• Virginia Tolles

The Latest on the House

Real Estate Listing Photograph

It’s been a while since I wrote about renovations to the house we bought. They are coming along, but much more slowly than we would like. C’s injury slowed the process, yet he has persevered and accomplished much more than I would have thought possible.

The kitchen is nearly complete. We returned the stove, microwave, and dishwasher that were too quirky for our taste and went back to our tried-and-true favorite brand. Maybe, if we were twenty years younger, we’d have welcomed quirky. At this point, no, thank you. We installed a new base cabinet to provide storage for pots and pans and, now, are waiting for the countertop to arrive. We decided against installing an upper cabinet, lest we make the small room feel even smaller. The décor alludes to French Provincial, inspired by the design of the 1968 stick-built cabinets. All in all, I think it hits the mark.

The living room and dining room are complete except for hanging curtains and pictures. I can’t decide how to handle the two small windows in the dining room. If C would just win the lottery, I’d take out those windows and the door between them to open space for a triple sliding door. Let there be light!

The bedrooms are complete, except that we are replacing the worn mini-blinds in the master bedroom for new two-inch ones. Then, of course, there’s a matter of organizing (what goes where, drawer- and shelf-wise). The bathrooms: We won’t go there. Both need help, desperately, but we haven’t yet decided how we want to proceed. On the one hand, we want a walk-in shower to accommodate our aging. On the other hand, space and budget are limited.

My study finally is coming together. After too much confusion wrought by watching too many YouTube decorating shows with 20-somethings sharing their bohemian/minimalist preferences, I reminded myself that my preference is much more traditional. In any case, I’ve hung a print of Mr. Manet’s “The Banks of the Seine at Argenteuil” over my desk. I’ve run off prints of two 19th century paintings and ordered traditional frames in which to place them. I’m not happy with the area rug; it is too modern for the décor. I would like to find a nice, cream Aubusson-inspired rug for my office. That’s no easy task, for even the wannabes are frightfully expensive. I’ll keep looking.

We’ve done amazingly well, I think, in sticking to our budget. Of course, one or two items cost more than we had anticipated, but for the most part, we’ve kept costs on a tight rein. We haven’t allowed television decorating programs convince us that we had to have the latest and greatest. We received a big surprise when we learned that, now, stainless steel appliances are less expensive than white ones.

I’m glad I let myself have a few, new decorating items. They added a bit of fun to what was, in many ways, frustrating drudgery. I know C is anxious to finish working on the house, so he can start putting his workshop and garden together. Yes, we’ve ordered the seeds.

Pictures to follow.

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