Happy Birthday, House!


Today is the sixth anniversary of the day we bought our house, observed. “Observed” is because I didn’t remember the exact date and looked it up on Zillow, which says 2/25/05, so I wrote “House B-day” on the 25th day of February on our menu calendar and figured we’d, like, throw a party or something. But then I realized that Zillow has the same attention to detail I do and just asked Ben to look it up (he keeps things like important papers in actual files, which means he’s much more organized than I am) and it turns out we actually bought the house on 2/18/05. So this is our house birthday? houseiversary? homeiversary? observed.

On a glorious occasion like the sixth anniversary of buying this house plus one week, I’d like to be able to show you all the super-awesome things we’ve done to the house. The cold, hard reality is that we haven’t done all that much. We’ve painted, a lot. Before we moved in, Ben painted the living room and dining room (which had been terrible shades of yellow and blue) a completely hideous color I picked out because I thought it would be a good idea for our first house together to resemble a deep cave or army barracks. Don't worry

I know, right? It looked exceptionally fantastic with the sage green sectional. The trim was gold (I’m not kidding) and the back wall was red, which wasn’t necessarily bad until you put the whole mess together and realize the main living area of your house looks like a mutant traffic light. We lived with that shit for years, until I finally talked Ben into painting the whole mess again (I actually helped with this). The walls required primer and approximately 82 layers of paint to cover the green, but it’s a huge improvement.

old color + new colors

old color + new colors

trim

better

To say that our house is a little quirky would be an understatement. I find most of the house’s creaks and idiosyncrasies charming and delightful, but one drives me absolutely nuts. There is not one smooth wall in the place. The walls are all textured, all in their own unique, terrifying ways. The worst walls are in the living and dining rooms. The texture is atrocious and there is tons of wall space so there’s plenty of opportunity to notice the texture. In addition to the awful texture, there are bumps and bruises and lumps like you can see in the first picture above, where somebody removed a wall and never smoothed away the wall-removal scar left behind.

When we moved in, Ben tried to fix the back wall of the dining room (the one that was red and now is Behr’s garden wall, which is probably my favorite paint color, ever) with sheetrock. That wall is not smooth but it is the least offensive wall in the house. According to Ben, putting sheetrock over the wall and trying to smooth it out was a terrible pain in the ass the likes of which he would prefer to never experience again. So when I say, hey, yo, I really want to fix the rest of the living room/dining room walls and I’ll totally do the work myself, he knows better. I’m the kind of person who gets all gung-ho crazy and says “Let’s do this big awesome project it’ll be so great!” I’ll research and plan and come up with all the big ideas but then I’ll do like 5 minutes of work, get pissed off when it’s harder than I thought, go sit in the corner, and drink a beer while Ben does the rest of the hard labor. (This is something I’m working on.) But I really want to fix the walls and I think sheetrock is our best option (anything else would be too messy/dusty/terrible to do while living in the house, especially with a baby).

The walls bother me when I’m sitting here, but a big part of my problem is photos. I feel like the texture of our walls is like a surly classmate who’s always making bunny ears behind your head when someone is taking your picture. I hate that. I’m sure our house always feels ugly when it sees itself in photos, like it should lose 20 pounds or do something about its acne.

Anyway, I was going to tell you more about our house and how much I like it, aside from the walls, but I’ve already rambled enough. If you want to see more of the house, you can check out my “little house in the ‘hood” set on Flickr. I just added several photos of the kitchen and bathroom, with lots of notes. Just ignore the walls!