Renovating Uncovered.

A fortnight ago, spurred on by our decluttering efforts, we finally started putting in the new kitchen cupboards. This was the first step in ripping out the cupboards under the sink so the dishwasher can go in. Not simply a matter of just supergluing the cupboards to the wall,, we had to dismantle the shelf first and somehow rehome a hell of a lot stuff… mostly treasured collectables.

The- contents of the shelf downloaded onto the kitchen table. Shame they could be uploaded quite so easily.

The- contents of the shelf downloaded onto the kitchen table. Shame they couldn’t be uploaded quite so easily.

A ceramic plate I painted andan envelope written by Miss is hardly "clutter".

A ceramic plate I painted and an envelope written by Miss is hardly “clutter” but expressions of love.










Anyway, as I’d booked a council clean-up, the cupboard building and moving the dishwasher went on hold for the weekend as we ripped up the vinyl in the kitchen instead. Then, along came sanding, vanishing and moving a hell of a lot of stuff. The dogs weren’t too keen on all of this. Once the vanish was down, they were outside. After all, we didn’t want pawprints and dog hair entombed in the  wet varnish. As much as we love our dogs, there are much better ways of remembering them for eternity!

Not Hppy Jan! Inside dogs put outside made numerous complaints to management!!

Not Hppy Jan! Inside dogs put outside made numerous complaints to management!!

So, after all of this activity, it’sofficial. We’re renovating.

If you’ve ever renovated, then you’ll know that renovating is a state of being, not just something you do. Indeed, to be perfectly frank, launching into a new renovation project is like getting engaged and the newspapers really should add a “Now Renovating” column to the hatched, matches and despatches.

Mr & Mrs Smith of 35 Jones Street, Greensville have just announced that they’re renovating their one storey shack and will be adding a second storey and a luxury heated dog kennel.

Moreover, just like you don’t announce that long anticipated engagement until there’s a ring on the finger, the more discerning don’t mention we’re renovating until the job is well underway and almost finished.  There needs to be sufficent evidence to satisfy Blind Freddy, not just the likes of Sherlock Holmes with his huge magnifying glass or the CSI team, who could even view you’re most miniscule efforts under the microscope. You see, “gunna renovate” has about as much cred as “gunna write a novel”.

Geoff at work, while I take the photos. That's what I call a real team effort!

Geoff at work, while I take the photos. That’s what I call a real team effort!

See what I mean about wanting to get something simple done but all you find is jobs on jobs on jobs. Now, we have some extra painting to do and a powerpoint to replace as well! It's no wonder the road to renovation is paved with skeletons!

See what I mean about wanting to get something simple done but all you find is jobs on jobs on jobs. Now, we have some extra painting to do and a powerpoint to replace as well! It’s no wonder the road to renovation is paved with skeletons!

Another intriguing thing about renovating is just how difficult it is to stay on track.Indeed, there’s no such thing as a direct route. Instead, you dart all over the place like a crazed ant because even a simple task, requires something like ten steps before you can get started and and all of these miscellaneous tasks not only send you off all over the house but also on multiple trips to the hardware store. Naturally, all this meandering with all its inherent delays can be absolutely infuriating and you can’t help feeling you’ve developed a severe case of: “Renovator’s Curse”. I can testify that this allfliction is even more severe than cyberchondria! It’s almost fatal!!


Renovating has also made me more aware of how much you can put up with before you actually get it fixed.

For us, the glaringly obvious involves our dishwasher. You won’t believe this but the dishwasher has been out in the laundry for the last 14 years and we’ve been lugging the dishes in and out throughout all the flare ups of my muscle disease. Most of that time, I was the one doing the carrying. It’s only been recently that the kids have been promoted to “Dishwasher Managers” and that hasn’t been ideal either. They’ve each dropped a stack of bowls.That not only compromised their safety but bowls have also become an endangered species!

Yes, you could say that things have been rather precarious around here but given the intensity of the disease itself and my treatments, we’ve been a little distracted. So distracted that we’d switched off to our struggles and just pushed on. It was only once we were on holidays, that we realised how easy things were when the dishwasher is in it’s rightful place. That finally spurred us into action. Plus, I’ve been in remission for a year and the broken foot has also healed so we need to move quick!

Moreover, while we’ve been trying to decide whether to tile, add a floating floor or go with the original floorboards, the kitchen floor’s been getting ragged. A few years ago, a friend pushed me to bite the bullet, encouraging me to “just rip it all up”.

Well, you know how it is. I blame my writing and my health for my procrastination. As you might appreciate, before such a significant decision could be made, I had to write a blog post at the very least, if not an entire book. I couldn’t possibly by-pass all of that kerfuffle and simply get something done!!

No, not at all!

This sensational headline was the first thing we saw when we liefted up the vinyl. How incredible. All the newspapers were a bit of a time capsule from 1995-1996.

This sensational headline was the first thing we saw when we liefted up the vinyl. How incredible. All the newspapers were a bit of a time capsule from 1995-1996.

So, after much ado, we have finally ripped up the vinyl. Salvaged armfuls of newspapers dating back to 1995 for “later”and we have varnished the floorboards. This is a temporary step until we pull out the kitchen cupboards and put down a floating floor. Unfortunately, the floor boards weren’t great and remind me of that kid who can fit a coin between their front teeth. Yes, they’re a bit too spaced out with veritable ditches between each plank but they’ll do for now.

Another striking flashback. Imagine finding Princess Diana under the vinyl. I guess that's what happens after the limelight fades...even just a little.

