The Haps

In the words of many before me, life happened.

Since we last chatted over candied carrots in September, TD and I finished our renovations (and by that I mean we wrote checks and other people with actual skills did the work), put the house on the market and, in a twist no one saw coming, next month I’m heading back to my former institution for an unexpected career opportunity.

So, I intentionally put TMH  on hold.  It’s hard to cook in a kitchen that needs to be stranger worthy 24/7.

I have a handful of recipes to share between now and the end of the year but today, I thought I’d share our (minor) renovation adventures.

TD and I have lived in our little townhouse for nearly nine years.  And while it’s been the perfect place for us, it’s just time to get a bigger boat.    Sprucing up the joint was a necessity before we put the house on the market.  I also wanted to try out our renovation tolerance.  I’ve got big plans for the future but first wanted to make sure “we” could survive them.

Scope: kitchen resurface, new flooring throughout house, restained stair railing (three floors worth), new paint and a couple of other odds and ends.

Most of the visible work was done in the kitchen.  Behold, the before:

We basically had a builder-grade kitchen.  As I’ve noted on the blog, I’ve replaced all the appliances (save the fridge) in the last year and a half…which makes the before a tiny bit less appalling

Looking into the breakfast nook.  As useful as they have been for me from a baking perspective, the beloved Ikea expedit shelving made for a crowded corner.  And don’t get me started on that tile.

We’ve always used what should be the living/family room as a dining room.  And used the loft on the third floor as the living family.  It’s worked well for us but we knew everything had to go back to where it “should” before before selling.  You catch a corner of the original stain on the stair rail below.  Very school house yellow.  Also, I never did catch a snap of the dining room in its natural state.  In this blurry picture we were prepping for the kitchen resurface.

We can’t really call the work done in the kitchen a remodel.  Nothing got moved around.  But, we did replace the countertops, backsplash, had the cabinets refinished and replaced the flooring and paint.

The demo was gratifying even if they wouldn’t let me help out.

The cabinet refinishing process was really interesting.  They pulled off all the doors and made a sort of tent in the garage.  They did the same in the actually kitchen and then airbrushed several coats.

Then the floors came up.

It’s fun to replace flooring on three stories worth of stairs.  Yes, it is.

We also had them replace all of the downstairs baseboards with a more detailed three-inch finish.

Et voila!

Oh wait…a couple of notes first.  The remainder of the pictures are professional, taken by the photographer who works for the Stephanie Younger Group (I’ve asked for his name a couple of times so I can properly credit but don’t have it yet).  Also, the house is staged in these photos.  With the exception of the bed in the guest bedroom, all the furniture is our own.  However, they  pulled out all the area rugs, replaced accessories with more neutral ones and generally depersonalized the house to make it nice but very generic.  I get it.  I totally do.  But I still think my stuff is better.

Let’s try this again. Voila!

We used the same paint color throughout the entire house.  The painters we worked with only use Dunn Edwards paint so we had them match their paint to Benjamin Moore’s Pewter Revere.  The color is a universally appealing griege.  While it was a intentional move on our part (another of the “other people” likes), I have to admit, I’ve really enjoyed the color.  Depending on the lighting and time of day it reads anywhere from a soft grey to bluish to green to a nice light taupe.

The hardwood is a hand scraped walnut.  Confession time.  I know people love the wide planks and texture of hand-scraped wood.  I also get that laying down a surface with texture makes it more forgiving of scrapes and blemishes.  This is why we chose it.  So that someone else will love it.  But, it’s not my favorite.

While my taste trends more toward the contemporary, I love the old-school long thin-plank style.

That couch.  It may be comfortable but I am counting the days.

We went with a wheaty berber carpet on the second and third floors.  The stairs take a beating and we wanted something that would hold up also but read a little more stylish than regular pile carpet.  Again we went with what other people seem to like.  The pattern looks like linen.

Speaking of linens, I have a bit of a bedding fetish.  Everything is neutral and goes together (more or less) but I like to change-out the duvet cover and other bedding pieces every few months.

While I was initially disappointed when the stager asked us to do both beds in all white, it does look nice.

Up until this point, the second bedroom was used as an office.  However, once we moved the office to the loft and converted this room back to its original purpose we had some serious thoughts about why we needed to move.

This is a really nice, sunny room.

World headquarters of Caught Looking Inc.  Not too shabby with a door to the balcony that brings in the ocean breezes from the deck.

One final shot.  It’s not really a remodel…just a nice view of “almost” ocean.

Okay.  So all of this has been a bit of a diversion to distract you from what I really have to say.

With all of the change going on in our lives, something had to give.

And so.


Here is the deal.

I’m not doing any holiday baking this year.

My hope is that we’ll have this little townhouse sold and be living in a rental while we renovate our next house by valentines.  So maybe there will be some major baking then.  Or maybe Easter.  Or Memorial Day.

Please don’t put coal in my stocking.