The first thing he worked on was painting our wood panelling. We had the paint all ready to go and we did our part by taking the four boys out of the house for a few hours!
Dining area before.
Living room before.
Apparently, a fact I didn't know about my father (that my sister did) is that painting is his most detested job of all! But you really can't deny the huge improvement painting the panelling was and how much it will, seriously, improve our standard of living in this home! So, thanks Dad.
Living room after painting. (We tried to choose a color that would go well with the brick fireplace--we're pleased with how it turned out.)
Dining nook after painting.
This wall separating from the kitchen was wood panelling as well. The ivory paint is such an improvement. We had only lived here two months when Dad painted but it was such a drastic change it took a while to get used to it!
Another idea that I dreamed up while we waited for the house to close was this bench. It allows us to push the table much closer to the wall which really opens up the route to the kitchen and laundry room. There is nothing we can "do" with the additional space--it just helps everything to not feel crowded.
Right now it is painted the same color as the wall, but I had envisioned painting it a certain robin egg teal blue color that I'm incorporating into my kitchen. When I was telling that to a friend the other day she suggested I could paint my chairs the same color. I hadn't even thought of the chairs and think that would be really cute.
When my dad first arrived I gave him a tour of the house and basically told him all the dreams and ideas we'd thought of for the house. Short term/long term, big/small. Other than the painting and kitchen bench, the only other thing I really wanted him to help work on while in town was the tree fort. But he latched on to one of the crazy ideas I told him and decided to do it right away.
This is the infamous "stripey wallpaper wall" in the room that is off the front entry way on one side and the kitchen on the other, and is apparently intended to be a dining room, but is fully carpeted, and--frankly--not really dining-room shaped. Right now it's main use is for homeschool. Sometimes I call it the "reading room".
When we bought the house we still didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, and we thought that if it was a girl she would need her own room eventually and so we could convert this room. Since Peter is a boy he can share with his brothers, but we still liked the idea of having a bed in this room for guests to stay in. We considered a daybed to double as a reading couch, but also thought the stripey wall (that has no window because the garage is behind it) would be a good candidate for a fold-up murphy bed.
My dad agreed and built it right away so that mom can have a nice bed to sleep in when she comes to help out with the baby. They sell expensive hardware kits with pistons and things, but we just used some heavy-duty door hinges, and made little swing-down legs on the side. The bookshelves to either side really help integrate it and are super-useful. And my dad left a nice big display shelf above the mattress. We now have our double mattress in there all ready for my mom's visit.
We've done more outside the house as well, but I'll share that another day.