It's been a minute since I've been able to properly update you on our new house, and that's mostly because things haven't been going according to plan (but what has these days?). We were supposed to start construction in January, and that simply didn't happen. But here's the thing... I'm totally okay with it since it's given us more time to truly settle into our new home and fall even more in love with it. Needless to say, home planning is constantly on my mind, but I want to be better about sharing updates with all of you, even when they're non-updates. I sat down with the Editorial Team last week, and am sharing their top ten questions about our home update below:
I had been told a million times before we started that it almost always takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you expect, but it's impossible to know for certain until you're actually in the process.
We'd initially thought that we could get things started in the first week of January, but that quickly became an unrealistic deadline as G and I continued to add more to the scope of the work. The funny thing is: For as prompt of a person as I am, I've actually welcomed the additional time to get settled in the house and learn about the things I want to change most. I've actually enjoyed having a little extra time to get ready for the renovation, which will (hopefully!) begin in the next couple of weeks.
Yes, lots! I'm nervous about actually starting and living through a construction project. I did it with my parents in seventh grade, and though it was very cool to come home to new changes every day and pretend that we were camping for six months sans kitchen, I wasn't the one dealing with the financial obligations associated with the work. This time, I know that I'm responsible for spinning the narrative; for making the chaos feel like an adventure for Sloan.
We're really fortunate that we're working with an interior designer whose work I've admired for a long time and whom I really trust, so that definitely assuages some fears. That being said, any time you're committing to such massive changes, you want to make sure you've made the right decisions, especially when it comes to things that will cost a lot more money or take more time. It's nerve-racking to have faith that you're making the right choices for your family at present and in the future.
I'm absolutely the most enthusiastic about having a kitchen that feels like us. Currently, the color scheme is a lot darker than we'd like and the cabinetry feels a bit dated. I look forward to having a much lighter, airier kitchen. We've decided to remove the built-in desk in our kitchen to make room for another pantry in order to give us the space that allows us to truly be as organized as I've always aspired to be (at least when it comes to shelf-stable foods). We're also installing a coffee station since our caffeine routine is such a huge part of our day. The fridge and stove are swapping, and we're painting the room to match the rest of the house. I couldn't be more excited to see the final product.
I'm also dying to see our custom closet. We're working with a brand I've long admired, so getting to design a closet specific to our needs and big enough to house/organize everything is a dream come true!
Our approach to renovating is actually to tackle all things at once, which, honestly, sounds a little overwhelming. We'll be doing the powder room, kitchen, master bath, and closet all at the same time.
The powder room at our old home was one of my favorite spaces too, so I've really taken my time to think about what we want to do in our new one. While the plans aren't finalized yet, I can promise that it will be fun, especially since the slightly larger size of the room gives us more space to work with.
To start, Katie walked through our old house to see the designs we loved and the ones we wanted to avoid. Then, we sent her tons of inspiration so she could get a better idea of our aesthetic. We then walked through our new home several times to make sense of what would translate well to the new space. From there, our dialogue really picked up. We're constantly talking about what works and what doesn't, and Katie sends news ideas and directions over daily. It's crucial to know what you don't like as much as you do like, and Katie has really helped us navigate that.
All of it depends on the lead times for things like custom furniture, since those can take a lot longer to create. Katie manages the entire process of knowing when we have to place orders—which we've already started—so my part is solely falling in love with the pieces.
I'm not necessarily surprised, but this whole process has confirmed that I'm a very visual person. Whereas G can hear an idea and envision it perfectly, I need visuals to understand how it will look, and to get me on (or off) board with the plan.
Let me start by saying: Sloan absolutely loves our new home. She will sometimes talk about our old place, but she's become so comfortable with the change and is beyond thrilled that she can run around in the new space. When it comes to designing her room, she will certainly be involved, but we have to keep in mind that we're not just designing a room for a five-year-old, but also one for a 7, 9, and 11-year-old. I want the room to grow with her, rather than require that we redo it every few years. Other than that, she's just excited to see the little changes happen. Even the addition of a new rug gets her pumped (and the cats too, unfortunately).
There really haven't been many disagreements, but one of the most difficult decisions is whether to add certain tasks to our renovation. Construction takes long enough, so when you add something on top of an already extensive, running list, it's only increasing time and cost. At the same time, if we're doing work already, it's definitely better to get it all done at once. We're trying to figure out where to cut corners and be efficient, all while still being 100% happy with the house at the end of this process. Our most recent debate has been over the fridge. While it works perfectly fine, we don't love it nearly as much as our old Kitchen-Aid one, so we have to weigh our options between living with a fridge we don't love, or going all-in and purchasing a new one.