The last two weeks have been a whirl-wind. I am still amazed that we were able to pull it off. We had some fantastic people working with us in the finishing phase: Mike Horning (Horning Tile) did a great job with all the tile work, Scott Franklin (Sheridan Woodworks) worked tirelessly to finish all the finish trim work, David Rock (Rock Painting) worked around the clock to get everything painted. It really was a "team effort". We feel blessed to have had this level of commitment to meeting the deadline.
On Saturday, June 26th, we rented a U-Haul and emptied our storage unit. I think John and I secretly hoped the storage unit would just disappear...no such luck. It took two trips with a 14 foot truck packed full, seven hours, and all four of us working relentlessly to load and unload all our storage unit items. Ultimately it was nice to have this stuff unpacked (or restored in the new house basement/attic) before the big move from the rental. I must also say here that Emma and Audrey were fantastic during this process; I am not exaggerating when I say all four of us worked seven hours straight loading & unloading that truck. John and I were so proud and impressed by their willingness to help.
On Tuesday, June 29th, we began the daunting task of moving things from the rental into the new house. This also happened to be Emma's 13th birthday, so in the middle of moving, I was also making a triple-layer chocolate cake (from scratch). I mentioned to John that I might ask Emma if we could wait on the cake until we were moved into the new house. His reply (and rightfully so) was, "But her birthday is today. And this is a BIG one." Needless to say I quickly started baking.
Living so close to the new house project has definitely had its pluses and minuses, but come moving day, the close proximity was a plus. We loaded plastic storage bins, carried them over and unloaded as we went. It certainly took a lot longer this way, but we were never faced with the overwhelming task of unpacking hundreds of boxes. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind all the boxes when our relocations have been corporate moves...someone else packs & unpacks. That was not the case this time. I think this move was our most stressful ever...and that includes our move abroad. The difference this time (besides the fact that we were doing the work) was that this house was not going to be ready for us until the last possible second - more on that later.
Probably sensing the stress level, the girls were once again super with the move!! They were each given the task of moving their own belongings to their new bedrooms. They made MANY trips back and forth, often working together to move faster. They accomplished their task and more. They did whatever we asked of them, never once whining or complaining. Emma really wanted to spend her birthday night in the new house, so we all worked to try and make that happen. Things were going well too... all the kitchen items had been moved, the beds were moved & made, our toiletries were moved etc. And then we hit the snag...the floors had received their third and final coat the night before (remember I said the last possible second), the problem was the quality was terrible!! The floors had not been vacuumed/buffed adequately and therefore the sealer had all kinds of dust/dirt in it. The floors were especially bad in the corners and around the appliances - anywhere the debris could collect. We, of course, immediately called Mark when we discovered the quality issue. He had the refinishing team come back out to assess the situation. The owner of the company came as well and it was determined they would do the job over again. I thought I may blow a gasket...this meant we would have to leave the house at 3pm and not return until the floors were dry at 11pm. We had already taken all our cooking utensils over to the new house, (fortunately, I had already finished the cake), so we grabbed what we needed to make Emma's birthday dinner (beef filets, mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans) at the rental. Did I mention I was busy staining the stair banister through all of this? Talk about too many irons in the fire. Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner, cake & ice cream on the patio of the new house. We killed some time at the rental and then, at 11pm when the floors were dry, we tiptoed to the basement (it is carpeted) and Emma opened her presents. We got to sleep in the house that night..our first night and Emma's 13th birthday...a memory we will all have for many years to come.
Wednesday, June 30th, we hired two guys from Moving Ahead Services (a company we highly recommend) to help us move the big (read heavy) items. They were great. They somehow got the the roll-top desk, the side-by-side fridge, and the treadmill to the basement - all without destroying the freshly painted walls and woodwork. Did I mention the shoe mold was being caulked and painted as we were moving in? As I said in the beginning...it was a whirlwind. Anyway, they moved several other over-sized pieces of furniture (sofas, chairs, tables etc.). They were very much aware that the house was brand new, and they took great care that it not get destroyed in the move. By mid-afternoon, most of our belongings were in the new house - minus those things we wish we could have left behind.
Thursday, July 1st the cremone bolts were installed. Until then we had no locks on the french doors. Good thing we live in Chagrin Falls. The staircase banister installation began. We had the newell posts turned just for us. They did not arrive until a few days prior, so now you understand why I was staining them at the last minute.
Friday, July, 2nd the banister installation was complete.
We are still waiting for the kitchen disposal switch to be installed. They drilled the hole in the marble today, the plumber needs to install.
The carriage door (alley side of garage) is being stained and is set to be installed on Friday.
Finally, the cement driveway will go in tomorrow.
All in all, it was probably the slowest move in history. The final stray items made their way to the new house just yesterday. Our method did allow us to get organized before we brought the next wave, so even though it took longer, I think it worked out better.
I will post more close up, detailed pictures in the next day or so. At least this gives you an idea of where we are now.
The porch floor was painted today - explains the table and chairs at the foot of the steps. Notice the window box in the front window. The cement driveway goes in tomorrow.
Grass is coming in nicely. So happy we fought to protect the weeping cherry. It is in the perfect location. We put in a gravel patio.
Audrey's bedroom. Her trundle bed (the cabinets flanking the window are part of the bed) was made by Cooper Rutledge, a family friend from my childhood. He is an extremely talented craftsman. If you live in the Cincinnati area and need custom furniture made, I highly recommend him.
Master bath - the ceiling fixture was purchased on eBay. I painted it a metallic silver and rubbed a raw umber over to give it a rich patina. I've already used the soaking tub...love it!
Master bedroom - chandelier is one of our old ones that we purchased years ago at the Raleigh Flea Market when we lived in North Carolina.
Hallway - still happy we left the brick exposed. The banister was stained by me. It is a deep brown, red mahogany color. I had never done something like this before - I am usually painting everything - but it turned out quite nicely.
Mud room - everyone has their own upper & lower cubbies. So excited the horse gear will have a home...
Powder room - the French sink has found a new home. This continues to be one of our most treasured souvenirs from our stay in France.
Kitchen table - this table was probably our first Target purchase (about 13 years ago) and was almost sent to the curb. A little sanding, a couple green oil glazes (yes Sue, I discovered the virtues of "Sap Green"), and some furniture wax (thank you Marie), and it is good as new - actually better.
Kitchen - this is one of our favorite rooms in the whole house. We all enjoy spending time in there. The lighting, the hand-made subway tile, the stainless appliances, the farmhouse sink, bridge faucet, the custom cabinets all make it my "dream kitchen".
The pendants hanging over the island came from Jim-Lawrence in the UK. We purchased them and an English colleague of John's kindly mailed them to us. It is nice having connections all over the world.
Family room TV cabinet - I painted this cabinet (in my spare time). It is a "silvermist" color with a raw umber glaze.
Family room - french doors with cremone bolts. We LOVE the detail this added. They were not the easiest to be installed, but so worth it.