Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DIY - How To Confuse Your Adult Children

This post was inspired by my friend Robin who blogs over at Diary of a Yummy Mummy. She and her family have been enduring some home repairs and subsequent updating of their home in the Boston area. I don't envy her, especially considering that she has two little boys under the age of six. I feel her pain. Okay, I am a little jealous that she lives in Boston, but not of the home repair part.

We built our house in 1984. It was the 80s. That's the only explanation for the original decor choices. For some reason we chose white vinyl flooring in the kitchen, dining room, and both bathrooms. All the rest of the house had brown sculptured carpet. Both bathrooms and the kitchen were wallpapered. All the remaining walls were white.

The original decor served us well through raising our children. We painted a time or two over the years. Then, when the kids were in middle school, we let them choose color for their bedrooms. At some point over the years, the wallpaper was removed and everything else was repainted the original white. It was the path of least resistance.

When Katy left for college in the fall of 1997, it was time to make some changes. After 13 years, the old, nasty, brown carpet and the white vinyl had to be the first to go. (As an aside here, if you have carpet, don't be surprised at how dirty the floor underneath it is. We were absolutely appalled at the dirt underneath. It was disgusting.) They were replaced with a planked vinyl that runs through the entire house. It looks like hardwood and, sixteen years later, it still looks great.

When it came to replacing the floors, we were somewhat delusional. We thought the contractor would take it one room at a time and we would be able to move furniture out of one room at a time. Not so. The contractor insisted that everything be moved out of the house. He said it would take three days to do the job. He was more than delusional. It took him an entire week to do the work. Then we had to let the floor set for a couple of days before moving our furniture back in.

We were fortunate on two accounts. First, my in-laws were empty nesters with a big five bedroom house about fifteen miles away. We were able to stay with them. Second, Nick was in high school and had lots of good buddies with strong muscles who were perfectly willing to move the entire house full of furniture into the garage, onto the patio, and back into the house again. It was inconvenient, but mostly painless.

A couple of years later, after Nick left for college we repainted the other rooms ourselves. We did the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms ourselves. That was all pretty uneventful. We were able to take our time and we went one room at a time. Then I decided it was time to redo our bedroom. We decided on a beautiful tobacco brown for the walls with a pastel blue ceiling. As part of repainting the bedroom, we had to remove a god-awful popcorn ceiling. It's not hard to do; but it's a HUGE mess. By this time, we were empty nesters. We had the entire house to ourselves. We could take our time and we had the whole house to spread out in while we painted. We began by moving all the furniture out of the bedroom.

This is the 28 year-old popcorn ceiling in my laundry room which has not yet been removed. We once had these ceilings throughout the house. Not a good idea in our humid climate.

In the style of the 1980's, our house has a "great room." It's a 20' x 20' living room with the dining room and kitchen at one end. The kitchen and dining room add another 8' x 20' area making for a pretty big room. That meant that there was enough room to put our bed in the living room. Since Nick and all his friends were gone to college, we had to do the moving ourselves this time. In order to minimize the amount of moving, we just moved our bed right outside the bedroom door into the living room. Then we proceeded to sleep there for a couple of weeks while we took our time redoing the bedroom.

Our master bedroom after painting.

We had been sleeping in the living room for several nights without thinking anything about it. Then, on Friday night, we were sound asleep when we heard a key turn in the lock on the front door. Nick had come home unannounced for the weekend. He switched on the light to find us in our bed in the living room. With a shocked look on his face he exclaimed "What the hell!"

With a straight face, I told him that since we were now home alone, we had decided to make the living room into our bedroom and move the living room into the bedroom. He looked very confused for a couple of seconds. Then he strode across the living room, flipped on the bedroom light, and realized what was really going on. I'm pretty sure he actually thought I was serious for just a few seconds. It was priceless!


  1. Love the new colors! And, all the books by the side of the bed:)

    1. You should see the stack that's just out of the frame, inside the closet.

  2. Ah, those popcorn ceilings...we had them when our kids were young too. Of course, by the time they left home, the ceilings were flat from all the ballplaying and toy-throwing! LOL Your new bedroom looks fabulous! Also, sounds like you and your family had a wonderful Easter. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

  3. Your camping adventure sounds like the same kind of fun kids have when they make a fort out of the dining room table and a blanket. It might be kind of fun to mix-and-match all the rooms on April 1st and then invite your kids over for dinner! But wait - then you'd have to move stuff all over the place by yourselves - never mind!
    Your bedroom is really pretty!

  4. New follower here....LOVED this post! Thanks for sharing! Dona

  5. The bedroom looks great! I love the colors. I would sure like to replace our carpet with planked vinyl and I've wondered how it would hold up. I know carpet wouldn't last that long and still look great. Leave it to J to think of an April Fool's prank for you!