Friday, December 12, 2014

We are DONE Remodeling!!

Some of you who know me may recall that we've been remodeling our house since before any of us were born. We've poured a driveway, torn down a shed, built a garage, sided, roofed, re-windowed, gutted the second floor, gutted the living room, and installed a pleasant little patio on which I have a semblance of privacy in which to drink my morning coffee.

Well, guess what? We FINALLY tackled the last two rooms: the kitchen and first floor bathroom / laundry. This was a massive project, and we hired a real-life design & reno company to manage it all. (Mosquito Creek in Appleton--they seriously rock, y'all.) It all cost more than J paid for the entire house back in 1997, so I've been questioning my decision-making skills and stress-eating way too many baked goods lately. (Hint: carbs only create more anxiety once you're digesting them.) BUT--I no longer have to look at this (apologies in advance for the horrid lighting):

Not overtly gross, but my only counter, which was like three inches long, ran into the window.
More on that later...
Hey, I have an idea! Let's put the fridge in this weird corner, practically in the living room, far away from the sink and stove.
Work triangle, Schmirk Triangle!
Love what you've done with the flooring, renters from 1920 - 1993!
A squishy floor around your toilet is no cause for alarm whatsoever.
Whee! Everything's gone. Including my sanity. Also, see that window? We have to DRYWALL OVER IT, because the city passed an ordinance last spring prohibiting removal of any windows or doors without a variance. So from the street? You'll see a dark window. From my living room? You'll see cabinets. Can't wait to explain this when we try to sell one day!
More scary stuff. This is where the toilet & tub used to be. We considered leaving it like this and just turning the house into a Haunted Dungeon ... could be a real moneymaker each Halloween.
Daisy is confused. And collecting asbestos dust, probably. See that hulking shape behind the plastic? That's our fridge. In the living room. It's like my old dorm room again in there, minus the Yo-J mixers and garbage music. What fun!
So I skipped over a bunch of stuff--including pictures of us weeping, necks permanently twisted at weird angles while we paint all of the walls, ceiling, and trim--to the finish line. Ta-da! 
It's a real, live kitchen! Almost like one from the Hipster Farmhouse home decorating porn I subscribe to.
Your move, Pinterest.
There is an extra hole in the counter near the faucet, but that will soon be filled with a cute lil' soap dispenser. Which is a way better idea than a plug of spackle, don't you think?
Also, farmhouse sink. Perfect for washing large heads of lettuce, cauliflower, fat babies, and Fiats.
Pull up a stool and watch me load the first dishwasher I've ever owned! Also, here's a bowl of fruit. Feel free to pet the counter. It's so shiny. Also, that is a picture of the Green Giant holding a birthday cake. (Ho ho ho!) In case you thought you were losing your mind.
J spent 7 hours refinishing this tub because he's a Super Hero. An extremely anal Super Hero named Never-Half-Asses-It-Like-His-Wife-Does Man. The tub was installed in the house in 1920 and badly neglected since.  He painted the clawfeet with a tiny brush, in two colors. Fancy!
Don't you want to take a bath in it? I do! I also kind of want to lick the chrome. Or play telephone with the handheld shower: "Hello? What's that? Your bathroom no longer makes you want to puke? Hooray!"
We went into Lowe's to buy paint stripper and came out with these. Well, we came out with the receipt. It's important to tell an accurate story.
Why yes, that IS an Edison bulb! Also, do you like the tin of Shinola above the toilet? Just in case you forget the difference between ....? It's little touches like this that make it special. 
I ordered that mirror on Etsy--an antique refurb that was actually my second choice. 
More on that later.
This is where the fridge used to be. Now, Bob Hope carrying a cake!!! And a bird's nest.
(Put a bird on it! Don't have a bird? Put a bird's ovum on it!)
There are two pictures of cakes being carried in my kitchen, I just realized.
Ignore the ancient iPod dock and focus on the sideboard. It used to be yellow. We painted it to look all old and scuffed up and stuck a few felt pads under the left feet, because our floors still make you seasick. A fun game: release marbles at the edge of the kitchen. The person whose marble reaches Daisy's feeding bowls first wins a spoonful of tahini!
Put them together and what do you get?  Sensible flow and space to walk between rooms!
WAY better than a huge refrigerator, amIright?
So there you have it. We have essentially re-built the entire house. Next week some guys are coming to insulate and encapsulate and reinforce the crawl space (yeah, we still have that icky situation going on). And then we just sit back, relax, and enjoy our dream vacation to Botswana and Kenya, otherwise known as our functional, no longer disgusting kitchen & bath.

PS: Does anyone want to buy a BRAND NEW recessed medicine cabinet from Rejuvenation, still in the original box and NEVER USED? We paid $550 for it and are asking $250. Couldn't use it because the plumbing stack from the second floor cut into the space I'd allotted for it above the new vanity. And you can't return medicine cabinets to Rejuvenation and I just learned a painful lesson about patience.

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