Breezeway Wars: progress (really)!

Some of you may remember a certain little project involving my breezeway.

I wrote about it over the summer after my decorating friends stopped by for an impromptu visit that sent me to new depths of household humiliation. (Read the "Breezeway Horrors" for all the gory details.)

I subsequently pledged to do a breezeway makeover, with their help, turning an eyesore into a beautiful, useful mudroom.

Since then my house-blogging friend Kerry and I have recorded various stages of the process, but things did get a little bogged down (darn job).

“How’s that breezeway project coming?” someone would occasionally ask. I would hem and haw and mumble something while Kerry smiled brightly and offered her help.

Not to fear: progress is being made. Slowly.

You may have heard about our trip to IKEA in August, where Kerry and I spent hours and hours wandering the aisles, dazed by the choices. Luckily our real decorator friend, Karen, drew up a plan and gave us a list. (I think I’d still be there otherwise, lost in IKEA World.)

It took both of our vans to haul the stuff home, and the boxes sat in our breezeway for several weeks while I tended to other responsibilities.

I admit I was a little daunted. Though I had tidied it up, and thrown things out, the breezeway was still ... cluttered, to say the least.

I needed to make room for all that stuff somewhere before we could pull up the worn indoor-outdoor carpet and tackle what was underneath: an old, ugly tile floor.

Our original plan had been to simply pull up the carpet and paint the floor. No sweat. But the broken dirty tile added yet another step to the process.

Discouraging, to say the least. Then my sister (and more important, my brother-in-law) came to town.

She is an eternal optimist, ever-helpful and encouraging. He is the same, and very handy to boot (as in, could build an entire house himself if needed.) Just what I needed to jump-start the process.

And it turns out my kids are pretty handy, too.

My relatives brought along various prying tools, and my son, who has been dying to get to the furniture-building stage of this project, asked if he could try them out. He pulled back the carpet, and before I knew it he and my daughter were chipping away.

We quickly hauled out the rest of the junk and rolled up the disgusting carpet, and everyone grabbed a tool. In less than an hour we had pried up the entire floor. No sweat (or very little).

I was exhilarated — except for what we found underneath. Adhesive. Lots of adhesive. Lots of tar-like black adhesive that apparently does not come up easily. Yet another challenge.

And now the clock is ticking, because this space is unheated.

But I repeat: progress has been made. We've moved on to scraping and cleaning and, eventually, painting and assembling.

In the meantime, my brother-in-law helped my kids put together two of the new storage cabinets (in about 10 minutes), which are now sitting in our family room as a constant reminder of my looming deadline (which is what I need to get anything done).

The good news: now I know I have two young helpers.

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