Monday, June 27, 2016

Sheep in the Kitchen - Baaah!

       Although there are no sheep to be found on our farm, the kitchen looks more like a barn where  sheep are being sheared.   But before you see that picture, let me back up and show you how the kitchen demo is progressing.  Here is the old kitchen with the lower cabinets, sink, and dishwasher all gone.

        And now with the ceiling and walls gone.

       The wall to the right side of the boys in this picture below is also coming down to open up the kitchen/dining room area.  

        The picture below is the opposite side of the above wall.  Originally this was the outside wall of the house as you can see by the siding on it.  It was closed in to make a mud room, a utility room and the one and only bathroom in the house.

       This area was temporarily made into our stairway to the basement, but this will all change and become part of the kitchen.

      Here is the opposite side of this same wall again after demo. Now you can see the half wall that was built to protect people from falling into the basement directly behind the red ladder.  

 And now for the sheep.
       Notice the white ceiling they are tearing down.  This was originally the outside porch  ceiling.  It's snowing lamb's wool . . .

      Another big step was putting in two huge beams that would hold the weight of the second story and allow us to open up the space between the living room and kitchen.  Here are the guys putting in the first beam.

         I forgot to mention that our contractor Steve, first built a temporary wall  to hold the weight of the second story.  You can see it right behind the large beam the guys are holding up. 

And now the second beam goes up. 

       Putting in the two beams took about 30 minutes and I was exhausted after this job was done.  It is hard to point and click a camera in 95 degree Kansas heat.  And it was so hard not to tickle them when they were all so vulnerable.  I just kept smiling while they kept groaning and sweating.  

Thanks guys for all your hard work!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Kitchen demo!

         We are demoing in Kansas summer heat.  Does it get any worse than this?  Yes, demoing in no air conditioning!  My son and his friend, Drew have been hired by our contractor, Steve,  to demo our kitchen while he works on another project.  Our weather the past few days has started to hit 100's and is expected to continue all next week.  Here are the happy, hardworking guys.

        The entire main floor of our house is in some type of construction phase right now.  The master bathroom floor and shower are being tiled and the living room is ready for new walls. But the east side of our house is the next big remodeling phase.   To give you some perspective on the size of this project here is a side view of the house. The single level  right side of the house  - from where the plywood door is to the second window  will all be torn down,

rebuilt, and re-sided.  The roof line will be changed and extended to cover a new screened in back porch.   The south and east side of the house were at one time a porch that led out to the summer kitchen and were eventually converted into a bathroom, mudroom, and kitchen.  The different levels of floors and ceilings inside will all be made consistent.

        Here is what the kitchen looked  like before demo.       

    And here are some in process demo pictures.

      Upper cabinets are gone!

        I had to show you a picture of the chimney because we have never seen one built on a slant like this.  It will also need to be demoed from the top down.  

       The guys removed the kitchen ceiling and all the insulation above it.  We are going to leave the ceiling open up to the roof line which will make this area feel more spacious.  All of this interior demo is being done so that a crew of men can come finish the exterior demo,  reframe it, and add a roof all within a two-three sunny day period.  This will be necessary to keep the basement from getting flooded if a thunderstorm occurs.
   Here's hoping you're staying cool this summer.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Good Home

Reflections from the farm. . .

            Have you ever had to move away from a home you loved or wished you could put a For Sale sign in the front yard of your current home? 

        When we lived in Washington state, we built our first home on five acres with a beautiful view of the Olympic mountains. It was a small bit of heaven! One of my best friends was even my neighbor.   I still remember when a family member asked me if we were building a custom home? I didn't know how to answer them because I am embarrassed to say, I didn't know what a custom home was, but I soon found out .  Basically a custom home is defined as a one-of-a-kind home.   Then it hit me like a kick in the head that most of the homes in the magazines we look at are pictures of custom built homes. No wonder we always love them so much. They are beautifully landscaped, decorated by interior designers, no amount of expense spared, clean, and perfect.

