The house was perfect, except for everything

I still don’t have any photos of our master bath remodel to show you because it’s nowhere near done and it’s too hard to maneuver in there, what with all the boxes of slate and the shop vac and Nate and the gigantic slow-moving mass known as me.

I’m hoping it will be done in the next month or so and then I’ll have some photos for you, provided I can get myself to move out of my way.

In the meantime, I thought I’d show you some before and after pictures of our kitchen and dining room, because I have absolutely nothing else to blog about.

Would someone please tell my family to do something remotely interesting so I have something to write about? I’d be ever so grateful. So would all of you. Right? I know it. Don’t lie.

On second thought, lie. Lie like a dog.


Thank you! I feel better now.




This was our kitchen when we moved in. Can you say for shit’s sake, what the hell? Because that’s exactly what I said when I first saw this wallpaper.

Shhhhh. Did you hear that? It was the wall’s muffled cry of PLEASE GOD, GET ME OUT OF HERE.

I asked the previous homeowners exactly when Laura Ashley tripped out on acid and threw up all over their kitchen. They didn’t know.

They also didn’t know how that thing got on their ceiling and why it was holding candles.

By the way, that dark brownish red paint you see? It was all over the house.

As in, everywhere you saw.

I’m not sure what look they were going for … possibly Rectal Bloody Stool?

Again, for shit’s sake, what the hell?


This is what it looks like now.

Nice and calm and serene.

Except for those occasions where the wall stares at Nate during dinner and screams at him to SEIZE THE DAY.


More brown paint, including painted brown electrical outlets.

More of Laura Ashley’s chemically enhanced vomit on the walls.

Another brown dingy checkered valance. Ugh.

I won’t even mention the cabinet doors falling off their hinges or the gouged and peeling countertops or the stained and chipped sink.

Actually, I guess I will.

And the linoleum?

Oh my God. The linoleum. I think it was white once. Maybe during the civil war?

I used bleach, SOS pads, Soft Scrub and several toothbrushes and still, you’d have been hard pressed not to yell WHO PUKED ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR?


This is our kitchen now.

Well, except for the mountain of crap on the island and the 137 glasses and dishes gracing our sink and the empty ginger ale cans and cereal boxes strewn about and the homework binders dropped here and there. All that stuff is missing. That is, until this afternoon when the three other homo sapiens who live here come home.

Why are homo sapiens so messy?

We painted the cabinets and when I say we, I mean Nate. But we didn’t feel like painting dozens of cabinet doors and drawers so we replaced them with new doors and drawers and when I say “we” I again mean Nate.

It was a very long, tedious, drawn out process and we were very impatient during this time and we kept insisting that we hurry it up because we didn’t like looking into our cabinets and seeing naked dishes and glasses and pots and pans 24/7 and when I say “we”  I mean the kids. I was perfectly OK with it, as long as I didn’t open my eyes for two months.

As a side note, say doors and drawers ten times fast.


I love our countertops. They’re black granite and they’re shiny with great curves.

I was shiny once with great curves.

And now, may we have a moment of silence for my waist. Thank you.

Nate and I actually agreed on the black granite color with no argument. I know! I marked the day on the calendar and alerted CNN but Anderson Cooper won’t take my calls anymore. I’m hoping Wolf can talk some sense into him. I mean, what’s a little restraining order amongst friends? Get over it, Anderson.

Call me.


This is the tile backsplash we installed.

Do I even need to qualify the royal “we” anymore? I didn’t think so.

Nate had to cut up all these tiles himself. I think there were approximately a million of them. He’d measure, run out, cut, run in, install, measure, run out, cut, run in, install, ad nauseam. I soon became accustomed to carrying on entire conversations with the back of his head.

Nowadays, I carry on entire conversations with his hairline because that’s all I can see since his crackberry is permanently affixed to his face.


This was our dining room.

We didn’t eat in our dining room. That’s because we had a little girl named Helena who came out of my uterus with her umbilical cord attached to Toys R Us.

Check out the dark green paint and more wallpaper border. And carpeting.

Did I mention the previous owners kept a bird in this room?

Birds and carpets don’t go together. It says so in The Big Book of Common Sense You Numnuts, sold at Barnes & Noble near you.

What do we say about birds and carpet? C’mon everyone! FOR • SHIT’S • SAKE • WHAT • THE • HELL?

And that thing that was on the kitchen ceiling and holding candles? I think it engaged in a little asexual reproduction because there’s its spawn on the dining room ceiling.


This is our dining room now, which is just a fancy schmancy name for an empty room that serves no purpose but looks awesome. At least, in my world. Just once, I’d like to have a dining room that has a dining room table in it that doesn’t fold up and get stored in the basement when Christmas is over.

I’d apologize for the blown highlights on the windows but by this point, I know you expect nothing less of me.

We bought the light fixture at Lowes. No asexual reproduction going on in this house anymore!

None that I’ll talk about anyway.

I love our hardwoods. If we ever have to sell this house for any reason, I am ripping out every single plank and packing them in my suitcase.


That’s it! I do have some before photos of our living and family rooms but I’ll wait to show you those until I can take some after shots and I can’t take after shots until Nate is finished re-painting and installing built-ins and that won’t happen until I convince him that his ARE YOU INSANE? I AM NOT DOING THAT sounds exactly like COOL BEANS, WHEN CAN I START?


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33 thoughts on “The house was perfect, except for everything”

  1. Avatar

    Nice…..very nice. Love the kitchen and I’m so envious, you have cupboard doors that open without straining your wrist and breaking a nail. Lucky you! About the old light fitting in the kitchen, I’ve seen one that’s had a make over and it looks brilliant. If you still have it, take another look with different eyes, the possibilities are endless.

