House Renovation Update #7 – Today’s a Big Day

The kitchen cabinets and island are being installed today. And the marble backsplash. AND MY LAUNDRY ROOM SHOE CUBBIES, PINCH ME FOR I AM DREAMING. (The cabinetmaker was quite tickled that out of all of this wonderfulness, I was near happy tears over some damn shoe cubbies. The shoe cubbies that will reside right next to our new ochre Dutch door, which will now be referred to as The Golden Door of Happiness. I told D I might move into the laundry room permanently.)

In other news, we move next week. Uhhhhhhhhh. Yep. It seems I kind of forgot about that slightly important part due to all of the renovation excitement. Anyway, it’s time for us to start cranking around here, which means one of two things.

1. I am going to disappear for the next week or two.


2. I am going to procrastinate to the fullest extent, thus blogging every single day.

Nope, I can’t procrastinate. Don’t let me procrastinate! Maybe some light posting on Facebook? Yes, I think that would suffice.

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving holiday (we will be eating Chinese food while surrounded by boxes), and please feel free to send some packing/renovation-staying-on-schedule vibes.


Edited to add – SHOE CUBBIES.

It’s the little things, folks.

House Renovation Update #6

1 here. 2 here. 3 here. 4 here. 5 here.

Man, I just can’t seem to get these renovation updates done on time, but here’s the latest! The floors are done, and we are in looooove. Ripping out the floor in the kitchen and dining area and re-framing was the best idea ever – now instead of that weird ridge, it’s a continuous floor throughout.

The color of the floors turned out exactly as we had hoped. So happy.

Hello, open and airy!

The painters arrive this morning and will start prepping and painting the entire house which should take the next week or two. (After creating a trillion custom whites, we went with Dunn Edwards “White.” Typical.) The kitchen will be installed shortly after, and then DRUMROLL, we will move in. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed because we are out of our current home by December 1st regardless. (I can’t believe we are moving in 3 weeks! ACK! Packing? What’s packing? Do you remember how efficient I was at packing for the last move?)

Also, here are some photos of the bedrooms – you know, just in case you were wondering what 40-year-old carpet looks like.

The master bedroom.

Wito’s room. (Such a great room.)

Wita’s room. (Her view ain’t too shabby, either. Also, perfect window for sneaking out? Noted.)

We also replaced the kids’ bathroom floor because, well, it was fairly new, but heinous. (Obviously, the walls and casing have yet to be painted.)

All in all, we are on schedule. D and I are off to pick out material for the formal living room fireplace this morning.

We’re thinking grey marble with white veining to complement the white Calacatta marble in the kitchen, and frankly, I can’t think of a better way to spend my anniversary.

(HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, D! 8 years, baby!)

I’ll try to post one more update before move-in, but we are almost there, you all. SO EXCITING.

Happy Monday!

House Renovation Update #5 – More floors and walls + Laundry room

Although things are moving along and really exciting, I don’t have many updated photos for a blog post. However, look!

The great news is that the drywall is up, the new wood floor is in, new doors hung, window casing finished, and all of the walls have been putty-coated and primed! We originally weren’t going to putty coat all the walls, but ultimately decided on keeping everything consistent with the new and old walls, so that added an extra week. However, painting time starts very soon! Woohoo! We are going between Dunn Edwards White (DEW380) and Whisper (DEW340).

Another exciting addition that we’ve added to the list is redoing the sad, little laundry room off the kitchen. Here are some before shots.


House Renovation Update #4 – Our Kitchen Choices

Since we’re still in the drywall/floor finish/boring phase, I thought I would answer Katy’s question from last week’s post.

I read a lot of home remodel blogs and love hearing about all the details on the process, would be interested in learning specifics on what choices you make – such as what countertops/backsplash options you considered and what you end up choosing, paint colors, appliance choices, love any and all details!

Well, Katy, we’ve made most the decisions for the kitchen, so here goes!

Kitchen countertopsCaesarstone in Blizzard. First and foremost, we chose Caeserstone for its looks and durability. I’ve been known to be a little bit of a klutz in the kitchen (whatever…pots and pans are slippery), and that combined with our crazy kids led us to purchase a material that was durable, BUT still had a modern and clean finish. D has used Caesarstone for many of his clients, and it has always been well received.