        Most of us don't live in the custom home world. We can't afford the house of our dreams. But I've realized I still want that perfect home and my desires were fed whenever I got on Pinterest or flipped through home magazines. Our house in Washington was beautiful  and I wouldn't trade that experience of building or the short time we lived in it.  To me it was the "perfect" home and in my mind I would never have another house as beautiful as my mountain home. 

       Recently I listened to a podcast called “The Song of Creation” by Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City that made me think differently about the “perfect” home. He was talking about Genesis 1 where God was doing some heavy duty creating each day and afterwards he always said the same phrase. It wasn't, “Oh man I don't like the way that turned out,” or “it's too small, big, wrong color,” or “I have to start over.” He didn't even say “that's beautiful” or “that's perfect.” He simply said   that "it was good.” I couldn't help but wonder why he didn't say it was perfect, because it was! The only day he said “It was very good,” was the day he made man.

           It made me examine my perfectionistic desires and how I long to copy those beautiful pages in the magazines. If God can be content with good, maybe I can too.  Can I look at the way I  create, design, paint, cook, whatever I do to make my home and life a fun, restful, loving place and say “it is good,” instead of whine because it didn't turn out the way I had pictured it in my head?   Can I see the way I create as special, unique, and okay even if it didn't turn out the way I hoped?

        It  reminded me of artwork that my sons would show me before their little hands had fine motor skills. I still thought it was good,even when they got frustrated with it and threw it in the trash. I loved their little stick figures, battles, soldiers, and tank drawings.  Each drawing was their unique expressions of  art.  It didn't have to be perfect.

         I think our eyes will always be drawn to beauty, color, balance, etc. but I want to learn to be content with a good home and not seek that just out of my reach perfect, custom home. When you stop and think about it, each of our homes really are one-of-a-kind, because we live in them and our decorating style is unique.   A good home is good enough for me, how about you?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Living Room Demo !

        Chip Gaines from HGTV's show Fixer Upper is right.  There is nothing more exciting than demo day.  I loved it when our walls come down.  With our upstairs 95% done and our master bedroom and bath in progress,  it is now time to start work on the living room.  
       Here are a few pictures to remind you what it looked like before demo.  The below picture was taken standing at the front door looking toward the kitchen.  The arch that is covered with wood and the doorway to the right will all be opened up giving us a view into the kitchen.

       And now a picture standing from the arched wall looking toward the front door and the large pocket door which is currently just an opening covered with plastic to keep the dust down. 

       One of the things I love to do is draw out the room design.  Here is one of my simple room layouts I made for our living room.   I use a small grid lined paper and every square equals one square foot.  I did this drawing because I had to figure out where the switches, outlets and lighting would go for this room, which meant I had to figure out where the furniture would go so the lighting would shine where I needed it. 

       I made a copy for myself and our contractor  which was shared with the electricians.  This way we are all on the same page and nothing gets left undone. 

      This is a small living room and I was having a difficult time figuring out where the furniture and television should go.   If you notice on the layout, there is a small bump out on the right side of the drawing.   I wasn't sure what to do with this space until the question popped in my head, "Where would you put your Christmas tree?"  Immediately, I knew it would be in the bump out.  The windows are low here and it would look beautiful from the road.

     Then I found this picture I loved on Pinterest.

            If this were my living room you would be standing in the bump out to take this picture.   My contractor suggested putting a small table and chairs in the bump out which I thought was a great idea.  This way we (or small children) could sit at the table and eat in the living room when it wasn't Christmas time.

           And now onto some demo pictures.
       The wall on the left would be  the bookshelves and TV wall.

      A picture of the bump out standing from where the TV and bookshelf wall would be.

Standing at the front door looking toward the kitchen.

Standing in the bump out looking toward the TV wall.  Stairs are directly behind this wall.

       I hope this helps you get a feeling for the layout of this room.  It will be small and cozy but with the wall into the kitchen all removed it will make this whole area feel bigger.  Steve, our contractor, is working to get this living room insulated, and drywalled, so we can move onto the biggest project yet -  our kitchen, half-bath, mudroom, and laundry room.  

       Currently I am working on staining the barn door for our master bathroom.  Can't wait to show it to you. 

       Every day celebrate something great you did.
                                                                        - Cassie Boorn