Making Our House More "Ours"

  Something has shifted lately.  I’m not sure what exactly caused the change, but for whatever reason, the Mr and I finally got to a point where it clicked that, hey, this is our house, we can do whatever we want with it.  We aren’t going to have to repaint the walls back to rental-white or worry about a security deposit…we aren’t going anywhere.

  …so lets have some fun, huh?

  Our first project was putting up a canopy in our bedroom.

  Before we lived in this house we had always had a four poster bed.  We both loved the look of it, and were rather dismayed to find upon moving in that there was absolutely no way to get it up to our bedroom.  Apparently in the 1920s when our house was built, they weren’t much worried about getting box springs any bigger than a twin upstairs.  So, a platform bed became our best option, and while upgrading from the 4-poster’s full-size to a queen has definitely been the way to go, we both felt like our room was missing something.

  I wish I could get slightly better/wider pictures of the end result, but unfortunately, anywhere further back, I wind up with walls in my way.

  G loooooooves the new canopy.  At least twice a week since we’ve put it up he has begged to be allowed to pull all the curtains shut and play in our “fort”.  We both love it too.  It has completely changed the feel of our bedroom.  I wound up moving several pieces of furniture out to account for the visual space the canopy takes up, and the end result is fabulous.  It feels airy and luxurious…and we’ve stopped smacking our knees on the corner of the bed that blended into the floor just a little too well.

  To make the canopy, my Mr. drilled holes in our ceiling and affixed rings.  They’re, uhm, rather more robust than we needed in the end, but our plans for the canopy changed several times during the process.  We had originally planned on some sort of piping to fit through the eyes, but realized that we already had a cable system we had bought for G’s bedroom (that didn’t work in there) which would present far fewer logistical problems and used that instead.  A metal cable got threaded through (no worrying about how to turn the corners!) and I hung some Ikea curtains from it using small clips.

  I was very pleased to find the curtains I did.  I was fairly certain I was going to have to head to Haberman’s and, needing 16 yards of fabric, sell them (at least) one of my children to get something I didn’t hate.  I did the math and to beat the price of these I’d have had to have found fabric that was less than $4 a yard or something ridiculous like that.  Seeing as most of the stuff I like tends to be more like $20 a yard…  I do need to do some sewing work to get these exactly where I want them.  There are two curtains on each “post” at the foot of the bed and I want to french seam them together so there’s not a weird opening at the corner.  I also want to remove the tabs at the top (since I’m not using them) and hem the whole thing to a better length.  Not a high priority though, so it’ll probably wait for a good long time before I get to it.  We also have to redo lighting in the room to make it less awkward in relation to the new curtains…but that will probably be an even longer time.

  Our second project is rather more eccentric.

  If you follow me on Facebook you already know I’ve been doing aerial for the last few months.

  It’s incredibly fun, and a crazy hard workout, and I’m a little addicted.  I dragged the Mr. to a conditioning class back in November, and he got hooked too and has been doing trapeze classes.

  I had joked with the Mr. after I’d started that I was going to make him set up a climbing gym for me at home, and after he got into it himself…well…he started thinking about it seriously.  Now, we’re not completely insane, so it’s not like we’re going to be practicing tricks like I’m doing in the pictures above at home, but a big part of hitting a wall and not being able to learn new tricks at the gym is that my hands and arms just get so fatigued I can’t hold myself up on the silks by the end of my class.  Enter this:

  Yup.  What’s up climbing rope in my stairwell.  …told you we’d decided it was time for fun.
  So before you start giving me too much side eye thinking I’ve gone entirely batty, this isn’t in the middle of my house.  Again, our house being so old, it has some unusual features.  Most houses have the stairs to the basement nested underneath the stairs to the upstairs, so there really isn’t all that much height in the stairwell unless it’s leading to your upper story.  …I didn’t really want a giant, rainbow-colored, rope-climbing gym hanging out where it was highly visible from my dining room.  But, our house must have originally only had external access to the basement, because our basement stairwell is entirely separate from the rest of the house…tacked on to the back, nice and out of view.  That means we have a crazy high ceiling just begging for a rope to climb.
  Now, I didn’t know this, but according to the Mr, ceilings aren’t really designed to support much weight.  I had it in my head we could just find a cross beam, drill an eyelet into it and start climbing.  Apparently I’d have pulled the ceiling down on my head.  What he did instead, was to attach 2x4s across our walls into the studs (which not only support the walls, but also the ceiling) and then brace a beam across those.  … he then tested it up to something ridiculous like 600 lbs to make sure it was safe.  …there’s a reason I don’t do these projects without him.
  So now we’re just in the process of figuring out what to do for fall padding.  Like I said, neither of us is interested in doing anything much more complex than climbing and strengthening our hands and arms, but it is a cement floored set of stairs we’d be falling onto if something went wrong.  In the meantime, we’re sticking to low-height exercises.
  …so does your treadmill look really boring yet or what?
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