Friday, May 15, 2009

The Secret to a Happy Marriage

Have you ever heard how some couples just can't work together? We've got lots friends like that - if they get working on a project together, the inevitable result is arguing. Oddly, Pat and I are at our best when we tackle a big project together.

Since we bought our thirty-some-odd-years-old house three years ago, we have slowly and methodically been working our way through the necessary projects.

It started with the squishy layout on the main floor:

The wall straight ahead is between the kitchen and the dining room. See the tiny walk-through doorway? That is how we were to bring our food to our table - through there and onto the carpeted dining room! No thank-you.

Though my camera doesn't show it well, once the wall was gone the remarkable contrast of the lemon yellow linoleum and the pink carpeting was positively blech!

The lemon yellow linoleum was, I'm sure, seen as a lovely compliment to the lemon yellow glass tile backsplash when it was all originally installed. And those cupboards - again, totally top of the line thirty years ago.

Once the wall came out (within a week or two of moving in), we felt compelled to cover our kitchen and dining room floor in something that was not lemon yellow and would not absorb every spill ever made. Our short-term, inexpensive solution was this laminate. Oh, and that lovely dresser you saw in the top picture - replaced by a sideboard from Ikea (I love you, Ikea).

You will also notice some fresh paint on this wall. Perhaps you're giggling at the irony that we removed all the previous owner's yellow only to put up our own yellow - fyi, this is dijon yellow, people! Big distinction. :) The paint change happened a good year after the wall came out, the flooring went in, and the countertops and tile were changed (coming up below), but I am tragically forgetful about taking before and after pictures...

It took a year or so, but we did eventually replace the backsplash with this mosaic (for any home improvement gurus out there who are wondering - the stone is tumbled chiaro). Under the stack of dirty dishes you will also notice the dark brown counter (good ol' formica) that we put down to replace the (you guessed it) lemon yellow formica that the previous owners adored.

When we (ahem, I) finally did get to the painting, we went with the dijon yellow as the main color, and this great red for the dining room and one wall of the living room. See that bench? Built by my handy hubby to help with seating and storage for our crew - the bench probably came a good year after the paint. But whatever!

And finally, three whole years after the kitchen project began, the cupboards got a new look (though I still have to do a couple wee paint touch ups).

Now that we've got our main floor updated (with a few small exceptions such as the glitter in the stippled ceiling - never going to try that one, the master bedroom - maybe next year, and the bathroom - ditto), I think we'll take a little rest from home renovations.

Nevermind! What was I thinking? We seriously do get along way better when we've got a project on the go... (The following pictures of our basement were taken this morning. Again, no before pictures.)


  1. Just seeing YOUR home renos makes me less inclined to do mine!!! You know me, messes stress me out! But I am sure your basement will look great when it is all done!

  2. Nice looking kitchen!! Did you paint those cupboard doors or have them replaced? Sure looks nice!!
    Oh..the basement...what a big project on your hands there...I am happy you and Pat work great with projects...Guy and I are not so great together on the home projects...but on the bright side...we work great together on other peoples projects...the trick for us is to work at others!

  3. Well, if you are looking for someone else’s home to put in some hours at… LOL. We are going to spend our weekend alternating between trying to keep the kids entertained and hauling garbage out to the dumpster on our front lawn. Oh joy!

    For the cupboards - Pat sanded them down, then nailed on the wood to create the “picture frames,” I primed and painted (and painted), then he put on the new pulls and hinges.

  4. I love your kitchen. Where did you get that laminate? I think I may copy your flooring. It looks so good.


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