1. Go on a time when most people would not, say 7pm on a Friday night or 9am Monday morning. Do not, I repeat attempt to talk to the kitchen designer staff on a Saturday or Sunday. Poking hot poison filled needles into eyeballs is better than the madhouse scene that is a Saturday at IKEA. Friday mornings are apparently a prime time as well.
  2. Research and poke around looking at the kitchens you really like. Don’t expect someone to show you each individual ones. Or have other people waiting for the designers to be free want to throw you into a wardrobe and lock the doors.
  3. Don’t sit down with your private interior designer and Ikea coffee in the middle of the kitchen planning computers and spend 3 hours obsessing over every detail of your $7,000 kitchen. If you can afford to hire a private designer, why are you at IKEA? It will make your neighboring kitchen planners envision throwing you into a GRUNDAL shelving system.
  4. Pack a lunch, or eat first, you’ll be waiting awhile.
  5. Remember that your house may not have any numbers, so look foolish attempting to explain that its a really a house, but there are no numbers for delivery, then just explain you’ll have a sign.
  6. Note that if you order custom countertops, the price will jump considerably. Go back to the IKEA countertops.
  7. Realize that you’ll have to assemble the 65 boxes that are coming in five days.
  8. Panic about the 65 boxes that are coming in five days.
  9. Make a choice about the knobs, because you’ll have to drill holes for all of the them. If its too much of  decision, wonder if you really need them anyway, envision macguvering handles from duct tape.
  10. Debate about the knobs.
  11. Go back to Ikea and look at knobs. Panic about the cabinets that are coming in three days.
  12. Rinse and repeat.


photo (1)So the only part about ripping out all of the walls, floors, shingles, bathroom, kitchen, appliances, electrical, insulation and more is that you have quite a bit of trash collected up. This weekend was gorgeous, so we set to work cleaning up the yard as best we could. We have one dumpster completely filled and the second one is standing empty for more trash. The house is getting ready for vinyl siding, as you can see by the photo above.

My dog has been helping, as we have discovered an extensive network of groundhog burrows throughout the yard. They have no fear of us, and calmly walk about their business in the middle of the construction zone, content in their yearly forecasting lies. Gumby is now on groundhog patrol 24/7.

photo (2)

photo (3)

Got back from a business trip and my brother-in-law and brothers had been so busy patching and mudding the drywall.  they also replaced the very bowing front columns.

I went to Vermont for work this week, and I had a great time connecting with friends and co-workers.

The only flaw in the plan was that my little tiny city car hit a deep rut in the VERY MUDDY roads of the mountainside where I was staying. I own a Toyota Matrix, and while I usually love my car, they have all of these cheap plastic bumpers that make the car apparently more stylish. Yeah. Anyway, they have a habit of disconnecting when I connect with curbs, mountain roads and the occasionally misplaced snowbanks. Usually they pop right in, but this time, I could not get them to snap back in. Finally I checked the underside and there was clumps of mud clinging to the bumper weighing it down. After I made some sort of trowel like structure with my hands to unearth the giant clumps, I was able to snap the bumper back in place.



Things I have learned from living with my parents for the past few months. Keep in mind that I am 38 years old, and have been on my own since about 22, when I graduated college.

  1. Having an office in 1970s paneling will elicit comments from co-workers on Skype.
  2. The vintage colonial shutters are really annoying to let light in the room.
  3. 4:00PM is way too early to eat dinner, but apparently it is the perfect time for retirees.
  4. My mother believes that dyer sheets are evil, and I am still trying to get used to clothing that is always slightly stiff. And itchy.
  5. That is taking into account that I can do my own laundry. My mother keeps taking all of my dirty clothes before I can do a wash, so I appear to always be wearing the same clothes.
  6. I cannot also get them to realize that gluten is found in ALL pasta.
  7. My dog detests the dustmop. I don’t think he was ever confronted with one before, since I always just um. used the vacumn on the floor.
  8. The house phone is ALWAYS ringing. If confronted with a cell phone, the appropriate response is to apparently shout into the flipped out part. The house phone is the preferred method of communication.
  9. Since I own a computer, I know everything about them.
  10. My dog apparently is not fed enough. I feed him, then my father feeds him, and then my mother makes him gravy since he doesn’t appear to like his dog food. The dog has become a master manipulator of the situation, and now waits for the gravy train.
  11. Mail can’t be left on the mailbox for the postman to pick up, since it might blow away. You have to take it to a blue box. I’ve so been doing that wrong, but then again, I can’t remember when I last mailed anything.
  12. That I have really missed seeing them every day when I was living in Vermont.

So we have been working on the house innards. That is what I am calling the pieces of fluff and insulation. Not very exciting, but will make the house nice and snug in the wintertime. Things are finally coming together in the little shack of horrors.  The bathroom vanity is also put together, and after that experience, I am NOT looking forward to putting together the IKEA kitchen cabinets.

Tomorrow’s agenda is DRYWALL.

I’ve been busy picking out flooring too!

The future bedroom
The future bedroom

The future bedroom


Of course as a designer, I’ve already picked out color swatches for wall paint!