Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cabinet Envy

by Caren Crane

The green-eyed monster has visited me recently. This is something of an "occasion" in my life, for I rarely envy anyone for any reason. In the past few seasons, though, several friends (including our own lovely Susan Sey) have remodeled their kitchens. All the talk of new cabinet facings, countertops and flooring has made me look around at my own kitchen with a disparaging eye. Yes, friends, it happened to me: cabinet envy.

Our house was built in 1979 and I don't think the couple who built it were the cutting-edge types. When we moved in, the kitchen had wallpaper featuring partridges and fruit in shades of brown and mustard. Okay, it wasn't as bad as the wallpaper in this picture, but still very 1970s. The partridges are gone but the faux butcher-block countertops remain. The cabinets are dark-stained wood in a faintly Spanish style (though I changed out the dungeon-door pulls years ago). The vinyl flooring is the original: small squares in shades of brown, showing its 32 years of wear and tear. Everywhere my eyes rest, there is Work To Be Done.

I have daydreams of sparkling new flooring, sleek countertops and blond wood cabinets. The bathrooms need Major Work, as well. To be perfectly honest, I haven't touched the dining room or the guest room since we moved in, though everything else has at least had new paint. When we were younger, my husband and I would regularly take a week of vacation each year just to work on the house. That came to an end when we finally had enough money to take actual vacations, to which we quickly became addicted. Alas, poor house!

Since we will have an Empty Nest after next school year, I have been bitten and bitten hard by the Relocation Bug. We won't be able to sell our house, though, unless we first do some remodeling. So, the remodeling will get done, but then I won't be in the house to enjoy it. It's the most ironic sort of irony ever! Really, though, we are older now and lack the energy to keep up the 1.1-acre yard, the house and the *^%# swimming pool (that I never wanted!). I think it will be worth the money and effort to get rid of the house and buy something a bit smaller with no yard to speak of.

The kids are already whining about us selling the house (which won't happen for a few years, I'm sure), but my husband is on board. I thought he would fight it, but the prospect of not having to be lawn boy and pool boy both seems to have enticed him. (Here's one for the 'Raising Hope' fans - Burt the Flirt!)

What about you? Has the change of seasons made you restless and discontent with the status quo in your living space? Had a friend do a spiffy remodel that has you drooling on her granite countertop? Or have you already done the remodel and are now resting, contented, on your updated laurels? Oh, and I REALLY want to know if anyone has had to do updates in order to sell. I am your captive, so please tell me all!


Landra said...

Ha ha Hola! Good morning.

Landra said...

My father did a lot of updates, including a bathroom and kitchen remodel before he sold my childhood home.

Rule of advice if you are going to stain your own wood cabinets be careful and don't do it in the heat of the summer.

I also recommend you recruit that lucky pal who always finds the best deals on remodeling supplies and such. A co-worker of mine is like that, remodels her bedroom for dirt cheap through, matching paint from Walmart (which actually has a good selection), and random matching curtains from a Fred's Discount Store.

Good luck!

Sheree said...

Congrats on the rooster, Landra!

I do lust after my cousin's newly renovated kitchen but I'm happy not to do anything.

Helen said...

Well done Landra have fun with him


We moved into our house in 1979 as well it was brand new and very small LOL compared to some but it was what we could afford at the time. Over the years having 4 children made us realise that we needed more space so we did extentsions added an extra bedroom a really big family room and another bathroom, we have had the other bathroom renovated and the kitchen re done as well.
But that was a few years ago now and I gotta say the place needs at least painting again and I would love new floors perhaps wooden this time instead of carpet and vinyl.
I live in hope that this will happen although it is something we can't afford at the moment, the yard is not that big and we don't have a pool and with the extra bedrooms I have now that the kids are just about all moved out I can always use them as libraries LOL.

Have Fun

Mary Preston said...

I have re-done the kitchen & bathroom in recent times. I had a vision, but the end result did not quite live up to it. It looks a lot better though & people always comment on how good it looks but I can see the flaws living with it on a daily basis.

Caren Crane said...

Landra, congratulations on snagging the Golden Rooster (I think)!

