A Great Big Mess in the Kitchen Garden
Sunflower Fields in Texas

How to Junk Up Your House (Without Even Trying!)

I was looking back on my original home restoration blog today. I hadn't paid much attention to it since I moved from Wordpress to Typepad. Here's a shot of my living room before I started working on it.


Actually, this is just a close-up of the fireplace, but you can see the nasty blue shag carpet. The rest of the room was just as bad. Somebody had used some kind of two in one stain and sealer on ALL of the woodwork. It was a dull brown color and the surface had reticulated.

So this is what I did:

Pounded all of the Portland cement off the fireplace. Somebody who owned this house went through a "Santa Fe" phase. They put it on the brick columns outside, too. After I got all the cement off the brick it had a dull, dusty color. I solved this by applying the same woodstain I used on the floor. It really soaked in and cleaned up the brick.

I removed the gross blue carpet, sanded and refinished the floors myself.

Painted the walls. The color in the picture isn't accurate. It's called Aruba Blue but it actually has a greener look than the photo.

I stripped the woodwork and achieved a beautiful finish by applying a layer of Tung oil, buffing, then applying another layer.

Ok, that was a LOT of work, and this is what it looked like:


So why does it look like this today?


I imagine this is a common problem. I thought I'd find an old house, fix it up, and Bam!, make the front page of Houzz. I'm running into this all over the place. See my post, A Great Big Mess in the Kitchen Garden. Yes, that is unfolded laundry on the coffee table. The coffee table was meant for another room. My ratty crochet chair, which I refuse to part with, has made it's way into the room along with my giant Ott lamp. The molding was never installed. The ceiling fan was never re-assembled. The light switch covers were never put on, and the leather chair has seen better days. So I'm now entering the second phase of restoration, which I call "Integration and de-Junkification". Maybe I'll make the cover of Houzz yet.