Partly Put Together

The kitchen is partly put together


We closed on our house back in June.  It’s a fixer upper that needed some assistance in the paint and flooring department.  Nothing major.  I was certain by now we would have a lot more finished than we do.  I guess most renovation projects tend to turn out that way.  After much excitement about being able to share extravagant  before and after photos, I’ve come to the conclusion that for now I must be satisfied that the kitchen is just partly put together.

What’s the problem?

Nicotine, time and money !!!

The problem with nicotine…..

I’ve already shared with you that we had a major hurtle to over come with the extensive nicotine staining on absolutely every single surface of this house.    It’s been much more of an obstacle than I expected and has caused a major slow down in our progress.

What’s the big deal?

Well,  first of all, we aren’t talking about a little yellowing here and there. We are talking about close to 40 years worth of absorption into the dry wall,  flooring, light fixtures, appliances. etc etc.   The task of cleaning every nook and cranny has become tedious and down right annoying to this OCD girl!

Check out the walls in the photo below. It’s a shot of the living room before we painted. You can see where the furniture was sitting and where each  pictures was hanging. The photo alone makes me want to go find a bleach bottle or something to arm myself with for another round of cleaning. We have the carpet pulled up and everything has been repainted. The baseboard heating unit is out of there too!

This is in the kitchen. See just how brown the ceiling  used to be? Thats how brown the  walls are in the picture above. It blows my mind how ivory the appear to be in the lighting. All wall surfaces have been cleaned and painted except the laundry room and our bonus room.

Kilz has been a life saver !  It takes one coat to prime anything and everything we paint followed by a few coats of our chosen color.  Let me tell you, this stuff really does the job!!!  It’s a magical mixture of wonderfulness because it gets rid of the stench and properly covers the stain. Our only problem is that it  is so strong, we cannot have the kiddos around when painting.  We have to wear a gas masks just to be able to breathe  when painting with this stuff.

Oh, and if you miss a spot of primer,  the stain bleeds through so you have to take extra precaution to make sure you’ve done a quality paint job the first go round. For this first time painter, that means a lot of backtracking!

This photo is a shot of the bottom of the upper cabinet in the kitchen. See the yellow around the edges? I missed some spots cutting in.


The problem with time…..

That brings me to the second issue which is time.  Orchestrating schedules to get the little ones out of the house for hours at a time has been wild. You see, we moved our household in stages.  A third of our belongings were at an apartment and the rest was in storage. So we moved a total of what feels like four times in less than a year. With all the moving and shifting while my husband still maintains his full time job,   we would have had to ship the babies off to live with Grandma for the entire summer to get this done.

What’s the point in that when I just quit my job to spend every minute with them?


What a predicament we are in.  HA!!!  Not really.  This house has great bones and it’s been fun working out the kinks and learning new skills.

The problem with money …..

I’ve also shared with you that our family made the decision to down size so that this Momma would be able to stay home with the kiddos.  Having only one income hits the pocket book just a little when it come to renovations.

I’m a HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ addict !! Who isn’t these days? So, you can understand that in my daydream we would purchase the yuckiest home on the block, take a few days to rip out some smelly carpet and splash on a few coats of grey paint. I could channel my inner Joanna Gains  decorating skills on a night when the kiddos and the hubby left me in peace and quiet to wake up the following morning to find myself living in the cutest little industrial ‘cottagy’ farm house looking place you’ve ever seen in your life.

In MY reality,  we definitely purchased one of the yuckiest house on the block.

In MY reality, we are WAAAAAY over our rehab time line and I live in a renovation construction zone.

In MY reality along with most everyone elses,  money does not grow on trees, the budget is already tapped so it’s going to take a lot of creativity to get this place in shape.

After reading so far, are you getting the feeling I’m upset or stressed?  Well, shame on you. I’m actually having the time of my life.   I get to play around with little renovation projects here an there while enjoying my time caring for and managing my family life in a way I was not able to before.

In a strange way, it feels like this house and I actually have a lot in common. Life is full of ups and downs which make you a complete mess until you let them make you stronger. Having a good foundation means you can get yourself back together again.

So…… I’m not sure how quickly I can get the ‘before’ and  ‘after’ photos going but for now at least I have ‘before’ and ‘partly put together’ accomplishments to share. The kitchen has been the most work so far.

Here’s a few before photos….


And here a few partly put together. We just moved all our ‘stuff’ a few days prior so pardon the mess.The doors are still a work in progress.


Check out my Pinterest board to see some of the looks I’m after.


I love butcher block counter tops, subway tile and light or hardwood flooring.  Bright white kitchens are my favorite because it  makes the space feel so open,  clean, bright and airy.  Just throwing some paint on the cabinets , ceiling and walls has already brightened ours up so much! Oh, how I envy having cabinet doors …..

Now I gotta get back to work. See you soon !!