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We finally got some light in our upstairs Jack n’ Jill bathroom.   A Jack n’ Jill, for those of you who may be wondering, is two bathrooms that share a tub/shower.  The tub/shower room is sandwiched between the two bathrooms, and in our case, is separated by pocket doors.  I hope that makes sense.

Moving on.  When we bought the house, the bathrooms looked like this:


Above the mirror, which you can’t see, was a horrible, dressing-room type light fixture.  You know the kind, with the four or five clear bulbs in a row?  When the room was painted, those babies came right down.  This left both the Jack and the Jill rooms without much light for the past year.  So I’ve been searching for the right fixture for the part of the bathroom with the window, let’s call this one Jill.

Jill has a sloped ceiling, which limited the size of the fixture we could get.


But we found it in Pottery Barn’s Mercer Horizontal.   Purchased on Ebay for about thirty dollars less than retail.  So I put Anuj to work.  It was slightly scary watching him handle live wires, but I was very proud of his newfound electrical skills.  He had to replace the light box, cut a circle out of the dry wall to make room for the new ‘pancake box’, shave the new wires, and then match them up to the ones coming out of the wall.  It only required two or three calls to my Dad (prompted by me) along the way.


Our tools – including the pancake box.


My electrician.


And…the finished product.


I know, I know, our camera is sort of terrible.


I’m not one for resolutions – I don’t make them, so I can’t break them.  I do, however, keep a running home improvement to-do list in my head, and I figured getting it down on paper (or .php) might help me visualize the extent of the projects – and the reality of completing them in the next 11+ months.

So herewith are my 2009 home improvement goals, in room/area order (score on already achieving my first goal of writing it down):

  1. make a home improvement binder that includes measurements for each room, including windows, closets, floors, etc.  Also include contact numbers for repairmen, hardware store, etc.  (note: this is separate from my magazine ‘inspiration’ binder –  alright, binders.)
  2. strategize about deck issue (ugh, long story)
  3. add post to top of driveway with better address signage
  4. mudroom – a place to sit/put on boots/store hats
  5. living room – couches?
  6. dining room – reupholster & reglue chairs
  7. dining room – table
  8. living room/loft – tv solution
  9. master – bed and mattress –  no more sleeping on the floor!
  10. master – paint
  11. upstairs bath – sconces
  12. upstairs bath – solution for storing towels, etc.
  13. upstairs hall – clean and line drawers of dresser
  14. upstairs bedroom(s) – replace trim
  15. upstairs bedroom(s) – paint
  16. basement bedroom – bed
  17. basement bedroom – paint
  18. all bedrooms – update window treatments (IKEA?)
  19. water heater – wait for it to die?  replace?
  20. gutters?  repair?
  21. document improvements more regularly, and more professionally (my photos err on the blurry side)

You’ll note that many of these goals are simply furnishing rooms.  It’s true; though we’ve had our place for almost a year, there are still rooms that are nearly empty.  The hand-me-downs have been great – but they only took us so far.  That, and, well, we’re looking forward to replacing some of the pieces we inherited with pieces we choose.  That came out wrong – I love my inherited furniture.  I just mean a girl can aspire to having actual dining chairs and table instead of folding chairs and folding table (remember: those Queen Anne chairs aren’t safe to sit in).

So I guess I’ll check back in around say…December to see how I did.  Works done, right?  I set my goals?  Kudos to me and now all the above will simply fall into place?

Along with the horrible linen-closet-cabinet thing outside the upstairs bathroom, there was something else in the house Anuj and I knew had to go. This:

I know, there’s a lot of things wrong with this picture. But draw your attention to the wallpaper. How could anyone look at this for longer than five minutes and not run screaming into the wilderness? Let me show you from another perspective just to be sure we’re in agreement:

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What’s Doing in Columbia/Berkshire County

Find out what's going on in Columbia and Berkshire county:

Columbia county: CoCo To Do

Berkshire county: Rogovoy Report