As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

House Project Goals 2020

I have told you all about our completed kitchen. It was a slow remodel that took a little over three years from start to finish, but we finally checked the last thing off the list.

I gave you a report on how we did with last year's house goals . . . what we accomplished, and what we didn't.

I even told you all about our pesky wall

Now it's time for me to share our house goals for 2020: 

We'll replace (again) the limelight hydrangea in the bed in front of the house, and then we'll move around to the south side of the house, straightening the border, tidying the beds.

We have the materials to begin a fence across the back of our property and we hope to begin soon! We have imagined our backyard as a little oasis to enjoy outside our big picture window. Since last winter, the lot that adjoins ours to the back has been sold and a new house is being built, so we think that the privacy is another incentive to start on that fence! Wasn't it Robert Frost who said, "Good fences make good neighbors?"

As I told you in this post, we have another plan for that wall in the dining room! When Ron has a break between bigger projects, he will make a frame for the "Peaceable Kingdom" print. We're hoping for success this time, but one never knows!  

This one is a "maybe."

My long time readers may remember that parts of the kitchen trim have been painted three times already. (Full story ~here~.) You may also remember that I promised Ron that, even if I didn't like it, I would not ask him to paint the kitchen again. (Well, not until it really needed painting . . . but not just because I wanted a color change.)

I am keeping that promise. I will not ask him to paint the kitchen.

But . . . 

(You knew there was a "but," didn't you?) 

But if we had seen a wonderful color at a restaurant in Lancaster . . . and if I had happened to ask the lady in the restaurant what that color was . . . and if she had kindly taken my phone number, done some research, and left a message on my answering machine with that information . . . and if Ron had mentioned that we might paint the kitchen this spring . . .

Well, what would you do? 

This is our biggest project of the year, and we're smack dab in the middle of it right now!

When we first saw Pineapple House, we knew that this would be our bedroom, even though it is not the biggest bedroom of the four. First of all, it is in a separate wing from the other bedrooms, so it is the most private. It has an adjacent bathroom, as well as a little vestibule into the wing. It is mere steps away from the kitchen and morning coffee. And it has charm with its angled ceilings, tiny windows, and mismatched closet doors! 

This is what we plan to do in the master bedroom:

1) Replace the tile ceiling with wallboard. This is what has prevented us from tackling this room before now. Replacing a ceiling is a big deal. At least, it's a messy deal. However, Ron did not want to paint the room without doing the ceiling at the same time, so we have waited. But now is the time! 

2) Paint the paneling! πŸŽ‰This will make a huge difference in this room, making it brighter, fresher, and more cheerful. We are painting it the same color as all of the walls in our house. (It is a color match of an old Valspar color, Antique White.) 

3) Paint the trim. Actually, we'd both like to paint the trim in Behr's Decorator White (the same color that we used in the other bedrooms), keeping the background color palette neutral. But the windows in this room are brown, obviously chosen to coordinate with the paneling, and I am afraid that the brown would stand out like a sore thumb against white trim. (Even if we could paint the vinyl part of the window, there are still the brown grilles between the panes.) Most likely, we will paint the trim Quaker Green (as in the vestibule outside the bedroom), although we have also considered the same tan that is in the living room (based on Linen White, an Olde Century Paint color). 

4) Replace the floor. The room had carpet, and we are not carpet people. I assumed it would be a simple thing to replace it with hardwood. Apparently I was waaaayyy out of the loop as far as flooring choices. Laminate . . . bamboo . . . engineered hardwood . . . solid hardwood (except that it is not simply lumber, but a layer of wood over a wood product) . . . too many choices! And none of them seem like "real" wood to me! Sigh . . .

5) Construct and hang wooden shutters for the three windows.  

Despite the challenging choices in remodeling this room, we are excited about having a bright and pretty bedroom soon! And it must be soon, because our Kati is coming for a visit (and a baby shower!!) in March, and Ron and I need to be out of the guest room and back in the master bedroom before she arrives!

(Nothing like a deadline for motivation.)

Those are the projects that we hope to accomplish here at Pineapple House in 2020. 

Of course, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." (James 5:14)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

That Pesky Wall

There is a wall in our dining room that we just can't seem to get right. 

Try #1
When we first moved in, we hung the wall cupboard that Ron had made for the bathroom at The Farmhouse.

Problem: The cupboard was visually "heavy." It looked like it was floating on the wall. A piece of furniture beneath it would have solved that, but there was no room for furniture on that wall considering the length of our dining room table. Also, the cupboard jutted out into the space a little too much, into the walkway towards the hall/bedrooms/bathrooms. 

The wall cupboard ended up in the library over a desk where it lives quite happily holding greeting cards and stationery.

Try #2:
We tried using the three botanicals that had been over the sideboard in The Farmhouse dining room. 

Problem: The Pineapple House dining room has tan (Linen White) woodwork and, as a totally interior room, no windows and no natural light , so the subdued prints and gold-toned frames did not have enough oomph. They didn't make a statement like they did at The Farmhouse.

Try #3:
This was my favorite! I found a folk art portrait of a colonial girl for ten dollars at an antique store. I ordered two primitive tin wall sconces to flank it . . . and I loved that look.

Problem: The amateur decorator who lives at my house pointed out that there were two girls in my dining room. And that was one too many. "Mom, you don't want two girls in one room."

I knew she was right. But I loved that wall. 

(You can see both girls in this photo.)

