Home project keeps couple bouncing off the walls

Voices of the Clarion

Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2007

My husband Mark and I recently celebrated another milestone in our marriage: We’ve live in our house 2 1/2 years!

OK, so it’s not exactly a diamond anniversary — or tin or paper — but the way things are going in our home these days, it may be Sheetrock.

Last spring Mark and I decided to take on a big project. From the day we moved into our home, we started to change it. What was once a moderate ranch-style abode suddenly needed to have an arctic entry, especially since there was no garage.

We, and by that I mean Mark, also had to have a shop. After all, that was the main goal in finding this house. If it didn’t come with a shop, one had to be built from the get-go.

I must say, though, that I was quite impressed by Mark’s skills. It started as a place to do his welding, but he had other intentions: working on an off-road vehicle.

And so the shop was built. You can’t miss it, it’s as big as the house, only twice as tall. But hey, I was happy, I got my arctic entry! Well, OK, it’s not done yet, but it will be just as soon as we finish our current project.

Last spring we, and by this I mean Mark, decided we should take the wall down between two of the bedrooms and make a master suite.

The change was immediate. There was now enough room for the bed and the dresser in one room, plus night stands, my hope chest, and ... . Let’s just say it made a huge difference.

Fast forward to fall.

In October, Mark and I took a couple of weeks off to work on the bedroom. I was thrilled. Our demolished room was finally going to come to life.

We moved everything out. The clothes were hung in the arctic entry, the dresser and night stands moved to the living room, and the bed was set up in the dining room for the time being. That really freaked out the dogs.

“OK, let’s go to bed guys. (Pause.) OK, we’re here.”

There were a lot of changes that needed to be made in the master suite, and Mark tried to tell me it was going to take a while before we got to the part where we could actually paint. Before the paint brushes came out, I had to learn about remodeling, like how to put up Sheetrock, mud, tape, sand and prime. And I learned plenty watching Mark work.

He also showed me how to reroute plumbing, move ventilation systems, rewire lighting fixtures and pull up carpet. “We” did so much in those two weeks, I hardly recognized the room.

I’m sorry, do I sound sarcastic? It’s just that after two weeks, the only difference was I had walls where a new closet eventually would be.

By November, the day finally arrived when it was time to put the paint on the walls. Mark wanted two colors with a chair rail. It sounded easy enough until it came time to pick the colors.

Fast forward to the end of November. We finally got the paint on the walls — a warm shade of green and “mulling spice.” With a white chair rail, it would create an inviting space. Or so we thought until it was on the walls.

“It looks like baby poop,” I told Mark after he spent the day putting it on.

“I don’t like it either,” he said.

After hem-hawing for weeks, I picked out a new color and painted one wall. I liked it, but Mark was skeptical. Impatient, I pushed on and painted the rest of them “Red, Red Wine.”

“It looks very Christmasy,” he said.

“I don’t care. It’s staying.”

Well, here we are closing in on February and “we” finally got the flooring in. I don’t even want to tell you how long it took to pick that out. I will say the decision was a good one: it looks fabulous. The only problem is we’re not sure it goes with the walls now.

That’s OK. I’d hate to freak the dogs out by moving the bed back to the bedroom.

Our new goal is to have the room done by spring. I’ll let you know how “we” do.

Dori Lynn Anderson is the managing editor at the Clarion.

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