God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Journey into Nightmare Land

We are reluctantly embarking on a journey which fills me with dread and apprehension. We are remodeling a substantial portion of our house--well, actually, it's only about a fifth of the space but it is still more than I want to spend time and energy on. I am not an interior decorator and I do not love, as others do, spending days upon days making decisions. Of course, I want the end result to look magazine perfect--something that will pop eyes when guests come. But the getting from here to there is not my idea of fun.

The impetus for this endeavor comes from two things:
  1. Broken floor tiles which need replacing
  2. Envy of what friends have accomplished in their house.
When we returned from Italy last year, we found a few broken tiles. Of course, we have several boxes of spares in the garage and so could repair them but that's when #2 comes into play.

They have the "new" big floor tile look as opposed to our 20 year old little tile look. They have a big LCD TV mounted on the wall above their fireplace.

They have a wonderful gas fireplace as opposed to a wood burning one--which pollutes the air (yes, I know, gas is a non-renewable resource.) But, theirs has a remote control--you can comfortably sit on the couch while reading a book (or watching the big TV) and regulate the flame and heat to your liking. There is the beautiful glow of the fire casting shadows on the new cherry wood shelves and cabinets on either side of the glow.

And then---the gorgeous granite counter top in their kitchen--envy erupts in full. Beautiful! Warm. Rich. New. I really need that. Our tile, which was such a wonder when it replaced the orange formica many years ago is now old-fashion and the grout needs cleaning.

Fortunately, we don't need new appliances but I am fearful that once the new floor and counter are installed we will find the need for new cabinets. Of course, we can always just reface the ones we have.

Moving on--since there will be a substantial piece of granite left from the kitchen counter tops, it will be perfect for the bathroom--which means a new sink and commode. As the new floor tile is already slated for that room, which doubles as Casey's reading room, we might as well finish it up.

All of this means we need to strip the wallpaper so that we can paint--which means I need to pick paint colors--bold or subtle? I don't know.

Oh--forgot taking the popcorn off the ceiling in the family room is on the agenda, as well as putting in recessed lighting which means we can do away with floor lamps.

I've been thinking of setting up a raffle to see who can best predict how long this will take--to help finance it all. The contractor says 2 1/2 weeks for the kitchen--do you think?

So, we are going to keep up with the "Joneses" in our lives. Then maybe we can become the Jones in someone else's life. What a goal!

14 comments:

candi said...

Jane, you just need to get through the remodeling process, and then you will be so thrilled you did it.
But I am with you, I don't like these types of decisions, I'd rather be deciding between vacationing in Greece or Spain:)

Rebecca said...

It's a neverending story. There is always something else we want to do. Our last big remodel in 2002found me chasing around a toddler, being pregnant with the 2nd, and trying to sleep during the day with all the noise because I work night shift. I am still recovering. I'm sure your home will be lovely when it's done (and, it will eventually be done)!

Anonymous said...

Jane, been through it a couple of times now. Well worth it.
3 weeks for the kitchen remodel---included new cupboards (refacing was almost as much as the new ones we had made), floor, granite counter, sink, appliances and then main floor laundry room and bathroom to match.

Just did the upstairs main bathroom and it took 16 days (3 work weeks).

Best decision we ever made was hiring someone to do the work from start to finish.

Now only minor things.

You will love the results.

Anonymous said...

last post from chiaro

Jane said...

Hi Rebecca, Candi and Chiro Thanks for the encouragement--did you want a raffle ticket? I know that we will love it when through. But, I need to select a new fireplace inset, wood and stain for the shelving, and so much more. Why not come and join me?

Chiaro, I knew it was you before you added the next comment saying it was you! :-)

Judith in Umbria said...

Hire a pro, Jane, and quit spending money because of neighbor envy. Imagine if the Medicis had redesigned because of the cute flowery painting of the Strozzis instead of these old fashioned freschi?

Anonymous said...

Jane,
I hate making all of those decisions, too. As for the raffle/financing, all that I could tell you is that whatever you have budgeted is not enough - it always goes over! But, I am sure that you will love the results. At least I did!
Sheri

Chiocciola said...

Decisions decisions decisions!! It really is hard to pick things out and to picture how it will look as part of a whole. My guess is that it will take four weeks. Best of luck!!

Jane said...

Aw, gee, Sheri--I thought you were going to say you'd buy a ticket. Chiocciola, 4 weeks? Please, say it isn't so.
Judith, I guess I need to clarify that actually we aren't copying our neighbors--wouldn't do that. Our friends who motivated us live 500 miles away. And, in truth, all this was on the agenda before seeing their lovely home--just got some good ideas there. Now the question--why am I defending myself? Strange!

girasoli said...

Good luck with your remodeling. It will be painful during the process but worth it when it is completed. I did some remodeling a few years ago. Having my toilet on my lanai for a day, but I am so glad I made the changes.

Kim said...

Jane, it's a difficult process, we've done it twice now in the last six or seven years, once adding a master bedroom suite and once gutting and re-doing our kitchen. Hated it during the process but I do love the end results!

MarĂ­a I. said...

I went through a big remodel six years ago and loved the results! It's a hassle being in the middle of it all and trying to keep your life as normal as possible but you will be rewarded with a beautiful and efficient home. The best decision we made was to hire only long time licensed contractors with very good references.

We ended up selling our home three years ago and it sold for full asking price in a month. There was much interest in our home because it was one of the few homes in the neighborhood that had been updated.

Good luck!

Jane said...

Kim, Girasoli and Maria, thanks for the encouragement. I am sure it will be beautiful and we will be happy and I really don't mind the process all that much. We redid much more about 20 years ago--probably for less than what this is costing us today. :-) And..I hope our toilet isn't on our patio for even a day.

Judith in Umbria said...

You don't ever have to defend yourself from me! The way you wrote it it sounded like you wouldn't do it but for the goodies your pals had. To me outdated means on the way to becomeing classic--- unless it's from the Seventies.