Wednesday, June 26, 2013

House Update #4: Filling in the gaps

First of all, we are less than three weeks away from getting married! Finally getting down to the wire with our move and realizing that June went by way too fast!

When I forget to bring a change of clothes I wear Seisuke's board shorts...but still it gets way too hot!

Two weeks ago, I had a couple days off and got to help Seisuke out with the house. For the past two months, Seisuke has had the same schedule: work on the house until lunch, eat lunch, go to work until 8pm, eat dinner, do more work (printing) at home. Poor guy! He has been working so hard that I wish I could do more! :/ But since the house is so far away from where I live I can only help out on the weekends. We were pretty productive working together but one problem we had is that it was very HOT. Like 90+ degrees and humid. No AC. Yeah, you can imagine!

Our bedroom

Our bedroom that we used as a work space to prep strips of wallpaper for the hallway

Last time we did the accent wall together but now we have the other three walls (and two closets!) covered with fresh white walls. One thing I noticed with DIY was that it is very hard to avoid cracks or “gaps” showing between each strip of wall paper. Seisuke said it is because the white wallpaper was thinner than we expected, which makes it harder to work with. However, he did have some white paste-type stuff that is for filling in the gaps. I went around smudging the stuff with my finger on all the walls and ceilings while he continued to wallpaper the second floor hallway. What a project! It was actually very time consuming and the heat did not help!

Seisuke had to set up the ladder like this to wallpaper the staircase...always made me so nervous that we was working alone on this!
Later I asked Seisuke to let me wallpaper a section of the hallway. The reason was because if I didn’t get to try doing it myself I wouldn’t be able to fully understand what Seisuke was doing. It is harder to be critical of something if you know how hard it is to do. So he let me do the short walls around the stairs. We measured the height, measured out the wallpaper, pasted it on (luckily we were using “pre-glued” wallpaper), smoothed out the cracks, and then trimmed all four sides. The trimming is the hardest part because you basically use some kind of guide and have to cut off the extra paper with an exacto knife. Depending on the angle you hold the blade and the pressure you use, you will get either a straight line, a wavy line, or you can even rip the paper because it is so soggy from all the glue! That was the tiring part...especially on a low wall where you basically have to squat for twenty minutes straight until you finish. It is definitely hard to make DIY jobs look professional but at least nothing looks sloppy. And now I can appreciate everything Seisuke is doing more since I got to try it. But after two sheets of wallpaper, I was done. :P I decided to paint the ceiling while he wallpapered the rest. That was good teamwork because Seisuke doesn’t like painting the ceiling.

Upstairs hallway
Although he did two coats of white paint before, compared to the new white walls, the ceiling still looked yellow. So I gave it another coat of white paint. If anyone getting married is worried about working out before their wedding, let me just tell you that all you have to do is remodel your house! You get a full body workout! My arms definitely felt the burn from all that rolling action and the whole time I kept thinking, this is the third coat of paint….that means all of this times three for every bedroom we paint….ahhh!!!

Painting the ceiling a third coat of white
Upstairs ceiling

After several hours, we finally finished the upstairs hallway and our bedroom. I was really pleased with how much progress we made! The next goal was the rest of the stairs, the downstairs hallway, and the toilet. I asked Seisuke to prioritize the toilet because, although we can eat dinner at his parents’ house next door, not having a toilet is kind of inconvenient, don’t you think?

We also went shopping for wallpaper paint for the other upstairs bedrooms. There are four bedrooms upstairs. Our bedroom was his parents’ room, so we had to take down all the wallpaper since it was sticky and smoky. That is where the funky wavy wallpaper came in. The other rooms I inspected and decided that they could just be repainted because Seisuke found paint specifically made for wallpaper. When we were peeling off all the wallpaper in the house (which now seems like ages ago!) we got really tired so that is one of the reasons I decided to leave the original wallpaper in the other bedrooms. Another reason is that re-wallpapering walls will never look as good as the original wallpaper since the surface underneath is not as smooth. Another plus is that painting is a lot cheaper than wallpapering. We found a hardware store that carried over a thousand shades of paint (the brand we found online only had a dozen or so) so I was in heaven! I was really leaning toward coral for our sewing/work room but it was too pink for Seisuke so we settled on apricot. It’s a really nice color! I knew I wanted mint for one of the bedrooms and I loved a blush pink sample I saw but since there is a possibility that we could end up with all boys, we opted for a baby blue for the other bedroom. Plus the pink might look more “Pepto” in person…don’t want to risk that.

The rest of the weekend we did some work on wedding prep and I encouraged Seisuke to start cleaning out the other bedrooms so I could start painting them (why do empty rooms always become storage closets???). ;) I felt very "mom-like" offering to clean it out for him instead.... :P

Here are some pictures of the rest of the house:

This is what our dining room looks like right now
Hallway and the bathroom/laundry room (in Japan the toilet is in a separate room from the shower)

What our living room looks like right now.

Entry way

View from our front steps looking out

Part of the front yard

Front view of our house

Our house

Land in front of our house used for growing onions and potatoes

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