For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Renovation - May 28 - 31

The sheetrock was finished and the ceilings were textured on Thursday. On Friday, we could start painting. That was our job for Memorial Day Weekend. I went to Booma's Paint store and bought paint on Thursday.

The prep work took a while. The baseboard heater in the the bathroom had become rusted over the last 22 years since we built the house. I took it apart and sanded it. Then I spray painted the part that was attached to the wall. It looked so nice, I decided to do the ones in the dining room and family room too. The kids helped wash the dirty trim around the windows. We took down the pictures from the walls in the family room and spackled the holes. I also noticed the wall in the bathroom needed to be fixed. The old vanity cabinet was higher than the new one we will be getting and there was a ridge on the wall where the old one had been. So I spackled quite a bit and sanded until it was smooth.
On Saturday, the painting began. Annie painted the windows in the dining room and Kerry painted the trim in the family room. Vance and I attacked the ceilings. Adam was mulching the yard. We ran out of ceiling paint and sent Adam to the paint store. I started trimming the dining room area. By evening, the dining room was done.
On Sunday I skipped church to get a head start on trimming the rest of the rooms. Vance only rolls. I trim. It took a long time. By dinner time, we were almost done the kitchen and family room, but the 2 gallons of paint I had bought were not enough. A few walls in the family room need another coat! We went out to dinner. When we came back, I trimmed the bathroom. By 10:30 PM, the bathroom was rolled and done.
Today is Memorial Day. I am hoping Booma's is open so we can officially finish. But here are pictures of the rooms with paint (ignore the tremendous mess!)

This is the wall color I chose for the dining room. It is Benjamin Moore Fennel Seed. It was chosen to match the seats on the dining room chairs we picked out.

The aqua color on the side wall is a color I picked out from my area rug. This wall will be covered in shelves and hidden by decorative sliding screens, but when it is opened, the aqua accent color will show.

This is the color for the kitchen and family room. It is lighter than the dining room. It is Benjamin Moore Straw.

And this is my bathroom color. Benjamin Moore Ladybug Red. I was told at the paint store that this is the color used by the Red Sox to paint Fenway Park. It also matches the red leather of my dining room chairs and the red in my area rug. I was a little hesitant to choose it, but with a little encouragement from family and friends (and Jonathan), I went with it. I am very happy with the result.

This picture looks brighter than it actually is in person because of the bright flash. It is actually more like the picture above (the paint can). Now I just have to put my Red Sox decals on the wall and it will be perfect!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Renovation - May 24 - 27

Ok, so I spent an hour on the phone with my sister in Alaska and we looked at pendant lights simultaneously online and found a colorful pendant light we both liked. Then the next day, I showed Adam and he didn't really like it. After looking at the HGTV online site, I decided not to get a colorful light. I decided to get something simple and plain. I still haven't ordered anything yet, but I am leaning toward the plain frosted pyramid light (the clear whitish one).

This week, the kitchen was sheetrocked and taped and is in the process of being plastered.
The picture below is looking toward the garage door. There will be a transom window above the ovens to allow light into the mudroom area. Behind that wall is the area for coats and the entrance to the bathroom.
Also, I have included a picture of the barstools we have bought. We got the one in black.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Renovation - May 19 - 21

Two weeks have passed since this whole thing began. The electrician will be finishing up tomorrow morning. The carpenters fixed up the siding around the new windows and put the insulation back into the walls. The guy who does the sheetrock will be coming on Monday.

Meanwhile, I went to the lighting store today. I am posting pictures of the fixtures that I am thinking of. I haven't bought anything yet, but I will make up my mind soon. The pictures of the hanging light over the table is made in VT (yeah) by Hubbardton Forge. It is wrought iron, but with a contemporary flair. There are 5 lights that can be adjusted to be angled out sideways or straight in a row. I would probably get the amber swirl art glass for the shades. Since my table is dark, I think this would balance nicely with it. Also, did you know my father used to have his own wrought iron business when he was younger.

The pendants will be hanging over the bar area in the kitchen. I am torn between the green and gold pendant and the iris flute-shaped pendant which has many colors in it (red, purple, gold, blue, and I think green). All of these colors are in my rug in the dining room. I don't know if the green and gold one would be too limited since it only has 2 colors, even though the green looks to be an exact match to the green in my oven cabinets. And it is brighter too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Renovation - May 17 & 18

The electrician has been busy situating the cans in the ceiling for lighting. We will be using LED lights in the cans because of their energy efficiency. We also talked about where we want outlets and switches for lighting.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Renovation - May 14 - 16

Last Friday the microlam support beam was put in so the wall between the old dining room and the kitchen could be removed. Today, Monday, it was very busy. The electrician started his part of the job. The plumber was here to work on the heating and air conditioning vents. And the carpenters installed the supports in the ceiling for the sliding Shoji-like screen doors which will hide my large storage closet in the dining room. They also put up the wall between the kitchen and the coat room, framing the spot for the transom window above the ovens. And, last but not least, they installed the framework for the pocket door to the bathroom.

