Gingerbread Diaries | Episode 2.1 No Drippy!

The Gingerbread Diaries

It’s somewhat fitting (if a little frustrating) that we begin our second year of home repairs with more plumbing issues. But that’s the way it goes, and it actually turned out better than it could have.

(Direct link for the feed readers: Gingerbread Diaries 2.1: No Drippy!)

The worst-case scenario in this situation involved cutting a large chunk out of the ceiling. The upside is that it would have forced the issue on redoing the back hallway (which sorely needs it). To refresh your memory, this is the part of the house that used to be porch and was later enclosed. It’s pretty obvious that most of the issues with this particular add-on are from shoddy work when it was enclosed. Most of the issues wouldn’t have been very big while it was still breezeway or what have you, but the exterior that’s now interior has some severe, long-term water damage that will require new drywall at the very least, and possibly more once we actually open up the walls.

And when we tackle the drywall on the bathroom side of the hall, then we might as well deal with the water damage in the bathroom, as well (that was due to the roof, roof, not roof but window casing ridiculousness). But my plan is to do more than just replace the ceiling and drywall in there, I want to completely overhaul that room. It happens to be the worst laid out bathroom I’ve ever seen, but it can be improved it we rearrange the fixtures to better use the small space (approx. 5.5’x9′) and it won’t even be horrific as far as the plumbing is concerned because I can reuse the hot and cold lines that currently run to the sink for the tub.


For the visual learners among us (myself included).

What’s not pictured is a window  in the center of the exterior wall. Yes, a window on a ground-floor bathroom that looks into the shower. The reset will put the window in line with the door for natural light (said window currently being blocked by a shower curtain) and a more appropriate placement.

Sure, it’ll mean moving the door as well as the pipes, but the current state of the downstairs bathroom door shows that it was, at some former time, forcibly opened. We can only presume that one of the patients of the personal care home that was found themselves on the wrong side of the door one way or another. But replacing it will not be much of a hardship. I think one of the upstairs closet doors is the right side, should we want to keep to the current diminutive stature (that is, barely 2′ wide and short enough that our tall guests have to duck).

Getting back to the point, I’m glad it wasn’t a worst case scenario for many reasons. Pretty high up on that list is the prospect of our annual Halloween party and not wanting the guest bath under construction with such a deadline looming. So the back hall and downstairs bath will continue in their functional if not optimal conditions while I work on a new project which just presented itself. (Hint: follow me on instagram to see what I’m up to over the next month.)

Happy House-iversary to Us!

The Gingerbread Diaries

I’m so glad I finally told the roof tale last week and got it out of the way before today, the anniversary of our buying the Gingerbread Dollhouse.

Flashback to a year ago to-date.

Flashback to a year ago to-date.(And no worries, we changed the locks shortly after this picture was taken.)

We had some ups and a number of downs this year, but overall we’re still very happy to be homeowners, especially of the Dollhouse.

For the paper anniversary I’m afraid we haven’t done anything special for our pink lady–unless you count throwing dollars at her! As I mentioned, before, we were waiting until our taxes were tallied for 2014, just in case we owed anything (we did, but it wasn’t as bad as we were afraid–a busy convention season helped offset some of it), before starting any major renovations. Taxes were submitted on Sunday so we’re more or less clear to plan, right?

Except for a little analysis paralysis, that is: too many choices, too many places we could start.

But let’s go back to paper for a minute, shall we? Namely: wall paper.

Our rose-filtered entryway.

Our rose-filtered entryway.

We get a lot of compliments on the pretty rose wallpaper in the front hall and stairwell, but it’s just not in great shape. I thought I had my mind made up that we wouldn’t paper any of the walls, but I’m so used to seeing this pattern I’m afraid the entry would look terribly boring if we just chose a color scheme and painted.

If I’ve learned one thing from all the Victorian home magazines I read while we not-so-patiently waited (3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days) to close, it’s that Bradbury & Bradbury is THE place to go for period-perfect wall papers. They are beautifully silk-screened art wallpapers made in California and the weight of the samples I received is amazing: not too flimsy, but not as heavy as some wallpaper samples I’ve crafted with in the past.

It so happens that Bradbury & Bradbury is also the wallpaper of choice for a very popular “landmark” of a slightly more modern era…

Image via Disney.Go

Image via Disney.Go

Yup, the Haunted Mansion.  In fact, they use patterns from the Victorian-Era Dresser II (named for designers Christopher Dresser, 1834-1904) in the Ashes of Roses colorway.

Screenshot from

Screenshot from

I ordered samples of both the Ashes of Roses colorway as well as the Terra Cotta/Burgundy colorway as well.

Screenshot via

Screenshot via

The “Lily” pattern is a touch too busy for my taste, but the Roland could definitely work, at least going up the stairs at about chair rail-height, topped with the Pinstripe Border. Above that, we might stick to just paint or use one of the more subtle patterns (not grabbed in the above screenshot), the Plaza Ceiling with its metallic pattern.

Now, it goes without saying that these are beautiful patterns in their own right, but the fact that they have a tie to one of our favorite places without being obnoxiously obvious is the kind of fun trivia that makes the decision more compelling.

I don’t know when we’ll bite the bullet and repaper the stairwell, but I’m almost certain it’ll be with this paper. Of course, there’s the not-so-small matter of needing to replace the front door (and the back door, and while we’re at it maybe the kitchen door, too) and frame, which means finding one I like that doesn’t look too modern for the house and in a material that Todd’s comfortable with that (of course) won’t break the bank.

Here’s to many long years ahead of us in the Dollhouse!

We've come a long way, baby!

We’ve come a long way, baby! From this before

To the after (so far)!

To the after (so far)!