To book a Job

Hark, the kitchen renovation is upon us. In hours of contemplation we sat, during which options were presented to us. Counters choices begat counter finishes, counter finishes begat hardware selections, and hardware selections begat backsplash options. We’ve decided. We have made our offerings to the kitchen designer.

As I prepare to endure my kitchen being laid to waste, mustering my strength to keep my eye looking forward to my just end reward, I feel a bit homelitic. I can find no evidence that anyone before me has written down the trials and tribulations of the path of the kitchen renovant. I feel this is a lapse in the canon I must rectify as part of my own journey.

Herein beginith the book of renovations:

Renovations 14:28 – For which of you, desiring to fix a kitchen, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether we have the revenue to pay for it?

Renovations 24:27 – Prepare your plumbing and electrical, get all up to code before installation of the cabinets, and after that set the counters.

Renovations 14:1-12 – The renovating woman vacates her kitchen, and with her own hands washes dishes.

Renovations 24:3 – By willpower a kitchen is built, and by contractors it is finished.

reno tile 1

 

Ongoing beginnings

When my darling husband and I first started our journey together I shared some of the ups, downs and pitfalls of house hunting. Our quest for the perfect nest was somewhat less than smooth. In the end, though we chose the path of least resistance, it was not a choice entirely without drawbacks. Specifically, there were some immediate decorating challenges.

So we unpacked, and immediately began correcting the decorative deficiencies.

We build our library in the weird little empty room off the patio, so that this:

original library

Ended up transforming over a few weeks into a home for my books:2012-12-29 12.32.32  Place to be library

And made me so happy.

We then painted and decorated both the library and the cold white living room so the main floor was fit for entertaining.

original living xmas party time

We eventually painted and decorated the master bedroom and master bath (yes, it was not only poorly laid out but poorly decorated as well).

We then equipped my art room/office for my needs.

original artroom croppedhome officeIt had natural light but needed some upgrades to be able house my clutter.  Now it definitely holds my clutter

My beloved designed and laid out my garden retreat.

2013-05-18 13.52.14 -> 2014-04-28 20.17.03 -> 2014-05-11 21.01.55 -> 2014-05-16 20.59.02

We have come so far, but the war is not yet over. There has been a lull in activity for the past ten months, but we have been mustering our strength for the next battle.

We are renovating our kitchen. Because really, who could be expected to live with this?

kitchen reno window pic

I am going to need all my strength to pull this one off … and really patient contractors.

Those Old Familiar Move-in Blues

We’re in!
Just finished unloading.

I needed THREE Venti cafe lattes just to get me through the exhausting job of supervising the movers!

I have already hung my five carefully selected outfits in the walk-in closet. I chose carefully, it would be dreadful to let down my co-workers and clients by coming in to work not quite put together.
The closet looks cavernous now but I am still a bit afraid that I will have some difficulty making the space work for me. After all I have to share this:

walk in closet

with B.
And well, I have already accepted my shoe closet limitations.

Imelda's shoes !!

I expect I have good deal more supervising to do before I feel happy, but for tonight I will allow myself the luxury of a little ‘me time’ – a glass of pinot noir and a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough plate of tasty organic roasted pumpkin seeds.

binge-eating-disorder

But never fear, I shall endeavor to keep up my good work here, no matter how hard it is to find time aside from my duties as homemaker.

dressing-for-dinner

I Feel Better Already

Good news everyone! Me and B have a new home.

Now, before you all start checking your inboxes – I would love to have you all over to celebrate my happiness but please be patient as we have purchased a fixer-upper.

fixer upper

I know, I know, money wasn’t the object so why in goodness name would I ever consider buying a home that was less than perfect? It’s not like I’d ever buy clothes at an outlet mall, or buy last year’s technology to save a buck, right?

I haven’t really compromised my principles, B just helped me see the possibilities I could explore in a house I could really put my own stamp on.

For example:

Instead of inheriting a library built to hold the literary travesties of Danielle Steele and Dan Brown…

badbooks

I can design and have built a library worthy of Dostoyevsky and Hemingway.

bookshelf1

Instead of taking over someone’s tired old craft room still smelling of Stampin’ Up and hot glue guns…

organize-craft-room-15[3]

I can create a place for paint and clay and belle arte.

Pierre_Subleyras,_The_artist_studio

Yes, it’s a fixer upper for me. I shall soon enter a world of hiring contractors and choosing hardwood, but I will survive and come out of it a better person with a better house to feel better about.

House Hunters Inconsolable

Oh my. House hunting looks so much simpler on TV.

Here is a run-down of the ‘houses’ we’ve seen:

  1. Big corner house, decor dominated by the keg (?) of Jägermeister, assorted Jägermeister paraphernalia and hentai inspired artwork.
  2. House on a quiet cul de sac, with guest room in the basement down the long narrow hallway past the utility room, conveniently only three steps to the toilet behind a curtain right next to the furnace.
  3. Home in a quiet neighbourhood; comes with security system, which consists of cameras mounted inside each window to monitor activity outside the house, probably in no way connected to the strange wiring throughout the house and the multiple money counting machines in the upstairs office.
  4. Quaint home near river valley trails, filled with love and the wafting odor of jasmine just masking the smell of damp concrete and raw sewage.
  5. Traditional family home with warm interior. Could be even warmer if any of us make a spark accidentally igniting the hardwood floors, wood paneled walls, wood ceiling beams, wooden counters, wooden shelves, wooden sauna…
  6. Spacious home, the sense of space is amplified by the insipid grey linoleum throughout the entire house; stairs, foyer, living room, library, family room, den, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms…
  7. Historic heritage home with antique fixtures, including the original chicken coops in the unfinished basement (?)
  8. New home with master bedroom on main floor. Large glass enclosed fire place in wall, conveniently open on both sides and placed between the living room and master bedroom – exceptional home for entertaining guests!

I’ve had to severely downgrade my expectations and opinion of humanity in general. Seriously. These aren’t even POOR people’s homes. These people have enough money to buy some taste, or hire someone to have some on their behalf.

Simple Needs – fiddle-dee-dee

The house hunting has officially begun.

The real estate agent has our list of parameters. It should be simple to find a house.

It has to be big enough for the 5 of us – obviously not less that 3500 sq feet, there must be 4 bedrooms above grade and at least one spare, a library, an art room, a media room, a gaming room for the boys, a den with a fireplace, a living room, the dining room (with a fireplace) which must hold my 12 seat dining room table, we all need walk-in closets (how would we function without them?), with a double garage, a garden, a deck, and it must be close to a ravine.

I would ask for more but you know me, I don’t like to be greedy.

Honestly, is this too much too ask? It’s all I need.

http://plancanada.ca/

http://www.unicef.ca/

http://www.canadacharity.ca/canadian-feed-the-children

A Hunted House

Oh my but I am nervous and scared and excited and giddy and apprehensive and enthusiastic and just a little bit sleepy.

B and I are house hunting – squee!

I know all of you out there will be interested in how I manage to survive the trials and tribulations of finding a home up to standard. Rather than retell the story to everyone I decided to start a blog. I love you and want you all to have only the best, no tired retold second hand stories for the people I love. I feel it is my duty as a friend.

I can’t wait to start sharing 🙂Image