Friday, March 20, 2015

Into the Dust Pit and Back Out the Other Side

It is more difficult than you would think, living in a house that's going through a full-out remodel. If you have the means, I would highly recommend moving out of your home, if you ever take this on in the future. Our house is constantly dusty; anything you wash gets dirty within minutes, and we don't have a working kitchen or even a kitchen sink. I have a whole new level of appreciation for deep sinks with a proper faucet and garbage disposal.

We just made it through a week of grinding the countertops, which created an atmosphere in the house close to what I imagine working in a quarry feels like. Despite our best efforts to tarp off the kitchen and blanket our belongings, our entire house and our very own lungs got coated in a thick layer of concrete dust. 

Our kitchen looks ghostly with all the plastic and tarps up!

We had to live only in the master bedroom (due to all the dust), and I sort of wish we had drugged the cats for those few days, since all 6 of us were cooped up in the room together. It was impossible to use the toaster oven, and we did carry out and fast food, sitting on the floor of our bedroom, eating off a cardboard box. I kept reminding myself it was like camping, but without the beauty of nature, it's hard to keep a positive attitude.

But after a few days, we made it through the grinding and polishing, and then we moved on to tile, which was considerably less dirty. I picked this beautiful ice white glass subway tile, which makes the kitchen look incredibly clean. The picture below doesn't quite do it justice, but when the whole kitchen is done, I hope to get a better shot!

Mike celebrating after day 1 of tile.

The empty horizontal spaces are where the open kitchen shelving will go. I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but because we found mold and had to ditch the old kitchen cabinets, that left us with an extra cost we didn't anticipate in the remodel. The solution? We only purchased lower cabinets, and on top, we're putting open kitchen shelving. It works perfectly for us for several reasons: we love the open airy feel, it updates the traditional style of this 90s kitchen, the kitchen feels bigger, and our everyday dishes are all white, which makes them ideal for displaying!

Adin from Artisan Tile laying the last tile on the back wall.

Adin knocked out the tiles in 3 days, and then it was on to building the shelves. Mike found a blog online where this girl built her own shelves, and he decided to go ahead and make ours!

The frames for the shelves and a glimpse of the unsealed counters.

After all the kitchen insanity, and because the office looks like the picture below, we really felt a serious need to organize and clean.

One day, hopefully not too far in the future, this will be my office.

In a way, chaos in your house reflects the chaos in your life and mind. There is a real level of peace I get from not only organizing my belongings, but paring them down. One $99 closet organizer and an afternoon will buy you this sort of inner calm:

This is everything we've been wearing the last couple months!

Sure, there's like 2 more boxes and 3 more bags of clothes, but I was pretty happy to find that we've pared down quite a bit from our previous lives, and we picked out even more things we can donate. I think I jettisoned about half my closet once I quit corporate office life. I still have my collection of LBD (little black dresses) over there on the left, though. There's a level of practicality that speaks to keeping those around.

We're hoping to get out of the house more this coming week - we miss our nightly walks and just exploring around Oregon. Not only do our lungs need some fresh air, but spring is here, whether we're ready or not! Usually, the last frost is in May here in Bend, and I'm a little bit concerned for our plum tree. Should it freeze again, the blossoms will fall off and we won't get any fruit this year. Sad face (for potential lost plums and climate change).

Enjoying the beautiful plum blossoms while we can...

Mike's niece is coming up on Tuesday and we are so excited to show her around our little town. More to come!