It’s hard to overstate the “strike while the iron’s hot” feeling that comes out in a person when their living room is down to the studs. Suffice it to say that things have spiraled a *bit* out of control as we’ve added to the scope of our home renovation.
Here’s a breakdown of the evolution of our project:
We started with:
- remove wall between living and dining room
- add gas fireplace
And ended with:
- remove wall between living and dining room
- add gas fireplace
- remove crappy closet
- add small pantry
- re-construct side entrance
- totally re-do first floor bathroom
- refinish floors
- add 2 new windows
- install new front and side doors
- replace and expand crown molding
As you can see, these lists are different. It’s kind of like going to the hospital to have a mole removed and then spontaneously asking them to tack on a hysterectomy while you’re there “since you’ll be under anesthesia anyway!” It just seems like the thing to do.
It always happens this way. Everyone says so. And yet it still somehow surprises you, finding yourself remodeling an entire first floor when you only meant to replace a light switch.
And the dust. Oh, the dust.
None of this matters though. What matters is that I got to go to both IKEA and Jordan’s Furniture this weekend! It was a full 9 hours of home-related shopping. I know, try to contain your envy.
I’ve been telling Brian for weeks that going to IKEA with him would be my dream day, and for some strange reason he didn’t seem to feel that it would be his dream day. But when the big outing finally came both Brian and Nolan kept up great spirits the whole time. It’s like my exuberance created a force field so powerful that it just overtook them.
The main purpose of our shopping trip was to find a new couch and to become Swedish by proxy. Success on both fronts.
We ended up with a charcoal gray sectional that is a step up in elegance from a dorm room couch, yet it maintains the dorm room sofa’s ability to withstand spillage of vomit and other fluids. It’s perfect! We have a toddler, remember. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it’s getting delivered on Saturday, so you will soon see it in all its glory. I’m already chomping at the bit just thinking of what kind of punchy throw pillows I can pair with charcoal. Answer: ALL THE THROW PILLOWS AT HOMEGOODS.
Before the couch gets delivered there are a few loose ends to finish up. Because, well, this is how things look right now:
We’ve been told that we can move back in by the weekend, which seems nuts given the current state of affairs. There’s still finish work to be done, windows to be installed, plumbers to plumb and painters to paint. And our general contractor just left for a vacation in Puerto Rico. And yet I have faith, because I’m stupid like that.
As an aside, this is the first time we’ve ever used a painter. It’s just not done in my family. It’s against our code. However, we’re hosting Christmas Eve, which you may have noticed from the national months’ long pre-Chrismas pep rally is right around the corner. And we not only need to finish the renovation, we need to clean the entire house, move back in, buy a Christmas tree, put up our lights, open our fridge after 5 weeks away and sift through whatever is rotting, and just generally Martha Stewart things up. Hence, the painters. I think the expression is “In for a penny in for ten thousand dollars.”
In my experience picking out paint is the hardest aspect of decorating. We finally decided on Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore for the dining room, which opens up into the new family room.
Revere Pewter is a super popular color but also a little tricky. It has a greenish tone to it in some light, and in other light it looks totally gray. You get the gist in the photo below – looks kind of greenish, right?
I’m hoping it will read more gray than green in the room. From there, I thought it might be nice to step down to Light Pewter in the family room, so that there will be a subtle difference between the spaces even though it’s now “open concept.” I could be wrong about this, I’m wrong about colors all the time. Case in point: I found myself re-painting my bedroom (which we had painted only a few months earlier) the week I was due with Nolan because I thought the walls looked too “muddy.” And clearly when you are hours away from delivering your first child, eliminating muddy walls is your main priority.
Anyway. For the small bathroom we’re going with Jamestown Blue, also by Benjamin Moore.
I’m wondering if we’re making the right choice by going with such a neutral palate in the main living spaces, since I generally like to use bolder colors. I figure if the colors seem too toned down I’ll just go crazy in the TJ Maxx discount bins until it’s a color explosion of textiles.
TIP: If you love a color in your house but can’t figure out what the name of it is, you can get it matched by cutting a tiny piece of your wall out (which you can later patch over) and bringing it to your local paint supplier/Home Depot/hardware store for a match to be mixed. You can also bring a small paint chip if you have it. Works like a charm!
Despite the mess, after 5 weeks of being displaced to my parents’ house there’s a light at the end of the construction tunnel. (Then the real fun begins with decorating mania, although I don’t want to play that point up to Brian because it will give him a nervous breakdown).
So that’s where things are at with us. The big question is this: will we make it in time for Christmas Eve?
Liz – I’m pretty sure Nicole Curtis would approve of both your paint colors and your practical sofa choice. I’m also pretty sure that she will fit in your new, smaller bathroom when she visits you which is all that really matters, right? She may not, however, eat many Ikea meatballs…
Totally great points Mer. I estimate that I can fit 3 replicas of Nicole Curtis in that bathroom, and that’s really all I care about. Everyone else can sit outside the bathroom and stuff their faces with Swedish meatballs.
I can’t wait to see the final results! Love what you guys are doing.
I painted our living, dining, kitchen all in revere pewter and love it. I think it definitely does look like a true grey in our house but it does look slightly different in the different rooms and light. I am working on adding color now but love the neutral background it creates.
You will love it!! And so many colors look great with it that I have been having a hard time picking!!
I was wondering how your reno was going, after catching a couple episodes of Rehab Addict the other day.
As for colors, we did a variety of colors in our main floor, then went with a silvery gray in our guest bedroom. I liked it so much that I used it in the master bathroom. And then the nursery. And now I wish I’d painted the entire house that color, it’s just calming and complements everything. I think you’ll end up loving it, too. And if you don’t, you can just get super pregnant and repaint, since that’s apparently your thing.
Ha! Good call Erin. I’ll try to get knocked up and bang out a few re-paints. It will be just like old times…
LOL Love all the humor inserted into this post! Also: looove the color you chose for the walls! Can’t wait to see it!!!
ps. totally makes me want to start painting walls in our apartment…buuut, maybe after Christmas. 😉
Thanks Giedre! I’m glad this made you inspired to paint. Although in no way would I recommend doing that before Christmas 🙂
Fingers crossed it’s all done by Christmas Eve! I love the paint colors you picked. I’m crazy about paint too… Like, purchased six beige paint samples for my oldest daughter’s nursery kind of crazy… Who knew beige could be so hard? I can’t wait to see the finished renovation. Hang in there!
Can’t wait to see the finished product! Exactly one year ago we moved into our current house (happy house-iversary to us!). I was 5 months pregnant. Then we hosted Christmas for my extended family one week later. And then my husband decided we should host a New Year’s party. And we repainted two rooms. Nuts? Absolutely. But hopefully our experience gives you encouragement. It can be done!
P.S. I love your paint choices!