Yesterday was a busy day.  We started out by dropping Lola off at daycare; then we went to IKEA.  We h ad breakfast there before the actual store opened.  I really enjoyed spending the time with Hubby.  It felt like he was enjoying it too.  We just felt really close.  It’s funny how when you take the worry about money out of the equation, he and I feel great most of the time when we are together. 

The reason we were setting out on the course we did yesterday was because we are doing some things (projects) around the house.  The first line of business is switching the wRECk room; turning it into Princess’s room…and then we are setting up our office in the former Princess’s bedroom on the top floor.  When we originally created the wRECk room, it was a combination office and rec room.  The intention was that we ALL would use it for watching movies and/or working in the office or being on the computers.  However, I quickly realized that I *hate* being in the basement (lack of natural light) and ended up getting my own computer and desk upstairs in my dining room (soon to change).  Princess and her friends, however, love the basement and hang out there constantly.  Slowly but surely, Princess began to spend all her spare time down there.  Eventually, she just stopped sleeping up in her room, because the bedroom being on the third floor, is quite stuffy (according to her) in summer and winter.  So we decided to switch out.  With the office on the third floor, looking out of a huge bank of windows into the branches of my beloved tulip tree, I think I could actually *use* the office.  The room is right next to Lola’s, and the next project will be doing up her room so that she will actually *want* to play up there instead of in the living room.  I hope to remove all toys and what not from my living/dining room and have her toys (and clothes) all up in her own room.  What a concept.

But first we have to do this part of the project.  So yesterday we went to IKEA.  I love IKEA; I love walking through the showrooms of how they set up small living spaces.  I love the ergonomic items, the cute little organizational do-dads, etc.  We set out for IKEA to get two matching dressers and a wardrobe for Princess’s new bachelorette pad.  They have the best price for the money.  Just so you know, her proposed new room is 14 x 24, and she has space for her bed/clothes, a craft area, a computer desk, and her TV area.  It’s like a little apartment.  So for her bed/clothes area at one end of the room, we are placing her loft bed.  It had to be cut down 12 inches so that she could actually sit up in her bed because of the lower ceiling in the basement.  So it’s kind of a half/loft bed.  It is just tall enough for the two dressers we bought to slide underneath.  She will have to crouch to get in there but it is a good use of space.  The wardrobe will be on the wall opposite the foot of the bed.  We will have her three small cabinets (36 inch high), and her two bookshelves all in a row on the long wall.  Her TV area will be in the far corner as it has always been.  Her computer desk will be on the other “long” wall. 

The last item of furniture that we bought for her we found at another local (overpriced) furniture store.  In their “clearance” area in the back, we found the best deal of all.  One of those tall dining tables that are the fad nowadays.  It is a beautiful walnut table, 4′ x 4′ square, and it is as tall as a breakfast bar or one of those tall tables at a bar.  It will go in the center of the room.  Normally $600, it was marked down to $49.99; the leaf was missing and there was a mild chunk out of one corner.  It was WORTH it because not only will this serve the purpose for her to do her homework and do crafts; it is beautiful and if she doesn’t mess it up too badly, it would do admirably for a first dining room/kitchen table in her first apartment.  We bought two tall barstool-type chairs at IKEA for the table.

One more thing we purchased was new carpet for the basement.  Our basement is not “finished”, in that it doesn’t have a poured concrete slab floor, etc.  It is the old cement crumbly wall and floor so well known here in lovely Michigan.  We put up that cheap old wood paneling on the walls a few years ago when the wRECk room came into existence.  We bought some cheap auto-show used carpet to lay on the icky floor.  We didn’t even put padding down at the time. It was just to cover the crumbly cement.  Now that our cats and teenagers have managed to ruin the carpet, we decided it was time to buy some more.  We bought more used auto-show carpet, but we also bought carpet padding.  We are ripping up the old carpet and trashing it, and laying the new carpet. 

I must explain about the cats’ abuse though.  My oldest cat, when she gets traumatized in any way, likes to phantom pee on things to punish us.  That is why we keep our bathroom and bedroom doors closed, because she had her favorite items to pee on all over the house.  She prefers fabrics, like towels, clothes, carpet, etc.  When we go out of town, even for just 2 days, we will come home to punishment.  This has nothing to do with her litterbox facilities, which we keep clean and clear every day.  My husband is ready to give her away but I don’t know how I can do that.  We have had her for 7 years.  But it does make us upset that she has peed all around the perimeter of the wRECk room office area.  She actually peed on some electronic devices that Hubby had to throw away.  You can believe he is unhappy about this.  Another thing you should know is that she only started doing this in the last couple of years.  We had 5 or more years of good quality cat behavior so I don’t know where this comes from.

Anyway we are removing all the previously peed on items because she tends to go back to the same places.  When ripping up the carpet, I took bleach to the floor underneath to eliminate any traces of cat pee that might be lingering.  We laid the carpet pad and carpet on the first half of the room and set up her bed.  Tonight we will move all the stuff from the other side of the room and lay carpet over there and set up the rest of her furniture.  I need to hang curtains on the two windows, and Princess will have to put her things all away.  I think she will enjoy it, I know I enjoy doing things like that in a new space.

