Status Update

August 2, 2016

It’s mind boggling to me that we’ve been in our new house in Michigan for over a month now, and that we are having another baby any day. My days have been filled with a million tasks related to renovating an old house while living here, and getting things ready for the baby. Every room is in various stages of mess, and it’s sort of a happy chaos around here right now. Ted started working almost immediately after we moved in, so I’ve been trying to do as much as I can while being very, very pregnant in 90 degree heat. So anyway, a few quick updates.


I love my kitchen. It has been a process to get to this point. We still need a backsplash and a couple light fixtures installed, but other than that, it’s close to done. I’ve been working on the decorative glass cabinets and trying to keep everything clean as best as I can.



The above photos are the reason why it’s difficult to keep everything clean right now. We had the power lines running over our backyard buried a couple weeks ago, and a huge tree stump removed and finally had the backyard smoothed out and covered with topsoil and seed after all that work was done. No more giant trench through the yard, although the concrete patio still needs to be fixed. We have lots of baby grass sprouting up now since this pic was taken over a week ago. Can’t wait until I can let the dog run around back there again and not worry about Ellie messing something up. We’ve had a parade of contractors in and out of the house constantly, so I can’t wait to be done with the dirt and bugs that have gone along with that. And the jungle weeds, oh my goodness.


This door looks so awesome. We did a little floor plan reconfigure in the kitchen and garage addition area, and this back entrance was one of the trickiest places to figure out. Originally it just had a storm door that led to an unheated vestibule area. You would then open a door to the right to walk into the kitchen (which was where this wood door came from). We removed this door and created an open entryway to the kitchen, and knocked an entrance to the left into what is now our mudroom/pantry/laundry room. Since we will park at the back of the house and use this entry through all the winter months, I’m so excited to have a place other than the kitchen to dump boots and all our stuff.

My dad is a genius and figured out how to make this door fit, redid the stoop and trim (which still needs a little brick work), and made it all look like it has always been there. You can also see the new trim color I picked out for the exterior of the house. The current color everywhere else is a dark mud brown that I don’t care for, so I wanted to lighten and brighten it all up. We don’t plan to tackle the rest of the exterior until next spring, but it didn’t make sense to paint all of this trim brown only to turn around and repaint it again in the spring. I also can’t wait to have the brick power washed and clean up the landscaping. We have an awesome covered back porch area that will be perfect for a nice big dining table and chairs at some point. Projects.


We (my dad!) have cut down a couple scrub trees, yanked out a huge overgrown grapevine that was overtaking some holly bushes and our air conditioner, and tried to keep up with the serious jungle weeds, but other than that, we haven’t had time for much landscaping yet this summer. You can tell that our yard was well taken care of at some point, but after being a rental for a couple years and then sitting vacant for 9 months before we bought it, everything is starting to look a little sprawly and crazy. This fall we will plan to divide up a bunch of stuff, and prune like crazy. I did buy a couple petunia plants for the front porch because I think it makes it feel more like home. Ellie picked out the color.


As far as the inside of the house, this has been the view for the past few weeks. The delivery guys must know us all by name by now. Thank goodness for Amazon prime is all I can say. I’ve ordered everything from lightbulbs to the kitchen sink (literally) from Amazon. I honestly don’t know how else I would have managed this project without it, especially when we were still living 600 miles away. My dad gives me a list of 10 random odds and ends and with the click of a button they show up in two days. It’s a beautiful thing. Especially now that I don’t particularly want to drag my almost three year old and my large self through five stores to find all this stuff. Light fixtures, faucets, cabinet hardware, the vent for our range, obscure light bulb sizes, and even furniture have shown up on our doorstep. Let’s just say we’ve been keeping our recycling bins a little on the extra full side.


Miss grumpy eating at our new breakfast table courtesy of Amazon. Chairs are real, table is a fake, but nobody needs to know that right?

So what else is left on our to do list? Mostly just finishing touches at this point. Here’s my list:

  • Kitchen backsplash (will be 3×6 carrara marble subway tiles)
  • Master bath backsplash (will be white 3×6 subway tiles)
  • Hang mirror in front of window over sink in master bath (will require a little creative hook and cabling)
  • Hang remaining light fixtures (two in kitchen/back entry, one in front entry, one at top of stairs in entryway, one (on backorder for a bit) in the sunroom, and replace can lights in 4th bedroom/laundry area
  • schedule wallpaper installer to hang wallpaper in dining room, half bath and Ellie’s room
  • make cushion for Ellie’s built in window seat
  • finish finding/hanging window treatments in master bedroom, nursery, 4th bedroom and half bath
  • order cabinets for laundry area
  • have carpet installed in 4th bedroom (sometime this month!)
  • hang pictures everrrrywhere
  • find rugs for various areas
  • order new couch for living room and craigslist the old ones (new chairs are already on order, coming soon)
  • set up 4th bedroom as a guest bedroom once carpet is installed so we have a place for family to stay

And a million other little odds and ends that make me feel like as soon as I cross off one thing, I add three more. Every day. But this is fun for me, at least for the most part. Living here without all the bathrooms functioning for a while, not so much. We have made so much progress though and I can’t wait until I can share official before and after pictures of everything. This house has been a dream for me, and I absolutely love our neighborhood. I can’t wait to have more time and energy to get out and see more of it.

In the meantime, I’ll be folding baby clothes and sweeping dirt out of my kitchen for the 18th time today.


By Katie


  1. Reply

    Debi VerSluis

    I am so HAPPY you are back in Michigan.

    I know you won’t be ready for awhile to help others with decorating, but i need you BAD…

    Congrats on everything!

    1. Reply


      Thanks Debi, I would love to help you sometime! It would be great to see you again too – it’s been forever!

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