Further Developments

….and so, in the fullness of time, we took possession of the Apple House, and it was good.

A day’s worth of time of a cleaning crew was given unto us, and today they cleaned up the Flies, and the House was no longer the House of Flies, it was rebirthed as the House of Body Hair That The Cleaners Missed.

Lo, a phone call was made, and the cleaning lady was made to return on the morrow to finish the job because SRSLY. The house is empty, you have the time to clean out the insides of the bathroom cabinets. The Word of the Lord, amen.

And in that time it was discovered that the powder room sink leaks terribly, and that the powder room sink cabinet needs to be removed, and a new sink must be purchased, and new taps, and there was much rejoicing, for LO I DO LOVE RENOVATION, and verily this is my jam.

The dessicated poop that was revealed to all in the master bathroom toilet was rehydrated and flushed, praise be unto Me, who used an orange juice jug to refill the toilet, and who laughed the entire time for indeed it was SO GROSS and yet, I did say I wishethed for a challenge.

For thine is thy fixer upper, the power tools and the stories, earl grey tea lattés, amen.

Advertisements

Hello My Name Is

I should probably get around to introducing myself. I’m the OTHER HALF. Mark, by name. Known across a multitude of car forums by.. well, that’s not important, is it?

 And I had originally thought I’d just talk about my thoughts for the house, and my priorities and the fun we were going to have talking out design ideas and… but that’s not the way Janine and I work. And anyone who knows us, knows it. I had my thoughts on the home inspection: my priorities are always the function over form (car too: give me performance, and it can look like hell) first, which means all the nits that are picked (she’s going to change that before this gets posted, mark my words) in a home inspection got a viable, italicized list, with fixes and estimated costs and…

 Screw that. It’s not time for that yet.

 So, lets start here, with Janine’s own words:

Game over, seller.

 Your junk pile is ours.

 It’s mine to turn into a gem, and it’s his to turn into the ultimate support system for the garage. (We have different priorities, and that’s fine, because I respect his garage and he doesn’t say no to my paint choices.) People need boundaries and their own “spaces”.

 

The statement there isn’t entirely accurate. It’s KIND OF ACCURATE. Yes, the garage is gonna be a definite play thing for me, and yes, there’ll be design stuff to deal with there.

 I do say no to her paint choices. Regularly. At which point, there’s ranting and raving, because I don’t know the difference between oatmeal and creme grey, and dammit, it’s OBVIOUS when you look at it in the 3pm light on a fall day during the equinox. or something.

 I don’t know interior design, is what I’m saying, but I know waht I like. And I know that if I don’t know what something is going to look like ahead of time, I inherently dislike it on the face of the discussion.

 This makes Janine bonkers.

 This making Janine bonkers makes me bonkers.

 You can see why we get along, right?

 There’s currently an ongoing war about whether or not there will be a plethora of pink in the house. It goes like this:

 Janine: I’m going to do this, this and this, it’s these wonderful pink shades

Mark: No pink. Seriously.

Janine: it’s more a salmon/peach type of flavor

Mark: It’s pink. You just said it was pink. it looks pink.

Janine: it won’t in the sun between 3pm and 4pm, in the fall, it’ll look rosy and warm.

Mark: *gets out phone to google* “rosy”. That’s PINK. YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ME.

Janine: it’ll be fine WHY WON’T YOU TRUST MY VISION?

Mark: Because your vision is PINK!

Janine: it’s not!

Mark: it is!

Janine: It’s not!

Mark: It is!

Janine: FINE I’M DOING IT ANYWAY.

Mark: NO PINK!

 This is only half in jest. It’s at least fifty percent of the truth. Maybe less.

 Mostly, what I’m saying is, we have very different visions, and extremely different ways of attacking projects. She’s talked a bunch about design and color already, both interior and exterior. I’m not really thinking about any of those things. And honestly, despite the somewhat facetious display above, I’m generally fine with what she’s looking at doing, style-wise. She did brilliantly with the townhouse, before we sold it. In reality, our tastes are similar, with hers being more adventurous than mine.

