We’re alive! And it’s been almost 6 months since my last post. Come to think of it, even towards the latter part of 2017 I was already woefully behind on the home makeover updates. And now it’s April. And sooooo much has changed. Priorities have shifted, entire project plans thrown out the window, major renovations started – it’s a whole new ball game. My entire Project Gallery, and all those checklists – right out the window.
And, no, we did not move. Ha.
We hired out the work. More costs, sure, but the H got on board the renovation train and we haven’t looked back. Embracing Montessori at home also played a part in it. My ongoing quest to declutter and pare down our home was supplemented beautifully by the Montessori philosophy of an orderly, functional, and beautiful environment for the child. I’m not saying our house is beautiful ha! But hell ya, we’ve been curating and decluttering for years – although everything is messy again now because of the renovations.
When we first moved in 2 years ago, we expanded one of the bedrooms upstairs to build a master’s suite with a small ante room and a walk-in closet. Now, we rebuilt that room – everything except the walk-in closet (and bathroom). Literally tore down the 2-year old dry walls and built better ones (I realized afterwards that the work then was shoddy). We fixed the electrical for the entire 2nd floor, replaced doorways – doors – door knobs and hinges – baseboards – mouldings – lighting – electrical outlets and switches – aaaaand we refinished the floors! Still refinishing the floors, actually. Obviously, we repainted the walls too. Also ripped out old closets and cabinets – more storage means more clutter, and I’ve seriously been purging our home (actually, homes) for the past few years. Our cabinets were mostly empty – didn’t need them, so out they went.
One of my favorite bits was when we rebuilt the entire entrance to the ante room – it used to be a dry wall and a small doorway off to the side which opened up to our bedroom. Tore that out and the too-shallow closets behind the dry walls, and built a large open doorway in the middle of the new dry wall, with slimmer (but deeper! And smarter!) closets on each side of the doorway, plus cupboards above the doorway for suitcases. I’m keeping 1 closet for the boys’ clothes (I keep some upstairs; most of their clothes are in their shared bedroom downstairs), and another closet for my Montessori materials and maybe office supplies. The overhead cupboards are for suitcases.
Speaking of the shared bedroom downstairs. Gasp. Big changes there too. I mean, it’s still a work in progress and actually terrible looking right now – we ripped out the built in closets (too big, too bulky, blocked the passageway from the door) and that cabinet with the light by the door (too bulky, we don’t need it, blocked the passageway from the door). Eventually, we’ll pull out the bathroom a bit too, reposition the bathroom door, and of course repaint the room and refinish the hardwood floors, as with upstairs. But that’s down the line (most likely next year!). I don’t want a built in closet anymore since it’s such an itty bitty space; I’ll have a free standing wardrobe made. (An antique aparador would be nice, but the H is iffy about mumu and other silly things). I’m even thinking smaller windows, because at one point in the afternoon we get the sun full blast in that bedroom; there’s no ventilation, so I don’t need windows that stretch across an entire wall.
The important thing is we had a window type A/C unit finally installed in the shared bedroom, so the kids have a place to hang out in downstairs aside from the lanai. (This left a gaping hole in the window where the A/C used to be upstairs. So now we also needed to have that window repaired – welding and glass works, ack!).
I think it’s just as well that the rooms downstairs remained unfinished for most of last year. Too many awkward parts that I struggled to work with (small narrow living room, no entry way, spiral staircase smack in the middle of the open plan layout, teeny dining area), because we’ll be tackling those as well – not any time soon, but the plans are there and I think we’ve finally hit on the perfect solutions for the dead spaces here in the house, based on how we actually use each area and the needs of the family – and where the sun is hottest!
For instance, the lanai – we will be moving our dining room there. Yes, you heard me. The kids’ playroom will have to be the shared bedroom downstairs. Smaller, but it’s much cooler. We just need a few tweaks for the lanai, like build a little low wall, trim the glass panes, remove the built ins I had Mang Ariel put it, new lighting or outlets. Maybe someday we’ll reconfigure the kitchen and laundry room (I’ve always found the latter too big and, well, underutilized). As for bedrooms? Extensions – I’m dreaming of building UP someday, and a new lanai off to the side of the house where the picnic table is because that’s where the breeze is. (The existing lanai right now is not breezy at all, and just hot). We also need screens. No use having all these windows if we don’t open them because of lamok.
