Tag Archives: new home

Paintin’ Da House Red (Well, Not Really)

We visited the house in West Virginia Friday and were greeted with the whirr of an air compressor that the painters were using to spray  primer on the walls and ceilings.  Next step: PAINTING!

This is a huge state-change in the process.  The house has moved from studs and drywall (new addition) or painted and mural-ed walls (old part) to brand new Benjamin Moore white primer.

One wall in the living room has transformed from this:

Not just a mural, but bright yellow walls...

Not just a mural, but bright yellow walls… [see note]

To this:

Look! A white wall!

Look! A white wall!

The new white walls really make the room look much bigger.  We had the old gas fireplace enclosure and surrounding cabinets ripped out.  We will be putting in a vent-free propane fireplace and custom bookshelves in that space later on.  Both will be less deep than the cabinets were. They took up valuable space…and weren’t very attractive either.

When we began this project our building team said that as the process unfolded the size of the house would feel larger, then smaller, then larger. (And so on.)  When the footers were poured, the dimensions felt small. After the walls went up, the rooms felt large,  After the drywall, some rooms felt smaller, others larger.  As I noted above, the living room looks much larger with white paint over that mural and the cabinets removed. In the case of the sun room, the addition of white paint has made it look a bit smaller.

Now that the priming is almost done I’ll be looking forward to seeing some (some) color on the walls.

After the painting, the flooring and tiling team will come in.  And, after at least ndthe kitchen floor is laid, the cabinets, counter top, and appliances will be installed.

Things are really taking shape at the West Virginia house!

[NOTE: some people like that mural; but really, it doesn’t “fit” with our decor; and, now that the cabinets are gone, it would be floating in midair. And that’s just not right.]

Follow our progress on Flickr or our other posts here on Patchwork Jumble.


The Kitchen Breakthrough

Second in a series:

Oh what a long, strange trip it’s been getting to a final plan for our new kitchen.  You see, about 5 feet of the kitchen was created by extending the dimensions into the new part of the house.  Ever since framing began, we could only “see” about 3/4 of the future kitchen, and for much of the time it was the location of windows and other demolition detritus.  (See picture below.)

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Then, a month or so ago, after all the roofing and windows were in, the wall dividing the “old” house and the “new” house was busted down.  We finally  after we saw the “new part” — that approximately 5-foot addition to the “old” house — but we still couldn’t visualize a possible layout.

Our first glimpse.

Our first glimpse of the 2-ft. addition and the 2-ft pantry space.

Nothing seemed to work.  By fits & starts we moved through a preliminary kitchen design (thanks to our ever-patient Home Depot kitchen designers).  The U-shaped main part of the kitchen (where the cooktop, sink, & double oven are) was pretty much set.  Only minor tweaks remained.  It was that run of cabinets next to it and a low, desk-like work counter opposite that that was the sticky wicket.

I always wanted a pantry, but our first design seemed unworkable.  It featured a a long, skinny pantry space that had constricted access to where the shelves would be.  We worked with our architect to come up with alternative designs for that area.

Our penultimate design was not too satisfactory. Beause the original plan’s pantry was difficult to access, we eliminated it totally, eliminated the wall framing it, and substituted the pantry cabinet.  Well, that sufficied, but it did not satisfy, know what I mean?

During that day’s site visit, I had made an offhand comment about orienting the pantry 90° from the original design. But none of us pursued this at the time. I fretted about that darn pantry cabinet all evening and into the night.  So I sat down the next morning and worked on trying to define that small space (approximately 100″ x 84″ x 100″).  It was like a breakthrough! An epiphany!

Have a look at the PDF file (linked below) to see the new design for the portion of the kitchen that was giving us such fits:

KitchenPlan 4-28-13

I think we’ve bridged the gap, busted through the impasse, and now have a winner design.

(I’ll send pictures of the finished product.)

Stay tuned for more updates on the project.

Taking a Walk & Going Upstairs

Second in a series about building our new house.

Our New House

Our New House (R-to-L is: Laundry room, bathroom, 2nd bedroom, entry (bump-in), kitchen, great room, entry (hidden in this picture), garage). Matt’s office is above the great room.

The day we’ve waited for: being able to walk from one end of our new home to the other.

My husband Matt and I are adding a new addition to an existing house, and the contractors left the adjoining wall intact until just last week.  Extensive work had been done on the old part and the new part was constructed after that was done.  The photo above shows the old portion with new siding (except for a small part with is still the green stucco board).

So, Matt and I “took a walk” from the old house down to the new section. (“Down,” because the Great Room will be “sunken,” separated from the kitchen/dining room by 1 or 2 steps.) It was great to finally get a sense of the final sweep of the house. It was also a relief to not need to use  a 2×12 plank to get up into the Great Room.  (I don’t like heights — particularly when coupled with narrow walkways; but I needed helping hands to go up & down the plank, even though it was not particularly high.)

A week later I visited the site.  By then the stairway to the 2nd floor had been installed, so I was able to see Matt’s office upstairs and walk across the passageway from his office to the storage area above the garage, (an area affectionately dubbed “the Bonus Room”. We don’t have a basement, so most of our long-ish term storage will be above the garage.) The “Bonus Room” is huge.  It is above a 2-car garage that has had an additional 5 or so feet added to the rear. So, yes, we can store a fair amount up there.

Here’s the passageway:

Not-So-Secret Passageway

Not-So-Secret Passageway

Here’s the back half of the “Bonus Room.” (My camera was acting up during the “photo shoot” Tuesday; so I actually didn’t get a panoramic photo of the Bonus Room.)

Bonus Room (well, only 1/2 of it)

Bonus Room (well, only 1/2 of it)

That’s all for now.  Coming soon:  Designing the kitchen.


As I mentioned in my last post, when this saga began I decided to record the progress with photos and videos.   You can see them in my Flickr set.  I will keep adding until the project is completed.

New Category, New Home, New Experiences

Well, critical mass has been reached, so it’s time to blog about it.

All the walls & roofing are up* for our new house!

We bought a house last summer and are having it renovated. The house was a nominal 3-bedroom house — “nominal,” because the 3rd bedroom was approximately the size of a postage stamp.

Among other shortcomings, the kitchen needed to be redone, there was no garage, and there wasn’t sufficient room for activities we like to engage in.

So the answer was to build an addition that would give us an informal gathering place (a.k.a “Great Room”), a guest bedroom, a garage, and a quiet place for my husband to work when he’s telecommuting.

Because of the relative shallowness of rocks in the area, we could not dig a basement, not without blasting anyway.  Doing so was out of the question both financially as well as to prevent any damage to the existing house.  Soooo, we also needed to create lots of storage space above ground in the new structure.

We worked extensively with our architect to wring every last bit of space out of the design. Although the house is on 2.1/4 acres, we didn’t want the house to be too big.  Construction began in the fall on renovating the existing structure and beginning prep work for the new addition and garage.

So now we have actual vertical and horizontal spaces.  Most of the roof sections are covered now. (Well, only a few were left to cover yesterday. They probably are all covered today.)

There are so many things to do with the new house (pick appliances, paint, floor coverings, etc., etc., etc.). We need to get our current home ready for sale, which involves major decluttering and dealing with collections (such as approximately 60 linear feet of books — and those are just the ones in common areas, our individual home offices are another story).

When this saga began, I decided to record the progress with photos and videos.   You can see them in my Flickr set.  I will keep adding until the project is completed.

*UPDATE:  I just heard from my future neighbor who reports that, probably because of the windy conditions at the site, the roofing is NOT yet completed.