Week Two Remodel Update: August 10-16

Progress: On Monday, I met with IKEA kitchen representatives at Casa Contour to design our kitchen. Our architect, and many friends of ours that are architects, strongly encouraged us to use IKEA for our kitchen cabinets. Noting the great design and quality of the cabinets, it was an easy sell for John. I, however, was dubious. I mean…IKEA? However, after doing a lot of research, the idea really grew on me. The proof will be in the end product, but so far I have been pleased with everything.

We spent four hours together on Monday, measuring, pouring over options and making design decisions. Okay, they did they work and I made all of the decisions. Just Kidding. Well, sort of. Being at the house for several hours did give me an opportunity to brainstorm and strategize for our new space. It also gave me a chance to take lots of pictures of the rooms and to make notes about what organizational items and furniture we will need.

Thanks to computers and software, the design process was seamless. My contacts at IKEA were able to create a design template and develop plans during our time together. I was able to see our new kitchen plans in 3D before the folks from IKEA left Casa Contour. It was such a neat process. Also, they were able to show me what my options would look like in real time. I also really appreciated their honest feedback about ways to streamline the kitchen and to make it more efficient. I guess you could say I learned a lot about kitchens on Monday. I had some ideas and pictures pulled for inspiration, and the ladies from IKEA were helpful in making that vision a reality. To be clear, the appointment and design appointment were for the external components, the next steps include finalizing the design, visiting IKEA again to make more decisions about the internal components (lights, organizational features, slow close options, etc.) and ordering the necessary components. Here’s the current state of the kitchen:

kitchen 2


Here are two other shots of the kitchen/breakfast room, pre-flood remediation…

Contour Kitchen

Contour Breakfast Room

Clearly we have a lot of work in front of us. All the kitchen cabinets will be rebuilt, along with the kitchen island. We will remove the columns on the island and remove the beam above. Basically, we are opening everything up. We are also discarding all of the current appliances, except the SubZero fridge and freezer – those are all mine! We are also getting rid of the over-sized chandelier – it isn’t our taste, it’s too large and we have something else in mind.We are also replacing the flooring (throughout the house) and eliminating the bulky black/white cabinets/counter and shelves in the breakfast room. We will replace these items with a sleek, modern buffet and wall art above.

On Tuesday, my Dad spent 3 hours at our new home doing yard work. Now that he is retired, my Dad really enjoys these types of projects. I should add that I knew nothing about this work until I returned from a day trip to Austin. If I had, I would have visited him bearing gifts of Gatorade, water and cold towels. But, it should be noted that my Dad is amazing and we are so grateful for all of his help. You can’t really tell from the pictures, but there is a massive pile of debris on our driveway now.

shrub Collage

On Wednesday, Dad was back at the house for 3 more hours of work. We love him.

On Thursday, we met with our architect (Kathy) for two hours. We poured over details and ideas for our home. Specifically, we were discussing plans for our living room/den, master suite, stairs/railings, front door/entrance and exterior paint colors. It was exhausting, yet exciting. We should have some drawings to consider next week. We also met with a tree company to get quotes for some significant tree/shrub removal. My Dad wanted to do it, but due to the scale of the trees/shrubs, we think it’s a job for the pros.

Dad was back at it on Friday. He did some terrific work and is really making a difference on our yard. I visited him twice, bearing cold water, Gatorade and Whataburger for lunch. I visited the house later in the day to take some measurements in the laundry room.

John and my Dad had another workday today. The debris pile is even larger and our yard looks much less jungle-y.

Details: Our contractor got permits from the City of Houston this week and we are now clear for our work to begin. When will get a permit from our HOA, once the need arises.

We are considering keeping the wallpaper in the bathrooms upstairs. It’s kind of groovy – but in a super fun way. We are obviously going to replace the padded toilet seats (!), but I kind of like the period-appropriate wall covering. The bathrooms (and the entire house, really) are in mint condition. It seems a shame to demolish something so well preserved. We shall see. We are also replacing the carpet in the bathrooms with tile and are replacing the toilets. We will eventually replace the counter-tops in the jack-and-jill bathroom. Amen.

bathroom up Collage

Purchases: Cabinet organizers from Container Store for the laundry room. Yes.

Challenges: We are close to having final decisions about some new pieces of furniture for our living room, but we aren’t there yet. I have looked at sooooo many couches lately.

Wins: Our vision for the house is becoming clearer as we further discuss things with our architect. Also, my Dad is making our yard look great!

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