Not deferential enough: Dime design again

Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Dime design again

by Gina Hamilton

So as spring starts padding in on little muddy feet, the hour has come for dime design to return to the house.  Time is the biggest factor in any good dime design, and in our case, it's an unknown, because I'm working a lot more hours, and Chris has other stuff to do, and our son and heir just ain't interested.

So that means I'm mostly on my own, but that's okay, it just means I do dime designing at odd hours, and in ingenious ways.

There are two dime designs planned, and a dime-design redux planned in a bathroom whose needs turned out to be more complex than I was able to provide with my splash and dash version.

For those of my readers new to this game, what Dime Designing started out as was a means to smarten up various rooms in the house, one at a time, on the cheap. When we first moved in, we had the hardwood floors refinished and we painted the walls in the main rooms except the kitchen.  They had been dark, cheap 70s panelling, but I could see hidden "bead board" there, so Chris trusted me and off we went. In the dining room, and the library, we created our "beach house" look, putting up the cheap bookcases we had at the time, and using the library, in particular, to serve as the general catch all for the house.  Eventually, we added a pellet stove in there, and the furnishings became shabbier and shabbier, and bags of pellets competed with ash cans filled with chicken feed as the focal points for the room.

So it's time for a change.  The plan is to change the book case situation, first, by building in bookshelves, on a ladder grid, and on shelving next to and above the piano, floor to ceiling.   The ladders will be stained white; the shelves stained blue. It should give us about an additional 30 shelf feet.  Behind the parrot cage, we'll add more shelving that will display various objets in smallish box-like structures.  One of the large bookshelves will remain, the small ones will be painted and moved, the others will go to other homes.

There is a small table in the room that has been used as a lamp table on occasion, and a junk collector more frequently.  It will become the chess table.  Tomorrow, we are picking up two wing back chairs for a song - $45 for the pair - and they will provide the new focal point for the room.  A small desk will be repainted in the same color as the chair I bought at a yard sale to go with it.  The Ikea chair that lives in that room now will have its covers stripped and redyed, and will go to live upstairs in the office along with the ancient ottoman that came with the house.

As soon as heating season is over, if ever, we will take the pellet stove apart and clean it completely, then mortar two layers of bricks together and lever the thing onto them, so that the pipe exits the house on a level plane.  We'll clean all the soot, wash the floors, shelves, sills, and everything else completely, clean the ceiling, and then see if the floor can be salvaged.  If not, we'll move all the furnishings, sand the floors, stain them a shade of blue that works with the rest of the house, and call it good. 

So that's room one.

The living room seems tired, too.  We have to take down the acoustic tile in the living room and scrape off the plaster and stain the ceiling beams and crossbeams, because the tile is coming down anyway, with or without our consent.  We bought a new to us sofa last week, and might be able to do something with the loveseat, though at this point I am not sure what.  But more than anything else, the walls need scrubbing to see whether or not we have to repaint, and the floors need scrubbing to see if they need to be refinished.

A new rug, a probable lick of paint, and perhaps a new slipcover, and we'll call it good.

And in the bathroom, who knows? I'm getting very close to taking a sharpie and writing "Error 404: Tile Not Found" on the tiles that will not stay down, but that would just prolong the inevitable problem, which is probably that the subfloor has to be replaced. Or putting in a carpet. Chris would like to take the linoleum off the walls and see what's behind that, and while that holds a certain morbid appeal, I have a feeling I know, and it can't be good. Pepto-Bismol pink cracked plaster, more than likely. And if we're going to go to all that trouble, we might as well update the shower and replace the leaky toilet and, hell, while we're at it, replace the pedestal sink with one that could actually, you know, store stuff.  Plus there is no exhaust system in either of the bathrooms, so that's another issue for another day.  I think I'd rather the damn tiles just stayed down.

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