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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

finishing what i've started

First, I want to say wow! I am blown away by the number of new followers I picked up yesterday and the number of comments I got for the giveaway! Welcome to all the newbies and a big THANK YOU to those of you who have been here for awhile. If you missed yesterday's post, be sure to check it out so you can sign up for the giveaway.

One of my resolutions for the New Year is to finish some of the multitude of projects I've started around my house. I have a terrible habit of starting things and not finishing them. Unfortunately, Jeff isn't much better than me when it comes to that, so as a result, we have a lot of things that are half done.

In March we will celebrate ten years since we bought our house. When we bought, the housing market was red hot, so we thought we'd live here five years and then cash out the equity and upgrade. Well, we waited a little too long and the market crashed. So, just over a year ago we decided that since we were going to be here for the foreseeable future, we might as well do some upgrades. We ripped out the entire kitchen and re-did it. Well, almost all of it. A year later, we still have an unfinished backsplash and the wall shelves we planned to put up in lieu of upper cabinets somehow have never come to fruition.  Around the same time, we started landscaping the front yard. It's about 80% done - I keep hoping that the walkway from the stairs to the porch will get done someday. And maybe we'll actually get the whole yard mulched this spring. Oh, and if all that wasn't enough, I decided to re-paint the bedroom last January but the ceiling never got done and the new baseboards are still only half in.

So, with all these projects to finish, I decided the best way to motivate myself to get them done is to shame myself into doing them. By airing my dirty laundry here, I will have to take steps to finish things in order to save face, right?  I sure hope so.

Since the kitchen arguably frustrates me the most, I will start with that. Below are some "before" pictures and some pictures showing it at its worst. In the next post, I will show you what it looks like now and then, at some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future, I will show you what it looks like when it's all finished.

These are the "before" pictures, although I should mention that this is not how it looked when we bought the place. Unfortunately, that was before we had a digital camera, so we didn't take many pictures of how it looked when we moved in, and even if I could find the few that exist, I'd have to scan them in and I don't have a scanner. Suffice it to say that this original re-do was a huge step up from what it originally looked like. Jeff and I put in the black and white ceramic tile, which I still love, but will NEVER have again - it's impossible to clean. Before that it had awful linoleum. We also painted the cabinets and switched out the hardware. My dad put in the ceramic tile counter tops - again a HUGE improvement over what was there - an ugly swirly green laminate - but something I will never do again - try keeping white grout lines clean on countertops! We also bought a new stove, since the one that was here when we moved in was BROWN and, when we pulled it out, I found a tag on the back that showed it was delivered to this house in November 1973. We also removed panelling (ack!) from the walls and did a few other things.

Here are the photos after everything was ripped out. That lovely flooring is a groovy orange and black linoleum that we found several layers down. After we started tearing it up, we realized that it must have asbestos in it, so needless to say, we left most of it and just covered it with the new flooring.

Do you have any dirty little secrets about unfinished projects? Please share!


  1. Oh my gosh y'all sound just like me and Aubrey!! We decided to renovate our whole house right after we moved in. 3 1/2 years later, there is not one room that is 100% finished. UGH is is SO frustrating and I hate living in a construction zone and having to make excuses for the state of things when people come over! I wish we could just afford to hire a finish carpenter to come finish it all up for us. Just yesterday, Aubrey said we needed a dishwasher (but we do not have a large enough space for one without major construction) as much as I would love a dishwasher, my stomach just knotted up at the thought of another *pardon my French* half-ass project!! Oh good luck and I totally understand and feel for you :(

  2. We bought our house about 1 1.2 yrs was a foreclosure so we thought we got a good we are still working on those surprises that come with buying an older home 'as is'. Still I love it and it's worth all we still must do to it. Plumbing is what we are working on right now.