Family

Birthday Boy!

My husband is not the same person I married.

For one, I did not know he was so good at demo-ing houses.

He never told me he knew how to build stud walls.

Nor did he share that he could hang drywall…

And mud and tape it.

He knows how to wire a house for electrical.

And he built me a brand new kitchen.

Oh…and he’s also passing all this good stuff on to our son.

Happy birthday babe! You make life fun and you are easy to love!

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The Row House

We can’t just buy a light…that would be WAY too easy!

There is a power struggle that exists between Mark and I when it comes to DIY-ing EVERYTHING in our home.

home renovation ideas

If he had his way, Mark would sketch, design and build EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. in our house.

He would rather live without any light fixtures for a year if it meant that he could take 12 months to craft every single one.

kitchen remodel

I refuse to let him do this, but I had to budge a little when he said his latest idea could be done in a day.

He bought some gas pipe from Home Depot, an Edison bulb and a lamp shade from IKEA.

home renovation ideas

A few hours later, we had our own industrial light fixture above the café table in the kitchen.

home renovation ideas

I almost hate to admit it, but Mark was right…the light is perfect!

It’s much softer than our overhead fixture and I love it in the mornings when I come down to make a cup of tea…I think of my sweet husband every time I turn it on. 🙂

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The Row House

Love, laughter and cake trump renovations

Sometimes you just have to take a break.

So we did.

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Mark and I went out this weekend and had a blast.

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We spent Saturday with family and then I took a nap.

Sunday was dedicated to my mom, grandma, sister and aunts as we celebrated Mother’s Day and my sweetie pie niece’s 1st birthday!

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We did not pick up a hammer or a drill bit or saw.

It was glorious. 🙂

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The Row House

Our rules for a kitchen remodel!

Kitchens sell homes. Period.

Mark and I know if we decide to stay in the rowhouse, rent the rowhouse or sell it…the kitchen could be the make or break room!

These are the rules we’re following…

#1 Keep with the “feel” of the house.

Our home is a modern, industrial space with throwback touches to some of the original features.

home design

For instance, we kept all the original wood doors…just sanded and stained them.

home design

In the kitchen, we’ve got this original built-in pantry cabinet that goes from the floor to the ceiling.

kitchen remodel

We’ll keep it and just spruce it up!

#2 Don’t spend more on the kitchen than the home value can support.

Mark and I are always, ALWAYS thinking about how much money we’ve put into the house and what we think we could sell it for. We never want to put so much in that we’d either break even or only make a small return on our investment.

#3 The kitchen needs to appeal to the majority of people.

Buying a really bold or eccentric backsplash might make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but will most people like that or think it’s weird?

Mark and I are going with clean lines, a light and soft color palette and sleek, modern features that appeal to people who would want to live in a home like ours.

Those are our rules and we’re stickin’ to ’em! 🙂

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The Row House

Holy crap, that took ALL day.

I finally understand why architects, designers and contractors send their clients big, FAT bills…because planning and designing takes FOREVER!

Mark and I spent an entire day (10 hours!) planning our kitchen remodel and picking out cabinets, hardware, fixtures and countertops.

And let me go on the record saying…THANK GOD my husband is a designer because without his skills, I don’t think we would have accomplished anything!

We talked about a few different layouts then Mark designed them in CAD. It’s a great tool because you can see how everything will fit (or not!) using the EXACT measurements.

Our first design was a galley kitchen with a butcher block countertop with stools.

kitchen remodel

The refrigerator, sink, dishwasher and cabinets lined one wall and the oven, additional cabinets and countertop lined the other.

Our second design flipped the additional cabinets and butcher block countertop to the other side of the oven and added a café table and chairs.

kitchen remodel

After a long discussion about time, we settled on a third option.

For us, it’s not about price with this project it’s about getting it done in a timely manner…we don’t have much time to play with.

This design keeps all the cabinets, dishwasher, sink and oven on one wall with a café table and chairs between two large windows we have in the kitchen.

kitchen remodel

We’re going with gray cabinets, a butcher block countertop, a white farm sink and open shelves above the sink. This picture will give you an idea…

kitchen remodel

Here’s to a quick (and happy!) kitchen remodel!

