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A Different Sort of Birdhouse

Looking back, I didn't every post photos last year of the final stage of the Dude's office. I think that's because I was gone when G-Dude was completing the work and because the Dude never completely got his things unpacked and put away. He was doing some of that over the weekend, guilted into it by all the work done in the room next to his. It's all perspective. We can't show any photos of my office, btw. I can barely get in there. A bomb will have to explode. Books will have to be donated.

Meanwhile, back in the birdhouse, here are some before photos:
The Dude's office as it was emptied...

We use the foyer to store stuff temporarily. The goal is that it eventually gets emptied again, but since we never use the front door, we sometimes fall short of that goal.

And this is a blurry before of the tv room, taken by Miss E:

And I forgot I had this photo...this is during the process. Note the foyer. For two weeks, that's where the tv was. And a large couch. And all the dvds. Etc.

And the other direction...one bookcase's contents were piled in the Dude's office as well as one of Miss E's desks. But a lot was piled into the guest bedroom. And then a guest was imminent, requiring that it all be unpiled again by sorting and tossing, etc.

And now, you get to click through for the results of my version of urban renewal...
As a child, I cleaned my room pretty much the same way. Everything into a pile in the middle of the floor and redo it all from scratch. At least, that's what I did when I wasn't just pushing it all under the bed. My father caught me doing that a few tines. So we completely emptied this room that was an impossible mess, painted the walls, and bamboo'd the floors. This is the last of the bamboo on concrete slab rooms. All other bamboo floors will be on top of plywood. In terms of sustainability, I like that bamboo isn't a tree hardwood or something made of petrochemicals. On the other hand, it gets shipped from China and a lot of energy goes into that, though water freight is the cheapest kind of freight. So it's a tradeoff. But not in how it looks. I love the way it looks and I love light-colored flooring.

And a different direction...there is actually a tv to the right of the entry, but I'm not really into tvs. I'm into reading corners. Please note the foyer and compare to the 'before' and 'during' photos.

And a closeup of Miss E's office, aka her 'station.' I don't care what she calls it as long as she uses it and keeps it neat enough to be used for schoolwork and recreation. Like the rest of the family, she now has two computers. Only her laptop has internet. The pc is (as it should be) only used for games and watching dvd's. Her mac laptop is for REAL computer stuff.

The Dude's built-in bookcases turned out like this. Note the window seat. We like that.

And since a guest was coming and we'd done 'urban renewal' on the tv room, we ended up able to radically rearrange the sitting room as well. We're going to try out our loveseat instead of chairs in front of the fire this winter.

Yes, it's not an exciting view in the summer, but in two months' time, this is going to be the place to sit.

Other rooms in the house continue to look really, really scary. But these are nice and we'll have to work to keep them that way.

Frog Out

PS: Note that Phineas was in the chair in the sitting room, the first room I photographed. He followed me around as I took the photos. Here he is after my last one, around the corner in the Dude's office:

Grady slept through the whole photo shoot. It doesn't take long for the cats to find the good sleeping spots.



( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
I know how much work this was, and what upheaval it represents. It looks wonderful--welcoming, peaceful, comfortable. I especially like the green walls in the TV room. I'm a big fan of green walls.
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
HUGE upheaval, but we succeeded in some declutter as part of the process. We did NOT just stuff things in boxes and put them in the basement. In fact, nothing went to the basement. There are still some things for me to go through and make a list of before we donate. In a different room. Or two.

That's Miss E's choice of green. The painter (and the Dude) thought it would be too fluorescent, thought that the trim should be dark. E and I held out for white trim and we were right. She had picked this color for *my* office, but we're all very happy to have used it in this room instead.

Miss E's color choices triumph again!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 17th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
It is truly daunting. That's why we do one room per year (that and the expense of having G-Dude do the work). The first room is the hardest to do from sheer inertia. But after Hobbes died, I wanted to do the dining room. Whenever he couldn't hold it any longer, that's where he had an accident for the last year of his life. It wouldn't have been any use to have slippery wood floors with an aging dog, either. His passing was the catalyst. And once one room looks so superior, it's easy to do the next. And the first two were open rooms. Weatherdude's office was the biggest challenge with both the floor and built-ins.

