Thursday, October 2, 2008

"While You Were Out" Part XVI - Time to kill this thread, huh?

Okay, as promised - Here is a shot of the "Work in Progress" (Not quite complete - but "Getting there!"):

The living room *does* look about a zillion times better now! It's not exactly the way I want it - yet - but it's definitely headed in the right direction!

Yeah, the furniture's still pretty "80's looking" (all my furniture was very "Cutting Edge" - back in the day!!!) - but that's not likely to change anytime soon.

But it's still pass-able, I think. I'm kinda "stuck" with the black lacquer+marble tables since I've got a big 'ol black piano in the living room. I did go w/a black picture frame on the beachy-painting, so it still kinda goes together.

I've ordered new lampshades (generic beige), so that oughtta brighten things up a bit. I've also got new drapes on order (those cheesy-cheap floral things are UGGGGG-LY! - But I need *some* privacy for now!). I also ordered a silk palm tree off eBay - about 6' tall - which'll go in the corner next to the piano. I'll use that to add a little "drama" to the room. I've got an up-light I'll put behind it so it should cast some cool shadows on the walls/ceiling.

I also stopped by my storage locker today and pulled out an old black Asian chest-thingie to put on the "Hall-Wall." It's a little too narrow, visually, for the space, but it's what I've got to work with, for now. I'd really like something "bigger"/wider there - but I've put a moratorium on spending!

We've got a blank wall opposite the sofa and it's basically the "hall" that leads from the front-door to the kitchen, hence the name: "Hall Wall ". So I put the chest on that wall and hung a mirror over that. I also put one of my hand-made (by Moi!) Tiki lamps on the chest so we've got a bit more light in there.

Not sure if I can embed another pic in this post, but I'll try:

Cool! It worked!

It kinda breaks up the huge-expanse-of-wall - so it's an improvement (and yes, I know I need to clean the mirror again. Camera-flashes can be so unforgiving!!!).

Anyway - it's all coming together!

* * * * *
Now - As for the "Big-Picture Goal" - things seem to be heading in the right direction! Rog (after his initial dismay at witnessing the aftermath of "Hurricane Nan!") has admitted that the room looks a whole helluva lot better. And, in the scheme of things, it really didn't require THAT much in the way of effort or money to realize a significant improvement!

Annnnnnnnddddd... (Bwahahahaha!!!) He even opined that maybe we should look into doing *something* with the kitchen cabinets!!! (Yes, my Evil Plan is coming together!!!). See, the kitchen is open to the living room - so when you walk in, it's "nice" to see a fresh, crisp paint-job in the living room - but then you look fwd to the kitchen and see these HIDEOUS cabinets and get the very life sucked out of you!!!

He'd asked if there was anything the painters could do to improve them: "Maybe put something shiny on them?" "No." I assured him "There is NOTHING they can do to help these cabinets - other than PAINT them." Well Rog, like many men, seems to think that wood should never be painted :::shrug:::

There was a point where I'd actually attempted to strip the varnish/stain off of one of the cabinet doors (on the back-side of one of the lesser-used doors - where it wouldn't be visible) - and, well, there's just no getting around the fact that 1973-vintage, builders-grade, ugly DARK oak cabinets will ALWAYS be 1973-vintage, builders-grade, ugly DARK oak cabinets!!!

Here's what I'm talking about:

BTW - the monstrously ugly range *has* been replaced. It barely worked. One burner was "mostly functional" with two different heat-settings: 'Tepid' and 'Thermonuclear Meltdown.' The other three burners were "dicey-at-best" and usually arced when you'd turn them on! The new range is a "bisque" colored glass cooktop model - MUCH better!

So anyway... Now I'm in the process of gathering bids for Cabinet-Refacing. Rog seems "reluctantly agreeable" to the idea. I figure we can hit the Home Equity Line for that (that's what HELOC's are for, right?!!), and we can split the cost...

Not sure if it's gonna happen, but it's certainly worth looking into. Especially if I can pull this off for less-than $5K (I think that's do-able - given the fact that most of these contractors are probably pretty "hungry" for business right-about-now!)

Much as I'd love to "gut" the kitchen and start over - we just can't justify the expense - Ya know, what with the Economy being in the tank and all that (Thanks, George Dubyah)! Our kitchen is actually HUGE in terms of floor-space - but it's very poorly designed. A neighbor of ours (in the exact same model house) completely re-did his kitchen and I took pics of it. But he was a "Good" DIY-er - and he installed Custom Cabinets, granite countertops, stainless appliances, yada yada. He did a gorgeous job - but Rog and I are NOT DIY-ers (not without one of us ending up in prison, anyway!), and we just can't fork over that much capital!

At this point, I'd be happy with a simple cosmetic face-lift in the kitchen. I'm thinking a simple "Re-face" job w/plain 'ol Shaker-style cabinets doors in a light maple finish - oughtta do the trick (and, of course, a fresh coat of paint on the walls).

I'm gathering bids now...................

I'm just glad that I was successful at "planting the seed" for some more interior Home Improvement projects. The place really could use a bit of a face-lift! So all the pain and agony (both figurative AND literal!) may well have been worth-it!!!

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