And So It Begins

Renovating. Wow. It’s no joke. Though, many other four letter words come to mind! I think we have experienced every emotion one can experience from utter elation and excitement to complete overwhelming remorse we ever became homeowners. But, I hear that’s normal. What is also ‘normal’ is how this process (maybe more than anything else) will test your patience, your relationship and your overall sanity. But, if you can get through this, well, you can get through anything.

As for an update, we have now completely gutted the entire place, knocked down the kitchen wall, part of the bathroom wall, poured 2.5 inches of concrete downstairs to (somewhat) level out our very unleveled floors, smoothed the ceilings and ordered things like toilet levers, shower valves, & approximately 5 billion sconces. That may sound like a lot (and it is), but there is SO MUCH MORE.  We now have less than two months before our move in date and I feel like someone hit the timer on a bomb (and our bank account). Tick, tock, tick, tock…

molly sofa 2
Molly head over


1. Renovating is a full time job. On top of your full time job. There is no way around this. Other than wine.

2. Hire a designer to manage the project & make sure that your designer and contractor can communicate directly. I did not hire my designer’s contractor and it’s been tough playing middle man between the two. This will help with that second full time job thing.

3. If your spouse has opinions about things you don’t expect them to have opinions about, include them in every meeting where decisions will be made. Otherwise, you will be remaking all the decisions, which causes unnecessary stress, frustration and arguments.

4. Ikea kitchens are the only way to go if you are on a budget. We are on a budget.

5. It will cost double what you think it will. Everyone told me this. I didn’t believe anyone because ‘I will make sure we stay on budget and how can it possibly cost DOUBLE.’  Everyone was right. I was wrong.

6. It mostly costs double because most contractors do not include sourcing in their budget. So, if you want a toilet, you have to buy one, even though it wasn’t in the proposal. Oh and yeah, that carpet for the stairs…not included. Want a kitchen faucet? Not included. A light for the bathroom? You’re catching on…

7. When it comes to ordering things such as bathroom vanities, check the lead time of the delivery. Too early and you’ll have no place to put it, too late and you’ll be moving in without a bathroom sink.

Does this photo stress you out as much as it does me??


 Stay tuned for the next progress report…

Photos by Ragan Brooks


4 thoughts on “And So It Begins”

  1. Sandra Zaninovich

    Mouth hanging open. Sending you all best wishes, hopes and dreams for a brilliant denouement! Can’t wait to see the finished product and your comment of “it was all so very worth it.”

  2. Sandra Zaninovich

    You and the Countess of Carnarvon (owner of Highclere Castle, aka Downton) have something in common. Here’s what she said about restoring a lodge on the grounds that’s now going to be a hotel:
    “Like any remodeling project, this one took longer than expected because the extent of the damage was unclear at the start. The countess didn’t say how much was spent to get the lodges into shape, but, she said, “If I had a budget I’ve exceeded it tenfold. This was surprisingly dangerous to our pockets.”

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