And next year? We don't know yet. The hallway? Our bedroom? My office? Aieeeee. I think the first job is to try and keep these four rooms looking nice.
Aug. 17th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the only ones who ENJOY the disruption and upheaval? The cats. They also like sliding around on the wood floors in rooms with no furniture. And when the bookcases were empty and lying on the floor, they would pick up their toys and put them in the bookcase to knock them around against the sides.
Aug. 17th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, how nice that all looks! Now I'm feeling inspired to get the rest of my painting done. Only three rooms to go...

Aug. 18th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
Well, pace yourself, that's my advice!
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
I was just talking to my Brian about tile and wood with rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpet, as ours is due for replacement. Pherb is even more gorgeous than the new areas, and that is saying something. Is he part Maine Coon?
Aug. 18th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Phineas is a teeny little thing, so no Maine Coon in him at all. He's a domestic long hair varietal rescued from a feral litter a little more than a year ago. Phineas is about 7lbs and the Dude calls him a 'micro cat.' (We do also have Ferb, his cousin.) He wasn't 'taking' at the adoption events at Petco and we're happy he didn't because we all love him. All five of the micro cats came from that same colony and they get along well but have different personalities. Physically, their main similarity is small size.

Aug. 17th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. You say you have a guest room? Can I come?
Aug. 18th, 2010 03:12 am (UTC)
You have a standing invitation. I'd clean any guest room for you, I would. And if you did come and stay, we'd drive up to Philly to see Mr. and Mrs. Frost. It's not far at all.
Aug. 17th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Spiffy cool! Very nice. I'll have to come back and check it out in person someday. :>)
Aug. 18th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
Maybe. Open invitation of course. And I'll charge employee rates, too. :D Meanwhile, you get to move into a doublewide on a new adventure.
Aug. 18th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
Yes, new adventure, but I still have to get all these damn heavy boxes from point A to point B. Arrggh. And take a couple pieces of furniture apart to move them. Arrggh.
Aug. 17th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
I love the built-in book shelves! Nice job on the floors and the painting, too.
Aug. 18th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
Thanks! Weatherdude designed what he wanted. He actually designed and built most of our freestanding bookshelves, too. Shelving is essential in our house. Even if we're trying to downsize the collection...which means hold it at the current size.
Aug. 18th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Really gorgeous! You guys did a wonderful job. I'm currently experiencing severe book-case envy.
Aug. 18th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
You need your own designer, you do. A few Billy-type bookcases remain, but most of what we have were designed and built by Weatherdude. Most commercial bookcases are too deep. Which is more stable, but that's what shims are for.

We're still chipping away at the clutter and the renovating. Next year...well, not sure yet. I'd hate to say my office. That's going to be a huge task with both writing and tax businesses in there.
Aug. 18th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Your cats certainly know how to highlight a room's comfort and the fine grain of the bamboo floor!
Aug. 18th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Hi, Bonnie! It's sort of fun, having so many cats around. But we do end up tripping on them when they insist on lying in the middle of the floor. And they like doing yoga with us.

Hope everything's great in NJ (other than being a bit too hot this summer).

Hey, wait! You're off to Australia?
Aug. 18th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Too hot & dry here; I water the garden nearly every night. Leaving for Australia on the 27th, but our preparations are very incomplete. We haven't even booked the flight home yet. So things will get hectic between now and then.
Aug. 22nd, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
Your rennovations are beautiful. I love the new floors and the built-in book cases. Well done and very lovely.

Congrats on getting things finished. :) Maybe one of these days I can drop in and see it in person.
Aug. 25th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
Oh it's not finished. Not even close. Just this year's continuation. It's going to take a while to clean up the mess that was just moved elsewhere for listing before giving it away.

But you can drop in. Assuming you can get away.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )