Dressing a home of my own

Whew! Since I’ve written we’ve moved from Nashville Tennessee to Clearwater Beach, Florida!

What with all the packing/moving/unpacking chaos, I probably shouldn’t feel bad that I haven’t had time to sew or write for a couple of months, but I do. A little.

Luckily, I made lots of cool cotton dresses in the months before the move. They’re really coming in handy! Florida is hot! Actually Tennessee is just as hot, but here we have a nice ocean breeze. Note to self: circle skirts are not a good choice for beach walks!

We’re on the eleventh floor. No, there’s no gardening and no, I don’t mind. Because here’s the view from our balcony!

The Gulf of Mexico!

It’s a corner condo, so in addition to the small west (Gulf) facing balcony, we have big one facing south. From there, if you look to your left you see the intracoastal waterway. If you look to your right, you see the beach. And if you look straight ahead, you can watch your neighbors on their balconies. A big change from our suburban life!

And everywhere palm trees!

It’s been marvelous… the dolphins, stingrays and the occasional shark (yikes!) swimming by, along with para-sailers, kite-boarders, sailboats and banner-towing airplanes. Because we’re not on the main drag where there are lots of hotels, shops and tourists, it’s overall very quiet and peaceful. And there are the sunsets. Just stunning. The most dramatic ones follow stormy days.





Before you go chartreuse with envy, let me point out that along with all this glorious gloriousness comes work. The condo is in a 30+ year old building. Some units have been beautifully updated, others not at all. Ours was sorta halfway done. So we’re working on the other half. Like wallpaper. Old, faded grasscloth (once very glam of course) in one bedroom and all the closets.

Which I couldn’t resist starting to peel away… even before I’d finished unpacking!
Of course I made an awful mess! Now there’s no chance of unpacking this room! Thank Heaven for Pete the Painter, whom I hired not to paint but to remove wallpaper. He got it all cleared away and the walls prepped  so I could start painting.
Once I got going with paint, I painted everything. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and dining room — oh, and closets too. I even covered this mural (which wrapped around the foyer and the inside of the front doors)! Floridians love their murals, and this was probably the coolest thing in its day, but it’s time to modernize.

I’m not sure how old the carpeting was, but let’s say it’s lived out its lifespan. We spent a couple of weekends searching for just the right wood to replace it – something light in color with a matte finish so it would be casual and easy maintenance. After visiting all the likely places we found it at good ole Lowe’s and ordered it.

While we waited for installation, I busied myself unpacking and painting some tired old furniture, a’la Florida style. I’m not sure I like it.

An old Eastlake dresser and bed… Hmm. Another coat? A little sanding? Or another color?  That’s my Bonjour Dress, by the way… a perfect choice for my new lifestyle. An easy fit in breezy cotton.

Finally, flooring day arrives! Introducing Wyatt and Caleb, my new best friends.

Out goes the carpet
And the pad that was under it!. And no, they didn’t throw it off the balcony – though I’m sure they wanted to! They piled it up out there while they worked, then used the elevator to take it away at the end of the day.
Then, because these high rise condos are built with concrete subfloors, we have to use this strange underlayment… like something from Nasa.
And at last, in goes the wood! Yes!
So now I should be painting baseboards and quarter-round… but it’s a pretty day out. Time for a beach walk.




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