I’m rambling, I know, but it’s been so long and so much has happened and changed. Right now, the ongoing projects are: rebuilding the master’s bedroom and ante room, and we’re constructing a new utility area out back. Within the year, we need to tackle the two bathrooms, too. That’s the major work we’ll be contracting out for this year – so far! (If budget permits, maybe we can throw in the shared bedroom downstairs for this year’s renovations).
Still rambling! Take heart!
Last, I just want to go through the to-do lists I’ve posted in this site’s sidebar and tabs. They seem a bit funny to me now because of the changes at home, and the plans for future renovations. Literally, room functions are going to be changing.
Here’s my “Weekly To-Do List” as 17 November 2017, before I take it down to make room for new lists, hehe, and with updates (in blue):
- check availability of the white Thomson fan in SM Cubao – I did end up buying a Thomson fan, but never did get to go to SM Cubao. I found the Thomson page on Facebook, got in touch with the sweetest girl who works there/owns the distributorship, and the H and I picked up the vintage-looking Thomson fan I’ve wanted so long. We picked it up near Rockwell. Much farther than SM Cubao, haha, but they told me the white ones were all out anyway, so we didn’t really have a choice. I ended up getting the silver one, not white, and I have to say I love that fan to this day.
- go to Kamuning to check for tela and inquire about seat covers for the couch – Another thing I procrastinated on, and now I’m so glad I did. I actually did inquire at a stall in Kamuning one time, but never did go back with my foam to actually have the seatcovers done. Just as well, too. Looks like we’ll be putting the narra couch in the utility area, and since it’s a semi-outdoor space, I don’t plan to put seat covers on the sofa anymore.
- bring couch foam for leather or leatherette cover estimate – this I still need to do. Since I plan on moving the narra sofa to the utility area, I plan to have it covered in leather or leatherette so it’ll be more durable and will stand up to dirt and dust better (hopefully).
- organize cables in Command Center – I don’t know if it’s because the house is a mess right now because we’ve got boxes everywhere, but the cables haven’t bothered me for MONTHS. Which is quite unlike me, haha. This is simple, really, and even if I’m hoping to move the actual command center away someday (and fix the electrical for the ground floor), that’s still in the distant future, so I should probably get around to organizing the cables after all.
- finish decluttering the remaining overhead cabinets in the kitchen – I finished this last November, and another down-the (long)-road we will redo the kitchen (tiles, layout, everything), but I did another big purge last January, so I think content-wise those overhead cabinets are as clean as they are going to get. I haven’t opened them in 2 months, come to think of it. Which brings me back to my point – I really hate having too much cabinets. I forget what’s in them and we hardly use the stuff that’s actually in there.
And since this has been a kilometric post already (WELCOME BACK!), I might as well update my Checklist category before I erase it, because that’s getting a major overhaul as well. Here’s the entire house Checklist as of 13 November 2017, with the changes/updates in blue:
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
(original list here)
declutter all cabinets and get rid of things we don’t use – 10.20.17 and 10.24.17 – see earlier ramblings. I am not all about open shelving, mind, because I do think some closed cabinets are necessary. But I still think we have too many.
pack away my mother’s china and return – 10.20.17 and 10.24.17
start using our own dinnerware – 10.20.27 – I need plain white plates. Just sayin’
- repair broken drawers – this is actually still a necessity. And I can’t hold this off until we build my dream kitchen, because some of the wire drawers keep getting stuck. A little day-to-day annoyance – minor in light of real tragedies, but an annoyance nevertheless. The challenge is I need a stop gap solution – something functional but not too expensive because we’ll end up redoing everything anyway when we renovate the kitchen.
- re-organize baby bottle station – 10.23.17 – I’ve finished this last year but now the damn baby bottles is a new mini project that suddenly imploded. The babe needs new bottles – he’s outgrown those Dr. Brown bottles with the regulator and gazillion pieces. No regulators – less things to wash, clean, sterilize, etc. But I haven’t sat down to reassess everything (because I like to do that, FREAK, I know), so now we have a hodge podge of bottles. The country rustic crate where we keep everything is holding up well but I want something more, well, plain because I’m over country rustic for the home. (But not for the utility area – HA. LABO).