 Where we really differ is the way we attack projects. She is superbly detail oriented. She’s said it herself, she’s a perfectionist, and she gets hung up on the details. I, on the other hand, dig my hands in and sweat.I pre-plan like crazy, and get all my supplies together first. I don’t mind breaking things, I don’t mind building them, and (with a laptop and google handly) I don’t have any issues doing something I’ve never done before. I can get plumbing right… after she points me in the right direction for the correct style fixtures. I’ve done laminate flooring, a deck, spent a summer doing roofing. I worked in landscaping for years, and while my kneejerk reaction to landscaping now is “pave it all”, if you need a tree trimmed or stump dug out I’ll be in there with an ax and shovel and that tree WILL get moved. And I’ll make you some nice lookin’ flowerbeds when it’s done. I’ll fix my own tools where I can, and happily.

 I am king, with a caulk-gun.

And I’ll provide design input where I feel appropriate. Because I can, and it’s not all about the garage.

 I’m looking forward to this house. Janine and I have really disparate views on where it all goes (the kitchen alone is going to cause a multitude of high volume discussions, I’m already sure) but it’s going to be fun along the way. There are design cues throughout the house that I want to pick up, and as she said, the garage will be a thing that gets done in the same way. there’s no need to neglect that space: I plan on spending a lot of time there with friends and fellow enthusiasts. I’m a garage kind of guy. So, it’s gonna be interesting, and useful.

What you’ll probably see from me here (as you may already have guessed) is counterpoint to Janine’s more regular discussions. Also, probably a bunch of step-by-step DIY stuff, and documentation of the colossal fuck-ups I’m undoubtedly going to make. And the garage and basement plans, and probably a lot of landscaping. The individual fixes that are, in and each, minor, but put together, much larger and more time consuming. And the general high-larity that will come from doing all of this, and living the life with Janine.

Planning Ahead

There’s a lot of snow outside, and even more filling up the driveway of the Apple House. Mark and I drove past it while on Christmas vacation, and the city snow plows had given us a seasonal gift of a 4 foot high wall of compacted snow and ice. No one is clearing off the path to the front door either, although some hard core postal worker is still trudging up to the front door to leave fliers. Poor bastard… also, poor us, because we are in for a nightmare of a workout. Thank the LORD I go to the gym.
 
Despite the fact that it’s the season for hot drinks, mountains of blankets, roaring fireplaces and movie marathons, I think both Mark and I are a bit obsessed with thoughts of spring and the exterior of the house. We were at the house because it had warmed up unexpectedly and snow was melting, and we wanted to know if the snow on the very very messed up roof of the Apple House was melting. We were in for such a great surprise! Despite all the snow we’ve had this winter, the prevailing winds in our new ‘hood picked up the snow from the East roof faces and dumped it all on the West roof faces. The weak spot in the roof, the big crisis spot that we wanted patched so urgently, is on the East side of the house and miracle of miracles, there was only about an inch of snow over that spot. The West side of the house had about a foot of snow, and it was forming an incredibly impressive drift over the front of the house! The Apple House looks like an emo kid with a heavy sweep of bangs hanging in his/her eyes.
 
I fell in a snowbank. I am a graceful Canadian swan. 
I pulled myself out by holding onto our Subaru Forester. 
When I ran out of station wagon to hold onto, I almost fell back into the snowbank.
Mark couldn’t even look at me, it was so embarrassing to watch.
 
That’s not the only creeping I’ve been doing, though. I’ve been working on figuring out what to do to improve the exterior of the house. Right now, the house is the worst of the 1980s in Canada. Any Canadian (who would notice these kinds of things) will tell you that in the late ’70s and in the ’80s, there was this insane Canadian civic love affair with dark chocolate brown: libraries were painted chocolate brown, park signs were chocolate brown with yellow letters, trim on houses were glossy chocolate brown OH GOD THE MEMORIES. Everything that was provided to the public by the provincial or municipal governments (it seemed) got painted chocolate brown! Our house kind of falls into that category: cream vinyl siding, red brick, and dark chocolate brown trim (and shutters).
 
This colour combination has always strongly reminded me of a nanaimo bar, which isn’t BAD because yum? But it’s dated to be sure. Since we have to put a new roof and new windows on the house, we’re in a position to make significant changes to the appearance of the house. This is brilliant! However, if you’re gonna be choosing a new roof and new windows, it’s a good idea to have a vision for the whole exterior. The roof will come from one supplier, the windows from another, so it really falls to the homeowner to have a master plan.
 
So what do you do with a red brick and cream vinyl siding house? (Answer: google image search the crap out of red brick houses!)
 
