When I bought the property from relatives at the end of 2010 both houses were stuffed with all that the former occupants had left behind. It took two years of going through the houses, the basements, and the garages, sheds…giving away, selling, throwing away, burning, and cleaning and re-using before I could get seriously into fixing up the Guest House for visitors. I really should have taken “before” photos from inside that house. A lady who had been there many times to visit Father Srebernak years ago just stood inside the doorway with her mouth agape. “It’s so LIGHT!”
Yes, the filthy wine red carpet was gone from the living room, the ugly old green gone from the bedrooms, walls and ceilings were washed to remove decades of cigarette smoke residue, and walls that weren’t covered in paneling were painted. It also helped that every bit of wall space was no longer covered by furniture and overflowing bookshelves.
My biggest source of pride was when the basement was finally fully cleared out. There had barely been a path through all the old stuff down there. EVERYTHING that wasn’t a fixture was taken out so that we could don masks and spray with a bleach solution. Later, we followed up with mold “bomb” foggers – one for the basement, one for the house, one for the attic. $45 each per fogger and worth every dollar. Skip the bleach – it burns your lungs unless you have the right kind of mask.
As I find them, I’ll add photos of the process that friend Barb, handyman Ed, handyman Nate and all his guys, and I went through to turn Father’s (and Charlie Belyan before him) old house into the sweet little vacation retreat that it was. My thanks to all who helped me, including the local artisans who created much of the decor.
It was hard work, and it was a joy.