In the last Space for Living blog update, my life was looking something like this.
We had just finish a huge round of demolition and we were celebrating our 2nd day as new homeowners. I must say I was feeling pretty proud of ourselves. In fact I had every intention of blogging and sharing the process of gutting and rebuilding our first home right here with you. Then reno reality hit. And that was, gasp…3 months ago.
What have I been doing!? I never planned on taking a break from blogging, but then 2 weeks passed right by. And then 3 weeks and 4; and then 3 months went by without one single update on our home. After our first week of demolition, the contractor took over most of the work. But even with all of his renovating I somehow still had tons to do.
I was barely finding time to put on mascara in the morning, let alone boot up the computer. At night, a common occurrence was falling in bed at 8:30pm wishing I had gotten to bed earlier.
Honestly, I had no idea checking in on the house twice a day, making supply runs to Home Depot, and shopping and planning other details like kitchen cabinets, flooring, tile and paint color would zap all of my time.
Yes it was a pretty much a whole house demo including relocating the kitchen, gutting both bathrooms, and moving around some walls. You know, just one or two little tweaks.
The contractor took over the hard stuff like taking down the load bearing wall (that’s the wall shown in the first pic above). Here it is at a different angle and down to it’s beams.
Thankfully, at the beginning of the process we were naively blissfully. It is one thing to daydream while pinning away inspirational images on Pinterest. It is quite another to stand in the middle of the home improvement store and have to actually make, gulp, real live choices.
We had to order cabinets, flooring, tile, paint, fixtures…you name it. It all starts to seem like such big decisions, forever decisions. I definitely wanted to make sure I had done my research, weighed my options and not rushed into big decisions.
If I paused for a moment, I could realize they weren’t really forever, irreversible decisions. But I never really felt like I was pausing. And with a really tight budget, I knew I had to live with whatever choices we did make for a long, long time.
Don’t get me wrong, this has been an incredibly exciting moment for our family. After years of saving and planning, we are homeowners! But, in the moment of demo-land, it’s really, really hard to not feel overwhelmed. We had a tight budget and an even tighter timeline, since we needed to move out of our current home by the end of the month.
The biggest decision was how rearrange the kitchen. As much as I wanted to blog all of the kitchen details and options, we were in such a time crunch to get the cabinets ordered and install the new gas and plumbing lines.
Here is a short recap because it has to be one of my favorite changes we made. The small U-shaped kitchen before.
Here is my attempt at wider-angle shot to see how the kitchen was smooshed between two walls. Enjoy those lovely 70’s esque columns too!
Here is what remained of the kitchen after our demo. You can see the small window and the old dingy cabinet stains left on the walls.
The far wall eventually came down for a super open living space. The huge, exposed beam took over for the load bearing wall. Look close and you can still see the old kitchen U-shape imprint in the linoleum.
After much hemming and hawing, we finally came up with a new layout for the kitchen that included a much desired island. But in order to keep that wide open space look we where going for, the kitchen needed to move clear across the room.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get very many shots of the new kitchen corner pre-install.
Here is one from when we were still in escrow, before the wall came down and the previous owner moved out. The kitchen sink window ends up right below that uncovered AC vent. (Yes, that is an exterior door inside the house. Who knows why really?)
The exterior door and wall came down on demo-day because it didn’t support anything which made it a pretty easy demo. Here is my dad in full force, along with a pose for the camera of course. Again, the new kitchen sink window ends up on the wall right behind him under the AC vent.
Moving the guts of the kitchen, aka the gas and plumbing lines, was started by my dedicated hubs to save on labor costs. Then we relied on the expertise of a plumber and electrician to get everything reconnected.
Fast forward a few weeks and the kitchen is in its new home. Hello new kitchen!
Well almost new kitchen. (I obviously ran into a time crunch and didn’t get to finish painting before the cabinet install.)
So long story made short we made a big push to get the house livable to be out of our old condo on time.
Move-in Day complete with a box fort on the couch.
Notice the plywood counter tops and the dishwasher in the middle of the kitchen. Notice I said “mostly livable.”
I was already in awe of bloggers who post daily or even regularly during big house projects or moving. Now I’m on another level of admiration! You all rock!
For me, I quickly found I had to reevaluate my priority list in order to stay sane. I tried to still have homemade meals as much as possible and fit in exercise. This meant my internet time was limited to watching floor tiling tutorials on YouTube.
So if you are still reading along after my way too long blogging hiatus, thank you! Space for Living will get back to organizing. It has not become a home renovation blog although I still have a bunch to share!
We haven’t even taken a peek in the bathrooms or seen the scary yard. Maybe even a tour now that we are mostly unpacked. I have ton of organizing tips to share too! Like my moving strategy for those who are maybe of the lazier variety (ie, me), and what did and didn’t work during this whole crazy process. Plus I have brand new spaces to rethink and organize! A few are already causing my head to spin.
For now my goal is to also step back, take a few long, deep breaths and try to enjoy this crazy ride (and of course share the next steps with you!). So stay tuned. I will be back weekly!