living room/decorating/DIY

How I remodeled a house and a life

I didn’t post last week. I apologizeI’m sure you all remember that we are in the midst of a big remodeling project. About an hour into tearing up the living room carpet, my mother fell and ended up in the hospital. Two weeks prior my husband was in the emergency room. A couple of other things cropped up as well. It’s been pretty hectic for about seven weeks now.

The house is progressing slowly, as is my mother.

Our carpet-hidden hardwood floors have been restored to a wonderful “nutmeggy” color. The floor glows with its soft satin sheen.

I painted the fireplace screen black and contrasts nicely with my newly painted (in Cottage White by Behr) brick fireplace. We worked days, scraping, sanding and wire brushing the mantle in front of the fireplace and discovered old natural stone. It was like finding buried treasure.

I’ve painted about half of the floor trim in the living room. (]We have an obscene amount of trim in this house. Our home is over a hundred years old and that’s what builders used to do before lumber became so expensive.

We will refresh the walls by painting them with the same color they are now as they are quite neutral and seem to work with everything. I am painting one small wall  in an accent color. We aren’t buy any new furniture but I will be painting some small pieces. I’m going to experiment with making my own chalk paint. (Lots of recipes on Pinterest on my “painted furniture” board.) I’m thrilled with how it’s all turning out but I’m getting very tired.

My once horrible bathroom walls and ceiling now gleam with white wainscoting.  The entire bathroom is white except for the intricately patterned blue floor tile which we chose not to replace. I will be adding black accents and plan to paint the claw-feet of the bathtub.

Our bedroom has been papered (we couldn’t bear the thought of tearing down anymore walls) with an anaglyptic wallpaper that conveniently hides all the cracks and bulges. I’ve glazed over our antique iron bed with a wonderful new metallic glaze by Martha Stewart. Still can’t decide about the bedding colors.  Found ten yards of sheer white fabric (it’s about four yards wide) at Goodwill and they will become the drapes and possibly even the dust ruffle. Going for a soft romantic look. Probably will take my lazy approach and let them puddle on the floor so I don’t have to hem them.

All of this has been a lot of work but I love the creative process although if I could afford it I would hire out the work part of the process. My husband and I chose to do this so I can complain only so much. My mom didn’t choose to fall.  She didn’t choose high blood pressure that we can’t seem to get under control.  She didn’t choose losing her driving privileges-even if only temporary.

Life sometimes chooses for us.

So in the midst of all these changes, some planned, some not, I find myself evaluating other areas of my life. I didn’t plan it but it seems a natural by-product of redecorating one’s surroundings. It’s not that there’s anything wrong in my life but as is oft quoted by organization guru’s,”You need to clear out some things to make room for other things”.

Caring for my mother was something I didn’t want to do-as much for her sake as for my own. I would never have dreamed that this new (if only temporary) change would prompt me to re-think other things.

I’m no longer treading water; I’m swimming in possibilities.

Maybe there are some of you feeling as discouraged and frustrated as I was seven weeks ago when it seemed everything was out of my control. Actually, it was. (Red light! Red light! Religious talk coming up.) These weeks have given me the opportunity to trust God. I certainly didn’t act like it at times and that does bother me.

But as I look back I realize that it was God I was trusting.  But here’s the interesting part.

For all my clinging, I never felt any warm fuzzies coming from God. I never heard any answers from God. But I did feel my husband’s arms holding me every night. I talked over everything with him and listened to his advice. That was how God communicated with me. Sometimes we don’t feel God, we don’t hear him-there’s too much earthly interference.  So He communicates with us through other people.

I’m still depression-free.  I worried that all the stress would drown me but in the long run, it didn’t.  Whatever you’re going through, think about these two things.

First, our struggles might well be a gateway to some really important changes we need to make that have nothing to do with what we’re experiencing. Things aren’t always obvious.

Secondly, give thought to your conversations with family, friends and even strangers. There might be nuggets of wisdom you are overlooking. It’s during times of difficulty that God (however you choose to define Him) often speaks to us through others.

Well, I gotta’ get to bed and get some rest. Tomorrow is another painting day.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.