Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dining Room First, Cutting Fabric Later

Let's backtrack for readers who haven't been there for the beginning of the Money Pit saga. And also because I selfishly love to see actual progress documented in one place. ;-)

This is the way the dining room looked when the previous owners lived here. (The pool table came with the house and is now set up in the attic.)

Then we bought the house and started working on it before we moved in. One of the things we did was to strip the 1980s wallpaper off the walls. (Hey, this paper was an "upgrade" — everything else was vintage 1974.) So then it looked like this:

Not too bad, but with the wallpaper gone we noticed some wall oddities in one corner of the room. Those oddities were termite "trails" and we knew we'd have to deal with the problem. The termites were long gone since, as part of the sale, the whole house was treated for termites & we were being compensated for the damage we already knew about. But until we started working on the house, we didn't know how much more damage was still lurking. It was depressing and the whole project went downhill and then stalled completely because of a horrible contractor. We pretty much ignored the dining room and most of the rest of the house for a couple of years, until we moved in during November 2005. (The original plan was to move into the house approximately 6 months after we bought it. That 6 months turned into 3 years and the work is still ongoing. Remember us if you ever think about buying a fixer-upper!)

Last April, DH tore off the original drywall to expose this bit of loveliness.

And then he replaced the wall studs and part of the joists, and re-drywalled. The job was actually easier than we had first anticipated, but by then DH had had plenty of practice from repairing the termite damage in DS#2's room.

This is the storage pit dining room as it's been for over a year.

But now its time has finally come (again). DH has been moving some stuff out and rearranging the big items to one side of the room while I work on finishing up the "new" wall.

This is what it looked like this morning, after the first coat of tape & mud. Tomorrow morning, I'll sand and then apply the second coat of mud while DH paints the ceiling.

I can't wait until the wainscot trim is back up and we take down that u-g-l-y chandelier. But that won't be happening until at least next week and working with that trim is going to be one big jigsaw puzzle, even with the "map" we made while removing it.

Tonight, though, I'm going to be cutting out the dress muslin and maybe sewing it together during Grey's Anatomy commercial breaks. I know I've "earned" some sewing time.


  1. Wow! You've done wonders with the money pit. Fancy a "holiday" in NZ? Currently we are in the middle of stripping off 2 layers of wallpaper from my DD's room. Then'll come the plastering and patching..... sigh. At least we don't have to worry about termites. Can't wait to see the finished room.
    And your next sewing creation. :)

  2. I had to laugh at your "u-g-l-y" comment: The first thing I thought when I saw the original room was, "At least she got a decent chandelier!" To each her own, of course.

    I so appreciate the recap of the Money Pit saga. I'm a late-comer to your blog and wondered what all the fuss was about.

  3. You guys are my home improvement heroes. You've done so much, and it all looks so professional. You can come to La now, and do mine, right? Let's see, I have stash not cash, and I can feed you!

  4. I, too, appreciate the recap of the story. I've read numerous references to the money pit, but had no idea of the scope of the issues. Now I know why when you look up "money pit" in the dictionary, there's a picture of your house. ;-)

    What a nightmare--every home buyer's biggest fear! You've done amazing things with it and you should be proud. But it wore me out just reading about it.

  5. OMG, the chandelier is terrific!!! Don't just throw it out, sell it, you'll find lots of buyers. Other than that, WOW, I am in awe of you and your hubby. Super job, not only on the house, but your sewing skills make me turn green with envy.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.