This Life...

Renovations Are Fun!

We’ve started the reno work on our downstairs and wowza! This is the first time anyone else has ever done work on our house (outside of people laying floors or carpet), so a whole new experience for Husband and me. Honestly, I’ve never even had to call a repairman for anything—Husband is a genius and if anything breaks, he fixes it. So, other workman in our house pulling up carpet, tearing out cabinets, and doing demo work is disconcerting. However, we’re maintaining our zen, something we agreed to do before we ever started.

It also helps to have a great contractor and we do! Tim Edens is a wonder! He’s conscientious, kind, talented, and he has terrific ideas. He sold Husband on the idea of painting our oak kitchen cabinets, something I really wanted, but hadn’t broached because Hubs is pretty hard over about keeping the wood natural.  Yay, Tim!!

So here’s the list of things that are going to happen in the next three weeks:

  • Kitchen remodeled with a some cabinets removed (like over the peninsula) and new ones put in (like cabinets to replace the old built-in oven/micro)
  • Kitchen cabinets painted
  • Kitchen wallpaper removed and walls painted
  • Dining room wallpaper removed and walls painted
  • Foyer, hallway, stairwell, and upstairs hall painted
  • Living room painted
  • New hardwood flooring throughout the downstairs, except in the living room, where we’re keeping the carpet
  • New stove/microwave
  • New countertops
  • New lighting in the dining room

I’m already in love with the more-open kitchen. It’s so light and airy and the paint will make a huge difference as well. I also know that the new kitchen will make cooking much more appealing. Somehow, I’ve lost the desire to be creative in the kitchen and although, I know part of that is simply the result of 40 years of making meals day after day, I believe it also has to do with the fact that our kitchen was dated and cramped. Cooking will always be a part of my life, especially as we ease into retirement. Husband’s dietary restrictions don’t allow us to eat out very often, so I’m going to be  preparing meals for a helluva long time to come. How lovely to do it in a brand new kitchen!

Here are some before pictures:

Kitchen Before Kitchen Before 2 Great room before Stairwell before

Here are some “during” pictures–this is demo, but look how much bigger the kitchen looks already just by removing the bulkhead cabinets!

Bulkhead cabinets are gone dining room carpet gone range_oven gone





I’ll post pictures and progress reports as things move along so you all can watch with me as my house becomes new again!



  • Skye

    This is so cool! Having your entire public space redone into a more open, casual, and friendly environment is going to encourage you to feel more like that when you are in it. And being able to cook and interact with your guests will be a huge bonus. Thanks for posting pics and promising to post more. I look forward to it!

    • Nan

      Totally true, Skye. This has needed to be done for a while and I think I’ll enjoy entertaining in this big open space much more than in the cramped, closed-up kitchen from before. Isn’t it funny how tastes change, not just individual tastes, but also trends? Open public areas are a big thing now on HGTV, which is what inspired me.

    • Nan

      I think you’re absolutely right, Roben! Funny how waiting 30 years to redo makes it seem so much more exciting than if we were redecorating every few years. A greater appreciation, I guess, for getting the house ready for the next 30 years! 😉

    • Nan

      Hey, Liz! I think you’re right. It already looks so much bigger! It’s turning into an “entertaining” kitchen, which pleases me immensely.