December 6, 2017:


It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Family Room Redo

Yesterday I posted a few photographs of my family room.  Some weeks ago, I decided that this year the family room needs a re-do. 

Actually, calling it the "family room" probably dates me to the 1980's but that's when this house was originally designed and that was the intended function of the room.  Fortunately, the person who designed my house created a wide wide opening from the family room into the dinette that has a sliding patio door to the deck in the backyard; the dinette is separated from the kitchen by a cabinet based peninsula that does not feature an overhang and therefore NO stools!  No overhanging cabinets either, to block the view and make the spaces feel small.  The kitchen primary (if one includes the peninsula cabinet) is about 11 x 12 and features a classic work-triangle:  the sink overlooks the backyard through a short double-crank out window facing west; the gas range/oven and hood are centered on the north wall, and the fridge anchors the east wall at the end of a cabinet run.  A microwave sits on the east wall near the fridge.

The dinette is about the same size (haven't measured with a tape measure) as the kitchen, 11 x 12.  The family room is about 18.5 x 12, that was roughly measured with a tape measure, but it's hard to measure with a tape measure with only one person. 

I suppose I should do a line drawing and post lots more photos to give you an idea of the space. But not tonight!

The space reads pretty much as one large open space and since its windows and the patio door face full west (oh my!), there is TONS of light, especially in the summer; but even in the depths of winter on a sunny day it's bright and warm.  This is despite there being no windows on the family room south wall; it was purposely designed that way, to cut down on cooling costs during the summer.  The south wall, which is 18.5 feet long, therefore gives me an opportunity to place a gigantic run of built-in bookcases if I decided to go that way; or put in a prefab fireplace; or a combination of the two. 

The budget does not allow for any such flights of fancy!  Or new furniture or new carpeting.  Maybe not even a new area rug that I may have to put into storage because I'm thinking with it's tones geared toward red and green it won't really "go" with the wall colors I've picked out.  But one never knows until one actually lays the thing down in the "new" room...

I am not a patient shopper.  I am generally happy with "good enough" rather than "perfect" which usually doesn't turn out to be perfect after a year or two anyway.  It's a conscious trade-off between my precious time and everything else.  My precious time wins every time!  So, some weeks ago, during my last shopping run with a friend to Menard's, a Wisconsin-based service-oriented super-market for hardware, etc. that these days competes with Home Depot and Lowe's - quite successfully in Wisconsin, I might add (yeah, Menard's!) I picked out several paint sample cards.  No, I did not buy little cans of paint and plaster loaded brush marks of paint all over my walls.  I contented myself with laying down the samples on the furniture, the rug, the carpet, against the drapes, at varying times of day and night, under varying levels of light and lack thereof, to see what the hell the samples looked like.

I settled on this "taupe" neutral tone for the upper half of the family room walls:

This image of the color is the best I can do and looks much more "grey" than the sample I have at hand.  It is a Dutch Paint, "Family Tree" B13-2 and is a medium-to-dark tone of taupe.

The bottom portion of the wall will most likely be an anaglypta-type patterened wall covering painted in white.  The white accompanying "Family Tree" is B13-4 "Superhide White" but I could not find it anywhere on the internet, not even at Dutch Boy's website!  Eek!  No matter.  I know the folks at Menard's will be able to mix it up for me.  A close, but somewhat "murkier" white I found at the Dutch Boy website is this:

It looks sort of pinkish-grey in my monitor on this Acer laptop I'm working on right now, but with respect to my paint sample cards, it is fairly close in color to B13-4 "Superhide White" that goes with "Family Tree" B13-2.  Superhide White is a fairly "white" white (and yes, I'm well aware of the hundreds of colors of "white!")  "Popcorn" is just a little bit warmer tint? tone?  than "Superhide White."

So, sometime during the next several weeks the bottom half of the family room walls will be stripped of their aged vinyl wallpaper border and paper.  And then the real fun will begin...

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