Another striking flashback. Imagine finding Princess Diana under the vinyl. I guess that’s what happens after the limelight fades…even just a little.

Next weekend, that dishwasher will finally get its marching orders. I can’t wait. A pile of plates is just about to be lifted off my shoulders and perhaps those little dishwasher managers of mine will be a lot more productive as well. You could well say: “Dream on!”

After sanding the floorboards.

Bilbo inspecting the floor after sanding the floorboards.

After putting up with all this for so long and feeling like the house was the one thing that I couldn’t change despite all the other miracles I’ve been able to pull off, we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, we’ve actually discovered the tunnel.

Do you have any renovation stories you’d like to share?

xx Rowena




16 thoughts on “Renovating Uncovered.

  1. Tails Around the Ranch

    I lived (maybe survived is a better description) through a kitchen renovation about 15 years ago. Washed dishes in the tub for over 4 weeks. N.e.v.e.r again. You are brave souls-best of luck. 🙂

  2. New Journey

    Renovated several years ago, did the entire house floor….what a crazy thing to do, we hired it done, but to save money we moved everything….at least we were able to put a lot of it out on the attached deck, but we still had to move all the little things…we also slapped paint up on the walls before the floor was done….stressful to say the least….we replaced the countertops too!! But after it was all done, it was great to sit back and enjoy the new… gave us the change to go through everything and keep or go was the game we played….we did get rid of a lot and better than anything we gave everything a good cleaning….love your floor….

  3. conniemcleod

    Good luck with the renovation project. One thing I’ve learned over the years as homeowner is that the job is never really done. By the time you finish one project, it’s time to redo another.

  4. merrildsmith

    We haven’t done a full renovation. We did re-do our kitchen many years ago. My husband put in new cabinets, we got a new stove top, double oven, counter, etc. I was actually out of the house working for much of it, and there were only brief time we couldn’t cook or wash dishes. Last year we had our bathroom re-done. Since we only have one bathroom, and the contractor is a friend of my husband’s, he made certain that we could use the toilet and sink every night after he left. There were only a few days we couldn’t use the shower, and then I showered at the gym. 🙂

    I do not do well with clutter, mess, noise, and I’m always scared something will happen to the cats. They hid every day while the men were here working on the bathroom, and crept out as soon as the men left.

  5. Minuscule Moments

    Rowena I get tired just reading this post, glad you are all done. Those newspapers would be worth something, especially the Marylin one. We ripped up one of the carpets in the old house we are renting in and found amazing newspaper articles dating back a good sixty years but they were decayed and barely readable. Yours look like they are in good condition.

  6. roweeee Post author

    What a shame those newspapers were in such bad nick. Ours go back to 1995-1996, which seemed like yesterday until my daughter pointed out that it was 20 years ago and more than double her lifetime. That was sobering.
    Has Winter suddenly arrived down your way? It’s pretty damp and dull here but beautifully sunny on Sunday. Just about to take the dogs to the beach. xx Ro

  7. roweeee Post author

    I am strting to feel really proud of our efforts even though we still have so much to do and I’ve moved on quite a lot of stuff. Trying to avoid the op shops for awhile to contain the problem too. Now that new spaces are opening up and I’ve feeling so much better, it’s really spurring me to press on.

  8. roweeee Post author

    That’s what I used to say but that process was exacerbated by the extended gaps we’ve had due to my health issues, I was going to tell you that renovation is like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge and as son as they get to the end, they’re back painting at the beginning again. However, that turned out to be a myth. I strayed upon quite an interesting article about painting the bridge, which you might like:
    xx Rowena

  9. roweeee Post author

    Your renovation sounds very much like what we’re working towards. My husband is great at fixing things and doing the renovations and is quite particular, which is keeping the costs down. We’ll be replacing all the existing cupboards, most with more accessible drawers. We’ll be getting someone in to do the benchtops. Replacing a fairly small patch of carpet in our loungeroom is going to be a huge job. My china cabinet is in there and I have so many tea cups, that they’ve brken out and started lining up along the top and into the adjacent bookshelf. Packing all of them up without breakages is going to be challenging. Some of them are like egg shell.

  10. Minuscule Moments

    W were lucky to have our picnic at Brogo Dam on Sunday Rowena, Grandparents got to see it on a stunning day, pics on my latest blogpost. But yes cold here now and a fire on always. In the nineties I lived in London for two years, it seems like yesterday. Twenty years yikes!

  11. roweeee Post author

    I’ll wonder over to your blog and check it out. I Googled Brogo Dam and it’s exactly 502 km from here and not far from Cooma. Do you go to the snow at all? We’ve been the last 3 years and are hoping to get there again this year. We’ll see. Feeling a bit run down with a bad cough and the renovations and endless sorting going on. Just want to get that finished at the moment but you know how it is. The house can be just as demanding as the kids!

  12. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Kath. We get a bit of funding towards our snow trips and I ski with the disabled Winter Sports Associationa nd get discounts. Still, it’s expensive but given my health, we put a bit of weight on the family holiday.
    The night before we left on our first snow trip, the pathology lab called us direct saying that they couldn’t reach my doctor and I needed to go straight to Emergency as I was likely to have a heart attack. Talk about looking at a bullet about to hit you right between the eyes but then it took a 90 degree turn and disappeared. False alarm, which we did think was likely as my muscles release the same markers for a heart attack when they’re breaking down. We lead a dramatic life at times but come good.
    Thanks for your wishes for my health. Much appreciated. Winter is a tricky time of year but I’m well-armed.

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