I intend to spend some quality time at the Habitat For Humanity Reuse Center. They often have things like sinks and countertops for sale dirt cheap and we have one near downtown Raleigh. It's a great place!

I have a sister who is a DIY maniac and does all the laying hardwood floors, installing plumbing, etc. I'm afraid I'm not quite up to all that. No time and no energy!

I can, however, pick out flooring and paint colors like nobody's business. I just hate to do all that, then turn around and sell it. It's a real quandary!

Caren Crane said...

Sheree, I know the feeling! My mother completely renovated her kitchen about 5 years ago and it is GORGEOUS - like the rest of her house. HOWEVER, she is one to constantly rearrange furniture, change paint colors, reupholster. I am NOT like that at all.

When I buy something, it's because I like it. I don't stop liking it simply because I've had it 5 or 10 - or 20 - years. It's one reason - well, that and sheer laziness :) - that have kept me from doing more with our house. I like the dark wood trim and even the fake butcher block counter!

I just know we'll never sell our house in this market, where granite is de rigeur. Most people looking to buy want whatever is trendy. It's like they have no real preferences, only what they expect to see because it's everywhere. There is no payoff for being individual in one's decorating. :)

Caren Crane said...

Helen, it sounds like you are in the perfection situation: lots of house without all the yard! :)

If we could just magically transport our house onto a 1/4-acre (or smaller!) lot, it would be great. I would keep at least one guest room, but I would have one of the kids' rooms as an actual OFFICE. My husband uses the huge bonus room as his office, so I think I'm entitled to one!

You definitely need to use your spare rooms for libraries. I know your TBR piles and your piles of already-read and autographed books require them! :)

Caren Crane said...

Marybelle, I feel your pain! When my husband and I were putting up wallpaper - shudder! - things invariably went awry in some corner or around some window or doorway. My husband gets quite impatient when these things occur and wants to do whatever is quickest to "fix" it and move on.

When I walk into the kitchen, the downstairs bath or the kids' bath upstairs, I see every flaw, every time. All the rooms look a thousand times better than they did before we worked on them, but I see every imperfection!

I look forward to moving into someone else's renovated home, where my eyes aren't drawn to every not-quite-right corner.

I wonder if there is a way to turn that perfectionism off? I've not found one yet!

Deb Marlowe said...

Morning Caren!

You are right about individuality being a big minus in the resale market. I don't watch HGTV too often, but I've seen a couple of those 'why won't this house sell?' shows, and the answer always seems to be: remove almost all of your furniture and paint it all beige.'

Boring! :-)

Caren Crane said...

Deb, I know that I'll have to paint over the girls' rooms before we can sell. One has ocean blue with a spearmint green accent wall and the other has brilliant, tropical pink with a dark orange accent wall. Gorgeous rooms, both of them, but we will definitely have to paint them what one of my friends called "relocation beige".

Honestly, I would rather buy a house with a little bit of color! But that's just me. I suppose other people really love painting? I hate it, because I'm such a perfectionist that I spend HOURS taping and cutting in the edges, etc. I know people who just slap the paint on and call it done!

Marybelle and I could never roll like that. :)

Cheryl Ann Smith said...

We are adding 900 sq feet this summer to our too small house. Next year will be a new kitchen. Yeah!

Caren Crane said...

Cheryl, you are very brave! Friends who have added on to their homes have said it seems an endless process. :) I'm sure the results will be worth it, though. Best of luck!

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Landra on nabbing the rooster!

Caren - I hear ya bandita.

I would love to relocate to warmer climes, but that would require that I actually clean the house from top to bottom in order to sell it. I don't see that happening anytime soon (grin). Our kitchen is functional but not like the lovely kitchens one sees in magazines. Would love new covertops and cabinets. While pretty, the wallpaper in various rooms is starting peel - what that stuff doesn't last forever? - and needs to be stripped and the walls painted in a nice textured sort of way. Of course, painting also - so that's not going to happen for a while.

Good thing I've got a good imagination as it looks like I'll be living with reality a bit longer.

Caren Crane said...

