It Is So…

Just quickly, most of you know I have been doing a home interior upgrade/lift over a number of months, which is often referred to as chained to the paint or my master upgrade plan.

It took two years to decide on a color palette. That’s what happens when you haven’t painted some rooms for 15 years and others are still screaming that ’90s vibe, complete with wallpaper. I know wallpaper is back, but at Casa Elen wallpaper is leaving the building.

Combine the above with downsizing for an eventual move and you’ve got a shit show. 13 bags of shred have already been set at the curb. I like to think I’m halfway through the shred project. We’re giving thoughtful consideration to what is important in the realm of stuff in our lives going forward and what could be donated, sold, pitched. Light on the pitching. We’re trying not to create a sea of garbage.

The main floor is almost finished. The master bedroom closet was stripped (very satisfying), and we installed more functional shelving and bars. Half the paper is stripped out of the master bedroom. The en suite and main baths are in progress. The stairwell and upstairs hall are finished.

Enough with the recap already.

When we took out the kitchen and powder room 15 years ago, ceramic tile was installed throughout the kitchen, long hall, entry, and powder room. Big tiles in a diamond pattern and neutral tone.  

Ceramic Tile is Going, Going, Gone!

That color is gone, too.

What I learned — I don’t like ceramic tile. It’s cold. If you drop a cast iron pan on it, it cracks.

Grout is Satan’s tool.

The grout was disintegrating. Tiles were shifting. Over the summer, we were hoping for a quick regrouting fix, but that turned out to be a non-starter with the professionals.

So. We called in the general contractor who has done every big project on our home and he, and the subcontractors who would actually be doing the job, hied over to confer. The job was set for the end of October, but I had to delay a week because I wasn’t finished painting the kitchen. The fridge and stove were only going to be moved once.

At the beginning of November, two fellas and their apprentices arrived and proceeded to remove toilets and sinks and kitchen cupboards, oh my! The living room and dining room became a temporary storage facility, and we had a little corner of living space.

After that, a zipper door went up to keep the dust confined as much as possible. Four days of removing ceramic tile and installing vinyl click tiles (think laminate floors). I was really sorry to see this team — a professional renovator and tiler and their two apprentices — go. The tiler’s father had been a tiler, and he learned at his knee.

Not only were they skilled and creative problem-solvers, but clearly enjoyed their work. The first day, we heard Beatles’ music all day long. A small quality speaker plugged into an iPhone is an amazing thing. The next three days we listened to the most beautiful opera. The tiler’s dad loved opera, and so we heard what his dad loved through Spotify and the tiler’s own voice. It was a trip.

A Thing of Beauty!

Not only easy on the eyes, it’s soft underfoot, warm when your feet are bare, and groutless.

As for the zipper door. One night we decided to have a pizza delivered. Takeout and delivery were our friends. When it arrived, I came through the zipper door, down the hall, and opened the front door. While I was paying the pizza guy, I noticed he kept peering down the hall at the zipper door and the eyebrows were twitching. I can only imagine he thought we were doing illegal organ harvesting. He looked concerned.

The crew had a big laugh about that the next day.

It’s all true, I swears!

A little diversion from world news. Happy Friday, y’all.