Thursday, October 8, 2015

let's get it first one room challenge

You know I've been whinjing lately about a little reno I started,
oh, about six weeks ago.
Before the boys started school to be exact.
After asking everybody and their brother
we finally got a referral for a great carpenter
who helped me scratch a little project off my to-do list.
He removed a tiny builder basic desk then
made and installed built-in shelves in our kids' study room.
He did such a fantastic job that we
then asked him to build a pullout laundry bin
so that I wouldn't have to stare at laundry baskets
every time I went up or down stairs
since our laundry room sits smack dab at the top.
Now I can walk by without the Dunkin' Donuts-like hint that
"its time to do the laundry."
Things were going so well that we asked him
to help us with a room that we have both hated since we bought our house.
Its hard to call it a room really.
More like a pass-through from my husband's office in the front of our house
to the family room at the back.
I'm sure back in the late 90's when our house was built
it was a little "bonus" for buyers...a wine bar.
And don't get me wrong I love drinking wine.
Ask my peeps.
They'll vouch for my honesty on this one.
The red wine emoji on my phone is the one I use most.
But its on the opposite side of the house of my kitchen.
Not too convenient and it had seen better days.
Before I ruin your morning with the before
let me tease you with my dream inspiration board...


White lacquered desk with pretty pulls,
a fretwork chair and Chiang Mai if you please.
Yes please to all of the above.
I wish I could have built in cabinets above but one little problem
prevents that as you can see in a little before photo...
I know.
I wish I could say I had better pictures but I don't.
 The walking space is only about four feet wide
so its hard to get a good picture.
I'll work on twerking my body into an origami pretzel
to get better "after" photos
but for now this is as good as the before photos get.
A few years ago I updated this space.
Hard to tell right?
I painted the walls and had this huge bulletin board added
by using adhesive spray, applying rolls of cork, and then framed it out.
I wish I could take a sledgehammer to the wall but alas
its the back side of our stairwell so its not budging.
Its kind of like slapping lipstick on a pig in a way
but its served its calendars and reminders are hung here
in an attempt to keep me going to the right places at the right times.
I have yet to forget a kid at an activity.
The cabinets look good enough but let's talk about what lies beneath...

under the plastic wrap above
is an old bar sink and faucet in stainless steel,
surrounded by green granite tiles.
I love the color of malachite...don't get me wrong.
Just not in a countertop.
Tiled at that.
Pretty please no.
To top off all this layered goodness
the old owners had a wine refrigerator under the cabinets.
When you opened the doors you'd see that the wine fridge too had issues.
It leaked.
I guess it was trying to signal the old owners as in
this area needs help and I want out.
I'd tried my best...priming and painting but to no avail.
It was just messed up.
It took seven years to make it to the top of our reno priority list
but baby...the time is now and I am so thankful.
For my regular readers
{thank you and I adore you}
you know that I'm branching out.
I've been blogging since May 2011
and addicted to design for much longer.
We'd planned to turn this area into
a family command central if you will but since
I feel this pull to follow my passion for design
and start a little business, whatever that may become,
my sweet supportive husband urged me
to turn this area into a place of my own
and that's just what I plan to do.
Which leads me back to said contractor whom I really like,
I do, but like any contractor I've ever dealt with
and as with most home renovations
I've learned to let any preconceived notions of
 time line and the budget go right out the window.
Just forget it.
Ain't gonna happen.
Life sometimes gets in the way.
He had some unexpected delays as we all do I guess.
I'm not complaining.
Just stating the facts.
But you know me...I try to look at the positive side of life.
If my contractor had gotten this project done when he said he would
back in September then I wouldn't be able to link up to this year's fall
One Room Challenge with Linda of Calling it Home.
That's right.
I, along with other linking participants, are taking one room
in our homes and transforming it over six weeks.
 We were at a stand still in construction
when I saw Linda's post last week.
 Just like when I was petrified of water but wanted to learn how to swim
I'm back on the cliff, nervous, but ready to dive.
Let's get it on.
Here's where we stand...
The carpenter came and removed the old bar cabinets last week.
Which is where the progress stopped...
because there was no subfloor underneath the old bar area. 
Thankfully the carpenter knew a floor guy to repair the missing subfloor.
Which is where the budget got busted.
And the little laundry room reno got put on hold for a while.
The floor guy Daniel did a fantastic job matching the stain.

