Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It All Started with a Snag

It started with a single snag.

An innocent, tiny tuft of carpet, sticking up among the uniform beige Berber blanketing the living room. For years that little blemish sat ignored and unbothered, like the only fan doing the wave in a stadium full of bored spectators.

And then one day, our newest pup Darcy discovered it. That day, she learned a whole lot about Berber carpet. Like that a single tuft of fibers, a mere quarter inch in size, could grow to a pile of fuzz bigger than she was merely by yanking on it.

And that was exactly how I found her one day in early November when I came home: surrounded by an enormous pile of freshly pulled carpet, looking very pleased with herself. Unfortunately, it was far too much fun to simply quit cold turkey. Since then, she has created many more matching bare spots around the living room carpet and into the hallway.

Remarkably, she’s still living.

And that’s when an idea took root.

You see, when we moved into this house four and a half years ago, we already knew that we hated the carpet and wanted hardwood floors. Unfortunately, we had what could possibly be the world’s worst kitchen – both in layout and design – and didn’t want to redo the floors when we knew we were going to be changing the kitchen layout someday.

Well, once our carpet began to resemble swiss cheese, that small idea that had taken root began to grow. With interest rates what they are, perhaps we should refinance and fix both the floors and the kitchen.

Just think! No more dingy, holey carpet. No more worn indentions from the *previous* owner’s furniture, or permanently stained pathways from the dogs continual journey from the lake to the living room. No more struggling with RugDoctors, only to have the stains reappear a month later, bigger and badder than before.

And the kitchen – oh to have a new kitchen. Kitchen cabinets that actually close (or open, depending on the cabinet) and shelves that wouldn’t collapse under the weight of cereal boxes. Drawers that are wider than 10” and don’t require opening the dishwasher in order to access. A sink that doesn’t face a blank wall and the stove in a place where it can have a vent. And, joy of joys, no more ugly melamine cabinets sold exclusively for garage use sitting in my kitchen, yellowed and peeling. Oh, the bliss *sigh*

Well, guess what …We are totally doing it! Tomorrow morning, we are set to close, and soon I will be hard at work ripping out the old and putting in the new. *putting on my renovation queen tiara* The crazy thing is that, despite nearly murdering my husband the last time we installed hardwood floors, I am totally stoked to roll up my sleeves and get started.

And no, that doesn’t give you permission to remind me of this statement when I start grumbling about how much it sucks to be in the middle of a renovation. ;)

So there you have it, the story of how one little loose piece of carpet and one bored puppy combined to create a full house renovation. And here I thought a shelter dog would be cheaper…

Any advice from you renovation veterans out there? And have any of your pets/kids ever done something that snowballed into something MUCH bigger?? Are we crazy for undertaking this project??

So what’s my recipe for the week?

Takeout. Lots and lots of takeout ;)


  1. Never remodeled. Both our homes have been custom-built. (The first much less so than the second).

    We are in the slow process of repainting our house. For years, we've only had white walls. We are now adding color. When we get to the kitchen, we are looking at putting up Dreamwalls Glass as our backsplashes instead of tile. (http://www.dreamwallscolorglass.com/)

    It just so happens My husband went to school with someone who works at the company in his hometown. But we stopped by their corporate offices at Christmas. We saw their breakroom since they don't have a showroom at corporate and hubby really likes this stuff.

    I have no idea of cost - but when we get to the kitchen, we are putting up backsplashes one way or another.

    My recipe tip: Frozen Dinner Meals for 2. In 10 - 15 minutes, you can have a quick dinner. I won't say they are great but most are eatable and easy. One pan, one lid, a wooden spoon and you have dinner.

  2. LOL, thanks to our new dog, we started ripping out our carpet too. We are going for concrete staining, room by room, just to see if we like it. If not, it's hardwood floor town, baby! Be sure to post a lot of pictures so we can see your progress.

  3. You're NOT crazy. Double thumbs up, Erin! Don't even think about the work - eyes on the prize, you know. I haven't had the pleasure yet of creating a kitchen from scratch but, ooooh, the sheer thought of it is exciting. You must post photos, of course.

  4. Ha - Beth, I think I will take you up on your recipe idea :) I have a feeling our microwave will be our best friend for a while! And those glass backsplashes look really cool.

  5. Oh thank goodness we are not the only ones! Sarah, good luck with your own remodeling, be it concrete stain of eventual hardwoods :)
    Yes, I promise to post tons of pics along the way!

  6. Truly, it's like a dream come true to build a new kitchen, Rochelle. The best part is that our house is basically one big open room, so I was able to design it exactly the way I wanted, without worrying too much about dimensions.

    Still not sure I'm not crazy, but definitely looking forward to the battle, er, remodel ;)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. The Fix-it-Chick rises again! You are a remodeling prodigy, and I can not WAIT to see the finished product! It is sure to be spectacular. I, on the other hand, am a remodel idiot and end up having to hire someone to fix what I spent days of hard work, sweat, and tears doing. Love this week's recipe, I shall follow it to a T:)

  8. The Fix-it-Chick! I forgot all about that, kara :) Well, once I get a hold of you, you will be a renovating machine! I can't wait to see how you will transform that darling new home of yours.

  9. *salutes* Best of luck to you, soldier!

    I never did a house renovation except some painting. However, this may be due to the fact that I haven't owned a house yet. Anyways, I hope everything goes well!

    Recipe: How about some cold cut sandwiches, chips and cold soda? That seemed to do the trick for us when we were painting!

  10. I have no suggestions on renovations but am envious. I've hated my apartment size kitchen for ages and dream about knocking out a wall and opening it to the dining room just for my space and counter tops. It isn't like we use the dining room anyway, though the table is comes in handy for folding laundry.

  11. Lol, thanks BookGeek! Your recipe has been duly noted and added to the list :)

  12. Well, wherever would you fold the laundry if the dining table gave way to a bigger kitchen, Jane?? ;) It is certainly a dream come true - here's hoping the renovations don't turn into a nightmare!

  13. I sure hope you're not crazy, because we are doing the same thing. Next week the demolition begins. We aren't doing the work though. We are much better off with professionals. I can't wait!

  14. Well, I *know* you're not crazy, Samantha, so maybe I'm safe as well ;)
    How fun! You'll have to send before and after pictures so I may marvel at your choices. Fingers crossed we all make it through the process alive!

  15. I know I just discovered you, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to let you know that I gave you an award over at my blog! Perhaps I gave it to you for the mouth-watering picture on your homepage and that was the only reason I needed...but I did anyways! Stylish Blogger Award

  16. Wow - thanks BookGeek! What a sweet thing for you to do. And to think, I don't even have an acceptance speech :)