Friday, June 4, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Hi everyone! What a crazy few weeks it’s been! We've been busy doing a lot of projects. I’ll start off with some of the good things and then proceed to what stressed me out.

After 10 years of living with this metal and wood handrail in my foyer – it is gone gone gone!!


This is my new bannister and I LOVE it. I need to paint it and I’m thinking black handrail/post and white spindles.

Of course now the steps are looking shabby so I think I’ll have to paint those again too. But what should I do? I do like the painted runner look but maybe I should just do the steps all one color and the risers a different color? What do you think?

Also, finally fixed the barn doors. They look bad don’t they!
Now the barn is ready to be painted (we pretty much decided on periwinkle with white trim). I think that’ll look particularly pretty in spring with pink roses climbing over top (have to cut them down to paint but they’ll be o.k. by next year).

We fixed a few other little things that we just hadn’t gotten to that were bugging me AND I found two great pieces of furniture at Goodwill (I’ll post them another time)

On to the bad….This is what my family room looked like on  Monday.

The whole room had paneling when we bought it which I painted a cheery yellow (what else?). You can see a bit of it around the window.
We noticed that something wasn’t right with one of the sections at the beginning of the year (after we had all the flooding rains in the fall) but we just had a new heating/air system installed so we waited to fix it. BIG MISTAKE!

Well, we pulled off that panel  thinking/hoping we just had to put on a replacement panel and found…..TERMITES!!! Yes, we have a Termite Bond (the entire exterior is treated every four years), yes we have yearly inspections etc. Apparently we had more than a few loose bricks/cracked mortar joints on the brickface on the outside of that cinderblock wall which let in a lot of moisture (from those monsoon rains) and termites are really bad in Georgia anyway and they love themselves some wet wood! Coupled with other factors having to do with the way the house was constructed (in the 60’s) which I won’t bore you with, it was just the perfect storm so to speak.

We found them on one end and then starting taking all the panels off that wall and found some on the other end. We kept going until we didn’t find anymore. They were pretty much just in two areas and part of the ceiling.

So  my basement was drilled again on the inside this time and retreated with I’m sure horribly noxious chemicals that probably took a few years off our lives! But what are you going to do. There is no eco-friendly termite treatment as far as I know.
That’s the ugly above (my apologies to anyone that has this and likes it – I don’t)….with help from friends, we put  up more paneling which I can tell you is such a bummer for me it almost makes me want to cry! I’ve always wanted to drywall the whole basement and this would have been a good time but it’s just out of our budget (we didn’t have a replacement policy on our Termite Bond, just for retreat  so we had to pay for redoing the walls– live and learn).

So, in the future….a post on how to paint paneling….sigh! I have so much stuff to paint and we were in the process of picking colors for my daughter's room because she wanted to repaint her room. That's on the back burner now!

Good thing I have a generally optimistic attitude – it could have been worse and at least I have a home -  even though it sometimes feels like a money pit!
I had to leave you with something pretty!  Have a great weekend everyone – we had planned on putting in a privacy fence along the back of our property this weekend so we'll go ahead with that since we already have the materials! All I can say is that I'm never bored and who needs a gym membership?

P.S. I changed my template to the stretch so if you are not seeing all of the photos - stretch out the sides of the screen. I have to do that with my desktop but not my laptop.


Angie said...

You have been busy! I agree, there is always something that needs to be done around the house. Your new stair rail looks great! I also wanted to tell you how much I love the toile fabric (my favorite, it's in my kitchen too) and chicken wire on your cabinet doors. It looks so cute and cheery!

Debbie @ said...

HI Manuela, I like all your projects. One always starts another....lots of projects create more projects. hahahaha....And girl you are on a roll! :~}
We seem to be painting every room, then the doors look shabby, then the door trim, then the trim around the arms ache...and I long for the pool and some ice tea! Have a blessed day PROJECT GIRL!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Sorry to hear about the termites but I am looking forward to your post on painting paneling. We have dark paneling in our living room and are planning on painting it. After living with it for 5 years (and never really loving it), it's time for a change!

Mary Ellen

mizdarlin said...

So sorry to hear about your unwanted squatters...a problem everywhere!
Just a suggestion..why not stain the bannister and rails to match the darker colour of wood on your stairs...I love the way they look now...easier than re-doing the whole thing right away, too..

Debbie said...

First a huge hug for the unexpected project in the family room! I know EXACTLY how that feels because that kind of thing just follows me around like gum on my shoe.

Second, I love those stairs with the painted runner and words. I hope you keep them! But I know that a new look is often desired.

I love your positive attitude as much as I love your decorating style and finesse.

At least painted paneling can look cottagy, right? Trying to help find the sunny side!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Your new railing looks great! And I can't wait to see the barn painted periwinkle!!

I am so sorry you had all of that problem with the termites! Yikes!!
p.s. mentioned you on my post today.

Leann said...

Hi Manuela, I love stopping by here You always have something great going on - not the termites - sorry.

