The Cool House: Overwhelmed

Saturday, July 31, 2004


When we bought this house we knew there was a certain amount of work we would have to do before winter set in, First we had some windows that had to be replaced, some of the guttering was shot or missing and the siding over the garage had been damaged. Inside all the carpets would have to go to be replaced by wood floors and, to make more space, because 5000 square feet is just not enough, there were closets to be taken out (I know that it is impossible to believe that a gal can have too many closets but even Imelda Marcos would have trouble buying enough shoes to fit in here) plus there was the decorating stuff to be undertaken: paneling to be ripped off the walls, wallpaper to be stripped from three rooms and a hallway and the "Muenster Cheese" decor in the master suite, which covered every wall, door, architrave and baseboard, would have to be painted over.

We figured we would make the outside waterproof before tackling the interior projects. But of course things never run off a slate roof, as they say in Dutch, so we are working backwards, doing all the stuff we don't need to do while waiting for the windows which at this rate will probably be installed during a three-day snowstorm in January. In July, just before our first houseguests left, the contractors started work tearing out the panelling, taking down the mirrored closet in the bedroom and shortening the hall closet to make a bookcase. Then they painted over the oil-blue interiors of the remaining closets with a fresh coat of clean white matte and left for their vacation.

Koen and Verity stripped wallpaper and pulled up two carpets before they left and we ordered 1500 sq' of pre-finished wood flooring. Sick of the cheese effect, I painted the walls of the master bedroom and dressing room a calm blue shade and the ceiling, trim and doors a brilliant white.

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