...because home doesn't happen overnight.

This has been quite the week. Nope, we didn’t move into the Underdog like some of you guessed from the beer in the fridge pic. We’re not that good. {By the way, thanks for contributing to H*T this week. I thought your comments were great! I think a regular ‘worth a thousand words’ post could be fun. What do you think?}

I haven’t taken up drinking since I’m no longer prego. And we didn’t throw our first Underdog bash either. Sorry to disappoint you. The chilled beer is all Handy Hubby. Just because. Because we have a fridge…at the Underdog…that works…and can keep beverages cold…alcoholic beverages…from Pennsylvania…HH’s home state. Stocking the newly installed fridge with a six-pack of Yuengling was HH’s natural reaction.

Can you blame him? He’s been putting in long hours at work, at home, at the Underdog. And he paid the price this week. HH came home from work early on Wednesday complaining of chills, aches, nausea and upset stomach. He was quarantined then forty-eight hours later he was back at work and back at the Underdog.

We’re starting to feel the itch. The itch to have a permanent house. A house that I can tweak into a home. Neighbors. A neighborhood. A school bus stop that we don’t have to drive to and from twice daily. An oven that doesn’t burn every damn thing we put in it. An organized closet. Man, what I wouldn’t give for just one organized closet. And can I tell you how not fun it is to carry groceries, bags, and now a newborn in her pumpkin seat up three flights of stairs?! A changing table would be nice too. Don’t get me wrong. Living in the apartment away from the renovation mess has done wonders for our sanity but we’re ready to move on.

Our boys are starting to feel it too. They need a yard. They need a better routine. They need to see their Dada more often. They need friends that live a few doors down. They need stability. They need a fun, put-together bedroom. HH took one look at their room in the apartment this week and said, “It’s like we’re coke addicts.” Did I mention we sold Everett’s bed via craigslist {we’re still trying to sell Layne’s in preparation for bunk beds at the Underdog} so he’s sleeping on a mattress on the floor?┬áSince giving birth two weeks ago, let’s just say that housekeeping has fallen by the wayside. The Underdog is now probably cleaner than our apartment.

So, yeah, we’re ready. Unfortunately, we have a few projects to complete before we can move into the Underdog. We’re buckling down and knocking them out. One project is the kitchen. Here are pics of its progress that I took earlier this week. I didn’t even clean up to make it look pretty. Don’t mind the random ladder placement. The good news is that it’s even further along than this now. I just haven’t had a chance to snap more current pics. Other than some extra man power to move the appliances in from the garage, HH has single handedly installed the kitchen.

You can see the fridge and hood are in. The back of the island is now covered with black panels so it matches the rest of the lower cabinetry.

The trim around the French doors still needs painted and I haven’t yet decided what color the doors will be. Gloss black? Red? Something else?

Not only did we choose to mix-and-match cabinet types between the lower and upper cabinetry, we also have two different styles of upper cabinetry. There are glass-front doors above the desk area and solid upper doors around the fridge.

Since the desk area will work much like an office, I plan on using lots of concealed storage within the glass cabinets to keep things looking tidy.

Sorry about this wonky view. I think I was holding a newborn and snapping around the lone ladder. Anyway, we chose to use closed cabinetry near the fridge for some hidden upper storage. The empty open shelf next to the fridge is for the microwave. The microwave that we don’t have yet. Even though the microwave won’t be hidden behind a door, it’ll be concealed from view of the family room because the fridge extends out beyond microwave by several inches.

In that last shot the gas stove is sitting in the middle of the kitchen. It’s now in place under the hood and it doesn’t look like a stove we should own. Six burners?! Come on. After months of cooking on an outdated electric stovetop at the Underdog, we’re very much looking forward to making meals on a quality gas stove. Ah, the little things.

Next up on the kitchen list is making decisions about the sink, faucet, countertops, and said microwave. We’re strongly leaning towards some type of wood countertop for the island because we want it to feel more like a tabletop than a kitchen countertop. For the perimeter, we’re leaning towards a low maintenance solid stone such as granite, concrete, corian, etc.