I like the painted runner look on the stairs - they look more like you than just plain old white.

Enjoy the weekend!

Kelley said...

Those who know the pleasure(s) of making a house a home need no gym membership!

vintage girl at heart said...

Love tha bannister.
Love love love the runner on your steps!!!
I even love the scuffed look!!
Sorry about the termites...ughhh but so happy that you have that bond!! Lifesaver!!
I have painted alot of paneling before and it is so theroom a little contarst and character and I know you'll make it so wonderful with your flair for design!!!
Can't wait to see that periwinkle shed.....oh la la with roses next year....stunning!!
Happy Friday Maneula!!

vintage girl at heart said...

Ooops I HAVE got to start previewing my comments...I just get so excited on your blog!!!

kim said...

Sorry you had some termite woes. We have dealt with termites more than once and now it looks like they are in my laundry room wall. I was getting ready to repaint anyway, but now I have to wait for them to come treat the wall. We had damage in the dining room that we found when I started repainting it last year. We are checked and sprayed and still get the darn things. First damage was in the garage. We are covered for damages, but so far it has just been tiny fixes. Come over for my giveaway.

Becky K. said...

Oh, soon after we moved in this home we all got sick. Turns out our basement walls were full of black mold. I remember the sinking feeling of knowing that we had to do something now, rather than when we had planned to. Oh, Manuela, I feel for you.

Glad you have good friends who helped and I have painted paneling in the past. It wasn't terrible at all.

Your hydrangeas are awesome as is the new stair rail.

Becky K.

Ally's Corner said...

I'm so sorry about your termites, my parents had them last year no fun. I love your banister how about just staining the top and painting the bottom white. The stairs I say paint the steps all one color. I'm getting lots done also but it's so hard with my little kids, since its summer they are my schedule which makes me getting anything finished hard, but that is ok my big find is almost done!!! Putting sod in this week-end wish us luck.

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Manuela, I am so sorry to hear about the termites! That would be rough. :( I am excited for you about your new railing, though! It looks wonderful! As far as the stairs, what about painting the risers white, and the steps black? You could even stencil words in white paint on the black risers (similar to what you have now). (I just love how you have words on your stairs!)

I chuckled at your comment about never being bored and who needs a gym membership! I feel the same! :) Life is NEVER boring!

I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Terri and Bob said...

Could you use beadboard instead of paneling?

I like the rug effect of your painted stair way. I don't think you should change that but I know whatever you do will look marvelous!

Lou Cinda said...

Oh Manuela! I am so sorry to hear about those pesky little critters trying to live in your house rent free!! We hate them! Good news is, they are gone now and at least you will have fresh paint and no pests!

Love the stair rail!! Back with white sounds gorgeous!

Can't wait to see the periwinkle barn! Sounds gorgeous!

Lou Cinda ;)

Tami said...

Gorgeous Hygrangeas! You have been really busy, looking forward to seeing your finished projects.

Have a great weekend.

BTW: Giving away a $50 gift certificate to CSN stores come check it out. :o)

Donna, The Decorated House said...

Hello Manuela~
I'll start with the good...
oh how I love your hygrangeas!!
I may have to try them again once the backyard redo settles in.

Now the also good...
You are so LUCKY!!
Lucky that you found those dang varmits now. They can take a whole house apart.

Your painted paneling will be fabulous and the room will be wonderful. You might decide you like it even better than breathing in drywall dust!

Happy Weekend,

AshTreeCottage said...

Dear Manuela ... You inspire me!! Great new bannister. Can't wait to see the paint job on the shed. Don't get discourage. There are always snags with projects, just keep calm and carry on!!

Susan and Bentley

Brenda said...

I am with you I do not really like paneling. I painted one room at our previous house and so loved it after that. I know the routine but I'll let you tell everyone yours. To me it is a little work intensive and am glad there is none in the home I live in. I really like the painted runner on your steps but sometimes we just need a change.

Kathleen Grace said...

Oh goodness! Seems like bad news is just a moment away sometimes. Just one of the joys of home ownership I guess. Your flowers are beautiful though, and I know your family room will be better than ever when you put it back together:>) Sending best wishes!

Victoria said...

I, too, hate the look of that paneling but to me it's so pretty when it's painted. Look at it this way, it has more character than a plain ole drywall wall. :)

Also, it is GREAT that you found the termites before they had done a lot more damage! I don't think it takes them long to eat through a house!

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

Everything looks beautiful... you have nothing to worry about!

And as for the stairs, I personally like the worn-look on the steps. I don't think you should paint it at all!

Linda said...

To me the runner looks a little more traditional. I like it though. It depends on the look you want. I've seen the black treads with white facing and it looks more modern, but love the look. I'm sure your basement will be beautiful when you get through with it. Linda

Storybook Woods said...

Well you know who I feel about painting, so I send my condolences. BUT I know it will be fab, when you are done. You only do fab xoxox Clarice

diXymiss said...

