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Week Fourteen: Waving the White Flag

This weekend at Casa Conn was, on the whole, completely exhausting and even somewhat frustrating (more on that later in the post). By Sunday night, Dave and I decided to wave the white flag of surrender and get some help to finish out the rest of the painting (for now, the master bedroom, master bathroom, and Dave's "man room"). While Dave and I did all the painting in our current house, we didn't do it all at once, and after two weekends in a row of nonstop painting, we're exhausted -- and realize that at this pace, we won't be finished in time for our scheduled move-in date of August 15 (especially since we haven't really even started to pack!).

So, in an effort to finish up the painting in time for the big move -- and to give us next weekend to focus on packing up the old house -- we're bringing in Dave's brother...or rather, Dave's brother's painter. You see, Dave's brother Micah is (in addition to being an awesome guy) an excellent general contractor who has spent the last year dividing his time between his home in south Florida and Galveston, Island. One call to Micah on Monday morning and we were all set up to have his painting crew at the new house later this week to paint the master bedroom and bathroom (in Farrow & Ball's Parma Gray) and Dave's study (in Benjamin Moore's Slate Teal). In many ways, I only wish we'd called Micah sooner as between painting on weekends and things at work heating up, I've been absolutely exhausted lately.

But on to more pleasant things -- here are a few pictures of the exterior I took last weekend:

A shot of the front door. I opted for wrought iron metalwork in lieu of leaded glass panes (which seemed a little too traditional for the house's facade). I wish the stain here was more espresso than mahogany, but that's something I could easily change myself at some point down the road.

The shutters under the front porch. Sure these aren't working shutters, but they make me smile nevertheless. I'm also really happy with the brick color -- it's interesting without being loud.

I don't think I've ever posted any pictures of our new neighborhood, so here's a shot down the street. When the house first broke ground, the only neighbors we had were at the very end of the street (in the light brick two-story on the far right). Now, just five months later, the only vacant lots on our side of the street are on our immediate left (that patch of grass in the foreground is our front yard) and one house down from us on the right (not pictured). The majority of these houses though are still underway, so I imagine we have months of dodging construction workers and avoiding debris ahead of us.

Word must have gotten out that our street has an abnormally high percentage of construction workers on it as vans peddling tacos, burritos, and other assorted Tex-Mex visit us about every half hour. While painting on Sunday, I was half tempted to run out there myself and place an order....I wonder if residents ever do this?

And now for the frustrating part: The dining room. The bane of my weekend. In the pictures the white looks good, but don't be fooled. In person it's far bluer, far whiter than the existing trim work and it's really obvious. Last week, when I went in to pick up the white paint, I specifically tried to get the same color as our existing trim work, which my builder claimed was simply called "White". As you all know though, there are about an infinite number of whites in the world -- and nearly all of them have names other than "white".

Dutifully though, I went to Pittsburgh Paints and ordered one can of oil-based (my first mistake!) white paint in a semigloss finish. The guy working the counter gave me what I later found out to be just a can of base paint. While Dave and I had our suspicions rolling it on, we decided to let it fully dry before making the call that it was indeed the incorrect paint.Of course though, it wasn't the "white" paint my builder used at all. To top it all off, because we used oil-based paint instead of latex, the process was exceedingly more painful (if you've used oil-based before, you'll know what I mean -- it's, quite simply, just a bitch to use).

This week I'll be making my third trip to Pittsburgh Paints in as many weeks to pick up the correct white (which is, incidentally, called White Chip). Pain and suffering aside though, I'm absolutely thrilled with how the Drawing Room Blue turned out; it's exactly as I'd imagined it to be.

All, fortunately, was not lost. After throwing in the metaphorical towel with the paint, Dave and I decided to tackle another project: installing the hardware. And, thanks to a cheap plastic template we picked up at the Home Depot (in the hardware aisle, logically enough), the process was much easier -- and much quicker -- than we had feared. Just an hour or so after we had started, we had installed every knob on every cabinet in the house.

I'm particularly pleased at how the Vintage Knobs I got from Restoration Hardware turned out in the master bathroom. The vanity drawer will be getting a matching pull as soon as it arrives off back order.

Next weekend we'll be finishing up the dining room and waiting around for the cable guy and the refrigerator installation (which was supposed to happen this Saturday but thanks to our builder putting baseboards around the refrigerator niche, the fridge we bought wouldn't fit -- another frustration!). Of course, I'll post more pictures next week, including pictures of the additional rooms we're having painted on Thursday.

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