Once we have Princess’s room complete, we will then finish setting up the office on the top floor.  We have already put our L shaped desk in.  We made this desk ourselves using 2 8-foot sections of kitchen countertop, resting on two drawer file cabinets.  It is quite nice looking and it was all my idea.  It looks great in Princess’s former room.  We are taking my brown bookcases up from the dining room to put up there, and I will put all my books in the shelves in that room rather than in my dining room where they just look like clutter.  We are going to set up the walk-in closet in the office to hold some of our older files, the gun safes, and anything else household that seems appropriate to store there.  We are going to go back to IKEA and buy two new office chairs.  We will be moving my computer up there, and I am giving my cherry-wood desk to Princess for her computer.  I am going to take down the sun/moon/stars border from the wall and buy some nice curtains for the windows (which curtains will rarely be drawn).  I am looking forward to reorganizing our office area. 

Once we are done with the bathroom, we are going to re-do Lola’s room and we are redoing the bathroom and upstairs hall and stairs too.

Just a reminder — we are doing these projects to get the house ready to put up for sale.

If this bores you, reading about it, you don’t have to read it. LOL…I am just excited about what we are planning to do.

Anyhoo – we are going to re-do Lola’s room; we are taking out the “filler” items we had in her room for the time being, which included a changing table that we were using to store things on.  We have an old table that we covered with a pretty sheet that was intended to be used as a hideout.  What we are planning on doing is putting a small TV/DVD/VCR on a bracket up on the wall so she can watch her little shows in her room and free up the big TV for the rest of the family.  We are going to clean out the walk-in closet to the room, which is filled with mine and Hubby’s stuff because this used to be our bedroom.  We are going to empty it and then we are going to use it for Lola’s clothes.  Right now, I keep Lola’s clothes in our bedroom on a bench by the window, because I tend to change her downstairs because our bed is higher and I don’t have to bend over so far to get her dressed.  But now that she can help me dress herself we can move that into her room.  We are also setting up a computer desk in her room.  It is the desk top that used to be under Princess’s loft bed, that is now not usable because her bed is cut down.  We are going to make some legs and put it in Lola’s room.  We are going to put all the cords and the computer tower in some sort of case that she can’t get into, and we’re going to put a rebuilt computer in there and just put little kid games on it.  We will probably give her internet access (and of course it will have all the child-protection limitations on it) because there are YouTube videos that we like to watch together (i.e., Potter Pals, those cute animal montages), and there are some educational websites we go to together. 

We already have her little toddler bed we built, and we saw a few things at IKEA that would really work well in her room.  I want to have a toy area, a bookshelf for her books and puzzles, and a craft table with some little bins for her art stuff.  If she was bigger I would get her this half-height loft bed I saw at IKEA as well…it has a little tunnel/tent covering the top bunk, and underneath the mattress sits on the floor.  It might work for her anyway if we build a different ladder or steps to the top bunk.  It’s got a nice rail around it, and with the tent over the top it kind of keeps them from leaning over the sides or whatever.  But that is not necessary to the room, really.  At any rate, I’m hoping to clear her toys and clothes out of the Living/Dining Room and my bedroom and into her room, where they belong.  There are a couple of things that will of course stay downstairs (her easel, a few little toys in a box) but it will seriously declutter that area ahead of the work we are going to down down there.

Her room colors look great so we will probably not paint her room.  We may put up a border but that is it.

In the bathroom, we have some damage from water leakage from the roof leak we had.  We are stripping the wallpaper, and we are scraping and painting the entire room and linen closet.  We are getting rid of the pedestal sink and buying a vanity for storage purposes.  We saw some things at IKEA that may be coming home to be placed in the bathroom.  We are ripping up the linoleum and laying down new tile or linoleum.  Before we lay the tile/lino, we have to work on the floor itself, because we have a leak problem around the tub, which is damaging the ceiling in the dining room below.  Once that is fixed we will put down new tiles/lino.  We are going to do a different color scheme in the bathroom than the blue/white that we currently have.  We also have a walk-in closet in the bathroom which is totally unfinished — it is the original studding and outside wood and sits in the eave of the house.  There is no drywall or even lathe&plaster.  We will need to put some drywall or something up and put some flooring down on the floor in there as well.  Once we do that we are going to build in some organizational items so that Hubby and I can store our clothes in there.  That way we can get to our clothes whenever needed without waking up Lola. 

Our hallway landing outside the bathroom, Lola’s room and office is small, but there is a lot of wall/ceiling space.  The wall and ceiling near the chimney column has been damaged by the roof leak.  We are going to have to scrape and repair the damage.  There are also some cracks in the plaster walls in the corners that we are going to fill.  We are peeling off the old, outdated border from the wall and repainting the whole upstairs landing and down the staircase.  Out in the hallway we have the original dark wood trim, it is really lovely and we are keeping that intact.  We have a chest of drawers in the hallway which I will either leave alone or repaint to match the color scheme of the stairway and hall.  I am going to make the walls up the staircase a gallery and hang a lot of pictures of the family.  There is a large space though at the top of the landing that we currently have a tapestry-like throw hanging there.  I found a replacement that I am really excited about.  Guess where I found it? ha ha.  It is about 4′ x 4′ canvas print…by Gustav Klimt.  I love it because it looks like Lola and I…except Lola’s hair is lighter than the baby in the pic.


We will be putting new carpet down on the staircase.  We have original hardwood in the office, hall and Lola’s room, but the staircase I like to have carpet on because of slippage issues.  I don’t like falling down stairs.  Halfway down the stairs there is a landing.  There is a window that looks out on the back yard.  I’m going to put up new curtains there. 

So that is our plan for the upstairs.  I will write more about the main floor changes we are going to make; except I will give you a hint — it involves a new couch!

I love tax refunds. We are doing all this AND paying off our credit cards! 😉


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