When we decorated the new guest room, Bekah grabbed the girl off the dining room wall and hung her over the pineapple post bed. We both liked her there.

But then I was back to Square One with that pesky wall.

Try #4:
We hit on the idea of a seascape and began searching, online and in local shops. The ones we loved were not in our price range. Until one day I found this affordable print in an antique store. Sold!

Problem: As much as I have tried to love it, it just feels out of place. It's the right size, but it doesn't seem to mesh with all of my other primitive/colonial pieces. 

Try #5:
Between Christmas and the New Year, we visited one of our favorite local antique malls and found this print, "Peaceable Kingdom," by colonial artist Edward Hicks. We have Hicks' "Noah's Ark" hanging above our mantel in the living room. As it is, it is too small for the wall, so we took it out of its frame. We plan to have it matted at Hobby Lobby and then Ron will make a frame for it. We may hang the primitive sconces on either side of the print. Or maybe not, because this print is horizontal  (the girl was vertical) and that may create too "long" a line across the wall.

I am hoping that Try #5 will be the one that works on this pesky wall!

We'll see . . . 

Note: It may take a few weeks or more to get around to this project because we are headlong into our first big house project of the year! πŸ‘€  Stay tuned for the post about our House Project Goals 2020! 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Last Year's House Goals: How Did We Do?

Good grief, I am slow. By the time I complete this little blog series on house projects, it will be time to plan projects for 2021! 

Moving on . . .

I am going to skip the "pesky wall" post for now, and go ahead and tell you how we did with last year's house goals. (If you want to read the full post outlining our goals for 2019, go ~here~.) 

Goal #1
Bathroom Refresh

We completed this goal last March. It was not a full remodel, but we changed out the overhead light, took down the offending fluorescent light, made wooden shutters for the window, and freshened it all up with a coat of white paint. (Full story ~here~.)

Goal #2
South Wall of the Kitchen

This was our biggest house goal for 2019. If you've followed here very long, you know that this was the final phase in our s-l-o-w kitchen remodel, so I am thrilled to say that this goal was completed in November! It has made a huge difference in the function of our kitchen and we couldn't be more pleased. (Full story ~here~.)

Goal #3

Did you notice my teeny-tiny check beside Goal #3? That is indicative of our progress towards meeting that goal.

So yes, we did tidy one of the beds in front of the house, removing old and dying plants, enlarging and mulching the bed. We planted a row of three limelight hydrangeas near the house, and a row of boxwood in the front of the bed to ensure some green all through the year. Unfortunately, the hydrangea on the left end died pretty quickly. We bought another and replanted, only to have that one die too. (Hmmm . . .  I think we'll try once more in the spring.) The boxwoods are all doing well.

But the fence for the back of the property? Well . . . does it count that we bought the materials? 

Note: I can't find a photo of the small bit of landscaping that we did! I think I had taken some photos on my old cell phone and all of my photos did not transfer to my new one. 😐

Goal #4 
Guest Bedroom

Not many days after Kati got married, we began converting her room into a guest room. I had said that my "consolation prize" for giving up Kati was the pleasure of decorating a new room. Bekah has had as much fun as I have . . . maybe more! We replaced Kati's bed with an antique pineapple post bed, dressed it with the coverlet I had found on our forty-seven-and-a-half-years anniversary trip, "shopped the house" for artwork and accent pieces, and bought an antique dresser (bargain!) that was exactly the right scale for the small room.

We love our guest room! Not only have Kati and Andrew stayed in it, but nine of the grandchildren have had a special sleepover in the new room. 

Note:  We do not have matchy-matchy mirrors in the room. πŸ˜‰ We took down the mirror from the wall by the bed (first picture) when we bought the one that is above the dresser (later picture). Everything is subject to change at our house!

Still to do: make wooden shutters and fishtail swags for the windows, and recover (or replace) the 35-dollar wing chair that I bought on Craigslist. 

Goal #5
Paint Master Bedroom

This project did not get done in 2019. (Stay tuned for upcoming post, House Project Goals 2020.)

Goal #6
Refresh the half-bath. 

Wait! We didn't have six goals on the original list? 

That's because this one was done on a whim! 

Our tiny pink half-bathroom is totally not my style. Some day it will get a total remodel. (One of the possibilities is turning it into a small laundry closet with a stackable washer and dryer for Ron and I to use in our old age. Or when we're empty nesters. Or anytime. We'll see.) 

Back to the subject at hand . . . this bathroom is not my style, but the thing that was bugging me the most was the yellowed floral wallpaper. Every time I passed the room on my way to the library, I noticed it. 

One summer day, on a whim, I simply decided to see how easily the wallpaper would peel off. Turns out, it wasn't too hard at all!

I spent an hour per day for three days and got all of that wallpaper down! Then Ron spackled and painted and made new shutters for the window, and, even though pink tile is still not my style, the room looks much fresher and brighter and I can walk by without cringing. 

In any area of life, I think it is helpful to look back and see how far you've come. During my years of homeschooling, I would sometimes feel like we had not accomplished enough, until I finished up my record keeping at the end of the year and realized just how much we did!

I feel the same way as I look back over our year's projects. I am actually surprised at all we were able to accomplish in our home, in the middle of a cRaZy-busy year in the life of our family. After all, it's not every year that we have an engagement, a bridal shower, a wedding, a senior year, completion of homeschooling, a graduation, a move (Kati's), new responsibilities with parents, and more . . . all of which took precedence over house projects!

Coming soon . . . House Project Goals 2020! 

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