Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Home "improvements"

We had a realtor come to the house Monday.

Do not look for a FOR SALE sign soon.

We are conflicted. . . as well we should be living and raising a family in this house these past 20 years. Nevertheless, whatever the outcome, my date and I have both agreed -- there are things that need updating around the Nine-One-Four. And so we have new floors, countertop, appliances.

We tackled the living room shutters this weekend. Or they tackled us, depending on how you look at it.

The living room shutters came with the Nine-One-Four -- in all their rockin' 70s glory -- back in 1992 when we bought the joint. They were part of a package that included shag carpet (I know, I know, some would say shag is back -- but not this kind of shag, trust me), orange laminate, wall paper-matching valances (avocado and orange -- boom!) and a tumored-encrusted cocker spaniel with booger eyes.

Actually the cocker spaniel did NOT come with the house. He belonged to the Incredibly Dour Lady Lawyer renting the Nine-One-Four at the time of purchase. He was thankfully removed from the house when we finally moved in.

Over the years, we have mostly tamed the our little Lost-in-the-Seventies cottage. I've even documented a couple of these sorties here. But the shutters remained. . . until this weekend.

These were not Pottery Barn-type shutters. They were 70s shutters -- tight, narrow and impossible to clean. Grimy, stained (don't ask) and a mausoleum to numerous dead insects (don't judge), these shutters also refused to open uniformly -- with at least a half dozen slats always going the opposite direction of the others when we attempted to bring a little more light into the living room.

Can you feel the shutter love here?

And so it was I had a vision:  The windows flanking the fireplace are tall and narrow -- how 'bout one curtain panel, some curtain rings (for that Hip Metro Look, right?) and a simple, understated curtain rod?

How 'bout not.

It took me weeks to find the right curtain rod and curtain panels -- located, of course, 30 minutes away at a big-box store on the far north side of town. And, so, finally, Saturday was designated for the big install.

It took about 45 minutes of my date wrangling with the Nine-One-Four's near-impenetrable lathe-and-plaster walls to get the first curtain up -- and to determine it was all wrong.

There was marital terseness. ** sound of crickets **

We then ditched the curtain rings, Hip Metro Look and tried two curtain panels simply gathered on the rod.

Much better. The sun came out, birds sang. . . .

And I got in the car and made the 30-minute drive to the big-box store on the far north side town to get two more curtain panels.

The second rod went up, the first panel attached and. . .

The second panel was. . .

too short.

About 21 inches too short.

** more crickets, please **
The packaging earnestly tried to convince us
both panels were each 84 inches.
At this point, my date and I wisely adjourned the home improvement portion of the day's programming and, once I recovered from a not-so-stifled case of the church giggles, shared a glass of wine, gazing at our lop-sided DIYer Gone Bad.

Sunday -- you guessed it --I got in the car and made the 30-minute drive to the big-box store on the far north side of town to exchange one short curtain panel for a long one.


Sweet-and-5-hours-and countless-car-miles-later.



  1. I'm firmly convinced that multiple trips to the big box store is a given with any home improvement.

  2. Looks like you and I are in the same home improvements timeline. We finally put in a new front grill door last week (10 years after we talked about changing it, 4 years after Georgia destroyed it). This week, it was sand and varnish external window frames, very hard on Cushion who was the only one brave enough to work on a tall ladder perched at a crazy angle on a bumpy courtyard. A real estate man unexpectedly turned up last week and became the very first in 12 years to get some hopeful news though we didn't tell him the sell date is still probably at least a year off.

    Funny, if/when we get another place, I'd like a 60s/70s look.