Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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.

*

THE COUNTERTOP ...

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.


THE PAINT ...


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.


THE LIGHTS ...


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.


THE CARPET ...

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?



46 comments:

  1. Linda,
    Those marble-esque counters are my favorite! I love the Carrera marble but it is so expensive, but you chose well with the quartz and they look amazing! I'm sure you're loving your neutral paint palette, too since pale walls just allow all that's against them to shine and sparkle! Can't wait to see the rest of the project!

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    1. You got it, Valerie! When I told the sales guy that I wanted the look of Carrera marble, he knew exactly what I meant. His savvy saved the day and kept me from tearing my hair out at the prospect of sorting through umpteen samples!

      ;-}

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  2. I am enjoying seeing what you have done and your sense of style. Such fun--and over-whelming to decorate.
    Blessings!

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    1. Indeed, Lulu. What's kept this project from being overwhelming has been pretty much taking one thing at a time, even if it meant multiple trips to stores. This 60 year old brain can't do the multi-tasking thing like it used to!

      ;-{

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  3. Linda, how fun to see what you are doing in your new home. Our challenge is deciding how much to do with the house we will be selling and downsizing from in a few years. If it needs to be done for sale, do it now, but does it need to be done before sale. sign. big questions. we need advice from someone - need to make friends with a good realtor I guess!

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    1. Hey Carol ... so good to see you again! Yep, a good realtor is worth their weight in gold! Hope you can find another home seller who's gone that route and knows someone great.

      Blessings to you as you think about transitioning ...

      ;-}

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  4. Oh it is looking beautiful! I LOVE those countertops! So beautiful! Our exterior (plus gutters) needs urgent re-doing!

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    1. I hear ya, Jandi. Gutters aren't exactly fun stuff, but without them, we'd be sunk.

      {No pun intended! I've been sitting out in the sun too long!}

      ;-}

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  5. I love the little details of the items that you have sitting around, Linda. That's what makes a home have heart. :)

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    1. You're sweet, Lisa. Part of this whole redo thing is having out only what I use or love.

      More stuff to go to the swap shop, for sure ... but I feel so light and in love with what's on the walls.

      And that's a very good place to be!

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  6. Looks like a huge project and a lot of upheaval but worth it for the final result. The counter-tops look great, and I love your chandelier!

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    1. Thanks, Carly! I love a light on a dimmer switch.

      ;-}

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  7. I love the quartz counter tops, Linda. And the ancestor's little tool chest on it. :) It must be a relief as you step by step finish these projects. Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. You got it, friend. We are so relieved that Phase 1 is over. A couple of odds and ends to handle, but what else is new.

      I'm traveling free and light ...

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  8. Depends on whom you are talking to. To Jo: painting the whole inside and putting carpet down. Me? Doing something to the end of the driveway. We compromised and had crawlspace doctor redo our crawlspace and make it dry and hopefully energy efficient (especially this winter). Next: I'm guessing the painting. It will cheaper than the driveway. :(

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    1. For sure, my husband's with you on the driveway, Bill. Maybe Phase 3? Or 4?

      I'm with Jo on this ...

      ;-}

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  9. Love, love, love those countertops, Linda! We had ours done about seven years ago in granite. I never tire of admiring them and they add such warmth to our kitchen and our bathrooms.
    Wish list? A new oven/stove would be great, but since the old one is still chugging along, my husband and I are putting it off a bit longer.
    Blessings!

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    1. I hear ya, Martha ... our old dishwasher is original to the house {we think} but it keeps chugging along. It's loud but the dishes come out clean so we're in no rush to replace it.

      ;-}

      But half the stove burners don't work right, so sooner or later it's just gotta go ... especially if I'm going to cook!

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  10. Wonderful. Thanks for taking me down this journey of beautiful. So! Now where is the swimming pool. Lol!

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    1. I guess you'd say the nearby bay and the ocean blue are our swimming pools! I however, do not indulge, as there are far too many sea creatures in these parts.

      And I hear that we're going to have double the number of sharks in local waters this summer.

      ;-{

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  11. Very interested in that counter top meditation, because our kitchen is next on the docket.

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    1. Can't wait to hear your plans, Michele! Do tell ...

      ;-}

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  12. I'm loving this series about your home renovations. I'm a wannabe decorator and I love all things to do with house and decorating. I love the exterior and can just imagine your red geraniums. I also love the kitchen counter. The white walls were a good call. Can't wait to see more. Thanks for taking us on this journey with you.

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    1. Thanks for coming along for the ride, Teresa!

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  13. Love your style! The crock full of wooden this and thats. The iron bed. The little blue stool. All of it. I know it's hard to live in a construction site. Glad it's done, done well, and happy you love it!

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    1. I'm aiming to keep just the things I love. Furniture will be a long time in replacing, but most of the upholstered pieces are decades old and are giving up the ghost ...

      My back lets me know that reality.