Donna, it's daunting to think about, isn't it? It's the carpets and floors that seem to take the wind out of my sails every time! Well, that and the inevitable sorting and mucking out of, say, the attic. Ack!

I was just talking to my husband about it and he looked very pained!

Caren Crane said...

Donna, I'm also of the opinion that wallpaper should last forever. Peeling is just an insult after all the effort it takes to put it up! :)

Caren Crane said...

Here's a man comment for you. My husband said, "Beige? I thought you were supposed to paint everything white." I know for a fact he never heard any such thing! But in Man Speak, "white" and "beige" are no doubt the same color. :)

Unknown said...

Wow....I'm going through the OMG are we moving in a few months or are we staying???....right now we are in Limbo!!! and it's driving me nuts!!!! My hubby applied for a job on the east coast and we live in CO so we will see....otherwise you would not be liking me at all because this summer was when I was to re-do me kitchen...because my hubby actually works for a kitchen cabnet kitchen sucks!!!

Hellie Sinclair said...

I rent, so remodeling is out. I'm usually pretty content with the looks and layout. It's good. neighbor has put mini-gardens flanking her front walk. She's a renter too. I'm like, "We can do that? But what about when the guy mows?" It's gorgeous. And if I did something similar I'd kill the damned things...but I am envious. *LOL* I'd like to do it. *LOL*

Caren Crane said...

Oh, BJ, that's tragic! Especially if you were to have all new cabinets. I dream of that - except when my friends who are having cabinets replaced or refaced talk about moving out all the contents of their cabinets and storing them in, say, the dining room!

I realized, too, that I would be forced to reline all those shelves if I reface the cabinets. I'm not sure I'm up to that. I really have to get motivated for this home improvement stuff!

I hope the job situation is resolved quickly, so at least you'll know whether to forge ahead and renovate the kitchen or pack everything up and get ready to move! The uncertainty is a killer.

Caren Crane said...

MsHellion, when I was a renter, I made an effort to put in some flowers outside the apartment. The landscapers never mowed them over and it really did add a nice, homey touch. I simply built a bed with some of those edging stone things you can get anywhere, dumped in a bunch of topsoil, and planted things I thought would survive without much care.

If you have a lot of sun, portulaca (also called moss rose) is a GORGEOUS succulent that needs little care and can survive the insanely hot sun (my apartment faced west!). Check it out!

Joan said...

And how Caren!!!

Since becoming hooked on House Hunters I am crazy to do major remodeling including finishing my basement!

Plus, I just got back from visiting my friend's new patio home she is moving into.....SO NICE.

Since I haven't been able to teach Cricket how to use a hammer and am too scared to let Grayson the Monkey Cat near one, I'll have to wait until I get the bucks to "hire it done"....

After I take those vacations of which you speak :)

Minna said...

No remodelling here, I'm just decluttering: I've been getting rid of big part of my books by taking them to the second hand bookstore, part of them I've swapped on BookMooch and some of my stuff (small things I can mail) I've swapped through Netcycler and Title Trader -usually I've swapped many small items for one item. And speaking of swapping: anyone here who collects coverflats, bookmarks and such? I have an envelope full of them.

Donna MacMeans said...

BJ - Hugs on the potential move. Not knowing for sure is the worst. I would suggest however seeing if there's a way, i.e. a friend at the company, who would be willing to place an order for new cabinets for the new house. Sure would hate to miss out on an employee discount on such a purchase.

MsHellion - how about a potted garden? You know when we used to rent there was this magazine devoted to apartment owners and people that have minimal living space. They had the best ideas for storage and stuff. Anyway, they always showed these gorgeous potted gardens with vegetables and flowers that didn't require modification to the building. Just a thought -

jo robertson said...

Great post, Caren! When spring comes, I always get this terribly strong urge to clean out the garage. Now mind, we still have -- ahem -- items from each of our seven kids stored out there. And they're ALL grown!

Of course, I manage to put the urge to clean out the garage behind me in favor of a trip!

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the tip on, Landra! And congrats on getting the rooster. Maybe you can lend him to Caren to help with her remodeling.

jo robertson said...