I adore that boX of hydrangeas with Fleurs painted on the side ~ so pretty! The handrail looks great and I love the look of white spindles with a darker stained handrail. I have carpet on my stairs (don't recommend) so can't offer any great tips for painting. I really like the painted runner and script design you currently have, but am eXcited to see what you decide to do neXt!

So very sorry to hear about the uninvited house guests (shudder) and uneXpected eXpenses involved in treatments and repairs. Home ownership is a wonderful privilege, but frustratingly eXpensive sometimes... Heirloom white and buttery yellow are my faves for painted paneling. Does it have a lacquered finish? I'm sure you already know this, but, if so, I'd start with a coat of Kilz (which can be tinted) to prime and seal before painting.

Hugs and best wishes, busy bee!

Gloria said...

No matter which way you look at it Manuela, the good, the bad, and the ugly are really all the best with you. If that makes sense. You work to hard. You need a vacation in Spain, to relax and listen to music and eat their wonderful food and stay in a villa where they pamper you. Ah yes, that's what you deserve. :) Have a great weekend.

Darlene said...

So sorry about the termite problems. Also, I know what you mean with the paneling...YUCK...but, we painted all of our paneling when we lived in Houston and I LOVED how it turned out. Hope you love yours after you finally get it painted. Also, your new bannister looks wonderful.

I think your barn is going to look beautiful. It's funny when you look at your stuff all the time it doesn't look so bad....until one day all of a sudden its GOOD GRIEF look how horrible, let's get that fixed/painted/

You know I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your hydrangeas. It has been so hot here I'm having to water mine in the morning and in the afternoon because they start wilting so badly. Enjoy your weekend and try not to work tooooo hard.

Rosemi said...

I love your blog!

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

SO sorry about the termites! But your new banister and doors look lovely, and I can't wait to see all your finished projects. Your talent and creativity coupled with your warm and welcoming home always keep us coming back for more!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I love your new banister, it looks great. I'm so sorry to hear about your termites, they must've given you the creeps. I get itchy just thinking about any bugs in the house:-)
Have a wonderful weekend.

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

Oh my, Manuela! What a week! When a homeowner gets one thing fixed, something else goes, is the way I've always found it to be. I don't know about the stairs. I like them the way they are. So I don't have much advice on this one. I can see your blog just fine, but I have a wide screen.

Betsy said...

You've been busy! We have stained wood steps with white painted risers. I think you'll like how wide it makes the staircase look!
Love the blues in the first pic! :)

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

So sorry about your termites, Manuela! We had them in our previous house...yikes! The bug guy told me that in Georgia, it's not a matter of if, but when! Your flowers are gorgeous and I like your new banister! Happy weekend...hugs...Debbie

Jen @ said...

Wow Manuela - you have been busy! What a lot of projects you have going on! I'm so sorry to hear about your termites though!

I think your paneling will look great painted. I actually love painted paneling. My in-laws had paneling in their family room. They painted it and it looked great!

I don't think I had ever seen your stairs before. They are so cute. And what a great banister! It might be fun to repaint the runner and maybe stencil the risers in a classic geometric pattern or I have seen some pictures of risers that had a few patterns in the same colors. I wish my stairs were wood - I think that would be a really fun project! I can't wait to see what you do. I am sure it will be beautiful - just like everything you do is!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Jean said...

Don't you hate when a little project turns into a huge project? Sorry to hear about the termites. Everything else looks great! The wood banister is so much better and I love your barn just the way it is! Jean

Melissa Miller said...

The flowers are all beautiful! You do have the gift of a green thumb Manuela.

I'm soooo sorry about the termites. Yikes! I hope it all is fixed how you would like very soon.

Did you end up deciding on a design? I hope that worked out as well. ~Melissa

Melissa Miller said...

I forgot. I LOVE your gorgeous stairs! :)

Karen said...

Manuella - I am posting here because the post above is not allowing comments? You may have inadvertently clicked something or maybe I AM GOING NUTS!
Anyway! Loved the pictures of your gorgeous flowers but BUMMER about the termites! LIke you say - sometimes we just have to learn the hard way. BUT! Your railing and your barn look fab! I'd love to have a barn . . .
Well have a good week!
Talk to you soon! Karen ~ Some Days Are Diamonds

Gypsy Heart said...

Yes, having a home is a constant flow of $$$. So sorry about the termites...they can do so much damage.

Your painting projects will make you feel better...seeing all the new looks. Sending you strength for the long haul... :-)

Have a blessed week,

Amber said...

Phooey on termites. We had problems with those in the home we first lived in. How sickening it can be.

The hydrangeas sure are beautiful, though!

Melanie said...

I would paint the stairs one color and the risers another. You have been really busy, haven't you? We had termites when we lived in Florida. It just happens but it is a mess sometimes when they eat up everything.

Good luck with painting the paneling. That is going to be a project but it will look good when you are finished.