As our vestibule renovation project drags on into its ninth month, I feel my mood souring a bit. What we once deemed a "quick project" has, in true Old Town Home fashion, morphed into an overhaul that has cost more, taken longer, and brought with it more frustration than originally intended.
Maybe it's the catalyst for the project that makes me feel a little blue. After all, we began this project because our puppy Oliver was dying of cancer. In April of last year he was diagnosed with Lymphoma at only a year and a half old. By October we knew we would have too few days to spend with our beloved little companion, so we opted to begin this project in the middle of a major master bathroom renovation. We did this because Oliver was a "first floor only" dog, and given that he would gladly spend most of his time resting peacefully on the couch when he knew we were downstairs with him, we wanted to be close to him and not holed up in our bathroom.
Our goal, albeit a lofty one, was to complete this project so that he could sit in the vestibule looking out the new french doors, admiring four-legged lady friends pass by. Sort of like this.
We didn't know how much time we would have with him, but we had hoped it would be more than less. Sadly, Ollie lost his battle to cancer just two weeks after we started working on the vestibule, so he never had a chance to enjoy the space. Not only did we lose our best friend and crew member, but with his death we lost some of our project mojo.
Motivation was slow going into the winter, but we've made a conscious effort to get recharged on this project. Unfortunately it seems the reno gods have other ideas. We soon came across a few unexpected turns.
(I'm So) Over the Threshold
After selecting and installing the marble basket weave tile in the vestibule, we realized that finding a matching black marble or granite threshold wasn't quite as easy. After numerous calls to local granite and stone companies, we finally found a local shop that would custom make one for us. More time than expected? Check. More money than expected? Check.
Not Measuring Up
We made the unfortunate discovery that both the new front door and new french doors were, in fact, mislabeled at the salvage yard. And not in the good way. All three doors will need to be built up to fit the space. More time than expected? Check. More frustrating than expected? Check.
After months of searching for an antique mail slot for the new front door, we finally found one online that fit the bill, and our budget. When Alex went to order it though, it seems the small mom and pop operation had forgotten to update their website when they had sold it. More frustrating...well you get the idea.
Lastly, after scouring our local salvage yard in 100 degree heat for another door (to cut up to use as old wood to build up the three doors we have), and relying on the kindness of a friend and his truck, we made the unfortunate discovery that the door we had purchased was the actual two faced liar. Yep, it wasn't solid wood at all, but in fact veneer and smaller pieces of wood glued together. (Insert expletive here.)
Do-it-yourself renovating is rarely as easy as they make it look on television, and I'm officially cranky. In order to try to adjust my mood a bit while my dear, patient husband is left to deal with the door "growth" issues, I've turned my attention to an aspect of any job that puts a smile on my face: paint color selection. I'd like to think I'm going from feeling blue to painting blue.
Although I love the shiny jet black color currently on our front door (and plan to paint the outer french doors the same way), I'm feeling a little daring for the inner front door. I know I want to make a pretty bold statement, and mentally had it narrowed down to a bright celadon green or aqua/turquoise blue. After Alex cast his vote, we've opted to go in the blue direction to infuse a little bit of whimsical curb appeal to our home. We actually used some photos from our 2006 trip to London as inspiration for this decision.
After picking up hundreds of shades of aqua paint chips at our local paint store, as well as consulting my mom for her best color advice, I'm considering two shades from Benjamin Moore: Majestic Blue (middle) and Florida Keys Blue (at right). Last night, on a scrap piece of wood in the basement, I made a sample board so I can take a larger swatch out into the sun, and really look at the colors from the street. I also threw in a test of the paint we rejected years ago as the color of our guest bathroom (pictured at left) since we already had a quart of it in the basement.
As of right now, the jury is still out on the color, but I'm leaning towards Florida Keys Blue. What do you think?
I guess in renovation or in life, unexpected (and sometimes unpleasant) circumstances can pop up at any given time. But the key is to do your best, be persistent, and muster on. This project has had more than it's fair share of heartbreak and frustration, but even so I look forward to the day I can come home to my new, bright and happy entryway and smile. And who knows. Maybe Lulu or Mel will be sitting there waiting for me and sunning themselves, enjoying the space their brother would have loved to have lounged in.
I know my renovation heartbreak and frustration isn't one experienced by me alone. If you're in the midst of a project you'd prefer would just cooperate with you, or if you've ever wanted to throw your whole house in the trash to just be done with it, I'd love to hear about it. I know it will make me feel a little bit better, and it may make you feel better too. Hopefully this post and a little bit of paint color will also go a long way to helping my own state of mind.