Backsplash – White marble. Now in a perfect world, I would have white marble countertops, but considering the above-mentioned facts, marble countertops are a no-no for us. But I just loooooove the look of white Calacatta marble, so we decided to use a slab for our backsplash. We found a beautiful piece with a really bold gray vein, and we are super excited about it. It really is a piece of art.

Cabinetry – D uses a great cabinetry company on his client projects, and I’m so pumped that they will be custom-making our white kitchen cabinets and island. The cabinets will be simple and slab-front – no raised panels. We will also have some open shelving. We haven’t bought the hardware for the cabinetry yet, but are leaning towards linear, chrome handles like the one shown in the image.

Paint colors – We haven’t started swatching yet, but the entire house will be painted white. We have a lot of art and accessories in bold colors, so we want the house to be as clean and simple of a canvas as possible.

Appliances – Well, after reading your glowing reviews, we went with Bosch for our dishwasher, cooktop, and oven. Plus, it didn’t hurt that they are doing a 15% rebate for 3 or more appliances right now. Sold! As for the refrigerator, we really wanted a built-in with panels, but it wasn’t in the budget. Instead, we went with a stainless, freestanding Viking because it was the only one that had the looks, measurements, and trim kit that we wanted. We had heard mixed reviews on Viking refrigerators, but it turns out that the Viking built-ins are the ones to look out for, trouble-wise. The freestanding units are actually made by Kitchen Aid, and are great. (Fingers crossed.)

We are also using an Elica built-in range hood, a Lenova zero radius stainless steel sink, and the Grohe pull-out faucet pictured above. Most of these choices were based on D’s experience with the products and companies.

Hmmm…I think that’s all of it for now. Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great weekend, everyone!

House Renovation Update #3

House renovation #3 drinking game. Take a swig every time you read the word “drywall” or “floors.”

Okay, so I’m a little late on this one. Sorry about that, but you see, I have good reason! If I would have posted on Friday, the photos would have looked eerily similar to last week’s update.

But wait, you guys! Guess what happened on Friday and Saturday. Just guess.

Drywall happened, that’s what! What a difference drywall makes, am I right? WE HAVE DRYYYYYWALLLLLL. I’m totally Oprah right now….AND YOU GET DRYWALL! AND YOUUUU GET DRYWALL! And the audience goes wild! Sobbing and fainting commence! DRYWALLLLL

(My apologies to those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for busting the Oprah reference again, but hey, I bet 11% of you never heard my weekend Oprah singsong Drywall bit. I can’t deny the awesome old school Whoorl readers, can I?)

Back to drywall. God, I love drywall. When looking at this photo, here’s what comes to mind.

1. Spiders
2. Electrical fires
3. Burglars

But drywall!

Hang a little drywall, and I’m all,

1. Look at that light.
2. Ain’t no burglars in there.
3. Do I hear heavenly angels singing? (I wrote “heavenly angels signing” first, and couldn’t get the image of Rachel Coleman in an angel outfit demonstrating how to sign the word “heaven” out of my head. p.s. – I’ve also been playing the drinking game.)

So, yay for drywall. DRYWALL. Drink.

In other news, D finally decided on a stain for the wood floors. I say D decided because the man took his insane finicky behavior to a whole new level this week. You guys, hours, DAYS, were spent trying to perfect the stain to put on the oak floors. On Thursday morning, after dropping Wito at school, I stopped at the house, walked into one of the bedrooms and saw two things.

Number one.

Number two. My husband sitting on the floor talking to Crow, our floor guy. Poor, poor Crow. I looked at him and saw something in his eyes that could only be described as pure, unadulterated desperation. The kind of look you might give after, say, finding out that your flight home has been delayed by 18 hours. I know this look, you all. Because I’ve been shooting this look on a regular basis for about 10 years now. Let’s just say Crow was beyond thrilled to see me, especially when I told D to wrap it up and pick a damn color already. (Crow had a great sense of humor, and made me laugh when he grabbed my hands and said, “thank you so much for coming. No really, THANK YOU FOR COMING AND SAVING THE REST OF MY WEEK.”)

You’re welcome, Crow. Trust me, I feel your pain, buddy.