The internet seems to say that your only options for a red brick house  are black shutters with white trim and windows, but that’s pretty much what we have now and it doesn’t look good at all. It really, really looks… dark? Dirty? Boring?
 
I decided to assume that the windows would have charcoal grey trim (more on that later), and that the roof would be a medium grey. The choice of roof colour is a big deal: the darker your roof, the more heat it’ll create and the more your insulation will have to work at keeping your house cool. Since that’s the case, I think a medium grey will be both dark enough to have class, and will be light enough to not create too much heat.
 
After futzing around with Microsoft paint and trying out a wide variety of colours, I created a milky oxblood red (applied to the shutters, front door and garage door) that just happens to look absolutely incredible with a charcoal windows and cream vinyl siding. The look is very “modern farmhouse”.
 
I’m hoping that in real life we’ll find a garnet/oxblood house paint that looks absolutely incredible with the existing brick. The colour I created on my computer is darker, browner and somehow has a smooth milky-ness that sets off the brick instead of creating a sense that the whole damn house is an OXO cube. Win!
 
But the tricky part becomes this: in my successful mock up with the imaginary oxblood house paint, my starting point was those grey frame windows. The mock ups with pure white window frames clashed with the cream coloured siding.
 
Well, we have a quote for getting grey frame windows, but they’re more expensive than white windows. So now my question is…
 
…if I wanted to put grey framed windows on the parts of the house that face the street, and white frame windows everywhere else, would that be such a crime?

Getting To Work

One of the interesting things about the Apple House is that the bathrooms were recently renovated, and they’re nicely done. There’s no reason to undo decent work, even if it isn’t exciting stuff. I would never waste well done construction, I’ll make it work. My starting point is a little… dark, though.

Image

The walls and ceiling are a shade of blue-grey (not a bad choice, previous owners) and obviously the vanity light doesn’t throw much light. That’s outrageous! ITS ONLY FUNCTION IS TO THROW LIGHT. Light fixtures of the world: you serve a noble purpose! You throw light around rooms for people who can’t see in the dark. You’re noble, you save lives when you do your jobs well. This light, though, is giving y’all a bad reputation. I need a solution.

The bathroom vanity is original to the house, the counter top is laminate, the sink is fairly new, the taps are okay. Given all of this, I think I’ll donate the entire unit to Habitat for Humanity. It can be installed in a house right now, or sold to support building houses for low income families. I’m 100% into that, always.

Here’s where my head is at:

Image

In 2007, I took a solo trip to Morocco and I took a lot of pictures, like you do. I worked really hard on developing my pictures, probably too much, because as soon as I had them printed and was satisfied with them, I became unbearably bored with my prints and just wanted to get rid of them. I never hung them unless I had to (had to is defined as staging the house or doing a rush job on decorating a room for guests).

Here’s the game plan:

– paint the room cream, or a warm creamy pale grey;

– reframe some of my photography into slimmer frames, suitable for lying very flat on the wall in a high traffic area,

– the West Elm shower curtain (shown above) is already in the mail;

– remove the towel bar, and install multiple towels bars across the room for multiple guests;

– a new vanity, very modern, with warm wood tones;

– I brought back two hand of Fatima door knockers from Morocco. One is antique and graceful, the other is very small and crude, but very very sweet. The smaller hand was a gift for Mark, the antique is mine. They’ve been waiting for a home for 7 years, and it’s about time I put them up somewhere. Maybe one on the bathroom door, maybe one the vanity or on the medicine cabinet.

– the vanity top  with integral sink in pure white, to bounce some light around;

– find a mirror like the one in the inspiration photograph in the upper right hand corner, but that’s gonna take some looking and budgeting. It’s a Moroccan bone inlay mirror, and they’re available here and there.

– and finally, if the budget allows, getting an electrician to advise us on and install pot lights to bring light into every corner of the bathroom.

This is it. This is the first plan for the new house. It’s the first fix. I described it to Mark, he likes it, and that’s good enough. This is good enough.

Painted Thonet Chairs and Long Term Vision

There are a lot of rules in design, and I’m picking them up randomly by listening to design trained people talk. One insight I heard and keep coming back to is the koan of quick-cheap-easy.

