Sunday, August 9, 2015

Decomama Downunder...Renovating - Week One.


Well, well. well. My oh my, how things can change. That should come as no surprise to me since over the last few years I have been the queen of change, but this one is a complete turnaround since my last blog.

If you read it, you will know that we were faced with being evicted from the house we have been renting. The owners had apparently come into some difficult financial times and needed to move back in, do a few improvements and sell the house to cover some debts. We had talked many times over our 18 month test drive of this humble home of the changes we would make if it were ours. The house itself is very ordinary, but the quiet and nature that surrounds it has been a joy - especially to me, since I am here all day while my S.O. is off winning the bread.

It was almost painful for me to leave well enough alone. There were very strict rules around the rental that really prevented me from doing anything. I could not even replace the door handles on the cabinets or paint or replace light fixtures (OK, I admit, I did change two light fixtures). After all, it's what I do. Living with dated lighting and a host of other things that were well past their best before dates was a challenge for me. Well, I no longer have to hold back. Long story short...we bought the house. 

We avoid moving and I get to have at er! It has been just shy of a week since our offer was accepted and I have been like a whirling dervish ever since. I can hardly focus on one thing at a time. I feel like a greyhound just out of the gate, but instead of one rabbit to chase, there are about a dozen. We both agreed one of the first things to go would be the hideous toilet roll holder that we have had to look at several times a day for 18 months now. The only reason it was still there at all was because we knew if we took it off the wall, it would leave a big mess on the drywall. It had been there for a very long time, probably original to this 70's house. It was actually two ugly holders in one. (cue the Certs Commercial) The original holder had broken some time over the years and instead of replacing it, they just glued another ugly holder over top of the base of the first one. Both were white at one time but now they were that ghastly yellow that occurs with cheap plastic over time, not unlike the stained fingers of a grizzled old smoker. 

That decided, it would be the first room to tackle. The water closet. As we suspected, the holder was reluctant to leave it's home of 40 odd years. I kind of get it, as I did not want to leave after 18 months, so maybe this old holder was on to something. I tried prying it away from the wall but years of paint held it tight. I abandoned my screw driver and got a sharp edged chisel and hammer and still it resisted. Seriously? Knowing there was no hope at this point of avoiding a sizable hole in the drywall, I took a couple of good swings directly at it with a hammer. Whack! Whack! She hung on. Whack again. The front piece flew off, leaving the old base still intact. Now I was getting pissed. I summoned my inner wild woman and smashed the bloody thing to smithereens with a few more swings. Bits of plastic flew violently about until it finally came away and landed on the floor, leaving a couple of wall anchors clinging to the edges of the holes in the drywall and exposing the gory underbelly of 40 years of mildew and old blue paint that lived beneath. Eeewwww. 

Surely this will be just the beginning of many "eeewwwws" to come. The water closet renovation is underway. A new toilet was selected and purchased and the room has been painted. We are still hemming and hawing over the details of the space. Believe it or not, the roll holder is still undecided. With little else going on in that room to really make it unique or interesting, the roll holder really needs to be the main attraction. It is the first thing you see when you stand at the doorway and it was pretty much decided until we chose a light fixture that forced a rethink. So there we were in the middle of the night Friday, wide awake brainstorming what we now refer to as Toilet Roll Holder as Art. We are almost at a conclusion as to what it will look like. Suffice to say, it will not be a quick trip to the shops to grab something simple. Because, let's face it, that would just be too damn easy. 

I have taken before photos and once this space is complete, you will see the after here. The logical next space will be the laundry room as it is adjacent to the water closet and I plan to carry the paint colours out there. 

Decomama has a job. It feels good to be working again. 

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