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The Row House

A small dose of inspiration!

Yours truly is not her usual self and so I ask for forgiveness for my small absence from blog land. (Not that these posts enrich your lives in any way…but I hate being away for so long!)

With my mea culpa out of the way, we can refocus on the kitchen remodel.

Our first thought was to do a galley kitchen like this

kitchen remodel

I also love this design from Pinterest!

kitchen remodel

We were all set with that, but Mark kept talking about a kitchen island. Moving the stove and oven to one wall, adding a vent hood and having counter height cabinets on both sides. Kind of like this

kitchen remodel

The kitchen island would be in the middle and have a sink and dishwasher with a large enough surface top to add stools so that people could use it as a table. Another example

kitchen remodel

The galley kitchen idea is cheaper and easier. The kitchen island is more expensive and labor intensive.

Guess which one Mark is pushing to do?! 🙂

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The Row House

Ugly paneling and hidden treasures (with pictures!)

I love my husband. I REALLY love his design for our new kitchen.

kitchen remodel

First, we had to demolish our existing crappy kitchen. I hated that beadboard paneling.

We took it down and the framing around the two windows.

kitchen remodel

I love the original door and transom window above it. We’re keeping those but hacked off the wood framing around it.

kitchen remodeling

You know we’re always finding old gems when we start digging into the cracks and crannies of this old house.

Check this out…we found the ORIGINAL sash windows buried in the wall.

sash windows

It still had the weights and ropes connected to it.

I did some research online and it said that sash windows were used in traditional Victorian homes, and the sashes would slide up and down to open and close the window…they were counterbalanced by lead weights on cords.

Very cool stuff. Very cool.

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The Row House

Ugly paneling and hidden treasures!

I love my husband. I REALLY love his design for our new kitchen.

kitchen remodel

First, we had to demolish our existing crappy kitchen. I hated that beadboard paneling.

We took it down and the framing around the two windows.

kitchen remodel

I love the original door and transom window above it. We’re keeping those but hacked off the wood framing around it.

kitchen remodeling

You know we’re always finding old gems when we start digging into the cracks and crannies of this old house.

Check this out…we found the ORIGINAL sash windows buried in the wall.

sash windows

It still had the weights and ropes connected to it.

I did some research online and it said that sash windows were used in traditional Victorian homes, and the sashes would slide up and down to open and close the window…they were counterbalanced by lead weights on cords.

Very cool stuff. Very cool.

*Let’s hang out together on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM!

**FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page and put in your email address…some of you might see the FOLLOW button on the BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER of the site.

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The Row House

The coffee and toast diet

Mark and I are on a new diet. We basically eat anything that you can make in a toaster oven or in a Keurig.

Here’s why…

redoing kitchen

For the next 5 weeks, we’ll being using this “makeshift kitchen” that we set up in our dining room.

redoing kitchen

Since I don’t cook (and Mark loves Wendy’s) this arrangement should suit us both just fine.

We’re going to demo our existing kitchen and make it into a very cool “galley kitchen.”

kitchen remodel

It’s a bit bigger than a traditional galley kitchen, but we think a sleek galley look will make the best use of the space!

kitchen remodel

I think we’ll be able to do the demolition in one day. Let’s hope the rebuild goes just as fast.

If anyone would like to join us on the diet…we’ll post weekly toast recipes. 🙂

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The Row House

Back in the saddle

Sorry the blog’s been dark for a few days.

I was out of town for work (and not feeling so hot) leaving me NO DESIRE to be witty or sassy or do any kind of home renovation.

My work trip to interview Olympic athletes in Los Angeles was very cool.

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I got to steal away to the Santa Monica beach for a few minutes.

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And stopped to have a drink at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Here is a list of the famous people I saw…Peter Gallager (actor), Brian Grazer (producer), Cash Warren (Jessica Alba’s husband) and a Real Housewife…but it could have just been a blond lady who looked like a Real Housewife.

With Hollywood behind me, Mark and I are going to tear apart and redo our kitchen this weekend.

It’s the only room in the house that we haven’t touched…here we go, baby!

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