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Jan 04, 11 15 29 AM


I’ve been “absent”.  Reason: I literally *just* moved back to my home on Whidbey Island that we have been remodeling since last June.  We have been painting the *entire* interior ourselves.  Still not done.  It is a long, tedious process when you’re not a professional house painter, lemme tell ya’… The remodel itself is still not quite finished; contractor tools and equipment everywhere.  Stuff still in boxes.  Everywhere. Some appliances not yet installed (still no refrigerator and even more importantly, still no heat pump!!!).  There are portable heaters… Everywhere.

Our home was built back in the early 70′s and is a modest 1,800 sq. ft.  No garage–previous owners had converted it to a family room.  It’s your typical 3 bdr 2 bath single-story house–and had the original countertops and old, musty cabinetry and coil burners cooktop…  We agonized a long time over what to do with this loooooong-overdue for an update house… that has wiring issues (two people can’t blow dry their hair at the same time, or you trip the circuit)…  and plumbing issues… ugh, yeah… The urge to sell it and buy new construction was very, very strong…

But, when your house is actually in a (quaint/charming) small town, within walking distance to said charming, waterfront downtown, on a dead-end cul-de-sac, and feels somewhat private, with a living room view of Penn Cove (over the top of the “estate” directly below you) and mature fruit trees (apples, pears, plums–yeah, it’s kind of a mini orchard!), you envision it being your forever home… where you retire, and enjoy the scenic beauty, go fishing, admire the deer that visit daily and have your grandkiddos runnin’ through the sprinkler in the back yard on a warm summer day…

So, we saved and saved and saved. And gathered up our dreams and our courage. And, last Spring we hired a contractor… and gutted the house…







  1. I just now saw this post and am so excited for you. My daughter lives in Seattle and when I was visiting from Ohio we road the ferry over and spent the day on Whidbey Island. She wants me to move to Seattle and I told her I want to live on the island!!! Great decision to stay there!

  2. Good luck. Looks like it’ll be worth the work, wait, inconvenience. Something to be said about contributing to the finished product! Show before & after photos!

  3. Very nice. I love older homes with character. Its hard to create character inexpensively. And your surroundings are hard to come by nowadays. I think you made a wise choice. I miss your card projects. Hope to see some soon. Thanks.

  4. Lucky you, living on Whidbey. One of my favorite places. Your remodel looks wonderful and well worth the hard work and time.

  5. We gutted our entire first floor almost four years ago now so I know what you are going through! We absolutely love it now and wondered why we waited 15 years to do it! I hope you share before and after pictures!

  6. We are patiently awaiting, but I must admit that your house remodel sounds a bit “familiar”! We did this 5 years 7 years ago with 3 kids in high school (coming and going), no heat (started in Oct, on the eastside “cold” portion of WA). We were fortunate to have built a shot with a “clean bay” just a couple years prior knowing that we would use it to cook and do dishes in, and hangout while the contractors banged away! You’ll get through it; we did and LOVE what we did!

  7. Ugh! We have done the remodel thing and I feel your pain! The end is worth it and makes you wonder why you took so long to take the plunge.
    My husband was born at home in Muckilteo, up the hill from the ferry landing, so WI has a special place in our hearts. Now even more so knowing one of my favorite sources of inspiration is there! :)

  8. I am happy to see you have not left us altogether…. Reno’s ALWAYS take longer and cost more than expected, never mind the work and the stress.
    Hang in there Julie, looks like you are on the “home stretch” now.

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