I thought you would like to see how we are functioning without a kitchen, so I have included pictures of our foyer and living room. I made a real dinner tonight - eye round roast (cooked in the micro/convection oven), snap peas (steamed in the rice cooker), and mashed potatoes (made in the microwave with hot water and potato flakes). We ate on the screened in porch. The dinner got rave reviews, not necessarily because it was so good, but because it was a real dinner! The kids are loving the clean-up routine after dinner - just throw the paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils in the garbage!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Renovation - May 13

On the 4th day of this process, the plumber began by relocating the pipes that were in the walls that were to be torn down. In the afternoon, the carpenters came to put in a new support beam so the load bearing wall between the kitchen and dining
room could be removed. First they had to build support for the upper level of the house on either side of the place where the beam would go. This support system will be taken down once the new support beam is in place. Also, the bathroom vanity, sink, and toilet were removed today.

On a more fun note, I went shopping for a new toilet and sink for the bathroom. I tried out the elongated toilet and decided it was more comfortable than the round It was a little awkward with the salesman watching :) I also picked out a simple round frosted glass vessel bowl and a contemporary vessel filler. I found out that vessels do not have stoppers in them because there is no overflow. Interesting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Renovation - May 12

Not much happened today, other than the fact that it was my birthday! 51! I can't believe I am that old already. Steve came by and finished taking up a layer of sub-flooring in the dining room so the floor will be level with the kitchen floor when the hardwood is layed. He also told me that they will be able to duct my exhaust vent to the outside. That was good news. Tim, the electrician, stopped by to see what the rooms looked like without sheetrock so he had a better idea of what he needed to do when he starts next week.
Since there really was nothing new to take pictures of, I am posting a picture of the area rug I bought for underneath the new table. It is from CompanyC and the pattern is called Wendy's Garden. Next to it is a painting I bought in Middlebury, VT when we went to visit Adam for his birthday last month. It is reverse painting on glass, and it was done on an old window which acts as a frame. Very colorful and it pulls in all of the colors of the rug.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Renovation - May 11

The plans for today: remove the door to the porch and replace it with a window, replace the other 3 section window, tear down sheetrock from the walls that will be removed, tear down the ceiling in the kitchen and dining room, remove the island. All of these were finished today.

I love the light, airy feel the kitchen has already. Being able to look out windows in the front and back of the house is great! However, removing the sheet rock and ceilings revealed things that might cause a change in plans. For instance, the multitude of bathroom pipes in the kitchen ceiling might prevent us from having a hood which is ducted to the outside. I am looking into a downdraft as an alternative. Heating pipes were also found inside walls that are supposed to be torn down. Hence, I got to meet the plumber a little earlier than scheduled because the pipes will have to be re-routed so the walls can be removed. Since this needs to be done before the workers can go forward, and the plumber cannot do the work until the day after tomorrow, I don't think any work will be done tomorrow.
In addition, the electrical estimate came in higher than expected, partially because we would like LED lighting

Monday, May 10, 2010

Renovation - May 10

So much demolition was done today. All of the cabinets were removed. The appliances were taken out. The closets were taken down. The small window over the kitchen sink was removed and the new, larger window was put in place. And the carpet in the dining room was taken up. The kitchen looks so BIG when it is empty! I love my new window!

A New Beginning

Nutmeg Stairs and Cabinets here in Ellington is doing the renovation and Steve Luginbuhl is the job foreman. I have been working with their designer, Jonathan Brown, since the middle of December to come up with the design. It was a lot of fun and Jonathan was great to work with. I hope that what I visualize in my head will look just as nice in reality.

Vance and I built our house in 1988. At the time, we had been married for only 4 years and did not have any children. We liked contemporary homes and designed our home with lots of white. Our kitchen, as you can see in the photos, was white. White cabinets, white kitchen table, gray counter-tops, gray walls, black chairs, pale pink (almost white) half bath, off-white dining room ... you get the idea. Over time, the rest of our house has evolved, but now we are updating the remaining rooms. Good-bye white.

So we will be eating off paper plates, cooking on our grill or toaster oven or convection oven/microwave. I have an electric skillet. And a refrigerator. It almost feels like our week in the cabin in Lake George - but then again, that's only for week! There won't be much to clean and cooking will be limited, so I'll have lots more free time!