Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Night Photos: House Renovations v. 2.1.6 (Sidewalks, Decks, Blinds, and a Real Office!)

House RenovationsToday marks seven months since I started my house renovations. Of course things take a bit longer when you change the plan in the middle and decide to tear off your teeny-tiny office and add a big new part on to the back of your house. I won't say I haven't ever been discouraged, but mostly I've been feeling grateful, and all day today I've been looking around thinking, "I can't believe I live here." There are a lot of photos this time, since I'm trying to keep a record and there's been a lot of progress. I'm starting with something very hard to photograph, but I wanted to show the blinds on my back door which make it so I can turn around and see my garden while I'm at the desk. The other window shows the Hunter-Douglas blinds, which are turning out to be great for photos.

I'm slow reporting about it, but I did get cement, after having a tiny cement strip and dirt here for nearly 20 years! This sidewalk goes along the east side of my house.

Here's the sidewalk the next morning, and if you look at the back of the photo, you can see where the new part of the house is.

I also got a new sidewalk up to my front door, which I love since my front sidewalk has been cracked and broken for about 10 years.

Here's the new sidewalk the next morning, seen from the porch. That pile of broken concrete is gone now, and the new sidewalks look great.

Over the last few weeks the lower deck has started to appear. It's been fun coming home each day and seeing a bit more deck.

That deck is now pretty much finished, and here you see where it meets the new sidewalk. Good planning, huh?

This view shows you how high the lower deck is. There are steps coming down to a path to my garden, and there will be raised beds for tomatoes running along the front of this deck on each side of the steps. (That will be next year's tomatoes, since it's too late to move them this year, but the new spot has total sun and I'll have a drip irrigation system for the tomato boxes. Very exciting, huh?)

Here's the stoop on the new deck, with the open door that leads into my office. If you're a long-time reader you might remember the doormat with the herb planters, which is even more perfect for the back door!

I wanted to show how the lower deck connects to the upper covered deck, with just one step up. As you can see, the covered deck is buried in contractor stuff and a bunch of things from my house that are moved out so the older part of the house can get painted.

I'm going to show the finished office when it's all decorated, but here is my new desk and chair (and Twitter on the computer screen, which I thought was pretty funny when I looked at the photos.)

And here is where I take photos of food (or at least I would be taking photos if I hadn't been busy for three days packing up all my possessions so the painters could do their magic.) I'll work on getting a better shot of this when I show the finished office, but it's a wonderful place to take photos.

Finally, this is what you'd see if you walked in my front door right now: every room with the contents in the middle covered with plastic, and painting supplies everywhere. The ceilings got painted today, and the painters come back Monday to do the walls and then trim. I'm painting the whole house the same color as the office, and my house was last painted in 1998, so I'm really looking forward to having clean new walls, doors, and floorboards again!

If you've read this far, thanks for taking an interest in the updates which I know I 'll love having to help me remember the process when the house is done. (If anyone is interested, you can see my whole set of House Renovations Photos on Flickr or use the label House Ronovations to see all the posts.)

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More to Chew On:


  1. Hi Kalyn,

    I found your site several years ago when I was looking for some information about freezing herbs (thank you, btw), began reading it regularly for the recipes (lost 36 lbs on the SBD, thanks to your amazing cache of SBD-friendly and delicious recipes...again, thank you!), and continue reading it to this day because it's a beautiful and entertaining read.

    I just wanted to wish you well in your newly renovated and painted home!!! Best of luck with the rest of the renovations and thank you for the inspiration you provide on so many fronts!!

  2. Jessica, congratulations on the 36 pounds! So glad you are still enjoying the blog. Thanks for the good wishes. I am so happy with the house and do feel truly blessed.

  3. Oh this sounds excellent, kalyn! I am so envious with you. Our apartment is so tiny compared to yours!

  4. Wow, can't beat that above comment! That's really neat.

    And your new office ... just incredible isn't it. Know just what you're feeling when you think I can't believe I live here! How wonderful to get the whole house painted! Soon you can start a settling!!! Great to be getting so close.
    (glorious spot for taking photos!)

  5. What a lot of work, you did! I wish you a lot of inspiration too!

  6. Everything is looking beautiful...congratulations..know you are very happy. Guess the long wait is worth how much you will enjoy it and how nice it looks. So happy for you. It's great!

  7. Dear Kalyn,
    I'm so happy for you! Your new spaces are lovely and I think that your paint color is fabulous! It's so exciting and fresh~ just like your new life will certainly be.
    As a fellow teacher I'd like to tell you that you have inspired me. I stumbled upon your site a few months ago and enjoyed reading it but never took that first step toward weight loss. Now, thankfully, I am ready to begin the journey. I have a quote posted in front of my desk that reads, "Instead of thinking about where you are think about where you want to be." The beautiful site, delicious recipes, and inspirational comments you have created for all of us are some of the tools that will help me achieve my goal.
    God bless you,

  8. Anh, just remember I had to work 30 years to get a house this nice!

    Tanna, I am thrilled to have my whole house freshly painted all at once! What a luxiry. The painters are doing a beautiful job too (much better than when I painted the kitchen and old office myself a few years ago. It will be so great to start putting it back together.

