Friday, July 30, 2010

Blackberry. Legal Pad. Daytimer. Measuring Tape.

Day 1 at the house, a steady stream of folks came through, getting me set up. Alarm guy, water guy, electric guy, gas guy and my point man, Martin Pine of Bob Furr Painting and Wallpapering.

Martin and I spent almost 2 hours choosing paint colors. The first hump was choosing the ceiling/closet/hallway color--WHITE. There are true whites, cooler whites and warm whites. 56 "white" paint chips in all to compare and contrast, in the sunlight and roomlight. I chose a warmer white called "Creamy" in a flat finish. I ruled out the other 10 finish choices...matte, satin, low sheen, eggshell, low sheen eggshell, low lustre, semi-gloss, medium lustre, gloss, and high gloss. The trim will be bright white...semi gloss. Keep it simple, people! The wall colors fell into place quickly, as I had wallpaper samples and fabric swatches.

Martin left, then the carpet lady came from Empire Today. The upstairs carpeting looked "clean" when the house was furnished...but when it was empty I could see 7 years of wear and tear, spills and stains. In NYC, I vacuumed religiously and had the carpets (age 3-10 years old) steam cleaned every year...and I was shocked at how grubby they looked once my furniture was moved out! Gritty city.

I looked at all the books...low pile, frisee, berber, plush, carpet made from corn (!), and settled on a neutral carpet with a light honey tonality, that felt good underfoot. I held the wallpapers up to it and the color was perfect. Empire Today prices per room...and it works out to be less than the lowball come-on pricing from Home Depot or Lowes. The big-box stores advertise, say, "$1.88 per square foot"...but no carpet is measured by the square foot! It's by the weight (in ounces) of the carpet, by the square yard + padding and installation. Fuzzy logic and new math...don't get caught up in "free" offers...nothing is's just worded confusingly. I asked for (and got) a loyal customer discount (about $800 off the order) by letting the salesperson know that I used Empire in NYC. I sat there while she made the call ;-) She was getting my order, but I wanted the best deal I could get. Pencils are meant to be sharpened.

Once the parade ended, I walked around and figured out what all the switches and knobs were, and took an inventory of a heck of a lot of electrical outlets, phone jacks and cable jacks. I drew out each room's potential furniture placement, and put post-it notes on the wall outlets and jacks that could be removed and/or patched over. I sent a text to Martin to let him know that there were 10. I scheduled the cable company to come after the electrician puts a cable and phone jack in the small bedroom that will be my office.

Enough choreography for one day, Day One!