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I blame Paige Davis

One of the largely overrated joys of home ownership is home improvement projects. I say that slightly tongue-in-cheeck, but the fact that my fingers ache as I type makes the statement all the more believable to me. Last week Garrett and I purchased new furniture for our basement entertainment room. Our television, one of the Tivo’s, DVD player, etc all live down there, but they’re largely underutilized because of the amazingly uncomfortable built-in bench seating. The plan was to tear out the bench, buy new furniture and lounge in comfort.

Of course, two things happened. First, we decided the furniture wouldn’t look right with the walls their current color. Second, we tore out the built-in, only to find the carpet didn’t extend underneath it. Now, it’s not like we really liked the carpet to start with, so we decided to tear it out and put down ceramic tile. How hard can it be?

After three days of hard work, I can report that it is that hard. But entirely achievable. We found ancient vinyl tile under the carpet, and after three hours of trying to remove it with putty knives and scrapers (and only getting 20% done, at most), we rented a tile stripper. By the end of the day yesterday, we had repainted most of the room and laid 90% of the new tile. Tonite, we cut the edge pieces and grout on Thursday.

I blame Paige Davis , host of TLC’s Trading Spaces , for this project. The actual conversation we had at the home improvment store went something like “If they can do a room in 2 days on Trading Spaces, and Hildi can do it in Prada heels, how hard can it be?” I think Paige’s unwavering chipperness is the result of either a high tolerance for pain or an incredible drinking habit. And the two may be related.

I’ll post pictures when feeling returns to my fingers and I find the digital camera.