Sunday, March 13, 2011

lamps and scary things

Thanks for the tips about painting the walls, and I am loving the suggestions about the lamps. I took some close-ups of them today for y'all.

I don't think these are all that old, and even if they are, I do not believe they would be old enough to be original to the house. There ARE some reallllly cool overhead light fixtures in the hallways and entryways that I think are original to the house, and they have really nice etched glass and neato brass fixtures. I love them. I'll take some pictures of those next time I have decent light over there.

But these? These are weird. And kind of ugly. But apparently not ugly enough, because I still feel compelled to do something with them. There are four of them, and one of them is in a bedroom for some reason. I had this vision that if I cleaned them up and hung them all together in a row that they might look cool. Set them up marching down the length of a diningroom table or something. Or over a bar maybe.

And then sometimes I feel like I just want to take them all apart and string up the crystal bits in some unusual way. Art project!!

I probably wont be doing anything with them right away, to be honest. Not because I don't want to, because I can't! I haven't picked out what they will be replaced with yet, and if I take them down, we'll be in the dark!

I think it's hilarious that PickyKnitter thought we painted already. Bwahahaha!
I keep tellin' y'all that I have only been showing you the photos that don't scare me away from my own house. Seriously. Let me prove it to you:

Someday to be our bedroom. Make note the hole in the wall under in the closet where some sort of "plumbing work" was done at one time. There are other holes in this room, including dry rot in the ceiling from a leak from the tub upstairs from this room (that the last owner tried to fix by placing a wee little cat food dish in the crawlspace to catch the water). Also note that the walls in our house are plaster, not drywall. There's another one of them UglyButCantTossIt lamps in there. Oh, and before you scroll down, do note the lovely stained floors that need to be refinished.

Not enough? How about this one:

This is one of the two upstairs bedrooms. Need I point out the modern "artwork"?? (actually, that artist graced us in both of the upstairs bedrooms, now that I think of it).

Before you go telling me that all we need is a firm resolve, elbow grease, and lots of paint, how about I show you what is going on in the garage (which the in-law unit we intend to rent sits on top of):

Click to embiggen and/or zoom around if you can, kids....because that is old knob & tube wiring which has been rigged many times over with a whooooole bunch of jenky "fixes". There was even a fuse box on the property that had pennies shoved into it instead of fuses.

On my face right now: *big fat crazy insane grin*

So you see? We have a loooong way to go. And I'll keep showing you the lovely photos, and then a few doody ones in between. Interspersing them may be the only way I keep from going insane.

My strategy for the next year? I intend to go through lots of wine and chocolate.


painting with fire said...

Boy does this bring back memories - when we moved into our house it had knob and tube wiring with fuse boards (not boxes) in 4 different locations. Some things were fused twice, some not at all. And yes, plaster and stained wood etc. But good bones, nice woodwork and all the other things that your new house clearly has going for it. Mind you, we're 22 years in and still doing functional stuff. Your house has character and space - going to be fun watching the transformation!

Ruth Spears said...

I love seeing the pictures of your new house. I want an old house so bad! It seems overwhelming now but it will be wonderful when you get it done.

Karen said...

You need to get yourself down to the video store and rent "Gray Gardens" to get some perspective on this whole house thing. At least there's not a raccoon peaking out of that hole in the closet.

Regarding the lamps, I think they're pretty cool. I'm thinking maybe take all those crystals off and give them a really good cleaning (white vinegar will be your friend on this one). And maybe think about spray painting the frames for the crystals and putting the switches on dimmers so that you can control the kind of light they are putting out. Particularly in the room with all the windows, they could actually be really stunning.

Maggie said...

When we did a victorian renovation back in the 80s ... your photo's bring back such memories. Mystery plumbing 'repairs', knob-and-tube wiring (which is actually just fine and very functional as long as nobody messes with it ... and it doesn't run through wet insulation).

But you will love the way the real-plaster rooms stay so much cooler than drywall.

Your second-story artist certainly left some challenges. Do you know about a product called Killz? It covers graffiti very nicely. Use it under primer.

not supergirl said...

Love the idea of putting the lamps in a row. The best defense is a good offense, right? I actually really like the lamps, but I'm weird that way. :)
I think it's easier to see the potential in a house through all the work when it's someone else's house, or *before* you buy the house and commit to the work. Maybe that's why we're so jazzed up and you're overwhelmed? All that potential is definitely still there, and you'll get to live in it when it's done!

Anonymous said...

How funny! Your house looks like mine. When I bought it, there was a "Frankenstein Switch" on the outside of the house (no fuse box here!), and EVERYTHING was knob and tube. Your garage looks familiar too, only ours is stuffed with junk in plastic boxes (to keep it dry, because the roof is only for decoration). I wish you the best of luck with your adventure. I'm still enjoying ours, although my husband is finding it a little tedious.