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The renovation begins

Home Renovation Chaos – So It Begins!

As many of you know, we just had our fifth baby. FIFTH. Crazy town over here. I am not sure what’s crazier – five kids or our current home renovation chaos.

For a couple of years we had been talking about adding another bedroom to our house and making better use of our family space downstairs but when we knew Baby Cinco was on the way, a fire was lit under our butts. Home renovation chaos seemed totally acceptable to get us some much-needed space.

Baby flexing
Baby Cinco – 12 Weeks … Never misses a meal.

We knew if that we didn’t move ahead with this project before the baby arrived, we never would. My poor parents would continue to come visit and be stuck in bunkbeds – separate bunkbeds. The situation was getting desperate.

Knock It Down! 

For those of you who have done a big renovation, you will laugh out loud when I tell you that I thought this was a linear process that would probably take about a year. Draw some plans, find a builder, build. Done. Right? Wrong. So, so wrong. We love our builder. In fact, we met with him for the first time almost three years ago. He basically told me that I was a borderline hoarder. I appreciated the brutal honesty.

By the time we had circled back around to get a few bids on our project and meeting with him again, we had been working with an architect for almost an entire year. A year! And, truthfully, I had about reached my architect tolerance limit and was ready to cut bait and start knocking things down.

The renovation begins
The renovation begins … knock it down.

So far, this project could not have been smoother. Why not knock down a major portion of your house and start a six month home renovation nine months pregnant? Many people thought we were crazy. And we are. But I think our level of tolerance for chaos is probably a little higher than others. As my husband likes to point out, we are one child away from a reality TV show. Truth.

Keeping the kitchen basically untouched!

My biggest concern as we moved ahead with our plans was that my kitchen would primarily be left untouched so I could keep cooking. Since earlier last year, I had been working on a separate project to update the kitchen island (more on that later!) and that finally came to happen about halfway through the middle of our bigger renovation. I’ll save that story for later … it’s still a work in progress. We lost the use of the kitchen island for a few days but we were otherwise fine.

kitchen reno
Waiting for a new island! What my original kitchen looked like…

Here’s a little sneak peek at my kitchen island project … It seats 5 kids. FIVE! All of them. At the same time! Can you see where they took out the window and put a door into my new pantry??

Kitchen island
New kitchen island … in progress

As we near the homestretch of the inside portion of our project, the sanctity of my kitchen is becoming a little less stable. I lost my kitchen today to a fab team of painters. It looks AMAZING. So worth it. And I will lose my kitchen for 6 days while the floors are being refinished to match up with the addition. Six days. I can’t even wrap my mind around that yet. Stay tuned.

Choosing Paint Colors is Hard! Get help!

But, truly, so far, so good. I have almost made it to the other side of PAINT COLOR HELL. H – E – double hockey sticks. Choosing paint colors is not fun. Not fun at all. Let’s just say I confidently picked colors for seven rooms and the biggest one, the family room, was SO WRONG. Ugh. As in, my husband texted me a picture while I was at the beach with the kids and asked if I really intended to paint the room sunshine yellow.

home renovation progress
Let there be light! My favorite day was when they opened up the plywood wall into our new space!

Nope. Not what I was going for. Fingers crossed that my new, less yellow color looks great on the walls tomorrow. Can you see that tiny color square I have on the wall? What was I thinking? I have one more color to figure out and then I can move on to planning my pantry. A pantry!!! A PANTRY! I have never had a pantry before. (Click here to see our Pantry Sneak Peek!)

To help keep track of paint colors for future reference, I created a little chart in Google Sheets.

paint color list
Paint Colors!
tall ceilings home reno
Tall ceilings! Can you see that paint square on the wall? Oops.

So… Now it’s your turn! How many of you have braved a big renovation before? Who has a pantry?? Help me! I would appreciate any and all tips and I promise a new recipe as soon as possible.

Here’s an update on our dining room renovation! 

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

14 thoughts on “Home Renovation Chaos – So It Begins!”

  1. Adding a pantry to our small kitchen was a game changer! We took am area previously occupied by the washer dryer, which we relocated to the basement, and made a lovely pantry/bar area. It now houses all the liquor, a “fun fridge”, food, and the microwave. And with glass door on the outside and lit by LEDs inside, it makes the kitchen feel larger than before. We also ditched the island, it didn’t work for the space, and added a banquet.

    1. Because the pantry was an afterthought to our original plans, I don’t think I planned it out well enough! I did ask for an electrical outlet but I wish I had put it in a different spot. We also want to put a drink fridge and liquor in there. Game changer. Definitely!

  2. Hopefully we’ll be joining the crazy party in a couple months. We’re not living in the house during the reno, just moving to a two bedroom condo with out family of 5. Ha ha ha, have to laugh to keep my sanity. Can’t wait to see your finished project.

    1. Megan! I am so excited to see your plans. People thought we were nuts to stay in the house for all of this but it was nice to watch it progress in person. The kids loved the arrival of the trucks every morning at 7… me, not so much.

  3. Congratulations on your new sweet baby addition and your amazing renovation! Wow…what a project – but will be so worth it when its all completed! Luv that kitchen island you have right now and that it will seat all of your babies. 😉

    1. Thanks, Cristina! I pinch myself every time I sit down at the island with all my littles. Love it. Makes all the chaos so worth it.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! How great that your husband is able to do the work on your home! I grew up with my parents constantly working on home renovation projects and I loved it. My husband and I don’t seem to have the talents necessary to get much more done around here than painting and gardening…

  4. Congrats on your new baby – and I have to admit, I love seeing home renovation posts! We’re starting some updates soon on our kitchen (nothing as extensive as yours!) so it’s always great to see what other people are doing… Thanks for sharing!

    1. I LOVE seeing other people’s projects, too! It’s great that I actually get to put all these years of web-stalking to good use. 😉

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