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.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Abyss of Remodel Pergatory

If anyone has wondered where I've been and why it is been longer than usual between posts and why comments have not been answered--just chalk it up to the boggled mental state that accompanies a house full of carpenters, painters, plumbers, tilers, electricians, granite men, fireplace installers, wall finishers, contractor and whomever else wandered in and out over the last few weeks. I'm half inclined to believe that some never really belonged here and just came in for the entertainment. In the midst of this we had tree surgeons cutting way back my lovely, huge eucalyptus tree that shaded our bedroom and provided privacy from the lookie-loos on the hill above. The fact that it was a fire danger to us and our neighbors seemed secondary to its more important purposes.

My friends served as continuous sources of encouragement through out this process--explaining that when it was all over, I would be glad for the stamina it took to see it through. And....they, of course, were right. I love the results and the memory is almost gone.

Of course, there are a few remaining odds and ends--such as the missing decorative piece to the fireplace and a few missed places for grouting. But all that will be fixed. One of the new power flush toilets that works on 1.28 gallons of water per flush is taking two flushes so that isn't good. Guess I will need to push for a replacement there. But...it does have an automatically closing lid which is nice and, of course, necessary.

So what did we do?

Changed out tile counter tops for granite; redid the tile floor with beautiful marble tiles, removed wall-paper and painted the walls--love it, plus odds and ends.

Family Room:
Same marble tile floors, removed wall paper and painted the walls; depopcorned the ceiling; replaced wood burning fireplace with gas fireplace (works with remote control so just sit back, push the button and voila! instant fire and heat); had built beautiful cherry cabinets next to fireplace; surrounded fireplace with granite, installed recessed lighting and installed a 46" HDTV above the fireplace. What is really nice is that all the components are inside the cabinets and have infrared something or others which allow them to be activated through the wood doors.

Conversation Area in Living Room:
Marble tiled the floor (was carpeted)

Guest Bathroom:
Used left over granite for counter tops; denuded the wall papered walls and painted them; same marble floor as other rooms; new sink and hardware and the new low-flush toilet--this one is not the one that doesn't work.

Marble flooring

And that's it folks!

Now--you can be entertained by watching the before, during and after slide show. At the end I threw in some backyard pictures for a fine group of people who will be here next March joining a big Slow Travel Get-Together. Sort of a little preview of things to come.


Anonymous said...

Glad that it is finished (almost). It looks great - loved the video. Hope that you get to relax and enjoy it this weekend!

nancyhol said...


It is just beautiful! I can hardly wait for next March to come so I can see it in person!

Chiocciola said...

Jane, it is gorgeous! Great job. I loved seeing the before and after pictures.

Anne said...

Excellent video, what a great idea and thanks for sharing it. The new looks are gorgeous!! Wish I lived closer so I could join the ST Gathering! :)

girasoli said...

Beautiful house. Love the changes :) Is that your pet duck in the pool? Am hoping to be there next year.

Amy said...

Very nice!

jmisgro said...

They did a great job!

Forgetting the pain, kinda like childbirth, huh!

Vicky said...

Jane, beautiful job. I love what looks like a trompe l'oeil painting in your kitchen. I had to laugh at the last caption!

Jane said...

Anne--save pennies and come. That would be wonderful!

Vicky--it is a trompe l'oeil by a wonderful artist in our Italian village (Greve in Chianti). She does work all over Italy. The dishes in the painting are ours. Google Sophia Rose for her website.

Joanne--not as bad but not fun!

Girosoli--I am counting on your being here with Nancy and the others. Amy? Erin? Sheri?

jdeq said...

Great job with the remodel. It is official - I shall move rather than remodel! LOL

MarĂ­a I. said...

Everything looks so beautiful. Gorgeous work all around! Your yard is so pretty and inviting. I saw a familiar object: we have the same exact three-vase fountain. Ours is in our courtyard and we just love the sound of the falling water.

Hope you are now relaxing and enjoying it all!

Trekcapri said...

Hi Jane, you have a very beautiful home! The granite counter top in your kitchen and everything you did looks great! Thank you so much for sharing.

Jane said...

Maria, that is so fun that you have the same fountain. I love ours. The water makes beautiful music.

Jerry--so you're moving?

Kathy thanks for the nice works. I sure hope you will be here in person come next March. Are you having a good time on your trip?