LOL, Helen. I'm laughing at your turning your extra bedrooms into library/storage rooms. Isn't that what all of us readers do? I could use an extra room just to stack up the books floor to ceiling!

Of course, now that I have my Kindle, I'm whittling down on those TBR piles.

jo robertson said...

Marybelle, my next project is the kitchen. Unfortunately, my husband isn't very handy (he claims it's because his brain is much bigger, ha!) so all of our work has to be labored out. I desperately want granite counters, new cabinets and flooring! I walk through Home Depot and drool.

jo robertson said...

I'm LOL at your girls' bedroom colors, Caren. Kennan still can't believe (and neither can I) that we allowed her to paint her bedroom black and white with red accents. Those colors are AWFUL to paint over!

jo robertson said...

Oh, BJ, my heart bleeds for you. The worst part is not knowing! I'm sure it will all work out for the best. Sending positive energy your way for a quick decision!

My daughter's family are in the same situation, not knowing where he'll be teaching next year. The colleges have almost ceased hiring!

Kate Carlisle said...

Sneaking out of the cave to shout HELLO, Caren!!!! It was so great to see you TWO TIMES when I was in North Carolina last weekend! I was so thrilled to see you and Nancy, too! And Deb! Woo hoo! Thank you guys so much. :-)

Okay, now you're going to hate me because at this very moment, our 60-year-old funky kitchen is being remodeled. Yay! Can you hear the loud banging and pounding in the background? That's our guys tearing through a wall to put in the new window over the sink.

Right now the noise and dust and confusion is pretty awful but it's going to be so beautiful in about a month. So ... I wish you lots of luck with your refurbishing and I really hope you find a fabulous new place to live!

Oh, and how funny is this? I'm reading a good book about this very subject that I picked up in North Carolina. It's THE FIXER UPPER by Mary Kay Andrews. :-)

Back to the Cave! xoxo

Caren Crane said...

Joan, I think you're wise to keep the kitties away from the tools. Our cat keeps telling me he knows how to use the hedge trimmers, but I don't trust him! Now he could pull weeds with his teeth, but does he do that? No! Ingrate.

I'm envious of your friend's patio home, too. It would be like a dream! Of course, I'm sure she spent months working on her old home in order to sell it, didn't she? There's the rub!

Caren Crane said...

Minna, the decluttering is a whole project in itself! My husband and I were talking (as we were weeding this afternoon) and I mentioned that when we get ready to sell, we'll have to clean out the garage and the pool house, as well, and get them "staged". He said, "Freecycle." I said, "AFTER we have a massive moving sale and make a few dollars off this stuff."

I mean, come on. We have a John Deere lawn tractor we're not going to need. I'm not giving it away!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Caren,

Son and DIL are just about finished
with a major remodel of the older
home they purchased several years
ago. They did all the painting of
all the rooms & they contracted a
company to do the major work. That
included a full remodel of both of
the bathrooms, laminated flooring,
kitchen cabinets, & some new wiring.
All this originated with a leaky pipe
in the wall of the upper bathroom!
It's like being in a new house!!

Caren Crane said...

Jo, I think travel solves many of these pesky "Should I clean the garage/attic/pool house?" issues for us.

Too funny that you still have the detritus of all 7 kids hanging around. My mother made noises about getting rid of our stuff that's still in her attic years ago when she was getting her house ready to sell. Well, she did such a lovely job getting it ready to sell, she decided to keep it. So my stuff is still in her attic. I have no idea what's there, either! I hope it's fun stuff from my childhood...

Caren Crane said...

Jo, are you addicted to your Kindle, too? The dangerous thing is, when I finish a book, I can get the sequel or next book almost instantly and just keep reading! I was a bit shocked to see how many books I had purchased since I got it two weeks ago...

Caren Crane said...

Jo, Home Depot is a dangerous place. You start thinking about all the things you could do and, before you know it, there's $300 worth of stuff in your cart that you'll haul home and glare at for months until finally, in a fit of pique, you begin The Project. I try to avoid all home improvement centers! :)

Caren Crane said...