As the title of this post suggests, things are heating up in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, HH is set to start tiling the mudroom/dining room/laundry nook this weekend. He’s got the multipurpose room all cleared out and ready to go.

That reminds me. I can’t wait to come up with an idea to disguise the side of the fridge that you see in the image above.

We’re installing travertine tile in the mudroom. Since the room has direct access to the garage and backyard, we wanted something that would hold up well to dirty, muddy, wet shoes. Oh, and the reason for no paint on the bottom third of the walls is because we have a DIY wall treatment in mind for the room that will extend partway up the wall.

That’s where things stand with the Underdog. The next few weeks are going to be a whirlwind for us trying to get the house livable while still adjusting to the newborn haze and our newly enlarged family of five. But we’re determined to get in there. We need it.

FYI – Click here to see who won the Sierra Sage giveaway this week. Maybe it was you!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

44 Comments

14.April.2012

i see you went with the side by side fridge. we are getting all new kitchen appliances and while i originally thought i wanted the french-door fridge with bottom freezer, upon some research, i quickly realized that those freezers are MUCH smaller and that the doors can be tough to get closed properly– don’t know if i want to have to worry about that with young kids. would you mind telling me how you arrived at your decision and which one you purchased! i have been looking at so many specs and reviews that my mind is spinning! your kitchen is looking amazing! i am jealous of those soaring ceilings!

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14.April.2012

Looking awesome! Just think of the difference between now and where it started.

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14.April.2012

It looks just GREAT ! I like the way the cabinets are not all alike. And the airy layout too ! We might just go the same route in our own kitchen. We have old custom-made oak cabinets that are too good to be thrown away but we need more storage (cause we enlarged the kitchen). The plan right now is to relocate the oak cabinets for the new layout, paint them white and add dark “modern” cabinets for a casual look. I can’t wait ! As far as the side of your fridge is concerned, do you want to close it, to hide it, to tweak it ? I might just make a little “brain juice” for you on this one … Take care ! You’re doing great Millers !

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replied on April 14th, 2012

Ariane – We probably won’t be building in the fridge. There’s just no room. We don’t even have an inch of wall space left between the fridge and hall…otherwise we would have gotten something to build it in. I’m thinking of tweaking it. Either paint, art, mirror, chalkboard, etc. It’ll definitely be one of those things that doesn’t get tackled until we’re moved in since it’s not totally necessary.

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14.April.2012

It all looks so great, Dana! You’re almost there, seriously just think about where you, your family and this house was when you first toured it. Life has such ways of twisting and turning!

Your post is really funny, though, especially the part about Everett’s bed being on the floor. We’ve totally been there! In preparation of moving out of our 300-square-foot Manhattan studio, my husband kept selling everything in sight. I’d come home and the murphy bed would be gone or the table. Then one day the couch was no longer. I can totally relate but it’s best to get the stuff out now instead of taking it with you!!

Have a great weekend and well wishes to your family! I’m still waiting on this baby over here…hopefully soon, before the doctor’s deadline :)

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14.April.2012

I think the side of the fridge would be a nice gallery wall. Done neatly and thoughtfully, hanging photos, prints and kids art makes for a pretty wall. It should be easy on the side of the fridge with magnetic frames. I would probably use chalkboard contact paper there myself,but that doesn’t seem like your aesthetic.

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14.April.2012

Wow!! It is really coming along! You will be moving in before you know it!

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14.April.2012

Its almost there! Good job!

PS My five-year-old sleeps on the floor because he likes to sleep in the room with his sister, and not in his bed in the room with his little brother. haha

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14.April.2012

Kuddos to all you!! HH has been working like a dog…{no pun intended with Underdog!!} What you’ve all done here is soooooo commendable! I really have admired what you’ve accomplished with this house! You’ve made such a beautiful place. I can barely picture the before.