The triumvirate of PRODUCING things is quick, cheap or easy. (You can almost swap cheap and quality, because they have a really strong relationship.) The idea behind the triumvirate is that you can have one or two points, but not all three. Let’s say I want to have a painted house: I can get it done quickly by pros, and that’s easy on me, but it’s not cheap. Let’s say I want to renovate my kitchen, and I want it to be cheap: it’ll take time to wait for sales (not fast) and I’ll probably choose to install it myself (not easy).

Everyone wants all three, me especially. Quick is good, cheap is good, easy is really good. I love easy. However, with a house we’re going to have for thirty years, I have to choose slow. If slow is the name of the game, I can also release my death grip on easy, and enjoy the bargain hunting thrills of cheap.

These are all good things, but when I think of letting go of easy, I think of letting go of hiring professionals for work that’s hard but still DIYable. I’m an under-achieving perfectionist: I’ll quit if I think I can’t get things flawless. Why do I quit? Because my vision of perfection can be hella intimidating. Maybe if I’m working within the framework of cheap, gradual and “elbow-greasy”, I can deal with the issue of perfectionism. Living with perfectionism is hard, and like I said, easy feels good. That’s when hiring a professional answers all questions and drops the anxiety levels right down. But professionals might not be necessary when there’s no time limit, and no pressure.

We don’t have the house yet, so instead of packing up (ridiculous thought! totally silly!) I’m setting myself up for a first project for the Apple House, aka the Drunken Earl of Sommersby, aka the Finnish Beach Party. (Yes, we’ve been coming up with nicknames for the house.) To be honest, I don’t know why I started with chairs, but that’s me and that’s the thirty year plan. Take advantage of opportunities when they happen, and be open to things happening out of order.

First there was this picture on Pinterest, from House of Turquoise:

Image

I was researching dining rooms, painted dining room tables, and this blew my mind. I adore the mints, the peppermint, the forest green, the hits of turquoise glass… WHAT A COLOUR PALETTE. But what I really love are the thonet chairs. Thonet chairs are usually plain wood, but when I saw this picture I felt like I was seeing the perfect colour palette for a chair with those curves and swoops. Can’t explain it anymore than that. Mints, pastels, and bentwood: it feels right.

Quick and not cheap options? Buy a thonet chair or chairs from any online source.

Not quick and maybe cheap? Find some thonet chairs secondhand online. First, though, you’ve got to find them. They can be knock offs, that’s okay, it’s secondhand. If the seats are caned, it’ll either be in good condition or you can get them redone. While you wait for a set of these chairs to come up for sale, research people who can redo caning. When they show up online, go get ’em before someone who knows furniture gets heart shaped eyes and snaps them up.

That’s what I did. I was so surprised to find four bentwood chairs, secondhand, listed on usedottawa.com. I don’t think they’re actual thonet chairs, but that’s fine with me because instead of one bent piece of wood across the back they have two bent pieces of wood that I think of as “hearts”. Anything that makes me think of a heart without overtly referencing one has a place in my life. Not only were they heart-y, there were four (four matching chairs! swoon) with newly caned seats. FLAWLESS.

Here they are, paired with a vision for their future.

Image

The wood on the heart-y bentwood chairs is in great condition, very blonde, a nice silky finish with only a little character. Since that’s the case, I can see myself partially painting them like the chairs on the left. (Picture source: http://singularesmag.com) The “dip painted” look is a trend right now, it won’t last forever, but it’s probably going to work for me when I need some touches of accent colour to pull a room together without covering up the existing finish on the chairs.

What’s fun about this is that I’m planning to use the chairs in the kitchen, in some kind of “eat in” set up. The kitchen plan, though? No money for it. No floor plan yet. No materials chosen. Haven’t moved in. No guarantee that there’s going to be an eat-in area.

That’s the unexpected freedom of the thirty year house: gambling on what you MIGHT do. I have a long schedule, I can gamble a lot. I can develop an idea of things I like (such a list) and grab them when I see them for the right price, even if their eventual use isn’t guaranteed.

It’s a worthy trade off.

YELLOW DONE RIGHT

There’s been a BUNCH of love for the horrible yellow in the house. Sure, it’s sunny and bright. People like the happiness, sure.

Guys, here’s a nice black and yellow kitchen by Sarah Richardson. This is how you do a yellow and black kitchen.

Image

Image

Now that is A LOT of black cabinetry and A LOT of yellow. It works because of the mixture of white and grey to smooth it all out, to keep it from being Life As Viewed From Inside Charlie Brown’s shirt.

