POOR PRUDENCE. From her gilt-framed perch, she has witnessed a decade’s-worth of wear and tear in our parlor. “Tend the battered baseboards, the soiled ceiling, the woeful window trim and the dinged-up doors, ” she commanded last Friday, “Or I shall seek less-squalid quarters elsewhere!”
When Prudence isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.
Actually, I’ve known for several years that our ancient parlor (this house was built in 1826) was in need of sprucing-up. But two expensive decorative items stood in the way of progress: the wallpaper and the window hangings. The thought of spilling or spattering paint on either of these was enough to make me shudder.
Enter our contractor, Phillip, and his brother, Chris. You met Chris last April, when he helped stabilize the Music Room wing of the house.
True confession: I loathe both radiators and risers. When placed in a house that was not designed to have them — ours was meant to be heated with fireplaces –they destroy the beauty of a room. Sure, late 19th century inhabitants thought the pipes were the height of sophistication. To me they are obscene.
Not that I wouldn’t love the radiators and risers in your house or apartment.
Note: If you live in a modern house, you’d better hope that hoop skirts never make a comeback. Otherwise, you’ll have to enlarge your halls and doorways. For Scarlett O’Hara.
To scrape loose paint from the windows, Chris used the nifty tool you see pictured above. I think it’s called a “three-in-one.” The item is shaped for awkward corners and such. What a terrific invention.
Did all this “prep-work” pay off? I think so. Have a look:
The gleaming pocket doors (these lead to the entrance hall)…
And the ceiling, which Chris has yet to finish. I had to first find a color that matches the older, existing paint. This turned out to be Benjamin Moore’s “Onyx White,” a flat paint with a touch of tan. I like it better than common “Ceiling White.”
But our industrious pro searched for a thick plank of wood, and found one in the (creepy) cellar. With this, he made a scaffold, by inserting one end of the plank into the sculpture niche in the staircase wall.
Back to the parlor. I’ll show you more of the “finished” room when the ceiling is done, and the window hangings have returned.
Meanwhile, I’m happy to see progress in this house.
Any painting or other decorative projects scheduled for your home? Talk to me in the comments field below. I’ll share your words with the framed matron. (A matron, I might add, who could drink me and maybe you under the table. A prude she is not.)
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