Color, Texture, Pattern, and Shine – Vol. 2

Today is moving day (yay!), so this will be a quickie post.  The house isn’t even close to being finished, but our apartment lease is up so our stuff needs to go no matter what!

Skunk wants to know when he can see his new house.


One BIG thing that was completed yesterday was our floors.  As you saw in one of our first posts, the old wrinkled carpet with crumbled padding was the first thing to go once we had the keys in our hands.  For the past 6 weeks, we’ve had nothing but a dark concrete slab to walk on every day:


We’ve had a lot of advice from people on what to put down.  Hardwood, poured terrazzo, you name it.  Our final decision, and this is not going to be popular with a lot of people, is…  carpet.  Yes, we decided to keep with the original intent for the house and go with wall-to-wall carpeting.  When we looked around the house, there were so many hard surfaces — stone, wood paneling…  carpet would add a softness to the place and carry a color and texture element throughout the open living area.  Luckily, we found a carpet that was perfect for what we needed: it’s the same color as the original berber in the house (Jack found a box of original carpet remnants in the attic),


but a low pile (so we can add throw rugs on top if we want) and a funky pattern (to be a bit modern).

So, here’s a sneak peek!  Here are the floors with our brand-new carpeting.


…and a close-up of the carpet, so you can see the pattern.


The funky squares and lines echo the design in our linoleum kitchen floor, and other design elements throughout the house.


We almost didn’t get it, which caused a crazy scramble a few weeks ago.  The original color we’d picked out was on backorder, and the date kept getting pushed until it was out of our timeframe.  Thankfully our amazing carpet company put another color on hold that was almost identical, and were able to squeeze us in to install it the day before we moved in!  Whew!

Enough for now…  time to get rolling so we can move our stuff onto that new carpeting!

It was another busy weekend at Biohazard Manor.

We’re down to the wire to get all of our major repairs and cleaning finished, so Jack and I put in some long, hard hours over the past couple of days.  On Saturday we started our day by fueling up with a big breakfast at our favorite local place, The Jem.  If you live in the Philly ‘burbs and haven’t been there yet, you need to check them out for breakfast!  It’s fantastic — packed with 50s memorabilia, owned by a local man named Tony for the past 40 years, and full of regulars who have been coming here since it opened.  Tony is an incredibly nice guy, and he makes the rounds greeting customers at their tables whenever he can.  And the food is classic diner fare, and lots of it for super cheap.

Jack power-drinking his coffee to get ready for the day


And preparing to house down his massive breakfast scrambler


But the best part of the Jem is their scrapple sticks!  I know scrapple is one of those things you either really love or really hate…  but the Jem does it right.  They cut the scrapple into skinny sticks and deep-fry them like french fries, so you get more crispiness in every bite.  OM NOM NOM.


Anyway.  Jack spent the weekend fixing yet another rotting wall that he discovered (if anyone knows a good real estate attorney, we’d love their contact info so we can get some advice on how to handle all of these undisclosed “treasures”).  I can’t even post about that because I’m so frustrated, so I’ll post about a couple of our accomplishments.  Accomplishment #1 was in the kitchen…  now that we have everything scrubbed, we’re ready to start unpacking our dishes and cooking stuff.  But we really wanted to line the shelves and drawers, because despite the cleaning we just didn’t want our eating and cooking stuff on those surfaces for now.  The problem: I just couldn’t find shelf paper that I liked.  It seems like the shelf paper you get in stores falls into one of two camps: non-stick (which we’ve used before, and it moves around too much), or adhesive but boring (solid white or wood grain).  I was really dying for a fun cheery pattern.  After searching a bunch of stores and coming up empty, I thought I was going to have to do an online search and wait a week or two for everything to arrive.  But THEN — I had a discovery in Target, and created a shelf paper hack!

While I was in the home decor section, I came across this: rolls of removable wallpaper!


I figured I’d give it a try; the patterns were fun and colorful, and they were adhesive but not permanent.  The biggest issue was cutting it all down to size, because the rolls are sized for walls instead of drawers.  It took me 6 hours to do the entire kitchen, around 40 drawers and shelves.


But I think it was worth it!  Much cheerier (and cleaner) than the original surfaces!

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Accomplishment #2 – more cleaning.  This weekend we tackled the window screens, as well as the waffle-pattern covers on the ceiling light fixtures in the bathrooms.  If you’ve read our other cleaning posts, you totally know where this is heading.  I’ll just post 2 things here for you to enjoy:

First, let’s play “guess which screen hasn’t been cleaned yet”.


Next, here’s where we discover that the bathroom light fixture covers aren’t actually yellowed with age, just with nicotine.  This is another one of those “we have to take video for proof” moments.  😛

We used up 8 bottles of full-strength LA’s Totally Awesome cleaner this weekend.  (There were a lot of screens and light covers.)  And yes, Jack is using a power-spray bottle in that video…  our hands started cramping from squeezing the trigger on the cleaner bottles, so we had to get a little help.

So much to post in the coming week!  Lots of decorative stuff is going to start happening — carpet, wallpaper, etc.  It’s all starting to come together!