Starting way back in January of this year, we began a total remodel of our house. It was time. When we moved into our brand new home 18 years ago, we couldn’t afford too many upgrades and had to settle for only two things beyond the builder standards–the ‘upgraded’ cabinets and the useless built-in in the family room.
We moved out of our house and into an AirBnb with two PODS (portable storage) hidden in San Marcos somewhere. It wasn’t fun but it had to be done–things were falling apart, breaking, and were beyond their useful life. Now that the remodel is over and I’ve had some time to live with my choices, here are the top 5 things I love about my new-to-me house (I wrote what I hate about my remodel here):
5.) The useless windows in my daughter’s room were changed out to ones that open. They have cranks and let the fresh air in. Prior to the new windows, they were decorative. Unfortunately, they were at the front of the house and could have provided a cross breeze had they been openable many years ago. Now that they open, they also look great from the street below.
4.) I love our cupboard handles and cup pulls. They are pewter and were a complete splurge but one I do not regret. They bring me joy and that was one of the things I mentioned to the designer: I only wanted things that bring me joy every time I look at them. The pewter pulls bring me joy.
3.) On a particular wall in the family room, we had a built-in and squished over to the side near an adjacent wall was a fireplace. It was the most awkward built-in and fireplace placement ever. The built-in wasn’t centered to the room and the fireplace was in the corner where nobody could sit in front of it. Besides, every time we used the fireplace, it would send so much smoke into the house that I would have to open all the windows, thereby making it useless for warmth. In the place of the built-in and the fireplace is another built-in but the new built-in has drawers, cabinets, a giant area to hold a big screen TV, and outside of the built-in are lighted niches with wood shelves. When we watch TV in the evenings, I sometimes only turn on the niches while the rest of the house is dark.
2.) Our old slider out to the patio has been replaced with a beautiful French door with two sidelights and three transoms at the top. The dark spot in the kitchen has been opened up with a whole wall of windows. Once the outside remodel has been completed, my French doors will open up to a new patio with a view of a fire bowl, a concrete seat, and the view of the valley below.
1.) The final thing I love so much is the stove. I finally have a chef’s stove/oven combo instead of the two separate pieces I had before. My cooktop never lit so every time I wanted it to light, I would have to find a lighter. Also, it was the smallest cooktop ever created. I could not have more than two large pots on at once. If I was lucky, I could throw in one very small sauce pan. Now I have room for six large pans and each burner lights up as soon as I turn it on. What a joy! Imagine that–being excited because one’s stove turns on! I’m still getting used to the oven. I did like my other oven pretty well. I knew how it cooked like the back of my hand. I could smell precisely when things were done. My new oven is taking some getting used to but I’ve got the time so I know that’s what it will take.
Remodeling is not for everyone. If I had to do it all over again, I would have moved.