Changing Spaces

It is a season of change at our home

Middle daughter and her family moved into their newly purchased new home over the weekend.

Oldest daughter spent the weekend organizing her new hideaway now that we are no longer using it for storage.

And we are beginning repairs and renovations on the main house…our master bedroom to be specific.

Last night we moved everything out and into the family room recently vacated by middle daughter’s office and stuff.

I had a bit of a meltdown at moving everything and lamenting that all I seem to do is move, rearrange and deal with “things” no matter how hard I’ve tried to declutter and simplify. During the renovation process, I’ll continue to ponder and work on what we have and what we need and what to do about it all…

We’ve live in this manufactured home for over 15 years while raising a family and a lot of life has happened here. It shows. New sub-floor, flooring, wall repair, paint, trim are all in the plan (plus whatever new shows up during the process).

Out with the old.

In with the new.

Here’s to sawdust and paint drips and all things new.


And Again…

So, I found the before pictures for my earlier post and they got me motivated to do one more step for “cabinet #2”.  I’m so ready for these to be finished.  I’m not a patient person and really hate to paint.  I know, weird for an artist, but I like the finishing part much more than the early layers of a project.  I much more enjoy the “coming together” part!

Anyway, here are the before and after pictures for cabinet #1:

And the one that I’m finishing up tonight – before…0425161846a (1)

and after…

I was attempting to make it look less like a built-in and more like an old hutch that was put into an alcove.  The counter is pieced together wood scraps painted in several layers and distressed.  I moved the glass cabinet doors down to the bottom and left the top shelves open.  The legs that are “holding” up the  upper shelves are from our first dining room table.  That table top is being used as our new butcher block island in the center of the kitchen – next project, next payday.  I’m working on an idea for the lower cabinet hardware and still need to finish up a bit of trim work and finish painting the walls.  I can’t find the pitcher to complete the set up on top of the hutch.  Who knows where it’s hiding.  Lots of boxes of keep and give-away stacked around here!  The clutter, project pieces and tools are driving me a bit crazy (crazier).

I love that the two cabinet projects reflect our different personalities, but that they work together.  So excited to be ditching the fear of expressing ourselves and really turning this into our home!  Less manufactured housing and more unique and loft-like.

Home, Sweet Home!


Are you ready.  Counter re-do number 1 is almost finished.  I still need to paint the bottom cabinets, but have not yet decided on a paint color for them.  By deciding on the color, I mean that the proper color(s) in the proper amounts has not yet hit the “Oops” counter at The Home Depot.  I’ll be patient for a while longer and then may actually have to pay full price.  That would be sad, but we have scavenged so much stuff already that it wouldn’t be a deal breaker.  I’m leaning towards a 50’s style Jadite green.  We’ll see.

On the scavenging front, let me explain where most of the wood we used came from.  On Saturdays, our IKEA sells carts full of pieces.  Broken, leftovers from displays, odd items – you name it.  A whole cart costs $10.00.  We’ve bought three.  Our purchase included perfectly good shelves, cabinet doors, partial dressers and beds, bed slats, and some stuff we couldn’t figure out the original intent of.  The cabinet top and trim  on this project came from that batch.

As much as possible, if we found ourselves saying, “We need to buy….”, we stopped and waited a bit and tried to brainstorm another way.  I’m pretty proud of how we did.

Of course, I can’t locate the before photos.  The shelves replaced upper cabinets that hung down very closely to the countertop.  The “brick” replaces painted vinyl wallcovering typically found in a manufactured home.  It was a “lovely” wheat pattern that I painted over a long time ago with a bright yellow.  The pattern had a tendency to show through no matter how many coats of paint were added.  The countertop used to be chipped formica in a riveting beige color.  Now wood slats covered in shiny poly.  My husband used galvanized pipe with copper accents for the shelf.  Very un-manufactured home and more us!

Tomorrow, I’ll post the cabinet I was in charge of and you can see how different our personalities really are.  I’m so excited that we are pitching out the rule book and doing our own thing!


Sweat, dust and more dust

Shelves are hung in the hallway and the cabinet is being painted a soft blue color from my stash of paint.  I’ve been collecting “OOPS” paint from home improvement stores (the paint that customers rejected or that was mixed incorrectly).  It’s sold at a great discount and I’ve just been buying colors that I like and saving them for renovation day.  I’ve also collected paint from friends that were discarding partial cans if it was a color that I liked.  Saving a lot of money and saving a tiny bit of the environment as well.  Every little bit helps, right?

