Wednesday, March 14, 2012

House Remodel Phase 2

Thanks for all the supportive comments about that last post, friends. I really love being validated. Is that so shameful?
So I thought I would share what Paul and I have been focusing on lately, which is preparing for House Remodel Phase 2. Last year Paul and I (but mostly Paul) remodeled the bedrooms in our little 1958 home. They were in desparate need of work and we did a top-to-bottom overhaul complete with wall texture, new closets, paint, new windows, trim, carpeting, electrical - the works. And we have been so happy with how the bedrooms and office turned out.
For the past couple of months, we have been thinking about doing another huge remodeling project that will bring our home into this century and make it much more enjoyable to live in. Basically, we are going to rip out the existing kitchen, pull up all of the flooring in the living room and hallway and kitchen, and redo the whole thing. By the time we are done, about 90-95% of the interior of our house will have been totally remodeled and only the two bathrooms will be left to do in the future.
Right now, we don't have a dishwasher, our oven is miniature and can't even fit a cookie sheet without sitting on a funky angle against the back of the oven, the linoleum is gouged and horrid and stapled down in places, tiles have been messily glued back onto the counter by previous owners when they have snapped off, and we have a half torn-down wall that we have been living with since the day we moved into the house and decided we couldn't handle with the wall separating the kitchen and the living room and Paul started ripping it out.
Paul has already begun some of the remodel work by patching cracks in the ceiling drywall, which are commonnplace in old California homes that have seen their share of earthquakes. He also assessed the lighting and electrical situation and researched how to properly light our main living space. In doing so, he determined that we had too many "dark spots" because there were insufficient can-lights installed and they were poorly spaced. So on Monday night he re-wired the living room and installed 6 new can-lights, which has made a huge difference from how things were before. Paul also plans to redo the kitchen, hallway, and entry lighting as well.
We picked out stainless steel appliances a few weeks ago and have been getting bids on flooring, cabinets, and granite from a number of different places. Since we are not trying to create some high-end dream home, we think that we are just going to go with cabinets from Lowes. We met with a really highly reviewed Yelp! cabinet guy, but honestly, his prices were out of our budget and we loved the lady at Lowes who spent 2 1/2 hours with us Saturday evening designing how it would all look and creating computer drawings of how the layout would look. She provided a better design that was more in line with our budget and interests and Lowes even carries some of the same cabinet lines as many of the higher-rated cabinet designers in the area. We are planning on moving the refrigerator, oven and stove to different places than where they currently are and we are adding a dishwasher (happy day!) and a slightly larger island. We like a fairly simple, clean look in our furnishings so we are going with a sort of modified shaker-style cabinet in "divinity" (aka, creamy white) with glass inserts in the cabinets on either side of the microwave.

We are leaning toward either hickory (on the right) or walnut (on the left) for our hardwood flooring. Anyone care to comment on which option they like best?



The whole project is going to take a long time because Paul will be doing most of the work himself in the evenings or on weekends, but I can help with a lot of the basic stuff like painting and sanding. We are hoping to be done by the end of the summer, but we don't really know how long it is actually going to take. For now, Paul is just tackling the smaller prepartory projects where we can still use the kitchen and living room before we jump into tearing the whole thing out - things like patching walls, replacing doors, lighting, etc. - and we are hopeful that the actual period of being totally kitchenless except for whatever makedo kitchen we can rig by moving our current fridge onto the back patio and using only a microwave, grill, and hot plate to cook our meals lasts less than a month or two. Besides, we are acutely aware that we have a very busy girl who has been teasing us about taking her first steps so we need to make sure to keep our home environment safe for her and her needs to explore.
It is going to be a lot of work and a big expense, but we are looking forward to a brand new kitchen and living room as the end result!


  1. Fun, fun. I love the images of the kitchen and eating area. They're great. Can't wait to see when it's done.

    I like the Hickory. Just in case you needed an opinion...:)

    Hope you are well,


  2. Looking good. I like the hickory better too. I think you'll be a lot happier with it.

  3. That looks quite exciting! Looking forward to updates. Kitchens are my favorite part of a home.

  4. I agree with everyone so far about the hickory. I can't wait to see the finished product! It is going to look so nice. And I think the dishwasher should be the first thing you install, for your sake :)

  5. We all like to be validated--that's why we blog.

    How do I get myself a husband like yours?? Just kidding, I like my husband a lot and will keep him despite the fact that he doesn't know how to fix or remodel ANYTHING.

    Go Paul!

  6. That looks awesome! How fun that you guys can do projects like that and make your home just how you want it. I'm a little bit jealous. okay a lot! I agree with the Hickory. I love the look of lighter cabinets with dark floors. It will be beautiful. Good luck!

  7. Hickory. The walnut has enough pink in it that I think with divinity cabinets it will have a bit of a prissy look, whereas the hickory will look just plain good.

  8. Definitely the hickory. I love the grain in the walnut, so I can see why that's a contender, but the overall color and feel of the hickory is much prettier.

    Thanks for posting the pics from Lowes. I love seeing how it's going to look. All the effort and work and inconvenience will definitely be worth it!

  9. I'm actually partial to the Walnut...or at least I was until I read Brooke's analysis. Maybe she's right about the pink in it...But man, the grain running through it is so pretty...
    (I'm really a lot of help.)

  10. Maybe I am not so stylish as all of your other blog readers, but I like the Walnut. I like the shine and the softness of it. I'm sure either one will look great though. I'm excited for you guys! And just a wee bit jealous. A new kitchen would be so much fun.

  11. I totally missed this post, and it is such a fun one I don't know how I did!

    I think everybody else is crazy- I LOVE the Walnut. The HIckory (maybe it's the lighting?) looks dated in the picture. It's just the hue of it seems off. Maybe it will look way different when you install it but I love the warmth of the walnut. It's lovely!

    Whatever you pick I am sure it will be the right choice and look great though, you guys have great taste!

    Does Lowe's do cabinent installation too? I have wondered about this. I am getting ready to buy my first home ( I hope) and am planning on moving from Sac to Provo (hopefully), but some of the houses need updating and I just don't know how much I can do on my own... And years of contracters horror stories scare me. Lowe's sounds much safer if they do install!


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