Saturday, November 19, 2005

Home improvement Saturday

And now, for my 200th(!) post, I bring you this photo essay. Actually, it's a bunch of words with a couple pictures; whether that counts as a photo essay or not I leave up to you.

So, among our preparations for the bambino/a (who really needs a better nickname), we need to redo one of the bedrooms upstairs. The yellow room -- the largest bedroom in the house -- was the first one we touched when we bought the house four years ago, when we didn't really know what we wanted. It's an odd room -- L-shaped, with steep eaves on the long side of the L. And what we didn't know when we painted it bright yellow was that it gets very bright morning light... which, magnified by the yellow, becomes nearly blinding.

The room has other problems, too. The long side has been pretty much unusable, so as a result it has collected junk. Clothes, boxes, a half-working stereo -- you name it. And it's coooold, in part because our forced hot air heating system just doesn't get up there very well, and in part because of the stupid linoleum floor. Yes, in their infinite wisdom the previous owners of this house put some really hideous linoleum -- of the kind you'd see at a lakefront camp, where it would be kitschy and kind of cute -- on the entire second floor of our house, where it is ugly and cold, especially since we could never find a rug we liked to cover it up. This is what I'm talking about:

So a couple years ago Darren and I got really sick of this room, and we decided to move into the orange room, the other bedroom upstairs. It's small and cozy, and the deep burnt orange color we painted it makes it feel warm (plus we had an ugly but serviceable rug to cover most of the linoleum).

Now, however, we've realized that the only room that makes sense for the baby is the orange room, which means we need to make the yellow room habitable for ourselves. Darren for years has been threatening to pull up the linoleum and see what's underneath it. I thought it was a great idea, but was worried about what we'd find. Then, Thursday night after dinner, he went upstairs "just to check it out." At 10:30, I finally had to ask him to stop so I could go to bed. What he found was a layer of plywood under the linoleum, and under that, some pretty decent wood floors that had, of course, been painted blue. Here's a closeup:

And here's a longer shot that gives some context:

Darren plans to finish tearing it up today (all the debris is apparently going to be thrown out the bedroom window onto the driveway, a plan upon which I have chosen not to comment). We're thinking about re-painting the floor; we think the wood is pine or something equally as cheap, and don't imagine it would be worth the effort to refinish it down to the natural grain. The plan for the walls is some sort of warm, chocolatey brown color, which leaves us a little flummoxed about what color to do the floor. Definitely not white, but it should be - I think - something neutral. Part of me is tempted by a really dark brownish red, but I think that could create a hideous disaster fairly easily.

Any suggestions would be most welcome, keeping in mind that we (obviously) are not afraid of color and that the overall intent here is to make the room feel a little smaller and much more cozy.

Oh, and while we're here, how about a little shot that tells an awful lot about Miss Jelly. This picture was not staged in any way.