Scrapping the Wish List * Creating a Haven :: 3

Budgets are never unlimited, at least in this neck of the woods.  So when you have a house with great bones but it badly needs updating from here to there and you get an estimate from a contractor and it takes your breath away, well ... it gives you cause for pause.

And you scrap your wish list.

And then you put your heads together and re-negotiate with calculator in hand, releasing some of your agenda, wrangling back and forth ... and praying, too.  Until you're both comfortable with the bottom line.

You end up going with what absolutely matters most to you.  It might not be what someone else would choose, but that's ok.

This pretty much describes Phase 1 of our home redo.

You hope that someday there'll be a Phase 2, but if that doesn't pan out, you'll still be overflowing with gratitude over what God's allowed you to accomplish.  And you'll continue to release the foolish notion that the place you call home should somehow look like something that you saw on TV.

And that's our story.



a prayer journal from a new friend was one of the first things
to land on the newly installed countertop

Choosing quartz or formica?  Big decision.  I'm all about quality, but I like it cheap.  And there's no such thing as bargain quartz.

2 of my favorite things ... an ancestor's little spice drawers / tool chest
& a wonderful crock of wooden spoons

It was my mom's enthusiastic thumbs up and her perceptive observation that the countertop would be the first thing seen every time you walked in the door that gave me the courage to go out on a limb and finally say, 'let's go for it.'

By the way, my wise husband agreed with her all along.

mmm ... maybe I'll get motivated to cook more often?

Bottom line?  This was a big investment well spent.  If we ever have to sell, there's a good chance we'll get a return on our dollars.  Meanwhile, if a flat work surface could bring a warm sense of satisfaction, it would be this intricately veined, cool-to-the-touch countertop.


He spent 13 long years days with us, the painter did.  Bright and early every morning, his steady workmanship, attention to detail, respect for our obsessive concerns, and easy-going patience with my 'let's paint those linen closet doors ... let's not paint those linen closet doors' were all graces during the stress of having the house undone.

needless to say, we barely used used the kitchen for a few weeks

we took turns living in the downstairs and the upstairs

by the end of the project
 I couldn't tell up from down anymore

The man dressed in white wasn't just a friendly guy with a paintbrush.  He was meticulous, a true artisan.  

One caution ... this paint did not easily cover colored walls, requiring a coat or two more than expected.  Even with a professional's hand guiding the brush.

Bottom line?  We love our home's fresh clean palette.  My husband was a tad concerned that all that white would leave the house looking antiseptic ... like a hospital.  But it doesn't.  We left the doors their golden shade of brown which provides a very pleasing contrast, as one might say.

And I aim to be patient when little hands move through the house with abandon and leave their sweet calling cards behind on corners and random swaths of white.  'Cause marks happen.  Especially when the walls are so very light.


This black iron chandelier's simple lines are striking against the white walls and the blue curtains.  It's on a dimmer, the bulbs are frosted like the other lighting through the house, and for $79 {really}, and I smile every evening when I switch it on.

Bottom line?  Be sure to check Home Depot and Lowe's when you're decorating and don't want to shell out an arm and a leg for lighting.  We were pleasantly surprised at what we found.


Little did we realize {duh} 'til after the carpet was installed in the upstairs master bedroom and loft that the color we chose is almost the same as what we had back in New York.  Go figure.

argh ...
giant showrooms with far too many choices made my head spin

I do hate making big decisions.  Yet this was one of them that turned out to be even better than I thought it might.

sand tracked upstairs will have plenty of places to hide
 without being noticed ... & that, I like

Bottom line?  If you are easily overwhelmed, don't go to a ginormous carpet store where you'll most likely panic at the bazillion options.  Head to a smaller local store where the selection is limited.  I promise you'll find something there.


What's #1 on your home wish list?