A New Homeowner’s Vacation

This week I am away from the library on vacation. As I have written in one of my recent blogs, we are new homeowners. It is my first full week off in the new house and I am looking forward to it.   

Over the past ten months we have discovered a plethora of quick fixes that the previous homeowner completed so that the house would “look good” for the realtor showings. For example,the toilet paper holder fell off the wall two days after we moved in. The darn thing was totally cosmetic and barely hanging by the screws.The other night I went into the bathroom to retrieve some dental floss out of the cabinet and the entire cabinet came crashing down.I am glad I was the one who had the unfortunate accident and not my kids! The fix- it list so far in the bathroom is:  fill the large holes in the wall, sand and paint the wall then hang a new cabinet. The book, Creative Homeowner’s Bathrooms, is just what I need to handle these repairs.I can plan, remodel and build all sorts of bathroom projects. The book’s introduction is filled with tips on the basics. It is a great beginner’s guide. Chapter 6  is just what I need to fix the bathroom: Vanities and Storage. Chapter 12 is packed with Paint and Fixtures Guidance. My dream chapter would be 15: Master Baths, the Luxurious Personal Haven.   

Onto the next room or shall I say rooms, our entire house was painted in cream. Everything is cream-colored, the trim, baseboards, window sills and the walls. I am ready for some color and some touch ups. My eyes cannot take the sea of cream anymore.  As you readers know, my husband is quite talented with paint. He has an amazing eye for color. I have brought home the  1001 Ideas for Color and Paint by Emma Callery.  Color and decorating is not my thing but I do know that I do not like all of this beige. The book has great color palette groups for you to choose. It displays nice layouts for the reader to see what colors will compliment each other or better yet, the book also describes the colors by multiple schemes. For example: harmonizing schemes or maybe you like contrasting schemes. I like the ideas the book lays out for painting by the decades. Geoff and I both like the 70’s, the avocados and golds. 

The Popular Mechanics Complete Home How-To is going to assist us with the minor fixes we have to do with the walls and moldings.  We also need to address some of the flooring issues in a few of the rooms. The Popular Mechanics Complete Home How-To is printed out so nicely with step by step instructions and photos. I am trying to ignore the chapter on infestation and mold. I really hope our inspector did not miss anything there! Perhaps I should read it just in case.  

The grossest thing we encountered by far was the carpeting in the kitchen and laundry room.I found myself thinking, what if I dropped an egg? Or what if the washing machine overflowed? We immediately pulled the rug up when we moved in and yes, the rug was pretty gross. The floors underneath the rugs are pretty bad.  Old laminate flooring was unearthed.The floors are covered with scratches and some holes but this to me is better than the carpet! Ahh to dream of tiled kitchen flooring, nice clean lines without holes or scratches. A floor that actually looks clean after you wash it!  Sunset Tiling  by Josh Garskof is going to fulfill me in the home improvement daydream department.  It is all about tiling from floors, back splashes and countertops. It also shows you how to tile the bathroom and shower. Tile comes in so many beautiful shapes, textures and sizes. This book is a lot of fun to browse.   

I have taken home two books that are nothing but pure dreaming right now because we have too many basic repairs to be done but a girl can dream, can’t she? The two books are  The Stone Primer by Charles McRaven and The Sourcebook of Decorative Stone by Monica T. Price. The Stone Primer is great book with beautiful and bold plans for your outdoor living areas. It contains nice pictorials for stone walkways, patios and walls. The projects for backyard accents and waterways are very interesting. The craftsmanship in the Stone Primer was inspiring. I think I will leave the yard designs up to Geoff though.   


The Sourcebook of Decorative Stone is an illustrated identification guide of stones. The guide gives the reader information on the geological description, major usage, source and status of stones, rocks and minerals used for decorating. In addition to being very informative,the book is filled with beautiful illustrations of amazing works built with these materials. It gives the reader a history of working with stones from the quarries to the structures built. My favorite was the panel of cipollino verde in Westminster Cathedral which is made from the stone obtained after William Brindley had reopened the ancient quarries on Euboea. It is cut in the “open book” style.(pg 143)   

I guess I better get to work!  Just finished up looking at Handy Ma’am by Beverly DeJulio,the do it yourself book for moms and families. I am armed with my tool belt ready to rock and roll.   

But really, I am in the mood to watch The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. This movie is absolutely hysterical. The best part of the movie is when Tom Hank’s character falls through the floor and gets stuck. His fall is the last straw of his sanity and he begins to laugh hysterically.  I don’t want to jinx myself but the movie is very funny as one thing after another happens to these new homeowners.    

This post is written by Audra– who probably will have her nose in a book all vacation instead of using my tools :0)…hey isn’t that what a husband is for?? 

*Picture of Westminster Cathedral was taken from www.westminstercathedral.org

4 thoughts on “A New Homeowner’s Vacation

  1. Dear Audra~ Know what you mean by all that cream paint. My husband and I said about our first house that we were “drowning in cream.”

    You might, however, want to think again about tile for your kitchen floor. The ten months we spent in a “Mackle” (name of builder) house on Key Biscayne in Florida, I developed shin splints from the unforgiving surface of the ubiquitous poured terazzo floors. (Also, cleaning the grout between tiles can be a challenge.)

    I suppose the previous owners of your house have long since skipped town. Oh dear! Good luck with your renovations!

  2. Ha ha! I hope you did enjoy a book & lots of relaxation! And your house is beautiful, I love it, and I’m sure it will be even better when you guys get done with all your renovations! 🙂

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