Tuesday, August 24, 2010


So after a really exciting couple of weeks, we finally get our new and shiny toys. I think this kitchen is a little too fancy for us now :)

GE Installers

New stove - really excited because the bottom drawer is a second oven.

Pretty new fridge!

We also had all of the undercounter lights and puck lights installed in the china cabinet...adds a lot to be able to see everything better.

So everything is pretty much done now, there are still some tweaking and finishing things here and there, like glass in the cabinet doors that need it and some drawer adjustments. We have moved in and are slowly going through all of the boxes and wondering where half this stuff came from! So now you will all just have to come see it in real life :)


So while many of the decision making areas throughout this remodel process were difficult for me (and don't laugh family, not ALL decisions are difficult for me, just most), the tile had to be in some ways the hardest. I think my insecurity with this decision is similar to the way I feel about how to coordinate a man's tie...I can do plain shirts and ties, or patterned shirts and plain ties just fine, but when you start throwing in a patterned shirt and a patterned tie, you are on your own. I stare at the news anchors on TV and wonder, "Does that really go together?" But surely it does, because aren't there people there that are paid to pick out their clothing?!

Anyway, I digress, but this was my problem. I had picked out cabinets and granite, and wasn't sure what to do with the backsplash so that it coordinated, but wasn't too matchy matchy and didn't clash. I read in a magazine somewhere that staying in similar tones to the cabinets makes a small/narrow space feel larger, and after looking at samples I was drawn to the more "natural" tumbled look, so we finally made a decision.

I met the tiler to let him into the house to install, and realized that I was very nervous about if we had made the right selection or not. Everything looked so good so far, what if we were taking that one step to far and messing it all up? So I left the house to head back to work and just hoped that when I returned I wasn't disappointed.

And here is what I found when I came back later to check in on the progress:

I think we did a pretty good job picking out tile, don't you?! Maybe I should go out and pick up some patterned shirts and ties for Clint now! :)

Stage 8: GRANITE

So the granite was brought in on a truck...

Cut and sanded to fit perfectly...

And installed!

The pantry

The bar top

Counter tops

Island from the den side

Top of the island view

And now, for one of my new favorite things...our farmhouse sink! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finished Cabinets

Here is the finished product...

The pantry and the space for the refrigerator.

This is where the wall used to be, now an island between the two rooms.

Cabinet in part of the breakfast room, the other side is bar height.

Cabinet built into the laundry room.

New window seat bench - this was our gift to ourselves :)

Here is the detailed view of the glaze on the cabinets.

And this is the butler's pantry/china cabinet...it is stained walnut rather than painted wood.

And now, the Granite is on it's way!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My parents rented a beach house last week and weekend, so we took a few days off and headed down there. The really fun thing is that while we were gone, our cabinets were installed! Clint and I drove in from Galveston and basically went straight to the house to see how it all looked...and wow, what a difference cabinets make!

I will take more pictures later, but this is about all I could snap because the painters were there painting and it smelled absolutely terrible. My eyes were constantly watering and I think I could feel the brain cells dying...I honestly have no idea how those guys can stand it all day long.

They made a little sample for me on the side of one of the cabinets so that I could decide on the glaze color and how much I wanted. Here's the sneak peek:

Stand by for the finished product!

Stage 6: PAINT

Sorry it's been such a long time since an update, but we had a little break in the work being done while the cabinets were being made. Before I get ahead of myself though, last week the sheetrock was finally completed, and we were able to get the house painted the next day. As I mentioned, our initial plan was not to paint all of the rooms of the house, but now that it's done, a little part of me is glad it happened that way because it sure does make the house feel all clean and new.

The painting only took about two days - the first day they painted and textured all of the ceilings, and the second day they painted all of the walls. Clint and I met over there at lunch time on the second day to see how things were looking.

A little bit of edging done on the Master bedroom wall.

Living Room paint...in progress.

Clint likes the color :)

Then, I came back that evening after work to find a whole new house!

Master Bedroom - from brown to gray

Kitchen - sage

Den - yellow (the same color that we had in our old house)
Some of the colors don't show up as well in the pictures, so you will have to just believe me when I say it all looks great!
I'll have a cabinet update ASAP, promise!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sheetrock Update

So not much to report right now...sheetrock is still in progress. Most of it has been done, but the final stage has been delayed due to the wet and humid weather, which has not allowed the sheetrock to dry completely. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow, which seems like a pretty big hope with how gross it has been around Houston lately. Anyway, here are the pictures of the house as of last night...the new walls are a big improvement!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today starts a major MAJOR step in finishing our remodel...SHEETROCK!

I met with the workers yesterday to go over everything that needed to be done (which is a lot), and one of the tasks that we were not aware of that was still left to do was to remove the wallpaper glue from the laundry room. So, last night brought a quick trip to Lowe's to purchase glue remover, and then a scrub fest.

It started off not so bad, but, like everything else, got to be much more like work than fun as the night went on.

Let's just say that at one point I seriously considered whether it would just be easier for us to wallpaper over it. :)

Anyway, we completed that task last night which allowed the sheetrockers to start this morning. I went and checked on them during lunch and was a little frustrated to find that they had been a slightly overzealous in their assessment of what needed to be done. Even though we had specifically told them that we only wanted certain rooms to be repaired because we had no plans, or budget money for that matter, to have every room repainted, I arrived to find that every room in the house had huge circles drawn over even the smallest of dings and dents which are totally normal in a house that is 60 years old. You can't really be that mad though when you ask the supervisor about it and his explanation is "My boss told me to make it perfect for Mr. Walton's daughter". Oh well, make lemonade, right? On to the paint store to pick out new paint colors!

