Poor Kim over at One Woman's Cottage Life (one of my most favoritest blogs ever) is feeling blue about the state of her home. She's feeling overwhelmed the all the things she wants to change about it, all the work that needs to be done. She thinks she's not getting anywhere. I think she is too creative, industrious and inspirational to be stuck in the blahs (and there really is nothing new to report on my own house at the moment), so I'm going to try to cheer her up. Or at least stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her.
But first, Kim's blog was the first blog I ever read. I didn't even know what a blog was until I stumbled onto her site, searching for cottage-style decorating ideas. The discovery of her and her blog opened a whole new world for me! I now have two blogs and something to be passionate about for the first time in a long time! If you haven't been to her site (and you probably have if you've found mine) check it out. I don't know how she has the time and patience to maintain such a great one, but somehow she does it.
So, Kim, I've toured my house and have taken pics to show you I understand. And what's worse, I have pics of rooms we HAVE redone, but just let get very messy. That's just tragic, and I'm going to document it here.
Ready? Okay, I figured we'd start with the porch. One of the porches. There are two. This one is right off the kitchen, the entry we use every day. All that stuff is stuff that got placed there when we were doing the kitchen, and we just haven't gotten around to clearing it yet. Get used to that last sentence, you're going to be hearing it a lot!
This here is right inside and behind the kitchen door and next to the new dishwasher. This is where we used to keep our coats, hats, boots, bags, etc. We're going to build something new there to use the space in the same way, we just haven't gotten to it yet. For now, it's where all the extra wood goes, I guess.
This is on the other side of the room, right outside the still-evolving pantry. The Viking got it sanded and primed last night. I'm hoping it gets finished this weekend so I can put all my stuff away!
Just around the other side of that wall, is my hutch in the dining room. Usually it's crowded with my favorite pieces of china and stoneware. Most of that stuff is still there, but camouflaged by inches of dust and piles of more stuff. Oh, and the pantry doors.
Now we're getting to the pics I really don't want to post. Our living room is very cluttered, in part because of the kitchen and the overflow it has caused (case in point, that mass of stuff to the right of the blue armoire) and in part because I am a very messy person.
The gate-leg table being used as a coffee table is too tall for a coffee table. It used to be our kitchen table. But we have the island now, and I just don't know where to put this table that I love. My children left their clothes and breakfast dishes all over the place and I've been too busy taking picture of my messy house and blogging to clean it up! Also notice that half of my Christmas decorations are still up and it's nearly March. Yes, that's right.
I especially like the Styrofoam cup on the piano (which never looks clean no matter how frequently I dust it), Red Headed Snippet's basketball shoes on the floor, and My Boy's blanket on the couch.
But this is the area of the living room that drives me most crazy. That weird "bump out" thing that I've tried to camouflage with my grandparents' wedding photo was a sad result of our second-story addition. It houses the heating ducts for the bedrooms and was put there because we had originally planned to close off that door (which leads to the laundry room), open an archway from the kitchen into the laundry room instead, and build closets all along that end of the living room. According to that plan, no one would ever see the goofy "tumor" as I call it, except for the coats and vacuum cleaner stashed in the closets. As you can see, that project never materialized and I am now stuck with this horrible growth on the living room wall. Also, that stuff piled in front of the bookcase? Our Christmas bins, still waiting to be put into the basement. And the bookcase doesn't usually look that sloppy, I just have been busy with other things lately...
The laundry room and powder room, off the living room, are unimpressive at best, but nothing is really glaringly wrong with them. But I had to include this pic of my nice, clean powder room with the mirror, sink and sconces I love, and the unwashed paint brush in the lower right corner. That, I think, sums up my house perfectly!
Now we head upstairs.
Though I mostly like it, the bathroom has it's faults, including a super modern-looking fiberglass tub and shower which scream to be replaced with a clawfoot tub. That's why the shower curtain is always drawn, to hide the fiberglass. The vanity is modern and boring, and looks especially bad after the kids' morning invasion. The goofiest thing about this room? The window frame, on the back wall, to the left. Rather, I should say, what USED to be a window frame. Before we built our addition, the back wall of the bathroom was the back wall of the house with a lovely large window right next to the toilet. When we added our new bedroom, the window had to go. I was very upset about this and wouldn't let The Viking take the trim and window sill down. I was determined to find a way to use it to charming, decorative advantage. That was three years ago. And we still have a filled-in window in our bathroom.
Red Headed Snippets lovely but very messy room. It's the only original bedroom to have survived intact. It used to be the Master bedroom. She and I decorated this room together and we both love it, but I just wish she kept it neater so its true beauty could be enjoyed!
This room is one of those odd, quirky things frequently found in cottages. This used to be the second bedroom. It was only 8 feet wide by 12 feet long. When we built the addition, most of it became hallway and closet space, but an 8-foot square chunk of space was left over. We decided to add small stained-glass windows and make it a "snuggery". I envisioned it housing comfy chairs and rows and rows of books. As a joke, we began calling it "The Library" because it was such a pretentious name for such a small space, and don't you know? It stuck. So, this is our library. With only one small bookcase that has more videos in it than books. I love this space, but just don't know how to use it. We had our computer up here while the kitchen was torn up, but it's just too hidden away for us to keep our computer in all the time (we like the kids to be right out in the open when they're using it). So, right now, it's storing things we don't know what to do with, poor lovely room.
This is the rest of what used to be the second bedroom, the hallway to the new bedrooms. I plopped that bookcase there as a temporary filler until the perfect piece could be found. Again, 3 years ago.
My Boy's room is basically charming.
If it weren't for the crooked, constantly dirty rug, the GIANT fish pillow (thanks, dad) and the decals he stuck all over the walls. I'm also not a fan of the race car bed, but it was a gift, he loves it, and I figure it's just a matter of time before he'll get tired of it and I can bring his lovely wooden bed back up from the basement.
But the big problem with his room is the closet. It's not finished. Fortunately, he does not yet have a big need for a finished closet, and really, likes playing in it more than anything. But the time will come when he'll need a place to store clothes and shoes and other things, and not just a cavern in which to stuff an extra mattress:
I really do like the new Master bedroom.
But even it has its dirty little secrets. This is the outside of a bookcase that hides a secret closet. We intended to use it for storing blankets and other infrequently used items.
It's still unfinished! Obviously, finishing a secret closet behind a bookcase is not high on our list of household projects, and who can blame us? But every once in a while it bugs me.
There are a ton of other projects still unfinished around here. I didn't even venture into the front yard, back yard, front porch or scary basement. But, we are D-I-Y-ers and this is our life. We chip away at stuff, slowly transforming it into what we want, every once in a while taking a big chunk and making magic with it. It's tiring, messy and frustrating, but nothing beats that sense of satisfaction that comes with sitting down, gazing at something that makes you smile and thinking, "Hey, I did that."
So, now that I've posted messy pictures of my house in its worst light, I'm going to have to clean and spruce up all those rooms and take some nice pics of it in its BEST light. I'll get right on that, I promise.
And, Kim, if you're reading this: chin up. You will get it done. Because you love doing it and you're good at it. It's in your blood and no matter where you go, you'll be renovating things. So, enjoy your down time, stew for a while, then pick yourself and your paint brush back up and jump right back in there! We're all pulling for you!