Now I know some of you may be thinking
The oak stain color is horrible and dated.
Personally I don't mind it.
In a perfect world yes I would choose to change the color
and refinish and restain all the floors BUT
the last time we messed with floors in our house
my kid with asthma ended up in the hospital for days.
No floor color is worth that in my opinion.

What is happening is that the carpenter was able to come back
after the floor repair cured and installed the custom desk
he made from my drawings...


 And for any robbers out there reading
the "safe" you see mentioned in the notes
is a fireproof safe for old-timey picture negatives
of our kids when they were babies.
No jewelry, no money, just negatives.
My heart just panged thinking about this because today is
the anniversary of two things for me personally
that are indelibly etched on my heart.
Forgive me if I interrupt the ORC for a little story...
One anniversary is that thirty seven years ago today
my family, my parents and my four of my sisters,
were out of town about to head to a family reunion.
My parents were packing up the car, doing last minute checks
to see if they'd forgotten anything.
The hotel, or motel rather, phone was ringing off the hook.
They almost didn't answer it because they couldn't think
of who on earth would be calling them.
Remember this was WAY before cell phones,
back when people hesitated to call long distance because of the cost.
It was my dad's sister.
Calling to tell my parents their house had burnt down.
I hate this memory.
Mainly because now I can empathize with the horror my parents must have felt,
my mom heavily pregnant with her fifth child,
hearing that everything they had worked so hard for was now gone.
I hate it because I remember laughing and joking with my sister
in the rear facing third row of our wood paneled station wagon
at how my dad drove like a bat out of hell
the whole two hours it took for us to get back to Savannah.
I still remember how he took the last winding S-shaped curve
before you  got to our old house
and how it felt like the car went up on two wheels.
I had no idea of what was waiting for us three blocks away.
I had no clue at the time at how heart breaking it must have been for my parents.
A smoldering pile of ashes with three barely standing charbroiled walls.
It affected me and my sisters for sure.
To this day apparently because I just cried the ugly cry while typing this.
I think I know its why I am a self-professed serial redecorator
{and proud of it}
and why I strive so hard to make our house feel like a home,
a safe, wonderful place for my kids and husband.
Which leads me to the second anniversary,
a happier one to share...
eleven years ago to this day
we brought our twin baby boys home from the NICU.
That fall day in 2004 looking at the date October 8
 on the calendar changed for me.
Next year I'll be able to include it as the day of my first
{but hopefully not last} one room challenge.

The painter just left and the carpenter is coming today
to install the Chinoiserie drawer pulls.
Come back next week and I'll show you
the new desk and paint choices.
Until then check out the other linking participants here.
Thanks for stopping by :)



  1. I am so happy you linked up and decided to participate and I look forward to seeing what you do with your space.

  2. You go girl!!! Can't wait to watch your progress!!

  3. I love reading your posts. And you know I love your design plan. Plus, I'd like to add that you have very nice penmanship and I'm rather envious. You're living my dream of starting a design business, and I'm rooting for you.

  4. I loved reading your post and am with you on the wine emoji...totally my favourite/most used...much like the real stuff:) So looking forward to following your room makeover!

  5. Cannot wait to see how it all turns out Nancy! I am sure it will be fabulous.

  6. Amazing post and not just the inspiration fabrics, etc. which I love. We, too, have been touched by fire and it is a very deep and permanent thing. I'm excited for your remodel and your new biz!! This is my second ORC and le me tell you I spent half of my first one painting a room white :) But here I am again ... It's such a motivator!! Can't wait to see your project!

  7. It's going to be amazing...can't wait to see!! Love the inspiration!


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