Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

The contractors come tomorrow!  The contractors come tomorrow!  The contractors come tomorrow!  We’re almost ready for them!

I spent the last week or so:

  • Making lots of meals for the freezer.
  • Making a menu plan for the next couple of months.
  • Removing everything out of kitchen drawers and cabinets.
  • Getting toys purged and moved into the living room.
  • Changing the layout of the living room to accommodate the toys and the fact that one of the walls is being removed.
  • Trying out different paint samples on the walls.

We’ve had one of those paper chain countdown things to prepare the boys (mostly Finn) about the process.  He pretty much just knows that the “men are coming to knock down the walls”.  Anything more we tell him just goes over his head.

Then, last night, we moved our loveseat into the garage (we’re losing the ability to use that parking space anyway because of the dumpster that will be put in 1/2 the driveway) and moved our kitchen table into the living room.  We covered the floor with plastic because you know there will be spills!  While I plan to get the carpets cleaned after all the construction, better to not have to clean up spaghetti!

As a reminder, here are some before shots:



Here’s what we have right now:

Current Kitchen 1

Left side: The view from when you enter the house from the garage. Right side: The view from the living room into the dining area, formerly a toyroom for us.

Current Kitchen 2

Left side: The view from the current sink wall, right in front of the island, looking into the living room. Right side: The view from the living room looking into the kitchen.

Current Kitchen 3

Left side: The current laundry room. This wall will also be taken down (and then replaced) to make more of a mudroom. Right side: Paint choices! (The ones on the left are possible wall choices. The ones on the right are possible island color choices)

Current Kitchen 4

The left side: Our kitchen table now smushed into our living room. Floor covered with plastic! The right side: Our entryway where a makeshift kitchen is beginning. The contractors will move my fridge out there too.

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This is a completely untouched room.  We’ve moved in and haven’t done a thing to it.  Not a thing.  There’s wallpaper peeling from the walls.  I haven’t even stood in the shower.  It just needs re-done.  And it will be this fall.  Hence, the whole “I haven’t done anything with it.” look it has now.

But here it is!


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I love, love, love white woodwork.  I know I went back-and-forth on whether to paint my woodwork at the old house, but when we moved into this one, it was a no brainer for the bedrooms at least.  They were in horrible condition and the timing was excellent for painting them.  We had plans to replace the carpet.  We had plans to paint the walls.  So we removed the carpet and just painted the woodwork.

We could be as messy as we wanted!  Because the subfloors were about to be re-covered and since we hadn’t painted the walls yet, we didn’t have to tape off anything! Not a single thing.  It could NOT have been easier.

It took 3 coats and it looks great!  I have some touch-ups to do after some not-so-careful movers and carpet layers, but that’s minor.  I’m so happy I went with this.

I was afraid of how the oak wood doors would look next to the white trim, but I don’t mind it a bit.  And the doors are in fabulous condition, so I don’t want to replace them and I don’t even want to paint them.  Again, I’m so happy I went with it!


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In this new house, the master bedroom didn’t undergo that big of a change.  Sure, we:

  • Replaced the pink-ish carpet.
  • Painted the walls the same Behr Almond Wisp
  • Replaced the light fixture with a ceiling fan
  • Painted the woodwork white (except for the windows, which I thought I’d replace, but also re-thinking that decision)
  • Painted the ceiling white (the upper right picture shows how white the ceilings really weren’t – before we finished the paint job)
  • Installed wood blinds
  • Hung curtains


Maybe it doesn’t feel like that big of a change because it’s the master bathroom that will undergo a big change.  It’s in horrible shape (but more on that later).

What I love most about the master bedroom is the view!  If the blinds are open, it’s a gorgeous way to wake up in the morning.


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Okay, I got some better pictures than the ones yesterday – I realized how bad they were at showing what the kitchen really looks like.

Here’s better ones – with our table!


These pictures pretty much show the 2 walls that will be removed for the remodel – the one between the kitchen and the living room.  Then the one between the kitchen and the “dining-room-but-we-use-it-as-a-toy-room-right-now-see-the-Little-People-house-in-the-corner”.

And we won’t be keeping that light fixture!

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This is the other room about to undergo a massive transformation.  This fall, we’ll:

  • Knock out the wall between the kitchen & the living room to make an open floor plan.
  • Knock out the wall between the kitchen & what-should-be-a-formal-dining-room-but-its-really-a-toy-room to make a big kitchen.
  • Expand the laundry room a bit to have a “mud room” kind of area.
  • Remove all the cabinets and countertops and go with a completely different floor plan.
  • Move the plumbing from the wall it’s on to a different wall.
  • Install a long island for food prep and with a “breakfast bar” kind of seating.
  • Install a walk-in pantry for food and small appliance storage.
  • Get all new applicances.  All new flooring.  All new cabinets.  All new countertops.  All new lighting.  All new everything!

But here’s what it looks like now:


The upper left picture is from the living room looking in.

The upper right picture is from the garage.  To your left is our laundry room and straight ahead you can see into the its-a-dining-room-but-really-its-a-toy-room.

The bottom picture is the view from the kitchen onto the back deck.  A bad picture, but it gives a glimpse of the trees!

The only thing missing in these pictures is our kitchen table. I took these pictures when our table was still at the old house since it was still on the market.  You’ll just have to use your imagination that we have one.

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Our living room is a room of transition right now.

When we first moved in:

  • We replaced the carpet.  (It had the same pink-ish color that was in all the bedrooms).
  • We painted the walls.  The same Home Depot’s Almond Wisp that we used pretty much everywhere.
  • We didn’t have any furniture in there.  We left the couches at the old house as it was back on the market.  (Oh yeah, the people who were going to buy our house backed out the weekend before closing, so we had to re-list it).

It made for a nice big place to play, but now that the old house is under contract, we have our couches back!  BUT…it’s still a room of transition because in a few months:

  • We’re going to knock down the wall between it and the kitchen to make an open floor plan.
  • We’ll be losing our current ‘playroom’ because it’s really a formal dining room and we’ll be making a big kitchen.

So, it’s likely that toy storage will come into this room, at least for a few years.  We’re also finishing off the basement, but real little kids aren’t likely to play down there on their own.  So, a collection of toys will come into this room.  That’s why I haven’t hung up any pictures or anything yet.  I’m still brainstorming how to fit it all in.

But here’s what it looked like BEFORE and NOW:


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