Monthly Archives: October 2011

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that our renovation is running 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule! The bad news is that DH and I need to make a lot of decisions quickly. Our weekend is pretty much dedicated to running between the tile store(s), the hardware store(s), and the lighting store. We might add a plumbing showroom into the mix just for fun.

Also, work has been busy–all the better to pay for our renovations, but still, there just hasn’t been time to blog. There’s barely been time to sit down and eat dinner as a family, but we’re trying. Check out my post over at The Dish for tips on making meal time, family time. If you have a tip for making family dinner happen, please leave it there.

Week Two Progress Report

Last Friday I mentioned that our builder made excellent progress and now you get to see for yourself. This video provides a walk through of the kitchen, main floor hallway, den and the master suite (my, that sounds fancy) You’ll also get a peek at the upstairs laundry room. It’s all framed up, but the drywall won’t go up until after the plumber, electrician and HVAC guys have worked their magic.

Take a look!

We also ordered our kitchen cabinets last week. It seemed like a never-ending process (our first meeting with the planner was on July 4), but we know we’ll be spending a lot of time in that room and wanted to get it right. Hopefully all the right pieces will come in and they’ll all be in good shape. It can take 4-8 weeks for our order to arrive, so the cabinets can really make our break our construction timeline (which right now is ahead of schedule).

We also picked out kitchen tile, found out we don’t need it for the hall outside the kitchen after all (did you watch the video?), and I think we settled on bathroom tile. We have our bathroom fixtures on hand (FTW!), but we still need need to find a vanity. Oh, and for the laundry room tile, we’ll pretty much be scouring the clearance aisle; we’re not too picky about the overall look of that room.

The biggest challenges ahead are lighting and electricity, but I think we have at least one week before the electrician stops in, so we have time to do a bit of research.

Thanks for following along; we really appreciate your feedback and advice!

Sunday Shout-Out: An organized playroom

All hail Ikea! Seriously, my friend Karen at In the Kitchen with KP turned her daughter’s playroom from mess to mighty nice with the help of a few Ikea shelves. My family tends not to take advantage of vertical space with tall shelves, but I think we need to get these for our new home. We need to stay neat and organized! As a Surface Area Abuser, this is a huge challenge for me.

How do you stay organized with papers (my biggest challenge; they get piled all over), school projects, toys, games, stuffed animals?


We’re Giving Away the Coolest Pumpkin Carving Tool Ever

You may have picked the perfect pumpkin at a patch, but don’t carve it until you win one of these.

Irony Noted

Funny how I’m not doing any of the work, yet I’m exhausted by the end of the week. Our two-man crew continues to rock! The demo is almost done, just a bit more carpet and linoleum to scrape off the old floorboards. The bump-out is built and wrapped, the laundry room, master bath and several closets have been framed.

Best of all, the guys clean up at the end of each day. Nobody’s going to eat off of our floor, but I’m impressed by how neat and orderly they leave the house each day.

Learn from them, Kim! I imagine DH shouting over my shoulder.

Have a great weekend. I’ll be back next week with pictures and video.

Painting My Home Office

Before the demo started DH decided we I should get one thing accomplished on our my own. That thing was my office walls. The floor was already done, so why not turn it into a pretty, functional storage space before the demo dust started to fly? Originally, our color consultant chose a few bold colors for the office, but after staring at them for a few days, I decided that none of them were truly a fit for me, so I zeroed in on colors that always catch my eye.

Like these:

blue benajmin moore paints

Snipped from's Personal Color Viewer

Or these:

Benjamin Moore blue paints

Also snipped from's Personal Color Viewer


I made my choice after bringing a couple of sample chips home and considering ignoring the opinions of my family. I have to say, I enjoy painting, but, oh the prep work is a killer. And our old walls need quite a bit. In the end, I didn’t give each bit of surface the love it needed, but the walls look great from a distance! I wasn’t sure if even Benjamin Moore’s primer + paint Aura line could stand up to my dry old walls that likely haven’t been painted in ten or more years, but it did!

I’m not sure how the color will mesh with the other walls in the house, but the office is my haven and this color makes me feel relaxed and happy. I love it! I still have to paint the trim, but I’m waiting until the windows get replaced to do so. Also, I need to touch up a few spots on the ceiling where the painter’s tape left its mark. Ugh. (Should I be using the green painter’s tape instead of the blue stuff?)

One lesson learned is that we’ll likely have to hire out at least for the prep work or give up our social life for many months if we want our house painted by springtime. These old walls need a face lift. And while I don’t mind a few wrinkles showing through on my office walls (I’m into the perfection of imperfection), I certainly want my living room and dining room walls to shine.

Are you a DIY painter? Any tips on that prep work bit? Also, do you have any songs to paint by? Leave a comment and you might get quoted in a future post.

Disclosure: Benjamin Moore is providing design services and paint for my new house. In return, I hosted a blogger event with the brand and I’m sharing insights and experiences on our journey to painted walls.

It will be months before the house is finished. If you’d like to follow along on our journey, “Like” Reluctant Renovator on Facebook, subscribe to this blog or Progress Notes, our monthly newsletter that serves up links to our most popular posts as well as a chance to enter product giveaways. Click to subscribe.