7.30.2014

Going with what you love...

When I made the decision to go with Carrara marble countertops everyone tried to talk me out of it. The kitchen designer, the countertop installer, even my mom.   I have had my heart set on these countertops for years.   Yes, I know marble stains, etches, and shows wear.  I'm okay with all of that because that's what I love about it.  It's hard working and takes a beating, but all those imperfections mellow out into a beautiful patina.  Rather like people do ;)

at the stone yard- Master Tile Colours in Houston...

our honed Carrara marble slab...

Just to give a bit of perspective of how far we've come, here are the before shots of our tiny tudor kitchen.  The room, yes- it's a R O O M, is 9x12 with one doorway in and out...



I knew the soffits had to go.  The ceilings are only 8 feet, so we needed more vertical space.  Once those were out we had our electrician come in and add four canned lights on a dimmer switch.  Drywall was next, and then just last Saturday our cabinets arrived.  The original cabinetry was a good quality and in 1969 had been custom built in the kitchen.  However, the layout of it was a bit wonky what with a recessed pantry to the right of the sink and a wall oven on the other side of the room.  So we had to gut it completely.   I went with Kraftmaid cabinets in Mushroom (no glaze or distressing).  I wanted a very clean look to this kitchen and chose Shaker style on the cabinets.  I also made the decision to not have any upper cabinets.  There will be open shelving on the wall to the left of the sink as well as the L shaped wall to the right of the sink.

 My finger was channeling "where's Waldo" in these shots...
Looking into the kitchen from the doorway.  Notice the ripped out trim- the only solution to getting the oversized corner cabinet into the tiny room!

Corner near stove...

pantry wall...
sink wall...
Marble is being fabricated this week and will be installed by Monday.  The wood floors and stairway are being finished up today and tomorrow.  I am also having the house professionally cleaned to get all of the construction dirt out of there before we move in.  PODS arrive Tuesday and Wednesday.  It will be interesting to see what fits and what will go.  I love the idea of purging and keeping only what we need and what we love.  Living intentionally, simply and with less clutter.

This entire summer we have worked so hard to create a home that reflects the life we want to lead.  Now it's time to make that dream our reality.

Bring it.

7.28.2014

Homestretch...

The original plan was for us to move into our tiny tudor on Friday, but apparently everyone else in the country is moving this weekend and our PODS could not be delivered until next Tuesday.

I could be disappointed about this, but instead I am choosing to look at the fact that this gives us an additional four days to:


  • have the master shower door installed
  • have the upstairs window replaced
  • have our countertops in the kitchen installed
  • build and install the kitchen open shelving
  • have the house professionally cleaned before we move in

Silver lining and all that jazz ;)

It's funny how during a major renovation you feel like nothing big is happening, then one day you look around and the ideas you had on paper have come to life in front of you.  




I love it when that happens!

7.23.2014

Window woes, pink eye, and a monsoon...

Sounds like the perfect recipe for finishing up a renovation, right?

I swear this renovation is going to either provide excellent material for my stand up comedy act, or lead me down the dark road of alcoholism.  I'll keep you posted.

So the window installation was yesterday.  Let me preface all of this with the fact that the store manager called me early to let me know how sorry he was for the delays in our windows, and that he was going to make sure we were made happy by Lowes.

Apparently, this is what happy looks like...

They were two hours late and upon unloading the windows I heard a "uh-oh".  One of the windows was two inches too short.  Another window cannot be ordered until the original window is returned to the store.  Then it will be another 2-3 weeks until the new, new window comes in.

The installer broke off the brick ledge outside the upstairs window while getting the old window out.  No problem, a neighbor has extra bricks and I have mortar.  Crises averted.  Yeah, until the installer coordinator calls me from Lowes to let me know that this "repair" will cost us an additional $175, but since we have had so much trouble with them, she will split the cost with us.  My response?   "Like Hell."  That's the abbreviated version of what I told her.   Needless to say, they are covering the entire cost.

I have to sand and repaint all of the window ledges.  I also need to caulk and paint the exterior hardboard where they had to remove it to put the windows in.  Add to that list that the windows need to be caulked and cleaned.

There is a pile of window trash sitting in our living room.  I guess I will be hauling that off to the curb on Monday.

To get the two bathroom windows in, the drywall in between them had to be removed.  New drywall.  Removed.  Now we need to figure out what to do with that area on the wall.

So, in short- was I made happy?  Not so much, Lowes, not so much.

In other news, I woke up with a roaring case of conjunctivitis- or pink eye, as it is commonly known.  I am rocking a swollen pink eye and it burns.  I look like an angry toddler.

Also, rain.  Lots, and lots of rain.  Drought all summer, until the week that windows and floors go in, and then the heavens open up and monsoon season begins.

But you know what?  It's all good.  In the grand scheme of things we are all healthy, we have jobs, we are going to be changing our lifestyle for the better.  I'm excited about that, and even the window debacle cannot get me down.

However, the pink eye might...


7.16.2014

Twister...

My role in our renovation has been what my husband lovingly refers to as "project coordinator".

I think I've quit about 300 times since we started this venture in May.  It's a good thing I work for someone who finds my flailing arms and never ending use of swear words "charming".

The floors that were originally supposed to be installed in June, but had to be reordered after being the wrong product, should have been arriving in the warehouse TODAY.  Yesterday the rep informed me that no, the floors might be in the warehouse Thursday after 2 pm.  If not then, it will be Monday.

The windows that were only supposed to take two weeks in production after being ordered the first week of June but have spilled over into SIX weeks in production, and one week of sitting at the store will be installed on Tuesday.  The same day as the guys will be working on installing the floors.  It's going to be like an adult sized game of Twister up in there.

The kitchen cabinets are being delivered on the 25th while the floor guys will still be installing our floors.   Let's just call that left hand red, right leg blue with a full body twist to get the right hand on yellow.

This week Travis is building out the sink bases for the two bathrooms.  I have a rep coming out to measure for the master bath shower door, and blinds for the house.  We have seven windows total.  Our last home had 20 windows.  Seven is going to seem like a drop in the bucket to cover.   I am thinking of going with Roman shades again in a white sailcloth material like this:


So basically everything that I had carefully planned and orchestrated to happen in a certain order so as to avoid contractors tripping over each other has gone to hell in a hand-basket.  Instead, next week EVERY contractor is going to be in that tiny tudor trying to install their materials.

I will be sitting in a corner with the spinner calling out colours.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the chaos in action.

7.12.2014

The waiting game...

I am not a fan of summer.

I know that for most people summer is their favourite time of year and saying that it sucks is a sacrilegious statement, but summer has always left me a bit blue.  I think I have reverse seasonal affect disorder, because winter time I am a happy, bouncing, productive gal.  Summer just drains me.  Too much sun, high temps and the smell of sunblock makes me nauseous.   I know, I'm weird.

Throw in a full on home renovation and all the frustrations, setbacks and unexpected problems- and you have a recipe for the sads.  Also, I am not a fan of sitting and waiting.  I am waiting on the new windows, flooring, and our kitchen cabinets.  Every day I make my list of calls only to be told, "nope, not in yet".  My parents have been so sweet to let us stay with them, but I am so ready to be back in our own place.

We did get quite a bit done over the past two weeks, and even had some great family days as well.

Tile went in...

shutters went up...

4th of July- decorating with flags and DeWalt tools...

wood sample next to the bathroom tile...

vanity light went up...

range hood from Tuesdays With Dorie came in the mail...

Now we are just sitting and waiting for everything to come in.  Hopefully the new front windows will be installed this week...