- re-organize vitamins and medicine – 10.19.17 – I need to go back to this. Having a doctor for a father in law means we have a mini pharmacy always. I need a medicine cabinet for the medicine we don’t use often, a nicer caddy for the daily vitamins, storage for the extra vitamins I keep on stock, a white or chalkboard for medicine dosages, etc. etc.
new foam for the couch – 10.14.17 ordered; 10.23.17 picked up!
inquire about leather or leatherette upholstery – This no longer belongs to the living room, yay. See previous chatter about leather for the narra couch
customized fabric sofa covers – free of this! See above
repair coffee table – 10.17.17 dropped off; 10.22.17 picked up!
- replace curtain rods (2) – I still haven’t done this for the living room. But then again we plan to reconfigure the living room someday, which may involve some changes to the front windows where I originally needed new rods. So I’m putting this on hold for now. They don’t match the dining room rods (and it’s an open space) but this is one of those things that doesn’t bother me anymore right now.
new, longer curtains (5) – 11.13.17 – I’m so happy this curtain saga is finally over.
- new fan – drat, I still need to get this. Technically, the Thomson fan is supposed to be for the dining area. But until now I can’t figure out what kind of fan I want for the living room – ceiling? Stand?
re-organize white shelves – 10.13.17
clear out mess under the stairs – 10.19.17
- new stand fan – the silver vintage-y looking Thomson. I don’t think I want a ceiling fan over the dining table even if we move it to the lanai at one point.
order black cabinet pulls – 10.19.17 found!
- install cabinet pulls – I already bought the cabinet knobs (long, long ago), and it’s really a matter of installing them. We still need to do this, because we will transfer the cabinet to the shared bedroom (while the latter is unfinished) for toy storage until we figure out what to do with said bedroom.
paint cabinets – Nope, not doing this. As mentioned, we’ll move this temporarily in the shared bedroom, but eventually I’m getting rid of the entire thing.
remove or donate bed – 10.13.17 repaired
repair fan – 10.16.17; 10.20.17; and 10.22.17 finally
get a second fan – We got one. But you know what, that lanai, without air conditioning, is still really really hot. It sits right in the part of the house that gets ALL the morning sun, and all the rest of the sun light for the rest of the day. I don’t even know how that’s possible. Plus, the lanai is enclosed – it’s not a screened porch or an open area, so there is zero air there. We don’t open the doors because lamok. So it’s a boiler room in there, my poor darling kids. We will move the dining room there, and get air conditioning some day, but it makes better sense for dining instead of actually lingering and hanging out and playing for the boys.
- tear out built-in shelves – Still a go. Another case of too much unutilized storage.
- curtains or blinds? – 10.18.17 curtains (6)! Though I think curtains are not enough. I think at one point we still need to put blinds. Guys, trust me, mainit siya talaga, as in babad sa araw that room.
- replace curtain rods (2) – Still need to do this, even if we add blinds and convert it into the dining room.
sort and donate the kids’ toys (again!) – 10.17.17
- re-organize cables – see above!
re-label file folders – 10.09.17
- replenish supplies – Still a must. Especially since it’s a mess downstairs, and Be my house girl doesn’t follow my labels and systems, haha, I need to replenish, and re-orient.
sort and file last school year’s papers – 10.09.17
re-organize supplies bin and drawers – 10.19.17
re-label file folders – 10.09.17 – Somewhat related to our file folders, but the longer we live in this house, the more I realize we need a file box for the H and I downstairs, too. I have a file box in the Command Center for storing paid bills, envelopes, and brochures and crap we get or bring home. But for important papers – I notice the H especially has the habit of leaving work papers downstairs. Plus we get work-related papers delivered, and they sit on the School Station, or Command Center, or dining table until we need them. We need a mini filing system for us downstairs, too, not just for the kids. (I say “mini” because the main ones and really important documents should be kept upstairs, lest we get an Ondoy problem again here).
- replenish supplies – As with the Command Center above. Also in time for school. Our School Station worked very well for us all throughout the school year. But we may have to reposition it. And make it prettier with mouldings or something. And get it out of the way because it’s smack in the middle of the walk way from the front door. Eeek. The mistakes that I only realized I made after living with something for a while.
empty out junk from Alo’s side – 10.19.17 – FYI, right now both sides of the School Station is filled with the kids’ clothes, because we tore out the built ins in the shared bedroom. Eeek. Plastic drawers – which we will be moving to the shared bedroom, too, until I get a proper wardrobe or aparador.
That’s that. Haha. And I say this without bitterness whatsoever – but I am glad no one reads this blog! Where else can I document everything about the house, access the yakking from anywhere in the world, and write such kilometric posts without links, pop ups and even pictures to break up the text homygash.
It is good to be back!!!