Monday, April 13, 2020

Sista's Before & After Library Edition

Hello, dear friends. I hope that you and your family are healthy, and you enjoyed your Easter weekend.  I have some food pics to share with you at a later date.  No people pics because we have a strict policy around here: no makeup - no photos. 


The Mister and I made our bi-monthly pilgrimage to the grocery store this morning.  We were the first ones in the door for Senior Citizen Happy Hour at 7AM.  We arm ourselves with masks, gloves, and sanitizer like we are Navy Seals preparing to dive into the mission of a lifetime. 

The Mister and I split the list and meet at the car.  It was a shopping trifecta for my team: toilet paper, paper towels, and they were served up in plastic bags!  
Gosh, I miss those things.

*****

Today, I have a special treat for you.  May I present our guest host, Sista.  When she told me that she was giving her library a facelift, I begged her to take pics and write about it.  Lucky for us, she agreed.  I didn't even have to blackmail her!

Without further ado, take it away, Sista!





My empty nest is anything but.  Truth be known, we have had several false starts.  And now, with Corona Virus, my nest overflows.  Not only are both boys home (a.k.a  nef 1 &2), but we also have two refugees from NYC, my sista-in-law, and her daughter, Annabel.  The third refugee, Annabel’s Dad, will be joining us after his self-quarantine, which ends early this week.

After about a week of family togetherness, it occurred to me that I was sitting on a goldmine.  FREE LABOR!  Well maybe not exactly “free” when you consider the food, wine, and cocktails necessary to fortify these stay-at-homes.

The question on my mind was:  
Where could I best direct their energy?

Over the last few years, we have renovated all rooms on our first floor, with the exception of the powder room and library.  The powder room seemed like the ideal project for my crew.  I quickly skimmed the Internet and found my perfect wallpaper.  The problem is that we would need to wait for samples to match the paint, and then of course, wait for the paper after that.

So then the question was…
"What to do while we wait?"


Before

Bright and early last Saturday morning, it came to me like a vision: Paint the library emerald green!  I excitedly announced the project to the family.  The in-house labor was tickled to learn that hardware stores are considered “essential,” so we could secure the paint and materials that very day!  No idle hands in this family!


Before

So, armed with gloves and anti-bacterial spray, off I went to buy Benjamin Moore “Very Green” paint in a high gloss finish along with my favorite trim color “Simply White” semi-gloss.  I knew this was all meant to be when I was also able to score some toilet paper – what a day!

That afternoon, we unloaded the many dusty books from the many dusty shelves.  In between sneezes, it dawned on me how smart we must all be to have this many books!

The next morning we primed the existing wallpaper so that the paint would go on smoothly.  I knew that it was risky to get a high-gloss finish, as it tends to enhance imperfections.  God knows in a 200+ year house we have our share of imperfections, but I was willing to risk it.



As the ladies primed the wallpaper, the gentlemen took the shelves outside to paint.  Funny how quickly things go when you have a team of seven! By the end of the day, everything had a first coat.  By Monday evening, the painting was finished, leaving Tuesday as the day to put the place back together.  I don’t know how many books and chachkies we dusted, organized, and purged– but it took a lot longer than expected.

















Shameless plug:  my book.





We are all rather proud of ourselves!  The team feels however, they need a couple of days to recover before taking on Project #2.  Stay tuned for the Powder Room!





A couple of lessons learned:
  
1. I wish I had tinted the primer a darker color, as the white was difficult to cover.

       2. I wish we had done a better job covering the floor.  I know this is a JV mistake, but I must admit I can get impatient with the prep.  Fortunately, with a mixture of rubbing alcohol, lemon juice, and elbow grease from limber 15-year-old Annabel, (I am no longer good at the crouch), the paint came right up!

    3. As our grandmother always said, “many hands make light work.”  
She was right!

*****

Thanks so much, Sista! 

Please show her some Sista love and leave a comment.  
That way, she'll agree to tell us all about her upcoming powder room update!

Be well.

Until next time...