Awesome job!!
:)

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14.April.2012

The Underdog is looking awesome!! You guys are doing such a fabulous job!

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14.April.2012

Did you know that you could make your own magnets with Instagram ? http://www.stickygram.com … 9 magnets for $14,99, free shipping ! might be nice for the side of your fridge, with Mabrey sign road for example … Take care !

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replied on April 16th, 2012

Ariane – Stickygrams?! Love it! Thanks for the link.

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14.April.2012

I just can’t get over the difference between how it looked originally (back in a July 2011 post) and now. My husband is just as amazed (first time reading along with me) and we are inspired to tackle our own ‘fixer upper’ someday. Keep up the awesome work!!

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14.April.2012

It looks great! Will you be sharing your DIY wall treatment for the mudroom sometime?

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replied on April 16th, 2012

Kourtney – Will do!

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14.April.2012

Holy moly it looks awesome so far! We recently installed Ikea cabinets and used a big cover panel to make our fridge look built in and hide the side – maybe one of those or build your own panel? Chalkboard paint is all the rage and maybe the little ones would like it?
Everything looks beautiful! Can’t wait to see more!

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14.April.2012

Well done! It looks amazing.

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14.April.2012

I think wood countertops on the island and concrete on the perimeter sounds awesome–similar to what the Pioneer Woman has on the huge island at the Lodge. I think concrete countertops are so gorgeous! The kitchen looks fantastic, you must be getting so excited to move in. I love the idea of chalkboard paint on the side of the fridge, one of my favorite house tours on Apartment Therapy had a fridge painted entirely in chalkboard paint and I thought it was so fun. Someday this will all be a story you tell Mabrey, about how you were working so hard to get the house ready for her when she was a little baby.

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14.April.2012

I really hope you choose corian for your counters! Personally concrete seems so cold and your style always feels warm and inviting.

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14.April.2012

It is so much fun to see the transformation! And I love your style. Taking pic of kitchen while holding baby comment, makes the fact you and HH are getting this done all the more amazing. Thanks for sharing!!

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15.April.2012

Why do we do these things to ourselves? I moved across 3 states 10 days after my last baby was born, and I’m still recovering, 2 years later. :)

I’ve really enjoyed following your reno. We are slowly working on a similar era ranch and just (almost) finished the kitchen. I chose similar colors so it is reaffirming to see yours! Stop by sometime- you know, in between packing boxes and nursing the baby. ;)

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replied on April 16th, 2012

Joellyn – Oh my! Do we ever have a lot in common! Why is it that beautiful, surprise babies come to us just as we are moving?! Haha. Your story is very inspirational. I’ll be checking in often.

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15.April.2012

Everything looks great! Congratulations on your new addition!

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15.April.2012

Hello! I am thoroughly enjoying this entire transformation. Everything looks gorgeous so far. This is my first time leaving a comment, and I don’t mean to be critical, but I just wanted to ask if you mean for the kitchen (stove) hood to be that high? Sometimes it’s easy to miss details when you are so busy (and you clearly are!)….I guess I would want someone to point things out to me, just in case. It seems really, really high.
Everything else is spectacular at this point…can’t wait to see when all is decorated. Btw, love your little girl’s name.

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replied on April 16th, 2012

Kirstin – Good eye! The hood probably is about 1ft higher than ‘normal’ as the kitchen wall is 9 ft high instead of the standard 8ft. That’s because we raised the ceiling. Functionally, it shouldn’t change anything. Aesthetically, we plan to hang some sort of shelf between the hood and the stovetop to bring the two together visually. Not only will it help bridge the gap between the hood and stove but we can store cooking oils and spices there too. You know how I like multipurpose stuff!

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It’s looking great! Keep your chin up you’ll get in there soon. I feel your pain. We’ve been living out of boxes for 9 months now as we’re remodeling half of our house. The original plan was to be installing the hardwood floors and be moved back into the master bedroom by now but plans have changed and it might be the end of summer before that happens.