  2. Avatar

    Wow! That looks awesome, and as someone who has remodeled a home before, well, there’s a reason the last house we bought was brand new. Don’t know if’ll be up for it again in this lifetime : )

    As for your post, this is the best line ever:

    We didn’t eat in our dining room. That’s because we had a little girl named Helena who came out of my uterus with her umbilical cord attached to Toys R Us.

    LOVE IT!

  3. Avatar

    I love your kitchen it is stunning! I am just about finished with mine my husband has one countertop left to put in and where done even though it is nowhere near like yours I am proud considering it looked like something out of the 60’s.

    thanks for the recipe and have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Avatar

    Thats just awesome.

    Can I fly you to KC and let you pick out stuff for my house? You don’t have to do anything but design it–promise. I’ll hire people to do the work, we can sit, have wine, eat choc and watch others work. Did I mention I have no kids and my husband works evenings so my house is silent? Because it is and you can come enjoy it 😀

  5. Avatar

    Our last house we had to renovate 3 bathrooms and a kitchen. Looked beautiful in the end and only took 7 years.
    Given that we sold it a mere 3 weeks after finishing I’m sure the new owners loved it. This time we bought a brand spanking new house with nothing to do! I highly recommend it for your sanity and your marriage! Loved today’s post, think of it as really expensive blog material. 🙂

  6. Avatar

    As one who is about to start house-shopping, I am deathly afraid of the For Shit’s Sake, What the Hell? factor in homes we may consider buying. There have been some online where I’ve thought FSS,WTH? and one would assume that the real estate agents are photographing the BEST parts of the house, which makes me more than a bit nervous about what DIDN’T make the photos.

    Of course, 19 gallons of paint (and counting!) later, there will be NO FSS,WTH photos of our house, as it is all Soft Ecru with white trim, along with Tear Drop blue powder room and laundry room, Hydrangea Frost bathroom and Who the Hell Cares, it’s the Basement Light Gray in the basement. Oh, and a Garnet front door. (Me: “Honey, I think we should paint the front door a redder color than the mulberry it’s been for the past 9 years.” Hubby: “No. That would take too much work.” Me: “Yeah, I suppose it could look a little too Elizabeth Arden.” Hubby: “?” *crickets chirping* Me: “Never mind.”)

    I do, however, hope our new house has hardwood floors. I am pretty much over the W2W, what with the miles of stainable surface for cats to barf upon and kids to spill upon….

  7. Avatar

    OMG I am totally jealous! Your kitchen is AWESOME! and this…
    “I love our countertops. They’re black granite and they’re shiny with great curves.

    I was shiny once with great curves.

    And now, may we have a moment of silence for my waist. Thank you.”

    HAHAHA. I almost peed! You are so funny!

    Have a GREAT weekend 🙂

  8. Avatar

    ok. That’s IT! Nate IS coming to Ky.tomorrow. Or next week. Whenever! Tell him Jim has a truck and knows the way to Lowes!!:D btw..Almost ALL of my home looks like your before shot of your dining room, except mine have boy toys, cat toys and dog toys added to the mix:p

  9. Avatar

    Can I borrow you?

    I have no decorating taste. I need someone to come over, make all the decision for me. Then, can I, ahem, borrow Nate? Because after all the decisions are made, I need someone to do the work. I love my husband but the baseboards that were taken down to be re-done just before my daughter was born, aren’t up again yet. She’s going to be SIX this fall. Did you hear me? SIX.

    SIX years without the project being finished.

    I need a Nate.

    And you.


  10. Avatar


    Seriously? That was bad….I am so glad for the sake of your family’s eyesight and sanity that you saved that house! My two favorite things are those floors, and the red paint job! oh wait…Im greedy one more… I LOVE those countertops too!

  11. Avatar

    I love what you’ve done with the place! I do have one suggestion on a dining room set. First, haunt thrift stores and Goodwill and Salvation Army stores in your area. Often you can find great deals on furniture that’s slightly used and refinish it. I have a cousin who buys beat up old furniture and refinishes it and sells it for a fortune. It can be done.

    I have a condo I am trying to sell and I am trying to “stage” it. I found a gorgeous, barely used sofa at Goodwill for $75. Definitely will dress up the place, and after the condo sells I plan on keeping the sofa.

  12. Avatar

    beautiful remodel and that backsplach is awesome.

    actually, doesn’t the wallpaper look a little like a basic gray pattern?

  13. Avatar

    WOW! What an awesome makeover, I love words on walls. I use a lot of tatouage in my house, with words and such. I may have to steal your idea, and show my before and after pics. I’m not sure I have any before pics. Oh well. Would you like to come over and redo my house? PLEASE!!!!

  14. Avatar

    I’m so glad that someone is making their way out of the inner circle of remodel hell. I love the results, it looks great. And yes, thank you for freeing the wall, your wall thanks you. I still have quite a few walls that are waiting for me to free them.

  15. Avatar

    Call me crazy, but I thought your place looked fabulous before! And now it looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. How do you get everything so clean?? With kids and all the writing you do? How do you DO it? And I loooove your tile backsplash. I love bringing natural elements into the home, and someday dangit I’m actually going to do it. Good for you!

  16. Avatar

    Maam i love the pic of the kitchen and living room, they are beautiful, but that dining room is just it. love the floor, and that great color on the wall, cant wait to see the bathroom. just great

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