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The Cohabitation Diaries: DI (not) Y

Posted by Nora | Wednesday November 9, 201120 comments

When I get into something, I get really into something, whether it’s hours of my childhood spent rollerblading around the lakes or watching three seasons of Breaking Bad in two weeks. And I’m bringing the same tenacity to my occupancy of my boyfriend’s house.

Since July, I’ve been collecting paint chips and building up my Pinterest boards with ideas that could transform this starter house into our own Nornia (nickname credit: Aaron). We’re one week into cohabitation and even though yes, there is a mattress in the kitchen, I’m making some serious strides.

- Kitchen nook: Painted. And storing a mattress.

- Hallway: Painted Provence Cream by Martha Stewart.

- Bathroom: Demolition starts Tuesday. See you later, lime green walls (above left) and mismatched floor tile!

- Carpeting in upstairs bedroom: Stripped by my brother’s father-in-law, who refinished the lovely wood floors beneath them (above right).

The key thing to note for all of these checklist items is that they are being done by professionals. But the part of me who thought I might have a talent for nail art (I don’t) still holds onto a fantasy that I could be a DIY homemaker. The pile of unfinished knitting and sewing projects I snuck into Aaron’s house tell a different story, a story where I skip any necessary learning process and try to get right to the doing, then lose faith in my failing project and stuff it into a box for “the future.”

So I started small. The sad, one-bulb light at the top of the stairs that barely cast enough light to safely guide you down the steepest stairs known to man had to go. And I knew just the clowns for the job.

(from left) Attempted light fixture assembly; Light fixture reality (we're done here); Light fixture professionally installed

Aaron took care of turning off the electricity and removing the offending light fixture while I did the important stuff like putting the new one together using just my two hands and a few tools that did not come in the box. We were a real dream team. Except for the part where we couldn’t install the light because it’s hard to match up the red wires and white wires when you look in your ceiling and see a tangled mass of black wires that are probably hiding a nest of prehistoric spiders that will overrun your house if disturbed.

For Aaron’s sake and my own personal safety, the only DIY projects I’m embarking on will be looking up things on the computer and assembling IKEA furniture.

I’m extremely good at both of those things.

How about you-- are you a domestic diva or a hapless hack? 
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on November 13, 2011  LadyChick234234  3,701 said:

Without a man around (am single currently) I kind of have to be able to McGuiver things around home as best as I can. Either that or trade sex favours with my male friends.....*kidding*.

on November 10, 2011  AlexJC  50 said:

When it comes to anything technological- I do more harm than good. I will avoid any sort of wiring or anything like that. While I have the tendency to think that I can do these things, the reality is that I end up electrocuting myself.

When it comes to decorating, cooking or sewing, stuff like that- now that stuff I can get behind!

on November 10, 2011  spotty  4,021 said:

We are DIYers through and through. However, our latest project, renovating our master bathroom shower, nearly broke us! We have learned our limit. Although, folks have fold us that if you can do a shower you can do anything ...

on November 10, 2011  Nora said:

Guys, I fall down the stairs at least once a week. I'm too tall for the world, so my body has learned how to take a fall.

on November 10, 2011  takoda  28,648 said:

Love hearing all about your new place Nora, but for God sake be careful girl! I hope both you and your lipstick weren't hurt. I'm pretty much a hack so I leave most of this stuff to my husband, he can fix just about anything. It saves a ton of money.

on November 09, 2011  MizzRobin  13,788 said:

Ooo I am a domestic diva but I am all for accepting help from the man when it is offered!

on November 09, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

Nora, you're killing me!

...did the lipstick survive?

on November 09, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

@Nora - I hope it was an expensive quality lipstick, not one of those expired ones you shlepped from your last abode. Then at least the fall would have been worthwhile.

Seriously now, I hope you're okay!

on November 09, 2011  Nora said:


on November 09, 2011  Aliza  13,970 said:

I am also far from being a domestic diva but my boyfriend and I do enjoy putting our fair share of things together. We enjoy challenging ourselves and call for help when needed.

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