I was going to suggest a big caulkboard/message station combo. Sounds like we were on the same page.

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Your kitchen looks absolutely amazing!!! I love all of the natural light and the layout! We are getting ready to build a new half bath and your blog has definitely helped give me some ideas!

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15.April.2012

Dana–this looks really wonderful!! I had no idea you were such a whiz at decorating until Steven’s Dad told me about your blog…what fun I’m going to have looking through this!! And congratulations on Mabrey!!!!

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15.April.2012

Dana, things are looking AWESOME. Especially the kitchen. I love the glass cabinets above the desk area. Really beautiful! Sorry things have been so crazy lately- I’m sure it’s hard on everyone. Hang in there and remember how great it will be once you’re living there and can look back on all this! It’ll be worth it!

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15.April.2012

Bless! Your! Heart! I never considered the fact that you guys were on the 3rd floor. I am sooooo pulling for the big move for you! Hope it comes very soon!

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16.April.2012

You guys are amazing really! You do so much, so well and in record time! I know how overwhelming it is for me to not have a finished house and it’s just 1 of me.

Even though you didn’t move in, having the kitchen 3/4 done is a huge step! That refrigerator being cold when you open it is a victory!

I know you really want to be in there, wishing you a relaxed mind and perhaps a well deserved afternoon off together doing something fun until then!

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Kitchen and home is looking good! Wondering where in PA your husband is from?

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replied on April 16th, 2012

John – Washington, PA

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16.April.2012

I really love what you are doing with the house. I used to want a bigger house, now I just want an efficient house and you seem to be achieving that. Someone mentioned magnetic frames for a gallery on the side of the fridge somewhere above, I can totally see a puzzle of different sized acrylic frames with pictures of your kids, etc. hiding the side of that fridge.

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16.April.2012

What about a thin board painted with chalkboard paint to disguise the fridge? Didn’t you have that at your other house? You guys must be EXHAUSTED. I hope things move quickly from here and that the baby sleeeeeeps.

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16.April.2012

Duh – should have read the comments first (: lots of votes for chalkboard paint!

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16.April.2012

Love the dual tone cabinets! They look awesome. And concrete countertops? Be still my heart! Those are on my list. I second (third, fifth, whatever) the chalkboard paint. We have a section in our kitchen that is layered with chalkboard paint over magnetic paint and it’s a great place for pictures and writing dorky notes to each other.

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16.April.2012

great progress!
btw, i HIGHLY recommend Caesarstone or Silestone (quartz) countertops! There are so many great solids/subtle patterns, and it’s maintenance free – and anti-microbial!!

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16.April.2012

Already you can see this is going to be a stunning room!

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16.April.2012

How exciting!! This makes me want to renovate!! We renovated when we were expecting our second and the day before our c-section date I finally kicked the builders out of the house and told them to take a vacation. They were 3 months past their deadline and I was over it! We said we would never do it again while expecting and now we are expecting our third in July and this is giving me the itch to tackle our second phase! It looks great!! Love the openess and the lighting!

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17.April.2012

Can’t wait to see what color you do the door in. I’m not sure what colors you’re working with, but just from these pictures I think something a dark royal blue would be nice with the white, black and wood tones!

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17.April.2012

Well, if you don’t mind a suggestion about the side of the fridge, why not go with chalk paint? It would be kinda cool for Layne and Everett and eventually Mabrey to be able to add art whenever they felt like it, and for you and HH to toss to-do’s and grocery lists at the top. Plus, chalk paint doesn’t have to come in black!

Btw, the Underdog looks awesome! You guys are really inspiring me to do more with my little home!

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26.April.2012

I found your blog last night while looking for ikea kitchen reviews. I love it. My wife and I just bought a colonial built in 1900 and we’re thinking of re-doing the kitchen before we move in and get all settled. Your blog is inspiring.

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12.August.2014

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