Jo, I think Killz is the answer for all highly-pigmented paints. A couple of coats of white Killz will cover anything. When we were painting the fake wood paneling in our den (it was very 70s!!), we had to sand it with the belt sander first, then apply 2 or 3 coats of Killz. It covered both the color and made the surface into one that would accept paint. I'm so glad we only had to do that once!

Trish Milburn said...

The rooms I'd really like to re-do in our house are the baths. They could really use some updating. Would like to do the kitchen too and get some marble countertops and a metal sink. We have white sinks that are part of the countertops, and they are so easily scratched and scuffed. I think the think I want most though is a screened-in back porch where I can sit outside without being eaten alive by mosquitoes or dive bombed by wasps.

Caren Crane said...

Kate, it was SO GREAT to see you! I'm still in shock that you, Hannah and Catherine were here in NC - like the best sort of present!

I'm dead jealous of your kitchen remodel. My co-worker had his kitchen revamped this spring and I had to listen to two months of excruciating detail about backsplashes and sinks and countertops and flooring. I smiled and made sympathetic noises, while my pea-green eyes (like Scarlett's!) burned holes in him. If I had any money, I would totally spend it on new floors and work from there.

Hurray on the new kitchen and the new window. There is nothing like a new window to open up a room!

Now get back in that cave so we'll have more Kate Carlisle books to read. *snaps whip*

Caren Crane said...

Pat, too funny that it all started with a leaky pipe. That's generally the way, though. I'm so glad they're getting to the end. It really IS like a new house now, isn't it?

I'm sorely afraid that once we have new flooring and counters and sinks and whatnot, we'll be tempted to stay.

Nah. The swimming pool is the straw that's breaking this camel's back. The house must go, no matter how lovely it becomes! :)

Caren Crane said...

Trish, I share your dream of a screened-in porch! I'm going to save that dream, though, for the smaller home with no yard to speak of. :)

Yes, updated fixtures are a lovely change. We replaced the toilet in our downstairs bath and it is still like a miracle! I swear, we're all in love with that toilet, as odd as that sounds.

I have no desire, though for marble or granite counters. Everyone I know who has them (including my mother) curses them daily. Whenever you drop something, it shatters. Plus the surface is much more porous than you'd think. Also, they are so heavy that you often need to shore up the supports under your house to handle the weight. I think I'll just go with a nice Corian! :)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Landra! Have you had the rooster before? Now there's someone who needs remodelling! Not that he'll sit still long enough for you to work on him!

Caren, isn't it ironic that we fix up our houses just before we sell them and never get to enjoy living in a house that's right? Although having said that, my place is just over 20 years old and a lot of stuff just seems to be ready to be fixed or replaced. Definitely needs a paint! Sigh.

Caren Crane said...

Anna, you are still there! Does that mean that the Rapture didn't actually happen or that you were Left Behind? :)

Too true about the 20-year mark. Our house was 14 years old when we bought it and it needed quite a bit of work in the first ten years we were here. It's been 18 years now, so it's time for a major overhaul!

Jeanne M said...

Karen -

I think that all are friends have remodeled but they also took out mortgages to do so. Fortunately with economy we didn't make that mistake and the mortgage was paid off in 1999. We planned to save but since we got the boys thru college with no student loans the one thing we lacked was any savings. Remodeling got put off indefinately when th economy hit bottom so yes we still have harvest gold fomica countertops!

Do we envy our friends with marble countertops and refrigerators that don't have masking tape holding the trays on the door? Not in the least! My husband and I have both had our hours at work cut back but we live in the state with the 4th highest unemployment in the country and don't have a mortgage to pay. We'd love tgo move to South Carolina to be near our grandchildren but since we can't even think of selling right now with the real estate market here we had a family vacation in Myrtle Beach that we were able to pay for with cash and had a great week together.

When we get ready to sell we are planning on only doing the bare minimum needed so we can keep the selling price reasonable. Remember to keep in mind what the economy is doing when remodeling and how soon you want to sell. Think of what benefits your neighborhood has for a young family that would rather pay less and put in the sweat equity to live there and be able to buy a house with great "bones" that is in a terrific neighborhood (in our case we are a block from a lake with a private beach and 2 miles from a great ocean beach) with great schools)and get that home at a price they can afford.

