Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why I haven't been posting much lately

After years of covering up disintegrating carpet with rugs and mats, I've finally bitten the bullet and decided to recarpet my living room.

The problem has been two-fold - the first was books. I have a lot of books, and they live in bookcases in my living room. Before carpet gets laid, bookcases need to be moved, and before that can happen, books need to be taken off the shelves and stored elsewhere. And the books are ordered in the shelves both by genre and alphabetically, so I can't leave it to the carpet guys to do.

The second problem is the doors. The reason the carpet is disintegrating in the first place is that the sun shines through both the front door and the ranch slider straight onto the carpet, and it is the UV that is killing the carpet. So there was no point in recarpeting until I did something about the doors - UV resistant glass was obviously the solution, but I didn't want to spend money putting it in the ranch slider because I hate it. So before the carpet happens, a whole new door needs to happen too.

I debated with myself for ages over whether to replace all the carpet or just the living room and hall, but decided to go the more economical route. The carpet in the bedrooms is still good as new, and I managed to get replacement carpet for hall and living room that's almost identical to it. Not quite identical, but I'm hoping it won't be too noticeable at the joins.

Carpet in front of ranch slider:

Note the loss of pile and discolouration. Those bits of white fluff are from the flokati rug that usually covers it. Seems little point in vacuuming it up when the whole lot is going to be removed on Wednesday.

Carpet in front of front door:

Carpet in bedroom - in perfectly good nick, just like the carpet in the middle of the living room, and in fact everywhere except in front of the glass doors:

Ranch slider:

The only bit of that ranch slider that opens is the middle panel. It seems a waste to me, and I'm getting it replaced with bifold doors that will open right up, making nearly the whole wall of the living room open to the deck. The new door will be double glazed UV resist glass, and I'm getting the rest of the living room windows and the front door retrofitted with double glazing too.

Anyway, the door is going in on Tuesday, and the carpet is being replaced on Wednesday, so for the last few weeks I've been slowly packing books and china away in boxes and storing them in one of the spare bedrooms.

Boxes stacked all around spare bed:

I was able to get a lot of paper boxes from work …

… fifty or so all together I think, …

… they're just the right size for books, and not too heavy when full.

I took the opportunity to do some pruning as well, putting aside books I'm never ever going to read again, and also out-of-copyright paperbacks I can download from Project Gutenburg. So I was taking books of shelves, checking availability on my iPad, downloading, then sorting into "keep" and "discard" boxes.

This is the "discard" pile. It also includes vinyl records, as I no longer have anything on which to play them and have long since digitised the contents:

They will not go to waste. Dunedin's main (old and very ornate) theatre has an annual 24 hour book sale, and my old books will be going there. A bit of a change, usually the traffic is in the other direction.

This is what my living room looks like now:

Book cases and vitrine are completely empty. When they go back in after the carpet install I'll be earthquake-proofing them. The three bookcases that sit against the wall just need hefty screws through the backs into studs in the walls, but the two cases that project into the room back-to back (but with about a foot gap between them) and have the vitrine arranged with its back to their ends are not so easy. I'm constructing a wooden thing that will screw across the tops of the bookcases and continue down one end. The vitrine can then be screwed to the vertical bit and hopefully the whole arrangement will be rigid enough not to fall over in anything but a really big shake.

1 comment:

  1. Oh My! A ton of work you had done and more so later!

    A good spring cleanaing of possessions!

    Love your bookcases!