Carpeted stairs are gross

Since my house was built in the 50’s, there are many, many changes lying below the current surface.  The hardwood on the main floor is original, however, at some point in time, someone covered its beauty with carpet.  That is why all of my interior doors come up off the floor about an inch.  WHY?  Why did people do this?!  The previous owner ripped out the carpet on the main floor but kept the stupid doors.  The walk-out basement was finished many years ago and was (and still is) completely carpeted with berber.  Prior to moving in, my husband and I had the carpet professionally cleaned.  It looked decent for about a week when the stains started to come through.  The carpet in the two bedrooms (my girls rooms) are livable for a while, but the stairs were not.  Carpeting high traffic areas is just a terrible idea.  At this point I was panicking about everything else in this house that needed immediate attention.  Dirty stairs were low on the list.  But the more I walked on the stairs, the worse my anxiety became.  My socks would turn black by noon.  It smelled weird.  And my children were crawling up and down them.  It was disgusting and I was about to loose my mind over it.

And then one fine Saturday while my husband was installing a new exterior door, he yelled to me in the other room while I was changing a diaper and said  “You want me to rip out a piece of this carpet and see what’s underneath? It might be hardwood, or concrete, or who knows what.”

ME: “DO IT!!!!  I don’t CARE what’s underneath!  GET RID OF IT!”

Then I heard the switch of his knife and the sweet sound of ripping carpet.

TONY: “Oh Jen, oh my god, you’re going to freak out”

ME: “WHAT?!  Freak out how?  In a good way or a bad way?”

TONY: “In a good way.  I can’t wait for you to see this.”DSCN2708


Beautiful, original hardwood.  God Bless America.  That day, my disgusting carpeted stairs were no longer in existence.  The smell was gone and I was content.  My husband had saved the day.  They are not perfect of course.  The risers need to be painted, there are nail holes and a spot on a bottom step where a railing once stood.  But I don’t care, I’m just so happy that I can walk up and down my stairs without having grocery store feet by mid-day.

If you suspect that you have beautiful hardwood stairs underneath of your filthy carpet, my husband says the best way to start is by cutting the carpet underneath the lip of the step to minimize damage to the wood.  Then rip that filth away until you are crying tears of joy.

My prince…..




And my new stairs….





Red Living Room must Die

Buying our new home was very unexpected.  When my husband and I came to Saratoga Springs to house hunt, we had every intention of renting.  Unfortunately, the rental market in this town was not conducive to our needs.  Saratoga Springs has a huge draw in the summer.  Horse Racing.  People will rent out their homes for 6 weeks of the year and sometimes pay for their yearly mortgage.  The rentals we were coming across were short-term rentals, total dumps or just too expensive.  So within the first day of house hunting, we made the decision that buying a home was the best thing for us to do financially.  We truly felt that we had no other choice and time was running out.  That and we were tired of renting.  We looked, found and made an offer on our home within 48 hours.  It was absolutely insane.

The house we chose was built in 1955.  It has great bones, a gorgeous view of the mountains of Vermont, an upgraded kitchen and master bathroom and an in-ground pool.  It sits at the top of a 4.5 acre lot about 5 miles from downtown Saratoga.  Behind our house is a rushing creek and a big hill with hiking trails.  How could we NOT buy this house? Right?


I can only hope that the previous owner of my new home never finds my blog and the horrible things I am planning to write about his previous care of it, or lack of care I should say.  When we first moved into this house in mid-January, I panicked.  It did not feel like home, it felt like someone else’s mess that I had to clean up.  I couldn’t help thinking that we had made a colossal mistake.  It’s funny how your eye only sees what it wants to see when it wants to see it.  Our first look at this place and we were in love!  I have now come to learn that the previous owner did some very stupid things and neglected important issues in this house that we now have to fix.  So I’m going to begin here with the paint job because it’s the least complicated.  Every single room in this house is an obnoxious color and needs to be repainted.  That may not seem like a big deal to you, in fact, it’s pretty standard when buying a new home.  Not only does every room need to be painted, but every single piece of trim and door needs to be painted as well.  Part of it is because the trim paint is old and dirty.  However, the other reason is because when the rooms were painted last, the owner didn’t think he needed to use painting tape and as a result, there is blue paint and orange paint and yellow paint and red paint and green paint on baseboards, door jams, bathroom tile, electrical outlets, window sills, and even the window glass. It is MADDENING.


My foyer in this unfortunate orange with the side of the door jamb painted.  Fail.




Can you see?!  Can you see the green paint on the outside of my view window?!  Don’t mind my dirt front yard.  I’ll tell that story later.

These pictures are only a sample of the sloppy paint job in my home.  I swear, I’m not psychotic, perhaps a little, but these mistakes are in every single room and it makes me want to scream!  Use some freaking painting tape people!

When the San Francisco 49ers went to the Super Bowl this year, my husband wanted to celebrate by throwing a Super Bowl party and invite his co-workers.  I said OK, under one condition:  We paint the atrocious red living room prior to this shindig.  Easy enough, right?  Not so much.  But I didn’t care.  That red made me so angry.  I need peace and calm in my house, especially my house with the peaceful views of Vermont’s Mt. Equinox.  That red had to be the first color to go.


No Bueno.

That was almost 2 months ago, and we just finished this room.  Seriously.  Painting all of the trim was a nightmare.  We even decided not to paint the window glass trim because we have to replace all of our 32 windows sooner than later.  We have started downstairs with 8.  (OMG!)  Although it took us entirely too long to paint my living room, it was worth it.  Look at the difference!



The color is Windrush by Behr.  I am unable to find it on their website, but here is a  sample of it from Home Depot.  The space feels so much bigger and brighter and lighter.  I truly felt that the red was so heavy on my mood.  Since it has been painted, I am starting to feel like I AM home and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s amazing what painting your walls can do.  If you will also notice, my husband mounted our TV to the bookshelf.  At first I was against this because I knew the TV would not fit inside of the bookshelf, instead be flush with it.  But, it’s not as terrible as I thought and it’s certainly better than sitting on that awful TV stand as before.  Besides, we were not in a place to start rebuilding that bookshelf to fit the TV in.  Not yet anyways.

So there it is, the first project of this house with a long list behind it.