In my next life, I want to come back as one of Sista's furbabies.
Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

31 comments:

  1. 2 sisters with homes alike- how fun! Wish I had a sista.

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  2. OH< my, I think you made me laugh a half dozen times. Free labor, and all of them past the age of grumbling, LOL. Kudos to you for opening your home...wine and cocktails included, quite nice, can I come, Great post. Side note: Your green makes me think of George Washington Green in the dining room...your books certainly neutralize it's power making it gorgeous!

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  3. Well, we definitely want to see the powder room. A library is my favorite room in a home. I could spend hours looking at the book titles. I like the green very much. Smart thinking to work on it while you had help.

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  4. What a gorgeous, bold color! I love it. Good luck with having that full nest!

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  5. I'm still in awe of all you were able to score at the grocery store. I too have been loving that we got our plastic bags back without "taxing" them. Now I kind of wish maybe we had someone staying with us as I have plenty of household projects I could tackle to keep us busy.

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  6. What a great room. I could move in right now -- is there room for one more? I see many favorite familiar book titles and a lot I would like to read. It looks just beautiful.

    Katie, I see you have the boomer scammer too. Some people just need a life.

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  7. Captive audience translates to captive workers! They did a great job and now I look forward to seeing the "new" powder room!

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  8. What a beautiful room, and a wonderful memory for this challenging time. How great that your sister has opened her home to family to come and ride out the storm.

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  9. Good luck with having that full nest!

    Have a nice day!

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  10. I want to be a sista too!
    So much good here, staying safe, having a laugh, being a family is everything, and you excel at it ❤️

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  11. From a happy sister I enjoy reading about your sista Katy. Love her new paint, the room looks fabulous! Nothing like sister time.......... :)

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  12. Wow, what a project just getting all the smalls, books and prints out and back in, let alone the actual painting! Great job, family!

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  13. What a fun memory you've made! the green is gorgeous and the space looks wonderful.

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  14. Your sister is one smart cookie to take advantage of free labor. And having a project brings everyone together! Love the green she chose! And her library makes me swoon. I would never leave that room.

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  15. A family project! Genius! Love it, love the green, love your grandmother’s quote! Love it all! Can’t wait to see the “powda” room!

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  16. I feel an urge to go buy some paint and make good use of this time ... especially while my husband and youngest son are home for the duration!

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  17. Such a beautiful green and the study looks magazine ready. Thank you for sharing this clever idea when house guests are staying. My mind is racing with ideas for the next visit from our family in Austin.
    Karen

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  18. Beautiful! I LOVE that green!

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  19. Oh my, Sista! Kudos to you for organizing and overseeing this work crew. Clearly I’m doing quarantine all wrong. Gorgeous color you chose and I’m taking notes on book placement to inspire my shelves. Why oh why didn’t I have the good sense to lockdown with a few nieces?! On a serious note, do you remove jackets from all your books? And, do you keep or discard them? Cannot wait to see your powder room transformation! xo

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  20. What a HUGE project with a lot of willing helping hands! You and your Sista are quite a pair and had me laughing out loud! That green paint made the perfect backdrop for the books ...emerald green has always been a favorite color of mine and goes so well in a library! Good job to all! Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

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  21. Love the color! Love the monkey sconce. Good for Sista! Can the crew travel to my house, we are behind on wallpapering.

    Annie G.

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  22. It does my heart good to see the way you all rallied around that painting project! Who'd have guessed that emerald green was the perfect color to set off your lovely book collection?

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  23. I love the before and after pics. I am glad she had all of that help!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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  24. OMG those monkey lamps are it! Also there is no such things as having too many books.

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  25. What a great library! I have a spare room and one day it will become my library! Right now, it just stores the extra junk and furniture in my house.

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  26. Absolute brilliance in that idea - and that monkey lamp is everything! I love that color, too. Now, if I could just get my girls to bring their dirty dishes to the kitchen once a day ...

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  27. Wonderful! That desk is stunning too.

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  28. Oh my goodness that is a full nest - but what a great way to keep everyone busy. What beautiful results! Take care and stay well. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party!

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