We plan on moving to SC where houses and the cost of living is less and since we built the house and my husband moved us in only July 4th, 1974 (the day after my younger son was born) we aren't going to "loss" money - just make less than we would have a few years ago.

Good luck which withever choice you decide. Me, I'd rather put the money we don't spend into the next house we buy!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne M, those are wise words! I figure we'll go with some updates that are more attractive than what we have and less costly than what is in all the new construction.

I agree with you on the "house with good bones" thing, too. When we bought this house, we knew it needed work and updates (Lordy did it need updates!), but it was in a beautiful neighborhood with mature landscaping and the house was built before the "booms" around here, where they were throwing up houses practically overnight.

We're also in a very quiet area, just outside Cary, which is always on those "best places to live" lists and has the taxes to prove it. So, we just pay county taxes but have the proximity and the good schools. It really is a great area - just too much yard! Some young, energetic people (like we were 18 years ago) need to buy it. :)

Nancy said...

Landra, congrats on the bird!

Caren, we have an older house and updated much of it during the first years of our marriage. However, some of those updates were not done well (we had no money) and need to be re-done.

When we see how our upcoming tuition payments shake out, we may be able to do some of that. We hope.

At the very least, we can paint and get new drapes. That's a mixed blessing, though, seeing as how one upgrade in a room makes the rest of the room look kind of sad. *sigh*

Christine Wells said...

Hi Caren! What a fun post! Oh, I share your envy:) I always liked my kitchen with it's Tasmanian oak trim and country-style look until some kind soul pointed out that it was very outdated. Then a cupboard door got chipped, a crack in the surface of a bench started driving me crazy. The oven seemed too small for dinner parties (yes, I have so many of those!) and so on.

I've been envying steamer ovens and coffee machines (though I'll get neither in the new kitchen) We're renovating our house now and moving the kitchen to a different location so it's entirely gutted at the moment.

The kitchen I have in our temporary abode is a bilious shade of pink. Pink! For a kitchen! I just do my best to ignore it.

They do say the only things worth doing any work on when you sell are the kitchen and bathroom, don't they? But it would break my heart to put in a new kitchen, only to sell the place! If you leave it as is, at least the new owner can do it up the way they want.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide. I hope you end up with a house you love.

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, my first big job is replacing the fence around the back garden. I've got a pool and it's a statutory requirement. Anything more cosmetic will just have to wait.

Yup, clearly the Rapture didn't want me!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Caren!

OOOOOOOOOOOOh what I love to do to my house. I love where my house is situated. I love the neighborhood. I love my pool. I love my office and my dining room and guest bedroom, all of which I did about 3 years ago.

What I hate?

The galley kitchen circa 1970 and both bathrooms!!

Sigh. Would need a boatload of money to actually fix it and update it. IF I wanted to sell it, I couldn't do it without remodeling all 3. IF I remodel all 3, no way in hell am I selling it!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Oh Landra, don't speak Spanish to the GR. He LOVES foreign languages. He can pretend not to hear you tell him "NO!" in several languages!

Ah, Caren, I understand your case of cabinet envy. My trailer was built in 1984 !! I ripped out all of the shag carpet years ago and actually stained the wooden floors beneath the beaten down ancient carpet. What I would really love to do is renovate this whole tenement on wheels into a lovely little English style cottage.

I own the five acres on which I live and I only manage to keep the acre around the house tamed. The rest of the property has me surrounded, but its rather nice as I love the woods.... so long as they don't try to creep into the house!

For your large yard you might want to try turning it into a rock garden. I am working on mine a little bit at the time and eventually I hope to have this entire acre free of a lawn to mow!

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, I know just what you mean! I sometimes hesitate about repainting rooms when I know I can't change the carpet (or whatever else needs done). The new often makes the old look older. Happily, I will be able to get shed of some furniture and things when we sell the house. If we play our cards right, we can hopefully get new stuff in the house we buy! :) I feel you on the tuition payments, as well. We will be much better off in 5 years!

