At the end of last week, our contractor officially handed over our keys; they were done. It was such a long time coming, that it almost didn’t feel real; our shoulders felt instantly lighter, the weights removed. As you can imagine, months of contracted work, drywall mud, wood splinters and loose electrical snippings created the mother of all messes, and although they tidied up with a broom clean, our home was downright filthy.
But as of Sunday evening, drop cloths were lifted from furniture (after several days of clean up, followed up with an intense, final 13 hour cleaning spree, no less), and the living room suddenly felt a lot more welcoming:
Before leaving for Mexico, we did a smaller clean-up, knocking down the dust on the newly drywalled surfaces and following that up with a quick mop. For everything, we used microfiber cloths to collect and pick up as much dust as possible, which is not only the recommended method (says Google), but works.
After our return (and finding out that it would still be another week until completion), we asked Mike what the best options were for officially sealing out the dust, and he said to really get rid of it, we would need to prime everything that was fresh and new. We went so far as to cover up all the orange paint, and again, we mopped. We wiped down windows, walls and floors. We scrubbed stubborn spots with a bristle brush, and we fell into a rhythm of scrub, mop, wipe.
Even after all of that, we still had to breathe life back into our things – my desk, the stove, cabinets, television, dressers, mirrors, clocks, tables and sideboards. I went around the whole house with a microfiber cloth in hand, then shined everything up using this JR Watkins All Purpose Cleaner:
The amazing folks behind the brand sent a handful of sprays, hand soaps and dish cleaners our way – knowing full well that we had a demolition clean-up in our future; hugs to them! – and we couldn’t have been more smitten with the results. With a full pet household (and two of the three having allergies), we try to use all natural cleaners, and this not only fit the bill, but it really polished off the home. (Not to mention, the White Tea & Bamboo scent reminded us of the beach; or maybe were were just really missing it already.)
Sunday night, we sat on our couch for the first time since the end of August. We kicked off our shoes and dashed from the couch to the kitchen – in our socks! For the last several months, we had gotten used to what we considered “dorm living” – using the guest room bed (our safe quarters) for sleeping, dining and sitting. We had forgotten what it was like to sit on something cushy and soft – with back support! – and be able to rest your feet on the floor.
It was magical.
Our furniture arrangement is temporary, as we simply grabbed what we could from the second guest room (currently being used as our storage). THE LIVING ROOM: Eventually, our couch will move to the second floor studio, making way for something less apartment-sized and more house-sized (we thought we’d never see the day!). The green velvet chair might also make it’s way upstairs, and it’s obvious we’ve yet to decide on curtains, rugs, art and shelving – but all that will happen with time.
THE STUDIO: Even our 6′ farmhouse table seems dwarfed in the space, but we’re looking forward to adding built-in shelving and storage, as well as creating a relaxing seating area and layering in art, textiles and anything that evokes happiness.
We have a full crew of in and out of town guests that we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with (and seven people staying under this roof starting tonight!), so although we hit a handful of road bumps along the way, we couldn’t be more grateful that we were able to close the chapter on demolition in time for the upcoming festivities – and to finally start moving forward! We’re still tying up the loose ends in the basement, endlessly researching the best way to cook a bird (tips?) and finalizing the menu among our veggie, vegan and gluten-free friends (meat eaters, too!). We’ll be spending the rest of this week and weekend soaking in the time with others; it’s something we’ve missed, as we’ve been burying ourselves in crossing off the to-dos.
For those toasting with friends and family this week, cheers!
This post was brought to you in partnership with JR Watkins. Opinions, magical moments and the spring in our step belong to these two.