Home Remodel

Home Remodel: Then and Then :)

One year ago, on October 27th, we actually finished our full main level remodel and were able to actually LIVE in our house again. So imagine what the house was like two weeks before that. Chaos everywhere. Paint projects in one room, cabinets installed in another, floors being tacked down in the next. It was complete and total chaos here at the Kemper remodel, but the best kind of chaos because the end was in sight.

So before we get to the one year anniversary of our remodel being completed, I wanted to walk you through exactly where we stood at this point last year: two weeks out from the end.

If you’re in the process of remodeling, weighing the pros and cons of a remodel, or just have a remodel in the glimmer of your eye, I wanted to walk you through a little more of the process as we experienced here.

So let me walk you through some of those before photos followed by where we were two weeks before.


Let me take you back to where it all started…

Days before our contractor started, we had demolished it down to this…

And just days after he started, we were down to this…yikes!

Fast forward to mid-October last year, just weeks before the space was completed, we had paint on the walls, cabinets installed and hardware on, island built and it was the week that countertops were installed!

Still no backsplash, vent hood, or appliances in the kitchen yet and our pantry pocket door wasn’t installed just yet, but boy, can you see it all coming together so well?!

There was more work to be done, but I was starting to see fixtures fitting into the space more, how it would look at the end, and a little bit of the end in sight. If you want to know more details on the color choices made in this space, check out my Paint and Floor Color post here!


Going back to August, our livingroom was a little closed off. A little dark. A corner TV cabinet. A whole lot of wood.

Since our major project was taking down a wall and getting our woodwork painted, we chose to leave this space up to the experts and just removed those bottom cabinets flanking the fireplace.

So days after the work started? We were here.

I think my main thought at this point was, “Lord, help us. What have we done?”

But come October 14th last year? We were making major progress and seeing a true vision come to light.

I loved the look of shiplap behind the bookcases and above the mantle. It gave a little farmhouse, and teamed with floating shelves, a more modern look. I felt like it would balance well and link the colors and styles throughout the house.

So off to work whitewashing the fireplace to lighten the dark red and brown brick. I did a full tutorial on How to Whitewash Your Fireplace here! Then it was time for late nights after bedtimes getting the tongue and groove boards up in this space before the contractors needed to paint.

Can you tell the stress was there with Jerod’s beer on the mantle?! 😆

Finally we got it up! But the electrician had installed an outlet to the left of the fireplace, and it ended up impeding my perfectly symmetrical measurements for the shelves. A whole lot of trying to find the best combination of shelf spacing going on at this time last year…

But we finally got it where we wanted and JUST in time for the painters to come in and give the space a final coat of paint and the flooring crew to get those floors stained!!

Going into the final two weeks of construction, our livingroom looked like this and I couldn’t be more excited to get. this. done!

What Else Was Going On?

Looks like when we were at mid-October last year, we were just so close. An end was in sight but had just so much else to do in such a short time. I had put a Halloween deadline on my contractor and was adamant that I could have trick or treaters at the house without it looking like a scary haunted house inside, but that deadline meant that I was having to make alllll the choices before this deadline, too.

Where was the floor outlet in the livingroom going to be? What couch will we have to cover that said floor outlet? Oh, you have a pocket door? What hardware is going to be easy for the kids, yet can be locked? All the final decisions were adding up and I had a lot of work to do.

So off we went to couch shop…

And doing alll the Pinterest-ing and online shopping to find the exact final touches that would work well for us…

My phone NEVER sits at 1% battery life. I’m not on it enough to get to that scary point. BUT during this phase of construction? I was ALWAYS on!

And trying to take all the few quiet moments in the house to enjoy just how far we’ve come.

Because at any spur of the moment, we would find out that our painters were on the way. Or our flooring guys had a job get cancelled so they could start sooner. We had to be ready to leave our house on a whim and coordinate where we would go, how we would all get to where we needed to be, and do so quickly.

Having schedules made like the one below, coordinating Jerod, the kids, and the dogs while our floors were getting refinished was a little too common for us.

But we were making it through construction and we saw it all coming together right before our eyes. It was hard, yes. It tested every ounce of my patience, and that of our freshly 3 year old and 1 year old, but it was weeks away from ending. Our kitchen was days away and truly our house was becoming our dream home.

Impatient on the final product? Check out my Home Remodel tab to see all our final products and how far we’ve come since mid-October last year!

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