One Great Blooming Buzzing Confusion

Let me just say how much I hate living in a house that’s all torn up and full of boxes and dust. This explains the desperate carpentry marathon taking place at the Root Simple compound. I’ll spare you the dull details other than to say there’s been much replication of 1920s molding details that nobody will ever notice as well as weatherizing and floor installation.

We said goodbye to a battered douglas fir floor:

That got replaced by a new oak floor:

Painting prep revealed a layer of ugly 1920s wallpaper:

And I found a pair of safety glasses lost in the bathroom wall in 2002 (along with a dated Home Depot receipt):

When this is all over Kelly and I might just decide to rent out this old house and move into one of the sheds displayed in the Cypress Park Home Depot parking lot:

We’ll be the first parking lot garden hermits.

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  1. Sawdust is bad, but spackle dust is the absolute worst. It ends up in every crack and crevice and then takes months to completely get rid of.

    Years ago, my husband noticed that his hammer was missing, looked everywhere for it, and assumed that Number One Son had taken it and left it somewhere, maybe out in the woods. This was not an unreasonable suspicion; it would not have been the first tool that disappeared this way. Over a decade later John found the hammer – in the attic, right where he had left it when he had installed a plywood floor. I would not be surprised to find all sorts of interesting things if we ever pulled up that floor; it’s amazing how much can disappear into fiberglass insulation.

  2. Moulding is EVERYTHING. That is going to look so fab. I had all of the trim in my home redone over the winter – properly – not the orange wood from the big orange store that was there previously. My home looks much more grounded in time and place.

  3. I would definitely notice the molding. I have seen Gone with the Wind Many times. I now watch it just for the architecture. Every room should have crown molding in my opinion.

    Any particulate chokes me and causes lung problems, so I cannot live amidst construction.

    The articles on garden hermits was fascinating. Now, gnomes make sense, sort of.

  4. I’m liking the wallpaper too.
    This weekend I’m finishing up the frankenwindow replacement. Not-very-old-window’s tiny string that wrapped around multiple pulleys and terminated at a spring broke last fall, and I’m done with double paned windows.

    • This is a problem with restoring beautiful old houses. You rip out all the ridiculous 1960’s “improvements” and get back to the original structure. Unfortunately, this has often been so damaged by the “improvers” that it is not practical to restore it to its original condition. You have a choice between replacing it with high-quality, modern materials that are compatible with the original design or living with it in its damaged state, which you repair as best you can.

  5. I often hear homeowners describing their renovation woes. But as a renter of 20 years with no end in sight due to the outrageous cost of housing who would love to own a home, at times it does rub me the wrong way. I know that it is not the intention of these posts to drive doomed renters crazy (and I know home ownership is no piece of cake), but I just want to put these woes into perspective. I dream of stressing out over what type of wood floors or moulding to install in my 1920s bungalow. Instead I’m stressed out about whether my landlord will evict me, forcing me to leave the state since I can no longer afford the insane rents in California.

    • Same! Hearing middle class people complain about renovation is a #1 pet peeve of mine. Lifelong poverty will leave a person bitter like that.

    • Genevieve and Lanen, Thanks for your comment and perspective. I reread this post this morning and, I have to say, you’re right. I can see how you could find it tone deaf and insensitive particularly in light of the housing and homelessness crisis here in Los Angeles and many other places.

  6. Re: Your molding.

    I am quite sure that I would notice your molding, because it was one of the things that I drooled over when we were out looking for an old house. Modern, mass-produced moldings are strictly utilitarian; the molding in old homes is art and craftsmanship. I am especially envious of anyone who lives in a well-preserved Victorian house, because the molding details are to die for.

  7. I found some less-garish 1920s style wallpaper online:) However, wallpaper doesn’t work in my house, as the cats destroy it with their claws.

    In the 1920s portion of my house, the first layers of paint I have found are in pastel colors–pale green, yellow, and blue.

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