Sunday, October 12, 2008

AT "Cure"

My relationship with my home is a mixture of love and frustration.

I live in Portland Oregon, in a little (just under 1000sqft) 1950's cottage, that we bought two years ago. I love having the say-so on what happens with the house, but being responsible for, and paying for all the repairs is challenging. The house is in a great neighborhood, with the best neighbors I've had in years, and good access to transit and shops (grocery, library, post office) the backyard gets lots of light, and I've started gardening, and have two chickens for eggs ( but that is another story)...

The things I love about the house are it actually has enough room for everything that I want to do, once I get it organised. My favorite thing is the large workroom-studio space, which is gradually being transformed into what I want it to be.

The challenges about the house are primarily the things that former owners did. The peculiar and shoddy hidden repairs that caused water damage I am still dealing with... the only other thing is that my living room is very small. I've been trying for two years to figure out how to arrange it to have a seating area and a dining area. Maybe I'll post a floor plan later and see if any of the clever folks here have any useful ideas.

My biggest challenge is limited resources. I'm a self employed artist, and like most artists, money is tight. But I guess that is becoming reality for more and more folks these days... I've been able to find useful supplies for projects at the ReBuilding Center, wood for trim, and replacements for the absolutely hideous lighting that was here when we moved in.

What I hope to accomplish for this Cure is much more decluttering and hopefully some repairs and refurbishment. I re-read the book, (which I got for a former Cure that I ended up not having time to do). Some of the things I'm already doing, like using earth friendly cleaners, and cooking meals. Actually I'm torn between doing one room deeply and the whole house more lightly.

The biggest simple thing that was immediately obvious when I took the photos is that I really want to - need to - paint the walls. I really hate having white walls! The other thing that I want to do is to get my wall art all into frames. I noticed at a friends house that all their artwork was framed; it really added a more polished look to their space. I've been collecting black wooden frames, in different sizes, from Goodwill, and I think it is time to lose the "stuck to the wall with pushpins" look.
Day 1

I scrubbed the kitchen floor. Really scrubbed, and actually got down there with a little brush in spots. While I don't hate my kitchen flooring, it is deeply scratched in places (from former denizens), and being the kind of vinyl flooring with texture, all the little divots get grey quickly. Had I but money enough, I'd rip it out, level the floor, and put down true linoleum. Smooth, no gouges, no divots. But this is land-o-budgets, and I'll live with it. At least I like the color, white with grey and pale blue. Could be much much worse...

I also rearranged the living room.

I really want to have there be a place to sit when guests come over. I don't want to use the room as a crafting space, I actually have a crafting space, and once I get some kind of table for the back room, I'll have a sewing space also. This is amazing luxury, but like one of those poor zoo animals that doesn't know they have more room when moved to a bigger habitat, I persist in doing all my work in one room. (Note to self: must acquire sewing table.)

So I moved the little dining table into one corner of the room near the front window, and in the rest of the space moved the two new chairs next to one another as if they were a little loveseat, with my Goodwill coffeetable and Ikea easy chair making an actual little conversational group in my living room. The room looks really different, and feels more spacious, somehow.But damn, those white walls are awful.
This is the new arrangement, previously the dining table was here under the window, with the chairs fitted in at random around the room

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