Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DIY Doggie

With the kitchen project and working -  blogging time is limited but here's an update on the remodel while the pizza cools a bit. It was great to have my stove unwrapped and usable and I will be SO happy when the landing party Red ceiling is plastered over.

Homemade Pizza Bones (no onion on half so Miss Abby can have a little nibble).
I am glad we had the cabinets custom made instead of trying to craft them ourselves - makes the whole remodel SO much easier on everyone (except all of the plaster work). This is all cosmetic, not structural but still takes some time.

Here is the original kitchen from back when the home was purchased by my husband  when he graduated from college and started his career (who couldn't include both the red ceiling and the red floor or the camera would explode.)  Yes, those are metal cabinets, they are also metal cabinets covered in SPARKLY CONTACT PAPER FROM THE 60'S

SHINY (and NOT in a good way)
When we met and made the decision to ditch my house and make this our home, he had upgraded the house with an bachelor Ikea sofa and a few great antiques but there was a lot to be done (hey, he was a bachelor in his 20's)  But as with any engineer "fixer upper" was like waving well, a red linoleum floor at a bull.

When I met him the following year, he had done a bunch of landscaping with help from his Mom and the more urgent repairs but the kitchen still was decorated in "bachelor".
Some say we were crazy, my selling my four bedroom, three bath custom McMansion and giving away ten's of thousands of furnishings to Veteran groups (except for what I needed for a crash pad until I transferred) and my husband not getting one of those yuppie condos along the lake like the other successful members of his graduating class.  No - we have a hundred year old fixer upper Bungalow with just our most prized books and possessions, all kinds of charm and no giant mortgage. (and did I mention sparkly cupboards?)
It's within a hour of the heart of the city on a very deep lot, with a long driveway and big separate garage, unusual given the age of the neighborhood.  It has a tiny front and back yard, but has two nice side yards giving some distance from neighbors lined with full grown spruce, lending quiet and privacy to the place.

But it's been a lot of work, planting trees, complete new plumbing and rewiring, more plumbing, subfloors, wood restoration, removing stained wallpaper, plasterwork.  There's still a lot more to do, a main floor bath last redone in the late 60's, new steps front and back, a chimney that's coming out to make storage space in the back of the house and the "Green Acres" sunroom, that has a lot of potential..  I think I spent more on building permits than getting my hair done last year.

But it went from looking like this (big ugly window has to go)
to this

And this (dirty wallsand Liberace chandelier and too many doors).
to this

And the pink master bedroom. . .
was given some lace curtains and  a more golden glow.
We kept the same basic colors - just updated and cleaned up a bunch, rewiring but keeping the wall sconces. I brought just a few decorative pieces from my house, but all of the furniture added to what he had was antiques found on a curb or at an estate sale and completely restored.  The entire contents of my crash pad (which was really lovely modern everything with TV and stereo and lots of pictures and decorative pieces) went to a young couple (she was my hairdresser) who had lost everything in a disaster and were trying to establish a new home to adopt a baby (which happened two months after they moved out of her parents place where they were temporarily into their newly furnished home.)

Abby likes to lay in the hall and keep an eye on all the rooms at once.

All the heavy drapes came down and delicate sheers and lace from the thrift shop went up. Given how far above the street level the main floor sits (walk out basement) people can't look in, even if they came through the trees onto the property, though we're building canvas blinds for some of the windows.
And what once an ugly bedroom downstairs we didn't need, with a great view off the porch
Became a spot where two books were written.  The walk out basement is both man cafe, husbands office and drafting area, and craft area.
But even better it became the home in which we could bring Abby Lab, who knew only having puppies and being abandoned.
We did everything ourselves but when it came time to do the bathrooms and kitchen I called in back up.

Because I wasn't going to touch this even with C4.
Sometimes you need a professional.
And a really big duck.

But the kitchen - like the rest of the house -  with a lot of love and work, is coming together quickly.

Love the new hardware - it fits what is on the ancient stove.
Still a lot of plaster work to do, but it's getting there.  We're going to finish that up and paint after the back porch and fence are done.  Abby Lab needs a yard she can run free in.  Barkley had a big fenced yard in Indy but Abby's never had that luxury as I was in the crash pad during the work week  and was only able to just give her lots of walks on the leash.

The light fixture was found at a business going out of business in an old part of the city.
 Yes, there will be a skirt made for the sink, just like my Scandinavian Grandma had.
The antique appliances are staying - they just fit the place  When the plaster work is done, the ceiling will be white and the walls will be a rich buttery cream color.
It's going to be fun to get the colorful decorative stuff set up as well.
A few of Mom's Swedish horses (I have orange, black and white sets) will be on the top of the cupboards (the Dr. Who Tardis was on our wedding cake - my husband looks like the last actor who played The Doctor and I look like his companion Amy).

More memories to be made.
The homes we make for ourselves are the best ones to come home to.


  1. Well, if SHE had renovation ability and $, SHE'd always choose the older home. It's yours and you can look at all your custome made improvements. Just ENJOY!

  2. FABulous!!!! Nows, come on over and do ours next! Hello?? Is this thing on? hello....
    Ruby ♥

  3. Hari OM
    I tend to favour 'pre-loved' homes as well; there is just so much more scope for putting one's own creative stamp upon them and adding to that history. The house I had in Sydney was not at dissimilar - though a couple rooms less. It's good when you can take stock like this and see the end is nigh!!! YAM xx

  4. You've done an amazing job so far! We can't wait to see the finished product.

  5. It is quite a sense of accomplishment when you do most of it yourselves!

  6. Looks like you are creating the perfect home for the two of you! Lovely!

  7. Your home is beautiful, just beautiful. stella rose and momma

  8. Wow, it is looking so beautiful with such warmth! Now are you sure that red ceiling has to go? That is so funny! Carry on with your labor of love cuz the results are worth it!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  9. Your house looks SO BEAUTIFUL! I love everything you've done!!

  10. We LOVE it.... they don't make 'em like they Used to... and all that was needed were the updates of the power and water and some fresh colors... and a FAMILY to call it OUR HOME. The Stories that the place must have... and the Memories...

    1. Since we had your address we looked at a picture of your house when it was for sale and it is SO pretty and on such a beautiful lot (our lot is about the size of a cubicle). I'm glad you all are happy in your new home.

      Abby Lab

  11. Hey Abby!
    Wow, your place is looking so beautiful now! Remodeling is a pain to snoopervise, but you're doing a great job. Good choice laying in the hallway so you can see everything. Enjoy your pizza bones!
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Police Commish

  12. Thank you everyone - today was a long day with work and getting the backsplash tile in so I will say wags and woofs to everyone until tomorrow. But Mom gave me some chicken so life is good.

    Abby Lab

  13. Our house is way past the time for remodeling. Problem is, ghostwriter and Dad can never agree on anything, so nothing gets done. You did a good job on your remodels, though!


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

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