So. I shared with you our first big renovation mistake, and since then, I promised myself we had learned our lesson and that everything would be smooth sailing from then on. And it was. For awhile. I mean, we managed to successfully draft a pretty awesome lighting plan, outsource our drywall project and plank our ceilings. And did I mention our two-week-long siding project? No? Well, I’m mentioning it now. Gold stars for us on that one. Big time.
Yet we did run into a bit of a setback this week, and by setback, I mean a completely moronic series of decisions on our part. Like most things in our home, we decided to tackle our master bedroom ceiling with no experience whatsoever. And this was no small project. I wanted cathedral ceilings with low, exposed beams in a natural and ebony stained palette similar to this lovely photo from my inspiration board:
Find Out What Happened Next
This summer has been a total whirlwind on the renovation front, and I have myself to thank/blame/curse for that. Remember when I mentioned we’d be tackling the complete transformation of my home in five months? Well, dear readers, it has been twelve months. Twelve fat, ugly months. And I’m tired.
But! There is a lovely Scandinavian light fixture at the end of the tunnel, and today we’re showing you a bit of progress. I do, however, have to take two tangential pathways before I let you see this video:
1. Progress should be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, we still have no walls. And it hurts me more than it hurts you, trust me. BUT. Husband has assured me that the foundation/construction phase of a renovation is (a) the most important and (b) the most time consuming. Which is code for “Our-children’s-children-will-have-to-tear-this-house-down-because-it-is-so-darn-solid.”
2. I am not blind to the fact that my hair gets shorter with every video. We’ll chalk that up to the fact that showers are now a luxury, as I’ve sold my soul to hardware stores and adorable toolboxes.
Confession: I have no formal training in the world of design, decor and style. Which is precisely why I was dumbfounded when my electrician asked for a lighting plan a few weeks ago. What? A lighting plan? Yes, I’d like light, please. Is that what you mean?
Sadly, no. He meant for Husband and me to spend the next 48 hours agonizing over the placement of switch plates, dimmers and pendants. And you guys, I have never wanted to sell this house more than I did those horrid two days.
Lighting Plan, Minus the Insanity
Can I tell you a secret? I’m totally over this renovation. Come on, we knew the day was coming. And that day came two weeks ago when our insane siding project dictated that I would be the one to pick up a hammer and involve myself in some serious manual labor.
Siding Robots a.k.a. The Ex-Siding Duo
I have a feeling that the second I hit “Publish” on this post, my mother will come bursting into the front door, scoring tool in tow, scolding me for even considering wallpaper as a viable wall treatment for our home. Yet I can’t help it, Mom, because wallpaper is back and it’s killing me.
This Charlotte Mann photo shoot sealed the deal.
Yes, I realize wallpaper can be painstaking to apply and, yes, even more ridiculous to remove, but for a gal afraid of pattern, it’s a must-do in order to conquer my fears.
One, Two, THREE Wallpapers
Hi all! Because August is going to be a heavy month for renovating (siding and kitchens and baths, oh, my!), I thought I’d take a deep breath and pause for a moment. Renovating is a strenuous process and I’ve found that even when you’re not living in the same house you’re renovating, the drywall dust (both literally and metaphorically, I suppose) seeps into every other area in your life, causing a renovation haze that I’m convinced no one can understand unless they’ve lived through it.
So, if you’re considering a renovation (or are in the thick of one yourself), I’m here to answer your burning questions. We’ve been collecting reader questions for a few weeks on Twitter, Facebook and the blog, but if I’ve missed yours somehow, feel free to email me. I’m glad to help.
P.S. I’m sprinkling in a few inspirational rooms that I love so you’ll have plenty of eye candy along the way!
Advice From the Renovation-Worn
It’s time I introduce you to some integral members of my family: Bernard P. and George Michael Loechner. Wave hello, friends!
This is the darling duo on Halloween last year. Left: Bernard P., Right: George Michael. And also, if you'd like to know what the P. in Bernard P. stands for, I suggest you adopt a dog with a small bladder. It will become quite clear soon thereafter.
Bernard P. (Bernie) is a small Yorkipoo with a big attitude, and George Michael (George) is a soft-coated Wheaton terrier with an unhealthy affection for obedience. Seriously, the dog is perfection in a bucket. You’ll love him; come visit.
We had a minor setback this week with the installation of our windows. And really, it’s a good thing. Because you know what? Things were going all too well. I was starting to awaken in the middle of the night, suffocating in the well-ness of it all.
Indeed, it was time things went wrong. And wrong, they did.
It all started when we had the lovely folks at Anderson Windows install some breathtaking 100 Series windows last week. And they are gorgeous. And we love them. And that’s not at all what this post is about.
What this post is about? Siding.
Spoiler Alert: The Budget’s Out the Window
I’ve been teasing you all month with words like “Scandinavian-inspired,” “rustic,” and “modern,” and you’re probably ready to see some serious eye candy, right? Don’t worry; next week we’ll be sharing a killer new video featuring our idea book of inspirational photos.
BUT FIRST! You can’t truly appreciate our inspiration until you see how far we’ve come, yes? I’ve enlisted the help of Husband to show a bit of our demolition progress, which is anything but pretty. He’s got some super handy tips (I’d read them while watching this great demo video) that I like to call, “Husband’s Tips to Avoid a Demo Disaster.” Alternatively titled: “How To Stay Married During a Gut Renovation.”
5 Tips + 1 Bad Couch (We Mean Baaad)
We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty today, so if numbers, finances and budgets make you queasy, you may want to click on over to something pretty. You know, like this.
The fact of the matter is, Husband and I both freelance for a living. And while freelancing may be synonymous with pajamas, couches and Cheetos, it’s also a lot more difficult than it sounds (and I’m not talking Cheeto dust on my white keyboard).
So. Now that you’ve seen my home in complete shambles, you’re probably wondering how we acquired the mess in the first place, yes? Lucky for you, I take really great notes.
Our search for the perfect home began in July 2009 when we had finally saved enough couch cushion pennies to bid on something that didn’t live on wheels. Because I’m married to a very unexpectedly burly man, we had decided early in the process that we would purchase a foreclosed home at auction and fix it up with a bit of elbow grease (and a ton of trash bags).