Before, During, and After Home Renovations

So, we’ve been doing home renovations for two months, while trying very hard to keep up life as normal. Work, school, family. It all had to continue, while pretending that we weren’t living in a dust bowl. It was constant static, an aching tooth, background noise. I can’t imagine ever doing something like this again.

Just a reminder here’s what the kitchen looked like before. (More pictures here.) Dark. Orange. 80s.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Then we demo-ed place. Took down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Took down the ceiling in the family room. Took out the old doorway between the kitchen and the family room (formerly a screened in porch.)


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s the now…


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

PS. I know that we need new furniture, but we spent all the moneys. Next year. And I know that the mirror in the dining room should be centered over the sideboard (a dumpster dive find, so that’s why it looks like shit) and not centered in the center of the room, but we haven’t had a chance to fix it yet.

PPS. And we need one knob on a cabinet and one more stool from Pottery Barn.


23 thoughts on “Before, During, and After Home Renovations

      1. We did spray foam when we did our makeover, and the house is more comfortable. Our bills seem to be down.

  1. Looks great! And huzzah for surviving the renovation plus being your own general contractor!

    As to the mirror – it doesn’t have to be centered. It’ll look more updated/modern by balancing it out with a few pieces of art on the right hand side.

    1. yeah. Thinking about that plan. I’m going to wait a while before hanging pictures. Want to live with the furniture placement for a while to make sure that I want things where they are.

      1. Just don’t hang them too high! #petpeeve And with your love of thrifting, you can find all sorts of cool artwork…

        It’s like putting a painting in the middle of the mantle with a candle on each side – more of a traditional look. Balanced but off center is more modern.

  2. Wow, that looks a lot like our kitchen, almost to the point of uncanniness. (White cabinets, butcher block countertops except around the sink, similar wooden stools, very similar faucet, similar cubby for the microwave.) I guess future archaeologists will be able to identify the McKennas and the Y81s as members of the same era and social class.

    1. P.S. I showed these pictures to my wife, to show that all PLUs are frighteningly similar, but she noted that the McKennas have a nicer microwave than we do. So there’s that.

      1. We also put our microwave up. Damned if we were going to give it counter space. Used microwaves go for about 30 at Goodwill these days, they are commodities. Every couple which forms gives away one of their microwaves when they move in together.

  3. Looks lovely! Congratulations on surviving such a massive redo! We are starting something much smaller (just floor updates) and I’m getting an ulcer from the stress!

  4. woo-hoo! renovation photos! before, during and after!! AWESOME! I really love what it looks like now, and I think your furniture is FINE! I liked the suggestions about the hanging of photos.

    You are truly inspiring me to redo our kitchen — but we will only paint the cabinets, then change all appliances and get new countertops, sink and backsplash. The plan is to paint cabinets first so if it looks bad then we will have to look into replacing them. But I’m hoping we won’t have to because they are pretty sturdy and not extremely old (mid 90s).

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ooh, a wall mounted television. I hope to have one of those one day when I’m all grown up. The reno looks lovely and I look forward to hearing about the furniture revisions when the time comes.

    We finally had the hole in our bathroom ceiling repaired and replaced part of the ceiling in the basement and hung the towel bars that had fallen down (and that my not-handy life partner had reinstalled with the equivalent of duct tape & bubble gum). Hmh. The person who did those projects can probably wall mount a television, wall mount the bookcase my kiddo says he fled from under the other day, as it was falling, and repair the shelf that keeps falling in the kitchen. I need to make a list.

    Our other big news was replacing the washing machine (but not until after it had leaked onto the landing). The new washing machine is so awesome I posted about it in FB (after having received a recommendation from another mom on FB). It can do enormous loads of laundry saw we are actually caught up on laundry now.

    We also need to re-do our kitchen, but I want to do nothing but prepare an inspiration board and approve the plans (perhaps while eating bon bons and admiring my manicure, which, however, I will do myself), so I have to find the right person to do everything else.

  6. What I really want is to live in a house/structure in which Roche Bobois furniture would be the right choice. Maybe someday.

  7. Very nice kitchen, and I really like your dining room table. But what I’m mainly covering are those built-in bookshelves. I have one very small one and would love to have more.

    Someday I’ll redo my downstairs bathroom and maybe my kitchen along with it. I like the way my kitchen feels but I need more counter space.

  8. You have used all the space intelligently. I feel that TV is not at the right place. Are you considering moving it? I think you can use the wall in front of your drawing hall is best place to put TV. Living room is something that cant be ignored and if you ever think of upgrading you TV size, the current wall wont be sufficient.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s