    Sophie, thanks. Yes, it has been a LOT of work. I would never have undertaken this much work if I hadn't found such a great contractor. I trust him completely and he's doing a beautiful job.

    Margaret, this is Kwal-Howell paint and the color is Burma. I'm loving the color which is a bit lighter than it looks in most of the photos.

    Eileen, thanks so much. Yes, it has been worth waiting for.

  9. carole with an "e" in NYCJune 13, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    I have been following your Friday night photos since the beginning and truly congratulate you for your stamina thru all of this, especially over the winter. It looks great. Enjoy.

  10. Vicki and Carole, we were writing our comments at the same time!

    Vicki, There are so many things I love about blogging, but getting comments like yours is definitely one of the things that makes it feel worthwhile. Good luck on the diet! You can do it, just take it one day at a time. Check in once in a while and let me know how you're doing. (BTW, I'm doing phase one myself right now due to a bit too much end-of-year celebrating and I'm remembering again how you really do lose that craving for high carb and sugary things when you do phase one.)

    Carole, thank you! I admit it's been a challenge, especially keeping the blog going in the midst of constant disorganization (I hate not having things organized the way I like them!) Luckily my kitchen hasn't been affected too much until now, and the painters promise only one day with the kitchen out of commission.

  11. Looking good! Looking great!


  12. Wow! It is really coming along.

    I love the area for the raised beds and your gorgeous office space. I am so jealous of your photo area!

  13. Congrats!

    We are just beginning the process of getting bids for some projects.

    Having it all finished sounds more fun!

  14. Paz, thanks.

    Pam, I do feel lucky. The up/down blinds make it so easy to manage the light.

    Greg, it's far from finished but the end is in sight. I feel lucky to have a contractor I trust to manage the whole job for me, so I haven't had to worry about getting bids and dealing with subcontractors.

  15. It's so nice to see the construction progress each week, Kalyn. You must be so happy to finally be in your new office!

  16. Hi kalyan thanks a lot for sharing your photos with us..its just so cool and nice apartment nice room..I always wish my rooms like this.I love your office and the place where you take photograph ,I wanted to see your kitchen decorated with nice kitchen faucets and sinks .Hope you will share that too.Regards

  17. I love seeing photos on how all the renovations are going... can't wait to see it all finished (especially the raised beds)! Best wishes for the rest of the renovations. :)

  18. Christine, very very happy!

    Marc, I will show the entire house when it's all done, but the kitchen isn't changing that much except the wall color will be a little different. (The original part of my house was remodeled in 2998.) You can see my kitchen and the old office here if you're interested.

    Liz, thanks. The raised beds will be the same wood and same shape as the ones in my garden if you want to see them.

  19. That shot of your office is making me smile -- you're all "moved in!" So jealous of your photog area. I have to use my dining room table and put it up, then take it all down. Needless to say, I haven't been doing night shots lately. You're house is really looking nice!

  20. It's been very fun watching the progress of your new blog headquarters. You're not going to know what to do with yourself when the painters are gone and you're really moved in completely.

  21. Hi Kalyn, been lurking in the background for quite awhile now. You inspired me to get back on SB, which is really the best for my diabetes, now with your Friday Night photos, you've inspired me to move forward with the renovation of my office which I've been putting off for...ummm...5 years or so. Probably one of the few guys who read your blog or at least it seems that way from the other comments but you have one of the better blogs out there and I've used it as an example to some of my friends who have thought about doing something similar with their special interests (not food or cooking). Keep up the good work and am anxious to see what the winter will look like from your office windows. Because it's so bright and airy looking will keep you in a good mood through all the gray days.

  22. Oh dear, that comment above should have said the original part of my house was remodeled in 1998, not 2998! But you knew that, didn't you?

    Kellypea, thanks! Not quite all moved in (and right now I'm sleeping in the office during the painting!) But loving the new office.

    Carolyn, I will miss them, to tell the truth. I love the guys who are working on my house. Already have a project in mind for next summer (if I can get enough money saved!

    BillB, thanks for commenting. I do get a few e-mails from guys but never thought about them being shy to comment. Glad to know that the recipe are helpful for you, and go for it with the renovations, you won't regret it!

  23. oh kalyn i have been missing updating myself on these posts. looks great and it must be great to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  24. Wonderful! I love seeing a plan come together! I wish I could see mine coming together. All things in time. I planted tomatoes along the fence this year... 7 plants. There's hope!

  25. Perfect renovations, the change of being hardworking and sacrifices. Keep up the good work.

  26. I love your office furniture. Who makes it and where did you get it?

    I so much enjoy reading your blog and making your recipes. You are a treasure!!!

  27. Everything but the chair is built into the office. The chair was from Office Max.


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