The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006
The house is quiet, and I am alone for the first time since we moved in. T has had to return to Doctoral University City to finish out his final week of work, ST is napping. My parents left on Friday morning. The flurry of activity that was last week and this weekend is now largely over and the house is still.

There is still much to be done here. My office is almost fully unpacked, but I've just stacked things on bookshelves in the closet; that will have to be organized in the next few days or I will go crazy (ever since my days of working in a bookstore, disorganized and unalphabetized books grate on my nerves). I painted our master bedroom yesterday afternoon and hope to paint the master bathroom this week, along with the Ugliest Bathroom in History (I'll post before and after pictures, especially of the UBinH, after T returns with some new towel bars he can only buy in Doctoral University City). In the evenings, I need to continue working on my syllabi. No real progress on those will be made until I organize the office, however.

I am, as I noted in a comment to Prof. Mama's post, an organization- and neat-freak. I have been this way ever since I can remember. My sister Julie and I used to share a bedroom, and we'd literally have a tape line down the center of the room to separate my order from her chaos. Some people can function in disorder; I cannot. That's why we've had to make quick progress on this house, since I am so much a product of my environment. Messy house, messy brain: that's me.

I inherited this from my parents. I grew up in a tidy and organized house, a small house that looks like it came straight from the pages of Pottery Barn's catalogue, a house that Mom and Dad completely transformed with their own two hands. All my life they were fixing, renovating, changing -- it is a part of who I am. T, on the other hand, did not grow up this way. His parents were very tidy, but rather uninspired: white walls, nothing on them, plain, utilitarian furniture, etc. Once he met my parents, however, his creative wheels started turning and now T is a DIY-junkie (be still my heart!) and gets excited when we walk into Sherwin-Williams. This house is our diamond in the rough, a chance to make our environment reflect who we are as a family and as individuals. We are digging in because this is precisely what we've always wanted.

Some more pictures to share with you:

Our dining room (before):

Our dining room (after):

I was very happy when the people who bought our house allowed us to take the dining room chandelier with us; it was my favorite fixture in the entire house, and now whenever I look at it I think of the good life we had in our old house, and all of the friends we've left behind. You can't really tell in this picture, but the walls are painted with "Sand Dollar," the same color used in the living room. This color also continues into the kitchen and the hallways on the main floor. (We've kept a lot of the same colors we used in our old house, which has made painting go much quicker: finding the right color often takes longer than actually painting the room!)

The Kitchen Pantry Area (before):

The Kitchen/Pantry Area (after):

The cabinets used to have little white porcelain knobs and pulls on them, but we replaced them with brushed nickel to modernize the kitchen. We ended up with stainless steel appliances (Kenmore Elite, thankfully purchased when Sears was running a 20% off deal!). I always swore that I would never have stainless in my kitchen, but they really looked the best with my dark cabinetry (white and bisque appliances made the kitchen look too country, and black was simply too dark, especially since the kitchen window is shaded all day with big trees). So far, they've remained finger-print free. We'll see how long that lasts!

You can see in the "before" picture one of the best features of this kitchen: pull out shelves. For someone who loves organization, these are heaven-sent. The interior shelves swing out to reveal more shelves behind them, just perfect for rows of diced tomatoes, boxes of pasta, jars of sauce and olives, etc.

While ST is still napping, time to start organizing this office before I go insane. If anyone wants to drop by this week, feel free as I'll need the company... but bring your paintbrush!
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 8/06/2006 03:55:00 PM  
6 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 6:59 PM, Blogger Peri said…

    That pantry is to die for! Your kitchen is going to be wonderful. I think my family could fit inside that fridge. ;)

    I used to work in a bookstore too so I can really relate to the book /office organization issue. You WILL feel better when that's done. Send more photos!

    I'm thinking of you and sending happy organization vibes your way.

  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous. And I am pea green, just pea green! :)

  • At 11:29 PM, Blogger Repressed Librarian said…

    Gorgeous! Your new home is really delightful.

  • At 9:55 AM, Blogger Lilian said…

    Oh, I love that chandelier too. and the cookbook collection on the wall is lovely!!

    Oh, oh, oh... that pantry!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It's truly a dream one. I'll never forget the first time I saw one like that in a furniture store in Brazil, I couldn't believe it. Maybe someday I'll have one... (deep sigh).

    Well, I think only "neat freaks" like you should be allowed to have stainless steel appliances. My SIL, who used to clean other people's houses, told me that they're impossible to clean and to keep clean - so the best of luck with that. That fridge does look AWESOME with the cabinetry, since I'm also completely in favor of avoiding the country look :) (good thing you changed the knobs!)

    Well, I can't wait for more pictures. It seems you guys have your work cut out for you in this house - enjoy!! (and we'll vicariously enjoy it with you too!)

  • At 12:25 PM, Blogger Weezy said…

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOO I spy Alton Brown!

  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…

    As I scrolled down the page, I noticed the new dining room chandelier and thought how much I absolutely loved it. And then I saw that it came from your old house. You've got fantastic taste!

    And I really really really really want your pantry. I can never find anything in ours.

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