Tuesday, January 15, 2008


After a lot of requests, I have decided to create a separate blog to tell the story of our crazy, whirlwind 3 month remodel.

In September of 2006, we purchased our 1776 sq. ft. home. It was built in 1988, in an older, well-cared for subdivision, on a large lot with lots of mature trees and a garden spot. We were thrilled! The place was in good shape, but it wouldn't have mattered if I'd moved into a brand new house--I'm an interior designer and that always means CHANGE!!! We really wanted to create a place that reflected us and our lifestyle, a place we could entertain friends and children, and easily be happy in for the next twenty years.

We moved in on a gorgeous September Saturday. After my husband set down the first box he walked over to the wall separating the living and dining room and punched a hole in it (what a manly man :)!)--the wall had to go. I quickly followed by beginning to peel off big sections of the plaid birdhouse wallpaper that ran throughout the dining and kitchen area. Now we were committed!

All the furniture except the mattresses, a few of the kids' toys, and the TV stayed packed into the garage. After about two weeks, we finally caved and had to bring in the table and the family room couch--we couldn't go on sitting on boxes!

We have four boys who were ages 8, 6, 2, and 4 months at the time. For their sakes, we worked like the dickens--finishing the majority of the remodel by Thanksgiving time. It meant that I would get up about 5:30 AM and paint, demolish, clean up, and paint some more until nearly 2:00 AM every day. Then I would wake up with my baby all night long, and start in again the next day. Every muscle in my body ached constantly. My sweet husband did all the heavy labor and had the battle scars to prove it. My uncle, a contractor, saved our lives several times by helping with the sheet rocking and electrical work. We are so grateful to all our family and friends who came to help and were paid only in pizza.

Now I have to mention that I am an incredible cheapskate (and proud of it!). We had a strict budget to work with, and we stayed within it. That meant that some of my projects (kitchen backsplash, bathrooms, fieldstone patio, fireplace.....) had to be put off for a later date, but with a little creativity and some killer bargain shopping, I was surprised how much we were able to get. I also learned a lot of lessons about what you can do yourself, and what will make you weep openly and scream "why? WHY?!" to try and do on your own. I tried to give a brief rundown on each project and what we did. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

So, look through the before and afters for each room, and marvel at how we lived amongst the "during" shots. It is all still a work in progress, but the majority of it is done. Hooray! It truly is the Evolution of a Home!

*though I will update room photos from time to time, the majority of our new projects, including holiday decorations, will be at the very bottom of the page.


Lee Ann said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT ALL!!!! It's beautiful! May I link it on my blog? I think I have some friends who would really enjoy looking at this. And all I want to do is paint my family room :-) You really have done an incredible job!

Elena Manwaring said...

Yep, I am linking too! (Although, I am not so polite as Lee Ann to ask. :) )

Laila said...


Thank you for the comment on my blog. I was in the middle of translating when you were in, and I'm happy to let you know that I have finished. So if you'd like to see what it was all about, feel fre to visit again.

Jennifer Paganelli said...

You are surviving remodeling with such a good spirit...I love it!! Jennifer

Forever and Ever House said...

I have such huge goosebumps. We moved into our 17 year old house in August and are renovating it right now. It is full of country blue, country rose, golden oak and floral wallpaper. We are kindred spirits...except that you have waaaay more energy than I do considering how much you have done in such a short period of time. Thanks for the inspiration...I was having a day of feeling quite overwhelmed with what needs to be done and after seeing all that you have done, it has really inspired me to plug away. I hope that you visit my blog sometime. I would love to keep in touch. :o)....O.K. it is "Hammer time" so I should sign off now (get it? MC Hammer, 1990's, renovation...oh bad pun, I know!! LOL)

Kari & Kijsa said...

Love it...so fun to see the progress!!

kari & kijsa

Emily said...


I can't believe I haven't found you before now through the nester. We've done our own complete remodel from the ground up that is still in progress but come a long way. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit here and seeing all you've done. I love everything!

My remodel blog is at www.remodelingthislife.wordpress.com

since I can't sign in with my wordpress account here.

a home far away said...

You have worked so hard to get the house in order:- it looks great.

I am a swedish mom living in Singapore feel free to visit:-


Jesse Mendez said...

Hi there how are you? I was looking through your blog and found it interesting and wanted to leave you a comment.

I have an ivitation for you to come and visit my art blog here in San Diego, and comment if you will.

I think that you may enjoy the various labels and music videos I design for my art blog, hope to see you here soon and take care :)