Family floors and paperless walls

Today was our first full day with the house and we had two main goals: getting quotes for hardwood and carpet installation, and starting the basic cleaning of the upstairs bedroom and bathroom — our soon to be homebase for the rest of our efforts.


Floors are high on our priority list because we wanted to finish them before we moved in. No need to mess with dust, fumes, and the merry-go-furniture routine. As a bonus, because the carpet was so truly horrendous the house would look halfway remodeled if we could just change this one thing. 

In our area, many floor companies are run by Vietnamese families. During the afternoon one of our potential floor contractors was late on account of traffic and arrived exactly at the same time as the 22-year old son of another company’s owner. While both were standing around taking measurements, the elder squinted a little at the younger and asked, “Is your father Andy?” and a moment later “I used to take you for walks around your neighborhood when you were a year old!”

Turns out that the older contractor had been the partner of the younger’s father some twenty years ago, and used to babysit the kiddo, who he hadn’t seen since he was about three. They chatted about the kid going back to school and learning the family business (with much patting the kid on the head and emphatic advice giving, which was pretty funny when the kid was a tatooed but sweet gangsta wannabe who nevertheless still called his father “pops”), and then mentioned the cousin waiting outside, and it was like a whole family reunion on our front porch!

Window cleaning
In between the appointments with four hardwood contractors, one carpet representative, a plumber, and a general contractor examining our problem balcony, we set upon trying to make the master bedroom livable. One of the easiest things to do to improve the place was to clean the years of grime that clouded the upstairs windows. That’s me scrubbing away above!

Clean Windows
All clean! Well, actually we need to go back with a small nozzle-vacuum and a toothbrush to clean out the old tracks. But now we can admire our bedroom view. Pretty cool.

Bathroom Wallpaper
Also upstairs, the master bathroom sports this vintage wallpaper, complete with burned-out velvet like textures. We thought the brown and green thing was a bit strange, until we took off the mirror on the back wall to reveal the wallpaper beneath and discovered that it was green once upon a time.

Wallpaper of the wall
After studying up on all sorts of fancy ways to remove wallpaper (chemicals, steam, painting right over it) the stripping was remarkably simple. The wallpaper was so old that the adhesive had become complete crispy. We simply grabbed grabbed pieces by the corner and tugged and the paper zipped right off.

Bathroom no paper
Voila! Tomorrow we will clean the walls and sand them in preparation for primer and paint.


4 thoughts on “Family floors and paperless walls

    • Well if we never leave the house because we’re slaving away at washing walls and such, the whole epidemic might just pass us by!

  1. FLOCKED wallpaper? Wow. I trust the carpeting in the master bedroom was shag in some strange shade of gold or green. (Or chocolate brown. I once lived in a rental with chocolate brown shag, many years ago. Deeply depressing.) And is the little chandelier gold-leafed?

    The view, however, now looks great–and thanks for the track-cleaning advice.

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