Caren Crane said...

Christine, I can't imagine how different your house will look. It will be like a totally new house, just like Pat's son and DIL! Grins on the bilious pink in your temporary abode, too. It must have been someone's favorite happy color or something. There is no other explanation, unless pink paint was on sale really cheap. :)

When we're readying to sell, I don't plan to replace any appliances or anything in the kitchen - hey, they all work fine - but we will HAVE to replace the flooring. Something inexpensive but new. Really, we couldn't unload it as-is now. There are TONS of houses for sale, because the economy is still so bad and people are trying to get out from under their mortgages. We'll have to spiff it up.

The good news is, the house is worth more than twice what we bought it for simply because of the location, size and size of the lot. "Good enough" will be the mantra of the renovations! Whenever those start...

Caren Crane said...

Anna, I feel your pain on the fencing. We had to put a fence with a locked gate around our pool. We ordered really nice fencing online, then my husband and my sister's husband dug postholes and set the fence up. They did a great job and it looks fabulous. So, we have a nice fence going for us, anyway. I hope yours is relatively painless!

Oh, the Rapture didn't want me either. We just ate pizza and segued right to reading and watching 'Moulin Rouge'. I'm sure the people who were warning us all are quite disappointed.

Caren Crane said...

Suzanne, my mother had the same galley kitchen dilemma. What she ended up doing was taking out the stacked ovens and separate rangetop. She put cabinets in where the double ovens were and took out the cabinets under the old rangetop and the exhaust fan. She moved the refrigerator where the rangetop had been and put a full-size oven where the fridge had been, plus had my brother install an exhaust fan that vented OUTSIDE (as exhaust fans should!).

She gave her enormous china cabinet to my brother and SIL and moved the kitchen table to the end wall where it had been, only more in the bottom of the L. She had my brother install a cabinet with a nice granite top and storage cabinet above on the bottom wall of the L closer to the long wall. She kept the other cabinets and simply painted them and changed the pulls. She put in granite counters and a deeper double sink. She also put in an island with a granite top that's on wheels, so she can move it to clean or if she needs to reconfigure the space for some reason. It all worked out really well and made for a much more usable space.

I hope you have the time, energy and resources to redo the kitchen and both bathrooms one of these days! I'll expect to see before and after pictures, naturally. :)

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, we certainly have enough rocks to start a rock garden! My husband went through a Rock Hound stage and he dragged Heaven knows how many hundreds of rocks (all sizes) home with him. We have used some around the walkways to the kitchen door and others in the pool area, but we still have tons!

They are lovely and interesting-looking, with crystals and gorgeous colors and bands and whatnot, but most of them are piled on the side of my garage, looking junky and gathering pinestraw and leaves. *sigh* I've tried to get him to do something artistic with them, but that hasn't happened yet (and probably won't).

I may end up putting them out at the Moving Sale and selling them for 25 cents a box! Need any rocks for your yard? :)

Beth Andrews said...

Caren, we're currently in the middle of painting our son's old room for our older daughter. We have the base coat done but still need to put in stripes on one wall. Next is the other daughter's room and hopefully our bedroom by the end of the summer.

So not so much remodeling as redecorating a bit *g* But I dream of the day I can rip up the only carpet in the house and put down hardwood floors in the living room!

Caren Crane said...

Beth, we did exactly the same thing. When our son had been gone a couple of years, we repainted (and put down Pergo) in his old room for our older daughter, then did the same for our younger daughter in the girls' old room. We never quite got around to painting OUR bedroom, which badly needs it! I wanted to rip out the carpet and put in Pergo in the other 4 rooms, but now it's kind of a moot point. We won't be able to sell the house unless we at least change the carpet, though!!

Unknown said...

Thanks for all the good vibes...I hope for a quick answer too...fingers crossed :0)
As for a discount...Hubby will still be working for the same company so if the new house's kitchen sucks...I'm so not waiting to fixed it!!! Cause I've lived with this one for far to long....