I just returned home from a week away helping my son and his wife paint and move into their new home, of course that meant I got to spend some real-time with my youngest grand child. We joke that I get called for painting because I am the only one who can cut in without taping everything in the room saving time and money, but really my sons grew up with a DIY mom who let them help so my son isn’t a slacker in the skills department.
I ended up traveling by a Greyhound bus, as a result of giving up my car last year. had I just been visiting for a day, possibly two I could have borrowed a vehicle, but not for an entire week. This was the first time since I was 14 that I used a bus for a trip. Things have changed quite a bit in those years. All their buses are handicap accessible now and the total cost for the round trip was less than $50, cheaper than what the car would have cost me.
The trip down was interesting, to say the least. I ended up sitting near two individuals who discussed their times in prison. Which prisons were the worst, how their rights had been violated and which guards they liked and disliked. Then they openly began a drug deal, not even trying to keep their voices low or hide what they were doing. I wondered what they would say if I offered the information that I was the mother of a corrections officer but of course kept that to myself.
The return trip was completely different. I had met a very nice person in the terminal who sat across from me during the trip. We had a lot in common and I enjoyed his company. I can’t read in a moving vehicle so I had some crocheting I pulled out to work on. A Pakistani family took up the next two rows and kept to themselves until one noticed what I was doing and asked to see it and would from time to time look back to see how it was coming.
I decided on the trip down I would definitely use the bus again for out-of-town trips as it was a very good deal, cheaper than the gas in a car would cost me, plus the added expenses of insurance, repair and licensing.
But the point of this trip was to help get my son’s home ready to move into. I was asked to share some before and after pictures, but what I have to share are more of the before and in progress pictures. I forget that not everyone is like me and has a room put together as soon as possible. When I move I can see the layout of my furniture and where the art will go as soon as I see a space. After painting the art goes up, furniture is put in place then all the boxes are emptied as soon as possible. For my daughter-in-law, none of those things are clear to her. The art is last, which means none was up yet.
Here are just two of her pieces I spotted unpacked, but she has plenty more still in boxes.
Monday, after the closing, only the mattresses, one chair and the loveseat were moved in. The painting went on all week and the rest of their belongings arrived Saturday evening. I was after midnight before it was finished. As a result you will see boxes every where.
My son and his wife had a large wish list for this house which included a dining room, central air, large yard, office space, and even refused to consider a home that would be inaccessible for me. They had to compromise on some things. To have a dining room they used the first floor living room.
The finished basement then became their living room, which also will serve as guest space, toy room and an office. This is the room which took the longest as it was not only the largest but was covered in paneling.
A portion of the one wall has shelves built around the water main and has heavy doors covering the opening. The doors were made from 3/4 inch plywood with paneling attached on the fronts. To make this even harder the previous owners painted the hinges and handles with thick paint. It wasn’t attractive or neatly done.
And the walls and doors after.
The loveseat you see above is where I slept for the past week, I am so looking forward to stretching out on a bed again.
Nearly six years ago at the age of 20 my son and his wife (fiance at the time) bought a cute starter home. His home was priced way below the rest of the neighborhood due to it needing a few things, like an updated kitchen. You can see pictures of the kitchen before and after here. Other than the ceiling it was completely covered in laminate products, yes even the walls were a plastic laminate.
The kitchen was a big deal this time. The wish list included real wood cabinets, updated appliances and a dishwasher topped the list. Here is the before and after. While all three items on their wish list were covered, the kitchen had a few quirks such as that dull yellow paint and a door attached to the side of the fridge you can see a part of the door in the picture below.
Here is the door now in the garage that was removed from the side of the fridge. You can see how they built a piece to secure it to the top of the fridge.
This home wasn’t easy to find and at one point they feared they would never find what they wanted. Home shopping became a lesson in frustration for them. They toured homes where my 5’2″ daughter-in-law could touch the ceilings, a no-go for my son who is 6’2″. Then there was the property my son loved but when they looked closer at the walls of a room which appeared a blackish brown they realized the walls were white. The house was infested with stink bugs. After learning they would most likely return even if they brought in an exterminator they walked away from that one.
The first floor bathroom isn’t exactly the bathroom of their dream house but at least it has ceramic tile and not the plastic tile which covered the walls and ceiling of their first house.
My daughter-in-law and I have very similar tastes. I was surprised to learn she wanted to paint the bathroom on the lower level, which was the only room not done in that ugly yellow, a color similar to a room I did 10 years ago, when she had first met my son. The room I did was in a deep cranberry red, she didn’t find the right shade but is happy with how it turned out, which I had trouble photographing but it is a tomato red.
The master bedroom, again that ugly yellow is now a crisp gray.
My granddaughter’s room became pretty in pink. The room is getting a border where the two colors meet, but they didn’t have it yet.
A house is rarely done especially when you try to make all the changes before you have a chance to live in the rooms for a while. When I was shown the listing for this house I was asked what I thought. My first thought was the kitchen and the eating spot was backwards.
My suggestion, and very first thought was to leave most of the current kitchen intact but turn it into the butler’s pantry, move the kitchen into the eating area, and add a door to the back yard between the two areas. My daughter-in-law loved the idea but we won’t be doing that any time soon. If I were doing the kitchen I would have a large sliding door, maybe something resembling a barn door, which would separate the pantry from the new kitchen. I’ll just have to wait to see what they do when she talks my son into it. I’m sure I’ll be getting a call to show him how to move the plumbing when they do. 😊
That was my week, how was yours?