Joky Poplights

Okay, so your guess is as good as mine for that first word...but the last two words should be "hocky puck lights". My favorite part is that "joky" completely makes sense in spanish... j = h :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

There is a Reason We Aren't Painters

So I think I mentioned in one of the first posts that we were going to do what we could to help cut some of the costs of our remodel. One of our bright ideas was painting one of the back bedrooms of the house ourself...everyone paints themselves, right? No big deal.

The back story of this attempt is that a few years ago we decided to paint about half of the interior space in our old house. We spent one weekend moving furniture around and painting all day and all night, sleeping in paint fumes, and by the end hating every minute of it, vowing to never paint again.

We had some repairs made to the old house before we sold it which involved having one room painted...and after seeing how easy it was for the painters to paint that room I was even more convinced that painting would never occur again in my future. If you have never witnessed a realy painter paint a room (no tape, straight lines, no mistakes!) then don't, because you will never want to paint again.

So, back to the new house, somehow we forgot all of this and decided to try again. Clint actually began this experiment on his own one night but didn't get very far because the previous owners had left some shelves on the walls that had apparently been hung while the paint was still wet. So when Clint went to take them down, he took a good chunk of the wall down with them. So one night was spent patching those spots and letting them dry.

We went over to the house one evening thinking that we would get the room painted that night and move on to future tasks. Three hours later, this was our progress:

ONE WALL! I know it's hard to see since we are going from a really bright yellow to a more subtle yellow, but here is a little more proof to show we actually did something, although not much.

Apparently the paint that was on the wall before is a satin finish which doesn't really absorb paint very well, so we kept watching every stroke seem to disappear. We finally were so frustrated, thinking that we were going to end up painting the whole thing and then have to pay someone anyway to make it look decent because it looked so bad while we were painting, that after three hours we just gave up. Coming back the next day it looked tons better (maybe impatience is really our issue), but I haven't seen either one of us volunteer to pick up those paintbrushes and try again. And now with all of the holes in the walls we are going to have to pay a painter anyway to patch everything, right? And they are so fast and it's so easy for them, right? And really, in these tough economic times, don't we owe it to them to let them use their talents?! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stage 4: Plumbing and Electrical

So I guess I only thought the demolition portion of this project was over...

I spent the day Friday hanging out with the plumbing and electrical crews...breathed in a lot of dust and insulation, heard a lot of festive music :), and got a little nervous as more and more holes were cut into essentially every wall of the house...BUT, the good news is that we now have new plugs and new wiring and all of the bedrooms have separate switches for the lights and fans. And those holes are nothing that a little bit of sheetrock can't fix (I hope)!

And now, Clint would like for me to share a little laugh with you guys. Since we are essentially tearing out 99% of the walls in the kitchen, when the electrician came for the walkthrough of what we wanted, he just wrote his notes to himself straight onto the walls. Here is a picture showing the notes for one of the switches, and I tried to zoom in to highlight one particular note...$5 to anyone who can guess what this is really supposed to say!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Unexpected Surprises

So everyone warns you when you remodel that you should plan for unexpected surprises...stuff that will come up that you didn't plan on that will have to be fixed or changed or just dealt with. So far, (knock on wood), our unexpected surprises have been good ones.

First, we found out that we can put in a pocket door between the breakfast room and the laundry room. I feel like everytime I see somewhere that I want a pocket door or suggest that to someone it is usually in a wall that can't handle one. But the framer guy (that's his technical title) said that this wall was the perfect spot! So now when we are doing laundry we can shut that room off and not have to deal with the noise of the washer and dryer!


Installed! (Sorry for the bad quality, iPhone and looking through the window is a bad combination)

The second good surprise so far was even better. As you can see in this picture, originally above the refrigerator and surrounding cabinets there was a furdown...by the way, it makes me laugh as we go through this process to hear Clint and I using terms that we have no idea what they mean but we heard someone else use them first so we just follow along. I especially love when he says one and I look at him like "What does that mean?" and he shrugs his shoulders, shakes his head and just laughs. But back down to furdown...I keep wanting to say furlough, but all I know is that it is the space that was all sheetrocked in.

This space contained an air register that sent air to three vents - the one you see above, one in the dining room (to the right) and one in the living room (behind the refrigerator). Every time my dad would come into the kitchen he would comment about how this vent in the kitchen was closed and he couldn't imagine why you would close that. Same comment, time after time. Well one day he actually opened it up and stuck his hand up there and said "Well there's not any air coming out of here!" We checked the other vents that were connected, same story.

So, that leads to the good news. Heidi (my friend who just happens to be an architect and designed everything for us...love her) was with us going over the plans and we started talking about how nice it would be if the furdown was gone. So Clint goes up into the attic and realizes that the sole purpose of that entire area was to close in the air register...and since it didn't even work properly we decided to take it out! This led to new plans which involve cabinets all the way up to the ceiling and let this area be more of what Heidi said she originally wanted anyway...we aim to please :)

The only bad news that resulted from this...holes being punched into the wall on the other side, which we hadn't planned to paint. Oh well, now we just get to pick out new paint colors!