Now that the finish has been decided, the bedroom floors should be completed within the next few days, the base and case is going in soon, and our kitchen cabinets are being made as I type this. Oh, and did I show you what we found for our kitchen backsplash?

Come to mama.

Until next time!

House Renovation Update #2 (+ Requesting Appliance Advice)

Renovation Update #1 here.

Good news! Demo is officially finished. Bad news. It doesn’t make for a super exciting update #2. Lots of decision-making this week, and not so much doing.

So, we took out the kitchen and opened up the walls, and continued with ripping out all the window casing, the floor base, and crown molding this week. Electrical and plumbing are almost finished as of this morning. However, things look relatively the same as last week.

Oh, and how could I forget – we demolished and removed pretty much the entire backyard (deck, jacuzzi, so on and so forth). Right about now, if you walk out of the sliding doors, you’ll break an ankle from falling into a ravine of dirt and gravel. Here, I illustrated a highly scientific visual for you.

The backyard wasn’t really a project I wanted to take on during this first stage, but hey! What’s done is done.

Right now, we are making a lot of seemingly boring decisions about the house. Like, we decided to take out part of the wood floor in the kitchen and dining room. I mentioned last week that part of the floor was laminate, but surprise! It’s not. It’s real oak. However, D is very, very happy to rip that part out because this?

This is the kind of situation that makes me say, “Yep, not really optimal, but let’s talk about the kitchen backsplash!” On the flip side, this is something D loses sleep over. “We can’t possibly have that ridge. Absolutely not. Not only are the planks running in opposite directions, the floors are two different heights. No. I can’t bear to look at it for one more second. WE’RE REDOING THE FLOORS.” Remember, we are talking about a man who has degrees in both interior design and architecture…that breeds a very special of kind of picky. Persnickety, perhaps? (However, the dude is ALWAYS spot on. Always.)

So, although not originally in the budget, we are ripping out the newer oak and re-framing so the floors will be even. After that, we will sand all the floors and refinish the color. Think more grey-brown, less yellow-gold. Can’t wait – I think it will be so pretty.

Upcoming to-dos:

Drywall (Fun!)
Replace floor base and window casing (Titillating.)
Replace doors and door jams (zzzzzzzzz)
Floors – sanding and refinishing the wood, replace bathroom floor
Paint – prepping and painting (Can’t wait! No, really, that means we’re really, really close.)
Install kitchen cabinetry, island and appliances

Basically, loads of non-pretty renovation stuff in the upcoming weeks. But the pretty will come later, I promise. (Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. One daayyyyy…)

To be honest, most of our time this past week has been spent deciding on kitchen appliances. Because you see, if we don’t know what appliances we want, we don’t have the exact measurements of the appliances, which means we can’t complete the kitchen drawings, which means the cabinet maker can’t start making the kitchen cabinets, which means the toe-kicks can’t be installed, which means the floors can’t go down in the kitchen. It’s called a snowball effect, and I would surely like to get the snowball rolling.

All in all, I could write 50,000 words on the subject of kitchen appliances and why we chose the ones we did, but I will keep that kitchen manifesto to myself for fear of losing you to a deep, deep slumber. (But! I have seen/researched every refrigerator known to man. I could be a refrigerator saleswoman starting tomorrow, for reals. In fact, if I have to discuss ONE MORE refrigerator or hood range or dishwasher, for the matter, I will weep.)

We are going with Viking for the refrigerator since it truly was the only one that fit our size, aesthetic and price criteria, and thinking Bosch for the cooktop, oven, and dishwasher. But! Here’s where you come in, oh wise ones. Who out there uses a Bosch dishwasher? Are they truly as good as everyone says? (J.D. Power #1 in Customer Satisfaction! Best value out there!) I’m going between Bosch and KitchenAid – does anyone have something to say about these brands? Speak now or forever hold your peace! We’ve just hit that point, you know, where we’ve become so bogged down with research, review-reading, and talking to appliance experts that we’re going loco. (No matter what, I’m sure whatever we end up with will be amazing compared to the stuff we use at our rental now.)

So, yeah. Let me know about that. In return, I’m giving you the gift of video. 46 seconds of utter destruction to the tune of Moon River. Enjoy.

(Yes, that was a ginormous corkboard wall in one of the bedrooms.) Until next week!