Hubby is finishing the plywood in the kitchen and dining area – prepping it for the three coats of polyurethane that we’ll be applying today.  This involves sanding and dust.  Lots and lots of dust.  Do I need to mention that I’m not the greatest housekeeper in the world and there was already significant dust all around.  Maybe a few cobwebs also.  Said cobwebs are now coated in dust.  To bad it’s not Halloween.  We’re decorated and ready.

Anyway, it should time out right to finish that up the floor today.  Then tomorrow we can move the big stuff back in there.  We’ll still need to build the new kitchen island out of a butcher block table top that used to be my studio desk.  The walls will need to be painted and the cabinetry.  The top cabinets were ripped out on the wall by the sink and above the refrigerator.  I have never used the cabinet above the fridge.  Removing the other cabinets opened up the whole wall so I can hang a bit of art in there.  We removed another set of upper cabinets as well.  Those will be replaced with open shelving and will hold our dishes.

It’s a lot of work – renovating our home.  I’m impatient and want it all done now!

We didn’t really start out to redo the whole house.  Floor damage (a caved-in floor and two water damage holes at the front and back door) required some repair.  Pulling up old carpet meant new flooring all over.  Years of decluttering and a desire to live a more intentional life kind of sealed the deal.

In some ways, it’s a mid-life “crisis” of sorts for me.  I’ve been dissatisfied with the status quo for a while and I’m ready for a big change that proclaims, “Hey, I can live life differently!  I can make better choices and be free of the old decisions and choices.”

Not that I regret all my past choices and decisions.  Everything that I’ve done in my life has brought me to who and where I am.  But, life changes.  Children grow up. We grow up (and older).  I’ve become more aware of time passing.  I’m not so busy keeping up with the demands of a houseful of kids and their needs and I’m becoming more aware of who I am and who I want to be.

All the decluttering, all the life-style changes, all of the desire to be intentional…it all added up to a house re-do…

to a Sunday full of sweat and dust and joy.

Change can be good.  Change that comes from dreams and plans and choice is very good indeed.


No Longer Needed

Today I am working in my hallway.  Its almost a room, square footage size, with a short hallway coming off of the living room and opening up into a “space” as it moves towards the second living area which we use as a classroom and studio space.  Well, a storage area right now, but keep an eye on the dream.

This space has three bedroom doors, a bathroom door, the laundry room door and living area door opening off of it.  It also holds a built in desk and countertop with cabinets above and below.  The desk had cabinets above it also.

The whole space is dark, cramped and pretty much useless.  The cabinets have always held a disorganized, random amount of junk and the countertop – always piled high with stuff.

I’ve tried stronger light bulbs, lamps, under counting lighting – you name it.  Still dark and depressing.  A couple of months ago I was sitting at the desk and looked up at the cabinets looming above me.  They were semi-full of books nobody ever looked at and miscellaneous papers and “office” supplies.  I pitched or donated 90% of it.  Haven’t missed any of it.  I’d planned on putting up shelves, but realized that I didn’t have anything to put on them.

So now, it’s bright and white with a few family photographs and a picture I love.

As the declutter has progressed, I realized that the other upper cabinet had never really been used on a regular basis as storage for anything.  We just stuck stuff there when we didn’t know what else to do with it.  Tore it our yesterday.  The bottom cabinet is staying to store all the computer related stuff that has to go somewhere:  cords, games, gadgets and gizmos.

Shelves are going above the cabinet to house my daughter’s collection of books that she is reading or is going to read or can’t bear to part with yet.  They are currently stashed all over the place and can’t always be found when needed.   I think there will also be room for the few movies that we are keeping.  We have Netflix so a lot of them are going to the thrift store since we never watch them.

Of course, I forgot to take a “before” picture, but I’ll remember an “after” picture (I hope).

It’s definitely a sign of progress and a changing attitude that the cabinets are ripped out.  One of the reasons that I was attracted to this house in the first place was all the storage space.  Now, I’m seeing it as a definite negative!  The storage space is just no longer needed.

Back to painting!