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I walked into a home here in Washington State over the weekend and I hadn’t gone more than a few steps before I began sneezing uncontrollably. We get about 20 inches of rain a year and this home had obviously soaked up a ton of it. Allergic people are grimly sensitive to mold. It may surprise you that black mold, even if dead, will continue to emit allergens into your living environment.

Got mold?

Photo by Air Zone

Photo by Air Zone

It doesn’t take a flood for mold to establish a beachhead in your home. Leaking AC systems, cracked or leaking pipes, standing water and poor drainage create a cozy environment for noxious molds. It only takes 72 hours for mold to set up quarters following excessive exposure of wood to moisture. And it’s not just wood: cellulose-backed carpeting, paper or cardboard make for potential hosts.

Not a DIY project

Photo by San Diego Flood Experts

Photo by San Diego Flood Experts

Environmental companies are best prepared for handling runaway mold. For one thing, just spraying mold with an anti-microbial aerosol will only slow it down. Everything that is cellulose-based (gypsum, fiberboard, sheet rock) must be removed and sealed in bags for disposal.

Your uninvited guests

Photo by Mold Detect

Photo by Mold Detect

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) can truly damage you. Reported maladies include memory or hearing loss, blurred vision, irritability, panic attacks, heart problems, nausea and vomiting, depression, asthma, stomach ulcers, joint pain, anxiety, seizures, chronic fatigue, hair loss, ringing in the ears, headaches and dizziness.

Get some help

Photo by Buzzle

Photo by Buzzle

There are home tests that you can buy at the DIY store to check for mold. Even if it’s not black mold, the CDC recommends you have all molds removed if you have allergies and sensitivity. You’ll find plenty of professionals out there with experience knocking down infestations. Investigate potential culprits and, if necessary, consider a window replacement project if your current set lets moisture seep into your living space.

My eyes get red just looking at these photos!

To everyone, a room of one’s own

When I grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs, the room was called the “den”.  The distinctions for rooms based on use and gender were as crystalline in the post-war generation as they were in Victorian England, if you ask me. My mom held sway in the kitchen. If her friends visited, that’s where they sat at the table, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and gossiping. The den was where the men sat, dealing out poker hands, belching without reserve and chewing on cigars.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says the den, historically, was the lair of a wild usually predatory animal”. Today, the fellows have man caves and the women have crafts rooms. Men gather in dens to get intoxicated, compete on table games, and holler. Women retreat to the peace and quietude of their crafts rooms to celebrate their creativity and connection to a greater source.

Man cave decorating

Photo by Crowley Construction

Photo by Crowley Construction

The furniture is based on reclining. Over-sized chairs and couches rule the day.  The amplification of noise by volume is a foundational privilege. Marginally acceptable word choice and poor syntax is as important as the decorating.

Women’s crafts room

Photo by Closet Factory

Photo by Closet Factory

The furniture is based on cozy comfort. Functional chairs, bookcases, tables, and fireplaces create a settled, soothing tone. When women gather here, the competition gives way to praise, an exchange of craft and mutual appreciation.

Den furniture

Photo by DIY

Photo by DIY

Remember collecting all the different beer bottles and stacking them in your dorm room? Some guys just amass protective headgear representing the official tribes. You know precisely what to do with that old barber’s chair and seats recovered from the old Shea Stadium.  You take the NFC and lay the ten points.

Craftsroom décor

Photo by Growers and Nomads

Photo by Growers and Nomads

Remember when you had your own private room, away from your loud, smelly brothers? From the treatments on the windows to the tile flooring, this crafts room expresses your concern for the Earth and God’s creatures. It’s a matter of moving in your own energy field, finding grace, bringing forth objects of great joy and wonder that you’ll share with others.

Mancave décor

Photo by iCollector

Photo by iCollector

Bang!

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.