Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't be our guest

My parents live in a four bedroom house. Or rather they used to. Now they live in a one bedroom house with three storage rooms. All without moving.

But on my last visit, I subverted their plans. I changed back one storage room to a guest room.

My mom: "No one stays here."
Me: "Because no one can."
My mom: "Your brother just slept in his sleeping bag on the living room floor last time."
Me: "That's his problem. I'm not sleeping on the floor."
My mom: "What's wrong with the twin bed in your old room?"
Me: "I'm over (redacted) years old. I no longer sleep in twin beds. Why can't you just let me do this?"
My mom: "But then people will want to stay here."
Me: "And that would be a problem because...?"
My mom: "I don't want people to stay here."
Me: "Do you want me to leave?"
My mom: "Of course not. I want you to stay here."
Me: "Am I not people?"
My mom: "Your father doesn't like his space invaded"
Me: "Am I invading?"
My mom: "A little. But it's okay. Your father can put up with you."
Me: "Put up with? Do you want me to leave?"
My mom: "Of course not."

And it went round and round...

So I built a guest room for myself.

Since my old room has boxes in it, I took my sister's old room. It's upstairs and the most important feature of her room is it has a heat vent in it. My old room has a heat vent in front of the door, not inside the room.

Up until a year or so ago, her room was filled to the gills with junk. But when my parents decided to get new windows and insulate the upstairs (that's right, it wasn't insulated the whole time we lived in that upstairs as children. Go ahead call Child Protective Services.) we all pitched in and cleaned the upstairs out.

Here is how the room looked halfway into the clean out. It had started with boxes stacked to the ceiling.
What can I say, my sister had excellent taste when she 14. She later made a quilt and pillow cover to match the rainbow pattern. She lived with this paint and color combo until she moved out after college.

After we threw out everything that had been stored in the room, we also tore up the grey shag carpet. No seriously, go back up a bit and look at it. Two shades of grey with white. In a room for over 30 years. You'd throw it out too.

That left the hardwood floor that was (coincidence?) painted grey. A long time ago. There was no way I was going to sand it and refinish it.

But first, the walls. Wallpaper over what I lovingly refer to as cardboard walls. Some sort of pressboard. About 1 inch thick. My brother could punch his fist through it without harming himself. Can't imagine how I might know that.

I wasn't even going to try and get wallpaper off that. There was also a fair bit of mold on the walls from where the boxes had been pressed up against them for so long. My mom had sprayed the walls down with bleach and other cleaners when we had finally revealed them during the clean out. My mom and I went out and bought a primer/sealer that would cover all mold.
Walls taped off, floor covered ( I was still trying to figure out if I could leave them grey and spare myself having to paint a floor). On the side wall you can see the wallpaper covering nicely. On the back wall, you can see the dark mold spots that took two coats of primer to cover.

I chose a color that would be bright because there is only one window facing north to get any light into the room. And I chose a color I could live with because I was doing the painting. In the end I did wind up painting the floor a dark brown. Then after a day and half I had to go into the room to close the window and left shoe prints in the paint.

The day I left, I touched up the floor paint. I figured no one would be going in there for a couple of months.

All together, I think my mom spent about $100 on paint and supplies. I spent $100 on supplies. And down the road we'll need to get some nice 100% cotton sheets for the new futon that hasn't been purchased yet. Perhaps I've watched too many make over programs, but I think a new guest room for under $500 done in three days by a team of one, is fairly good deal.
I did put the twin bed in the guest room. My brother Scott offered up his futon frame from his basement. I thought that it was probably not the right color wood finish and maybe not the perfect fit for the room. Then I thought about how hard it was to get anything up the stairs that was of any large size and how the futon frame probably came apart. That and the price of "free" was right. So I told him it was perfect!

My brother that had to sleep on the floor sounds delighted that he won't have to do that next time. Which gave me a chance to give my mother a big "I told you so."

My mom: "But he said that was fine when he was here."
Me: "That's because he was too polite and didn't want to hurt your feelings."
My mom: "Then why are you telling me now?"
Me: "Because I'm not too polite. I guess you should have done a better job of raising me."


Sherri said...

1) Looks great! Looks similar to the color I painted my bedroom (maybe a little lighter).

2) Bwahahahahahah!

Rachel said...

Oh my. I remember your room got freezing! Remember, I'd go out on the landing and sit on the heater vent. Makes me shiver thinking about it.

Well, I'm off. I'll see you in a few days. IT's a lovely room and you did a fantastic job (but of course!).

The T-Dude said...

At my grandparents house (in Iowa) on the farm, there was no heat upstairs, just a floor vent. On a really cold night, if you went to bed with a glass of water next to the bed, it would have ice across the top in the morning. But you know, I never slept so well. A pile of blankets kept me warm and I guess simulated the womb or something because I always felt great in the morning.

Jim said...

I once woke up in the morning when I lived upstairs at my parents house and looked at the thermometer attached to my jacket zipper (ah, simpler times) and it read 34 degrees.

I totally sympathize with the Iowa winter.