I’m really excited about the new kitchen because it occurred to me that since we’ll update the kitchen right away, but the update will be only temporary…. we can go effing crazy.

WE CAN DO SOMETHING TOTALLY RADICAL.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Weird Moments

We’ve talked about everything that’s wrong with the house we’re buying (ruined roof! rotted windows! overgrown yard! flies! mice! carbon monoxide!) but it’s beginning to dawn on me that when those things are fixed, the house is move-in ready.

The dirt will wipe off.

The roof and windows will be replaced.

We went with friends to Home Depot (couples date, you know how it is with homeowners) and we were looking at flooring. Mark and I were admiring different types of flooring and it kinda sunk it after awhile that actually, the house has new birch hardwood floors. (Birch is a softwood, but when it’s tongue and groove flooring everything is called hardwood. This is an argument I have with my Grandfather all the time.) The main areas of the house are DONE. We won’t need to shop for hardwood for….. thirty years. I had to look it up on my iPhone but yeah, the entire top floor has new floors. Even on the landing. All new floors.

We were looking at tile and aside from the kitchen and the front hall vestibule, we don’t need tile. The bathrooms have already been renovated, and nicely renovated too.

That was a weird moment. Our house (after the new roof and new windows) doesn’t need construction. It needs strictly decorating.

I won’t need to buy a toilet for the next thirty years, because all the toilets are new and toilets last for forever. The furnace is new. We’ll have a new water heater by the end of February.

I can’t wrap my head around it.  We bought an (almost) move in ready house.

Listening to:

Done.

Game over, seller.

Your junk pile is ours.

It’s mine to turn into a gem, and it’s his to turn into the ultimate support system for the garage. (We have different priorities, and that’s fine, because I respect his garage and he doesn’t say no to my paint choices.) People need boundaries and their own “spaces”.

Right now, my focus is on not decorating the entire house before we’ve even moved in. I’m a crazed happy monster with a new home to reduce to a blank slate and then build up again. I’m intoxicated with ideas.

Right now, my plan is to challenge myself by not repeating what I’ve done before. Our current house (just sold) has a creamy grey-beige, robin’s egg blue and pale grey main floor, with some bold teal and turquoise accents. The main floor took some time to pull together, but there was always a very “cool” theme in here.

Next house, I want to have a cohesive main floor where the rooms really flow together and the colour scheme has to be warm. I’ve done cool, now it’s time to go warm.

Our current house has a colourful top floor and each room is its own statement. That being said, I made sure that when you stood on the upstairs landing, the room colours and decor looked relatively nice when you could see into all the rooms… from left to right you’d get grey-purple, grey-beige and hot pink, neutral greys, a rich grey-brown and then a light but intense green. (To explain, those are the colours of the bathroom, the spare bedroom, the landing walls, the open cupboard, the master bedroom, and the home office.) Honestly, the top floor wasn’t as cohesive a statement as it could have been, but that’s fine. Each room had character, the decor looked good enough and if you pulled all the colours together onto a moodboard you’d have only one or two head scratchers. *cough hot pink cough*

I feel a plan for the main floor fomenting already, but the top floor of the next house is a mystery. There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms up there. The bedrooms are sorted out with two on the northside and two on the southside, with a stairwell and closets diving the top floor in half. This is great, because I could divide the decor into halves, but I think to begin with we’ll just paint everything pure white, we’ll remove and spray the doors with something exceptionally scrubbable, and we’ll ignore it.

I really want to work on my ability to make a plan for the entire room, record it, then deliver on it. I’ve always admired the under appreciated skill of having a vision in one’s mind of what you want to create and then actually creating what you visualized with minimal deviations. There’s something so impressive about that.

The Banks Will Loan You Enough Rope To Hang Yourself

One of the trickiest things about buying a home is dealing with banks and mortgage brokers. When we set out to buy our first house, my father told me “banks will give you enough rope to hang yourself”. He clarified that they’ll loan you a huge amount of money, more than you can afford. Eventually, when interest rates rise, you won’t be able to make your payments anymore, and they’ll get your house plus all the money you EVER paid for the house. The House always wins… unless you don’t take their money.

Right now, with regards to the Thirty Year House, we haven’t closed on a deal per se. Negotiations are still in progress, and not just with the owners. I talked to ING Direct today about their mortgages and got some laughable news. ING was a great bank, but they’ve been bought recently by Scotiabank. Whereas ING Direct used to offer the best interest rate hands down and was a great bank to be a consumer with, they now a decent interest rate but doing business with them now comes with some nasty little surprises.

