You want to do what? Where?

In anticipation of our tax refund (and it should be fairly healthy, given that I didn’t have a job in all of 2006 and we bought the new house), we are about to embark on at least three simultaneous home-improvment projects.

Project #1 is paint. The living/dining room of this house is a horrible, horrible dark khaki-ish color. In a smaller room, it might work well, but in here, it’s just toooooo muuuuuuch, and too dark. The light gets sucked into the walls and it’s like a cave in here. Add on the fact that it’s winter and I have those idiotic compact fluorescents in all the lamps… it’s dark, man. It’s the same color as the carpet, and while I’m okay with the carpet being that color (it… hides stains), the whole room being this shiteous brown is really depressing.

I am going to paint the majority of the walls a very nice buttery cream color. It’s warm and bright without being white, yellow, or [shudder] beige. It is somehow all of these colors at once, which is fine by me. For fun and to break it up a little, I’m painting a couple of the walls a lovely bottle-green color. This way, it will look pretty but not clash TOO terribly much with my awesome purple furniture which I cannot afford to replace just now.

At some point I am going to have to think very hard about window furnishings like drapes and stuff, but I’m not sure the budget will allow for that at the present time. The brown tab-tops and beige sheers I got at Target will have to suffice for now, and luckily for me, they will go just fine with the paint I have picked out.

I was trying to avoid painting the kitchen, too, but since we have to have the [vaulted] ceiling painted, we might as well do the ceiling in the kitchen while we’re at it. And if we’re doing that, we might as well paint the walls in the kitchen. Right now they are a not-unpleasant blue, but the cabinetry is a dark reddish wood, so the kitchen is even more cave-like than the living room is. I’m going to go with a very light, almost white, green and then do the trim in a more interesting green. Eventually, I’d like to do a mosaic backsplash around the work surface area, but that’s crazy-expensive, and again – not in the budget right now.

Outside, even more interesting things are happening. We are going widen our driveway so we can park the cars side-by-side, then we’re going to move the fence up, enclose the porch, and put pavers down to create a patio area. In a couple of years, we might just lose our minds completely and bump out the whole section of the kitchen wall and create a nice dining area there and put a deck off of it.

Not this year, because I don’t think my head could take it, but definitely in the next five years.

We are also considering the possibility of putting a second floor on the back of the house. The front part would stay the way it is because I don’t think anyone wants to mess with a vaulted ceiling, but we could slap a second level onto the back, which would be very nice. We could make the whole thing a GIANT MASTER SUITE or we could have a couple of bedrooms up there and free up some of the rooms downstairs for a playroom/sewing room or whatever. We’ve got lots of possibilities and plenty of time, since This Is Where We Live Now.

It’s funny, thinking that. In the dozen years that Freddie and I have been together, anyplace we have lived has always been temporary. First it was a crappy college apartment witha roommate. Then it was a crappy and Oh My God How Tiny post-college apartment with the most awesome 1970’s turquoise appliances. Then we lived in Indy, then our teeny apartment in Metuchen, then the slightly larger apartment across the courtyard in Metuchen, then the gigantic apartment in North Brunswick, then the townhouse, and now here. Until we got here, we always viewed our residence as “this will do until we get a bigger apartment/buy a townhouse/buy a house.”

Well, now we’ve bought the house. It has all the things we wanted in a house. It has the three bedrooms we wanted. It has a basement. It has a yard. It’s in a town with good schools and a train station. Everything. Of course, the house itself is quirky (if we’re being charitable) but that’s a good thing because the things that need to be repaired/upgraded can be done to our standards. Fun! But it’s weird that we no longer look at this as temporary. We’re not just living here for a couple years until we upgrade to a bigger house. This Is Our House, and the long-term plans are starting to be made.

I like to go to extremes with the plans. We have a bay window in the front, which is probably original to the house (1962) and needs to be replaced eventually. So why not push out the whole front wall? Whoops, vaulted ceiling. Never mind. But I can bow the window out a bit more and create a window-seat area which would be very nice. And someday I might just decide to yank up all the carpet and see if there is hardwood underneath. There probably isn’t but you never know.

Just wait until I get going on the garden. Talk about big plans!

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