Where do I begin? The past week has been somewhat of a blur. So much so that I completely overlooked Friday as a blogging day, and didn’t even think of it until Saturday night. Thanks so much to those who sent so many nice comments my way here on the blog, on Facebook and IG on last week’s Project Lexington Green reveal. I really appreciate the kind words!
OK – confession time. Only family and some close friends knew it, but we actually moved out and were living in an apartment for the first three months of our home renovation. I didn’t want to publicize our lengthy absence for reasons of security. We didn’t move far away, though, and I continued to work in my home office (and just about everywhere and anywhere else…especially while our plumbing and A/C were turned off…).
Rather than deal with moving furniture to two different places (the other being the storage unit we are keeping a lot of our stuff in), we ended up renting furniture (and linens, kitchenware, etc.). While seamless and convenient, saying that it was an uninspiring environment is a pretty big understatement. It actually made my heart sink a little bit every time I walked through the door. And after about six weeks, it started feeling really small.
Harrison (who is not an apartment dog) was pretty challenging the entire time, and never quite adjusted to being in the common spaces, hallways, elevators, and courtyards at the complex. Can you blame him, though…we took away his den for three months. (Though I assure you, we did not, as the below picture seems to indicate, take away his paws 🙂 ).
I wouldn’t have held it against him if he peed on the cheap beige polyester carpet…but he surprised us all by not doing that.
On the other hand, I think it was a bonding experience for our family. As will the next five months living through the renovation at home.
Re-entry was a little bumpy last week, and we still have a long way to go to settle into the new/temporary ‘normal,’ get (somewhat) organized, learn how to optimize our temporary kitchen, etc. But now that we are back and construction has been progressing, it is easier for me to visualize the finished spaces, which I think is an important coping mechanism for surviving a home renovation!
We are getting ever-closer to weather-tight – or at least we’ll soon be to the point where the back of my house doesn’t resemble a rogue entry into the America’s Cup. Come sail away with me…
This area in particular is wild – right now there is literally no roof over it, and it almost feels like a two-story space. The ceiling joists will nestle just below my beloved arched leaded glass window (now protected by a sheet of plywood). This is where we will have a bar – directly below said window – and a large dining table. It is the ‘middle’ of things; in-between the kitchen and the family room.
Perhaps most exciting for me is seeing my kitchen take shape. The old walls are out, the new ones are up, windows are framed, and the wood is looking good. You can see how much we are expanding it by observing the old vs. new wood joists. That little bit of extra space on two sides makes SUCH a difference!
The sunny banquette is already calling my name! I can also hear it saying, “You really need to figure out your window treatments, honey.” The back of the house faces south, and light control/shading will be imperative. As will pretty fabric draperies, shades, etc.
Nearby, our small walk-in pantry has been framed next to the back stairs. This is the one room I really have not thought at all about – I’d love to hear any and all pantry tips you might have! I’m debating whether to bring in a closet company to design it with me, or to have my contractor just make some simple shelves until someday I decide to make it a ‘fancy’ pantry with nicer cabinetry as an extension of my kitchen (perhaps a future One Room Challenge project? I seem to have an endless supply here…). I’m relatively certain I’ll want to use the chest freezer we got for our temporary kitchen in here.
Just down what will be the back hall is our powder room, which is almost exactly in the footprint of the old ‘mudroom.’ For a half bath, it’s a decent size. Obviously the door will be changed out (peek-a-boo!).
This is the view from what will be the top of the stairs in the back hall (right outside the powder room), looking down into the new mudroom. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about how beautiful and utterly functional this room is going to be! The wall of windows will admit the lovely, glowy late-afternoon light. I’m hoping to reveal my mudroom plans next week (still a couple of details to figure out, but I’m close!).
It’s a bit difficult to appreciate how open and connected the space is starting to feel. The above picture was taken back in the kitchen, looking into the family room. The stud walls you see in the middle are just temporary while we await more structural reinforcement in the way of beams.
Over the past week, I have spent a lot of time working on my house in general. We are starting to come up to deadlines for making decisions that affect the electrical plan, A/V wiring, built-in cabinetry design, flooring choices, etc. Pretty much anything that has to be ordered for the house (inclusive of furniture) will have to be decided upon and ordered before summer’s end, which is really sneaking up on me. Some of the decision-making has been challenging – like many designers, I struggle to be decisive when it comes to working on my own home. I feel like I hit rock-bottom yesterday after realizing I had spent four hours trying to select and spec cabinet hardware for my kitchen (and that is after researching and ‘deciding’ on it for weeks prior). This is exactly what I help my clients avoid, and yet I can’t seem to get out of my own way. I’ll need to get comfortable making choices more quickly, or else it’ll never get done.
And while last week was crazy with our move, this week is also, but for two very different reasons. This turkey turned 3 today, and my big guy will be 6 in two days. Since I can’t fit a birthday cake in our temporary fridge, I bought mini cupcakes from Wegmans instead. And I’m hoping he won’t notice that I wrapped his presents in Christmas papers.