As of right now, the prime interest in Canada is set at 3%. Some banks are offering variable interest rates on mortgages, all of which are explained as prime minus x%. There are multiple banks offering prime minus .05% Today, when talking to ING Direct/Scotiabank, they told me they’d give me prime minus .025% and if I wanted to streeeeetch the bank out to prime minus .03%, I’d have to park $15,000 in a bank account with them. In addition, if I want a bridge loan (footnote 1) with them, they’ll charge me 2% interest on that and because the bridge loan is of a certain size, they’ll charge me a fee just to get the loan (the fee is approximately $250).

Le no.

Le honh honh honh.

Ze eff u, crackmonsieur. Do less of ze crack.

We’re done here, guys. Scotiabank, you ruined ING Direct (soon to be called TANGERINE!). But they’re not the only ones who’ve got rope to loan you.

Now, all this talk is kinda painting a picture of us like we know what we’re doing but actually we are total derp monkeys like everyone else, except our derp is the size of about $6,000. We went to talk to our amazing mortgage broker and realized all at once that we forgot about closing costs. The cost of closing your home is lawyers fees, disbursements (dunno what those are, srsly I dunno), the dreaded LAND TRANSFER TAX and other assorted blows to the head that happen when the world takes its chunk of your profits. Of course, realizing that I’d failed to remember these things caused me to do this:

JenniferLawrence

Those closing costs just ate up the nest egg we would have used for an emergency or to begin our fund to replace the kitchen. sigh This is where our mortgage broker comes in. We’ve discussed (as a couple) the idea of borrowing money to make some upgrades to the house, and I’ve been adamantly against it. Just. Pay. Cash. Save up, do more with less, pay cash. Stay the hell away from debt, because it’s a losing game. We resolved, as a couple, to save up money despite the fuck up of the closing costs.

And our agent, who is very kind, is basically holding us together

catherine

And everything is going to be fine… except for the part where we mentioned to our mortgage broker (fine woman, won’t hear a word against her) that we can’t afford the kitchen renovation anymore. We’re survivors, we’ll make it work, and that’s the kind of thing that makes life interesting. No one ever went on fucking Oprah to say “everything’s fine, thanks. Things have been great pretty much all around, all things considered. My secret? I dunno, avoid problems?” and lemme tell you, I plan to go on Oprah someday, and she will CRY, she will LAUGH, she will BUY MY ALBUM. I don’t mind doing things the hard way.

Where was I going with this? RIGHT, the mortgage broker wants us to have it all by doing the renovations and then having the mortgage company fold the costs into the mortgage. She insisted that we HAVE to borrow an extra $20,000 on our mortgage to pay for the kitchen renovation.  She even went ahead and requested the mortgage company to approve us for the loan.  Finally, today, I had to brace myself to demonstrate that I have a spine by actually calling her up and saying “we want to pay cash for the kitchen, okay?” The mortgage payments on a house with an extra $20k built into the mortgage would be crippling even with the low interest rates…. if interest rates went up, we’d be boned.

I’m so glad I’m surrounded by people who knew about these things and shared their knowledge with me.   :/

Footnote 1: A bridge loan is a loan that spots you money when you’re transitioning between houses. In many cases, people get a bridge loan, buy a new house, move all their stuff into their new house and use the bridge loan to pay their mortgage on their old house while it’s on the market for sale. In our case, we want a 30 day bridge loan because we actually sold our house first, and we want to possess our next house 30 days before we’re due to leave our house so that we can clean the new house up.

The Impasse

We haven’t bought the house yet.

Our negotiations are at an impasse, the seller is behaving like a toddler having an over-due-nap meltdown (refusing to make FREE fixes to his own home so we can buy it) and he’s daring us to take it or leave it.

Buddy, everyone we know thinks we should leave it. Your house is covered in dead flies, is infested with mice, we can’t afford to fix the kitchen AND the roof AND the windows (all of which are equally dire), every room needs to be repainted, the hot water tank is leaking carbon monoxide, the furnace is vented improperly, the roof needs patching and THE HOUSE IS FULL OF DEAD FLIES AND GARBAGE. AND DEAD FLIES. Your washing machine is from 1983!

I can’t even look at Pinterest, I’m so… done.