      ;-{

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  14. Sounds as though the house is coming along beautifully. You likely won't regret those countertops, by the way. #1 They're beautiful. #2 They look classy #3 They'll hold up better than laminate. Good move! (We don't have quartz but do have granite. I LOVE the stone and hope you do too.) Our house wish list? Probably the two trees that we had planted last week. They add beautifully to an otherwise barren yard.

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    1. I hear you about the trees, Kristi! Planting evergreens was the first thing we did last fall ... and doing that made it all feel permanent, like yes, we will put down roots.

      Someday ...

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  15. Your home is coming along beautifully. I LOVE the countertops...good choice!

    My number one house wish list? Land...I long for wide open spaces. A big back porch to sit outside on to write and drink coffee, or just sit and talk with God. As I get older I long for peace and quiet more and more.

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    1. Yes and amen to peace and quiet ... and even a little place to land to write, read, and reflect.

      Love the way you put it, Alecia ...

      ;-}

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  16. Linda,
    The quartz is beautiful! Great choice! I wish we could replace our kitchen counters but I'm grateful we even have a kitchen :-) Many blessings to you, friend :-)

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    1. 'Grateful we even have a kitchen.'

      No truer words were spoken.

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  17. I am loving this series -- particularly because we are starting a remodeling project on Monday [insert scream of terror here]. The goal is to pull out the ugly old beighe carpet in the bedrooms and family room and replace with tile. I can't take my shoes off because I walk with a prosthetic limb, and those beige carpets are forever dirty. I can't wait for them to be gone. -- We also hoping to replace a bedroom window with a slider the opens up to the back (if we ever find a contractor that we like), and then we are going to refinish the wood floors in the living room / dining room areas and paint the whole house.

    I am exhausted just thinking about it.

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    1. Ah, yes, I hear the terror as those big decisions loom, my friend!

      ;-{

      If at all possible, try to focus on one project at a time. It was my salvation!

      I can't wait to hear how it all turns out. And yes, I promise you'll survive!

      ;-}

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  18. Beautiful, Linda! We, too, put the money where it matters most to us. There *might* be a marble countertop coming to my master bathroom some time soon! More important than the work on our house, though, is the peace we try to fill our home with. It blesses us and hopefully all who visit.

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    1. *might*

      I like the way you put that, Debby!

      Even more, the way you spoke about peace ... without that fruit of the Spirit alive and thriving in our hearts and dwellings, all the countertops in the world won't matter one iota ...

      Glad you're in on this discussion, girl!

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  19. Linda! How wonderful is this! I love everything about your choices! How you saved money, but spent where you needed to! And your choices! Gorgeous, yet cozy at the same time! Nicely done, friend! What a fabulous series! I'll be bookmarking these for future reference :)

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    1. Well, that means alot that you're bookmarking, June. I thank you for that encouragement!

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  20. I like a lot of color around me, but I love your choices, Linda. Everything looks so fresh and clean and pretty! I can certainly relate to the counter-top quandary but I agree that you made the right decision. Definitely money well spent. Did you ever watch that HGTV show a long time ago called "Designing for the Sexes" with Michael Payne? In the middle of our ongoing remodeling dance, I sometimes long for a neutral third-party designer to come in and tell us what to do, but maybe the working it our on our own is just part of the process (which right now involves our basement family room). :-)

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    1. I hope you'll find something here in these discussions that will bring some 'aha' moments for your upcomig family room! Can't wait to hear all about it, Lois!

      ;-}

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  21. I love the peek into your home renovation. The countertops are gorgeous and I think I would cook more often with those beautiful countertops. I love my home but always wish for updates when I see the beautiful ways people update their own homes. Happy weekend to you!

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    1. I hope your weekend's been sweet and fulfilling, Mary ...

      ;-}

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  22. Love the changes you are making, Linda, especially going with quartz countertops. They will add value and look stunning for many more years than formica. I wish we had bit the bullet to install them when we moved in our home of ten years. Now that we are selling soon (I hope!), I know our formica countertops will be a detraction, but we aren't popping for new ones. We will see how it all goes. And I'm so grateful for all of your great advice on this process. You are at least two steps ahead of us, so blaze that trail, my friend! We are listening and watching as you make your new nest the best!

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    1. I appreciate the thumbs up, Beth! I know you've got selling on the agenda ... and it'll be interesting to see how / if you bring up this topic up on your blog ...

      For sure, any house renos impacts the relationships of those who are hip deep in the midst of the avalanche of decision making.

      ;-}

      I'd love to see you do a series with the marriage emphasis!!

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  23. Yum! I love those countertops, sweet friend! When we did some redecorating about 12 years ago, we stayed with a formica and I still wonder if we will one day redo once more. Love the sharing of all this and how your narrative flexes as needed. It speaks well to the marriage series you did! Blessings!

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    1. Yep, the narrative is flexing even as we speak, friend!

      Don't you just love the freedom that comes with blogging? I just love being my own editor, don't you?

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda