Disease: Kitchen Renovation.
Symptoms: Itching

My house always looks lived in. The only times it doesn’t look lived in is when someone fancy comes over. And by fancy I mean someone with freakishly long nails, wearing one of those fox stoles where the fox is biting its own tail.

Fancy fox lady has never actually shown up, but if she did I’d be sure to clean the place up for her.

As it stands right now (and for the past 15 years) this house looks lived in. If you came over the dishes would probably be done and put away but there might be an array of magazines on the living room floor. Or a pizza making experiment going on in the kitchen.

There may even be toast sweat on the counter.

I find toast sweat on the countertop kind of comforting.

I draw the line at clutter though. I don’t like it. It makes me itch like I’m wearing a wool sweater. After a week of clutter that sweater feels like it’s made out of steel wool. Anything longer and I’m limping through the house wearing a onesie made out of yeast infection.

Behold the dining room pre-kitchen renovation. Granted it’s a picture from Christmas but you get the idea.




This was how the dining room looked about 2 weeks after Christmas.  It looked like this until just last night.  That’s 2 months.

Dining Room



The foyer on a normal day.




The foyer as it looked during the kitchen install which lasted about a week.  (and is still going on by the way) There were little noises coming from under the mess which I’m sure were garbage trolls.



The kitchen pre-renovation.



The kitchen mid-itch.

Kitchen After

Things are finally (relatively) cleaned up in the dining room, foyer and kitchen but the kitchen still isn’t near complete. The cabinets are installed, yes, but nothing else is. There were problems hooking up the stove, I still need the range hood installed, the counters haven’t been delivered yet and my kitchen sink is somewhere in the living room I think.

I can’t cook but at least I’m not itching anymore.

Kitchen renovations normally come with new appliances, cabinets, maybe a table and chairs. What they really need to come with, is penicillin.

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  1. Jackie a la Calgary says:

    Hey Karen!
    Just read your post today and saw the brick and had to search for a sign of it in the renos that I must have missed. I thought you were painting it white? Or is that to come?
    Anyways, when I saw this post again, I realized you are doing the same thing with your windows that I am for an addition we are also behind 6 months in (and we gots a baby comin’ to make it horrible in 2 months!). I want to paint the sashes black and keep everything else white, inspired by this: http://www.mariakillam.com/beachhousedetails/
    I just ordered my windows, and now I’m a little stuck. I want to stain them dark so it lasts longer, which means we get them unfinished and then stain the sashes, then do a white stain on everything else. A lot of work. They’re wood btw, because our house is vintage (read: oldass). Just wondering what you did when you ordered, how you specified black for just grilles and sashes. Was it easy? Thanks for replying, don’t know if you normally reply to older posts.
    Love your blog always Karen! Can’t wait to read about the garden when spring comes (in calgary it came yesterday. It’s still -4 but I’m calling it Spring. Sposed to be +19 by next Tues wooo!).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jackie – Well, I’m not gonna be of much help to you. All I did was paint my old window. So I didn’t have to order anything. The best thing to do is tell them what you want AND include a picture. Draw one yourself or do it on Photoshop if you have it. That way they have a visual reference. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to check to see what the weather is going to be like here next Tuesday! I’m crossing my fingers for anything in the double digits. ~ karen!

  2. Barbie says:

    OMG! Karen! I’ve been gone a week and now have to catch up!
    Sorry about your itchy onsie with a yeast infection! LOL and YES, hnag in there! The payoff will be SO worth it! I can’t WAIT to see it!
    I missed reading your blog everyday!

  3. Gail says:

    I am your parallel U. S. sista! I too am getting a new countertop, painted walls, sink and faucet. Just paid the estimate today. Wallpaper is stripped, back spash ( which I put up!) are off, and the boxes are in the dining room, piling up! Disaster city. The living room I keep clean to keep my sanity!! It’s the one downstairs room that I can sit in and not see crap piled up everywhere!! I hope we are both done by the end of April- so we can get in the garden! Winter- be gone!!!!

  4. Jill says:

    “Yeast infection onsie”. You are hilarious! You know I’ll be using that one, if ya don’t mind. You crack me up!

  5. Amanda says:

    Did you install a new kitchen window? Rolled steel? Where did you get it? How much was it? Do you love it? Nothing gets me as hot and bothered as black framed windows! Please, please, puh-leeese tell me!!

  6. Amy says:

    I’m suddenly having flashbacks of my kitchen renovation 2 years ago. I spent several nights at the movies to be in that cool, orderly calm of row upon row of aligned seats and have the distraction of someone else’s drama.

    Hang in there!

  7. Debbie says:

    Well that’s one good thing, she comes from good breeding….

  8. Janet says:

    I’ve survived a basement finishing project (three months) and a kitchen remodel (three weeks), followed by flooring replacement (three days but the clean-up took a month).

    It isn’t easy. You’re in the very worst part of it. The days will pass, the problems will get solved, the finish line will appear. The relief will be major.

    Never heard of or experienced ‘toast sweat’.

    My mother-in-law is the fancy fox lady.

    What I really want to know more about is that fabulous and large painting in your dining room. And how are you keeping it safe during all this construction????

  9. Feral Turtle says:

    Hang in there girl! I’ve had the twelve year itch…..Although as soon as hubby leaves for his next job, I will be finishing the last of the cabinet doors. I have five more to build and then I think I could say the kitchen will be done…..except the latest paint color. That definitely needs to go!! Oh how I love your brick!

  10. Oh boy. On your trip to beautiful, this is just a short stop at ugly. Find a spot of “normal”, and breathe! :)

  11. Ruth says:

    There is light at the end of the tunnel…. just around the corner! Hnag tough! ;-D

    Fun fact: If you hit up Google for ‘onesie made of yeast infection’, Karen’s face leads the pack on Google search…. followed by oodles of articles on how to cure yeast infection. Don’t even venture to ask why I tried that… I have no idea.

  12. Vicky says:

    We’re renovating our kitchen also. I understand the itch. I’m trying real hard not to itch. We just picked our cabinets at Ikea yesterday but the demo is done. Wall repair and painting next.

  13. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    I’m trying to figure out how I can use in a sentence, “wearing a onsie made out of yeast infection”. OMGosh, you crack me up. Keep hnaging, it will be worth it. Can’t wait for the post on your culinary feasts during this remarkable time in your life!

  14. Miriam says:

    Have I mentioned that my two week bathroom fix-up turned into four months of the live-in contractor? Talk about itching – I want my home back!

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