let's be honest. Buying two faux-albino alligator chesterfield sofas with burgundy mohair contrast cushions is no small commitment. 

How many times have I found myself saying that??? 

 And now a quick reminder of what the living room looked like when we got here... 

A quick lay of the land: First, we removed the linoleum floor-- during this process John nearly broke his calf-bone by hitting himself with a hammer while pulling up the composite board installed below it! You've got to give it to those old farmers-- they sure did shit thoroughly when they set their minds to it. Maybe a bad idea, but by gum! They were gonna do it right!

After we finally got the linoleum up, we sanded the floors back to their original natural finish, sealed them with a satin natural sealant, and then shellacked the hell out of the entire room. John and I are both FIRM BELIEVERS in Zinsser's B-I-N Shellac-Based Primer (though neither of us know what the B-I-N stands for...) That stuff smells like nobody's business, but it will make paint stick to pretty much anything, FOREVER, and will seal in whatever is on the other side so you'll never hear from it again. DONE DEAL. 

Then we painted the room (Benjamin Moore's Semi-Gloss White on the existing wainscoting, door casings, and window trim; and BM's Beach Glass in Eggshell on the panel walls above the chair-rail) and called it a day. 

The room is completely furnished with hand-me-downs, street-finds, and Craig's List buys... 
That awesome console that fits perfectly over the radiator came from Freeman's Alley, which is a jumpin' restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where I happen to have an awesome friend; the french-looking chairs came from my parents' house, and the coffee table is actually a salvaged "critter crate" with a slab of glass on top. 

Still left to do: 
-Reupholster the french chairs in a slightly darker, more baby-resilient fabric. 
-Replace the burgundy mohair contrast cushions with a softer, lighter, brighter, beige-y fabric that attracts a little less dog hair. John currently refers to them as "the maroon tongues" which is completely gross sounding and surprisingly accurate. 
-Continue growing my collection of creepy old portraits to round-out the room a little more fully...
-Eventually, I'll probably replace the coffee table with something a tad more sophisticated, but I'll tell you, free is always a compelling case...

That pretty much brings you up to speed on the living room. Check back in the next couple of days to see our transformed "cupboard staircase" and upstairs' hallway! 

Or maybe even sooner if Papa doesn't let up!! 

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