House Redesign, Phase 1.5

It's not news to anyone that I've been off the net and away from writing for a while now (and the reasons are twofold - one, you already know this, and two, no one cares). So I thought I'd show you the reason why: Phase 1 of the redesign of our home is done.

Well, the sunporch and deck that I had to rebuild were really Phase 1 of the redesign we've intended to do since we bought the house in 2001 (which is a very, very long story - so long, in fact, i've always intended to make it its own book, but who knows... Maybe it'll be an MI story)... But they're kinda outside the house, so I guess they only count as half a phase. So, here's phase 1.5: The downstairs (except for the kitchen wallpaper, which we have to get professionally done for reasons that amount to "I will NEVER again strip wallpaper, ever). For the record: All of the work was done by me and Andrea (with some additional help by Mike and my friend Michal on the floors):

The dining room, before:

This wallpaper is essentially the catalyst that made us want to redesign the house when we bought it... It's HIDEOUS.

And this is photographic evidence of why I will never, ever again strip wallpaper. I will have it hired done, because FUCK THAT.

The dining room, after:

Please forgive the folding chairs - they're holdovers from Thanksgiving. And the clutter on the dining room table is just temporary. Look around all that stuff to see that the floors are now hardwood instead of carpet, the wallpaper's gone, and... well, just look at it. It's way better.

The Entry Foyer, before:

This gives you a good look at where i had to knock down the banister and railing - they got in the way something awful, so I just took a sledge to them. You can see the old carpet and the old colorscheme (it was catpuke greyish-purple....)

The Entry Foyer, after:

This is a huge improvement - I had to re-form the wall where i ripped out the banister (the left portion as the stairs go up), and resand and finish the stairs. You can see the floors are different, and the color-scheme is less nausea-inducing.

The "empty, useless room in the front of the house" before:

Crappy carpet. Shitty drapes. Puke-yellow walls. Overall, a useless room... I had my "office" in there for about 6 months in 2004, when the upstairs air conditioning died and we never took the time to get someone to come fix it. That's why there's a huge desk and a computer in there. Oh, and my wife is very happy that I put this up for you to see.

The "once empty, useless room in the front of the house that is now our library", After:

Wow... This room has PURPOSE. Books, books and more books! Sitting comfortably! Displaying my famous jersey, hockey stick, and other cool crap!

And this is what it looks like from the entry foyer.

So... What do you think?

Here's some more pics, in no particular order:

These chairs are super comfortable.

I have an unnatural love for these floor registers.

Just another view of the room.... Love the chairs.

The U2 autographed guitar and the Garbage-autographed computer

u2 Guitar, detail

Garbage computer, detail

My first pride and joy - a jersey autographed by the entire 1998-1999 New York Rangers team the night Wayne Gretzky retired. Complete with a puck from that game autographed by Wayne and a nice montage of every jersey he's ever worn. This jersey has the autographs of Wayne Gretzky, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Petr Nedved... I adore it.

My second pride and joy - THE stick that Mark Messier scored the gamewinning goal of Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks to win the 1994 Stanley Cup. See the stick in his hand in this photo? That's the stick in THIS photo.

The living room still needs work - that's the next room to be done, but I wanted to show the new floors in there... Cause dammit, I'm proud of the floors.