Our Remodel Story

I LOVE “before and after” pics of people’s homes.

But I never thought about sharing my own, until a friend of mine suggested that I share a little bit more about my real life....beyond the green juice and detoxing.

At first I wasn't so sure.  I had never intended to share my personal life (beyond the connections to green juice and detoxing) through my blog, or even through my social media.

But in thinking about it, I love people, and what interests me most is not necessarily the knowledge they've accrued, or the job they have, or the title on their card.  What I'm most interested in is what makes them come alive.

Somebody once said that when a eulogy is being read at a funeral, there is a visceral difference in the experience of hearing a list of one's accomplishments versus a list of who and what they loved during their lifetimes.

So here I go.  A little bit of my real life.  Because it is NOT my desire to be an "expert," but rather an ordinary woman connecting with other ordinary women doing our best to live extraordinary lives.

And here is our remodel story - the good, the bad, and the ugly!  And the first "before and after" pics....of course!

It all started in July, when we realized we had found a school that felt like an answer to our prayers, especially for our oldest son Killian, who many of you know has a rare genetic syndrom (like, only 50 people rare.)  Now we just needed a place to live that was close by.

So we pulled up the internet and saw this 1930’s farmhouse.  At first it didn’t stand out to us....which is curious because I’m the kind of person that’s sold at “1930’s farmhouse.”  But we decided to go see it anyway. (Thanks Dad!)

We scheduled a viewing for the following day.

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We walked in, and it was head over heels love at first sight!  We fell in love with the charm, the kitchen, the backyard, the tress, the architectural details, the love of the family who had owned it for 30 years, and the possibilities for raising our own family there.

THEN we found out that there was already a full price cash offer on the table!  So we kicked it into high gear and after a full court press, and a roller coaster ride of adrenaline, 3 days later, we were dizzy with excitement to call it “ours.”

We couldn’t believe it!

Now Joel and I got to do what we most love to do together….redesign!  Joel and I have been designing and redesigning homes long before we ever had a home or even lived together.  We both just love architecture, design, décor, creating environments and envisioning new possibilities.

We had decided that our charming home would just need a few touch ups.  We’d take down the 30 year old wallpaper, pull up the carpets to expose hardwood floors, replace a few light fixtures, and paint.

6 months later, and “a few touch ups” have become a complete construction zone.

And let’s be clear, remodeling is not for the faint of heart!

Everything we own is mostly in boxes, and somewhere between the kitchen and the garage.

We’re down to one bathroom between us and the 6 gentlemen that come to work on the house everyday. This means I just don’t use the bathroom.

I haven’t showered in 5 days, so I’m running out of dry shampoo, and when I MUST make use of a toilet, I try to use it without using it.  I tip toe in, touch nothing, use a piece of toilet paper to hold down the flusher, and exit as quickly as possible. All while my face is contorted in disgust.  I'm a little germ obsessed.

Since I work from home during the day, I find myself hiding in my little laundry room with the door closed and the windows open.

My rebounder barely fits between the washing machine and the wall, so I’ll throw on a sports bra and jump, meditate (as the roaring sander blasts our floors upstairs,) and then pull out my computer.

We’ve been sleeping in a trailer parked in our driveway (well, when I say trailer, I mean the cutest borrowed airstream ever - Thanks Mom!)

However, the airstream came with a little mouse who leaves droppings on our bed, and the rain has created damp sheets which are strangely warmer than the totally dry but freezing sheets from a week ago.

When we are in the house, I’m so concerned about the paint fumes, that I fling the windows open and walk around in a faux fur, while essential oils are diffusing everywhere to purify the air.  Open windows during heavy rains have led to mosquitoes and ridiculously large mosquito bites on my 3 year old from head to toe.

It’s basically a shit show.  But it’s our shit show, and despite the chaos, and the stress of it all, we are still so in love with our home, and how it’s evolving.

It's strong and open and lets in beautiful light.  And pretty soon, we’re going to really get to nuzzle in and hunker down between her walls.

But for now, we stare at her fresh paint (with respirators on……#kidding, #notkidding) and we are in awe and gratitude of how she’s resurrecting and of the good times ahead.

These first pics are from what used to be a formal dining room.

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However, as romantic as a formal dining room is, we knew we wouldn’t use one more than a couple times a year, and we didn’t want to have a room we never inhabited, or worse a room that was basically a hallway.

So we brainstormed what else we could use the room for.  Ideas bubbled and included a movie viewing room, a gaming room with a ping pong table that could convert to a dining table (so cool!), and a music parlor.

Since Joel is so gifted with music and I can play 3 songs on the guitar, the music parlor won.

Here it is….almost ready to rock and roll.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed a little peek.  Wallpaper is going up in a couple weeks, so I’ll keep you posted.

Wallpaper!  A whole other story!

May you find creativity and joy in your environment wherever you are today.

With Much love, 

Natalie