Friday Roundup: The Stairs, Painting the Main Level, and Owning a Party House

Jun 18, 2021 | Friday Round Up, Whole House

We are looking to move in next week (maybe, probably…) and so we’re tentatively getting ready for the move. I say “tentatively” because we’ve been in this position before and the move has gotten postponed due to contractor delays. We were supposed to be moved in about a month ago, gah!

I REALLY want to move in to take full advantage of the pool but we’ve been going there in the evenings for quick dips. Unfortunately, we have to coordinate with the kids on when their friends come over because who wants to try to relax in a pool with a bunch of teens? Ya, not me! Or be in a bathing suit in front of a bunch of teenage boys?! No thanks!

So, for now, it feels like we’re sneaking into someone else’s pool at night to go swimming and that’s exciting! 🙂

Here’s our recap of last week and what’s on deck for next week.


The stairs were supposed to be stained a couple weeks ago, but the subcontractor was too busy at the time on another job so it was delayed until this week. But, the guys did a fabulous job! They meticulously sanded the entire stairs including the treads and rails.

They asked me on Wednesday to come to the house to approve the stain color. We went back and forth with me telling them to add more brown or more white until the stain was a close match. It’s very difficult to match real wood (the stairs) to fake wood (the floors), but the contractors did a great job!

Having to work with the contractors on the stain made me feel like a total pain in the a$$ when asking them to tweak the color more and more. In the end the color was exactly right though so I’m glad I pushed!


Another source of delay is the fact that my favorite wood mill (which has been knocked down a few notches) ordered the wrong thickness of wood for my baseboards. So the baseboards that I was supposed to pick up last week won’t be ready for another 2 weeks. Sigh!

But luckily, that’s not going to delay the move. We just can’t move our furniture super close to the walls since the contractors are going to need 3 feet to move the baseboards into place. So our move won’t be a full move where we’re totally settled in; we’ll still be in construction mode but at least we’ll be moved out of the townhouse.

Painting the Main Level

I was really hoping to paint the rest of the main level this week, but because of all the sanding from the stair project, I had to wait. The last thing I wanted was to paint and then discover little pieces of wood dust in the paint job. So, painting is resuming today.

I also picked out (or thought I picked out) the molding trim color. I chose Collingwood cut by 50% by BM thinking it would be perfect with the wall color and it WAS in my small sample.

So, I ordered a gallon. But, when I painted a larger swatch on the trim, the color looked horrible next to the wall color! It totally clashed. So, my reign of picking out terrible colors in rounds 1-82 is still alive and well! It’s back to the drawing board.

Master Bedroom

My husband wants to paint our bedroom purple. It’s not my preferred color but it’s his favorite color and I think (hope) I can work with it.

As usual, I picked out some stinker colors initially but to be fair, I’ve never had to pick out a purple color before.

I was going for a muted purple with a lot of gray in it. The bottom two colors are definitely no-gos since they look like they belong in a kid’s room, but I can work with the top color. So, I’m looking for a complimentary color from Ben Moore since that’s my preferred paint brand. The above color is from Glidden. Stay tuned for the final color choice!

Having a Party House

Okay, it may seem weird to call your own house a “party house,” but when we were initially looking for a house, a priority was having a house that we could easily use to entertain. My husband and I will be empty nesters in a couple years so we were looking for a house that our teens could use to entertain their friends. And, a house that we could have family and friend parties. And a house that our grandkids would beg to go to (that was my number one reason!).

So far, although we haven’t moved in yet, we’ve had a grad party, an end of the year soccer team party, and a party hosting a charity that I work with. We’re hosting a family Father’s Day party on Sunday. And we’ve had get togethers with friends a handful of times as well. The kids invite their friends to swim just about every night. And I KNOW they’re meeting their girlfriends at the house at night and heads are going to roll for that one; really that’s the only type of entertaining that is NOT ALLOWED!

So, the house is living up to it’s entertaining function and we’re taking advantage of it even now.


A couple months ago, I posted a proposed budget for the house renovations. Then I went over budget because of all the work that we ended up doing behind the walls in the kitchen. So frustrating! If I go over budget, I at least want it to be on something fun or that you can see.

I was talking about the budget with my sister, who is a great decorator in her own right, and she asked why I had items in my budget that were not strictly related to renovation. When she does her budget, she doesn’t include items that she will take if she moves, like furniture. I did include those items in my budget (i.e. dining room table and chairs), and in hindsight that doesn’t make a lot of sense in a renovation budget. If I can walk out of the house with an item, it’s not integral to the house so it shouldn’t be included in the budget. So, I’ve backed those things out and I now have more breathing room.

It may feel like a cop out to back out items that I’ve already included, but it’s my first time working with a renovation budget, so I’m still trying to tweak it to fit my needs. Including everything under the sun as an expense does not fit my needs and is too restrictive! So, I’ve adjusted (and I make no apologies!).

A New Assistant!

My daughter, Sofia, just graduated from college and is working full time+ to save money for grad school. She wants to go to law school just like her dad and I did and law school is pricy! I need an assistant to help with running errands related to the house, help with DIY projects, teach me the ever expanding world of social media, and to take photos. So, we struck a deal. She helps me a few hours a week and I pay her for that help.

So far, it’s worked out great AND we’re spending quality time together. I’m also showing her things that I’m hoping she’ll appreciate when she has her own place like how to properly paint a wall. How to pick out and plant plants so that they don’t die. How employers hate it when they catch you on your phone. You know, life lessons!

Sofia took this gem of a photo!

And she’s showing me how to navigate social media more effectively. How to patiently explain things that I think are obvious (but aren’t). And we have conversations about all kinds of crazy topics.

So, it’s a symbiotic relationship and it’s really working out so far!

Next Week

Painting, painting, and more painting! I’d love to get the main level finally painted since that was delayed this week. I’m also narrowing down the paint color in the master bedroom. Purple is not my friend.

The stairs should also be done next week. The balusters will be installed and the stringer will be painted a trim color TBD. Also, the decorative scroll pieces on the stringer will be removed to streamline the look of the staircase. And finally the risers will be painted white.

We’d also like to move in next week, but per usual, that is up in the air for now.