Leslie and I had been discussing a kitchen makeover for a few years. Ours was poorly remodeled in the '70s, and we'd tolerated its small, inefficient design long enough:

While I was on tour in the summer of 2004, Leslie began assembling people and ideas. What initially began simply as new countertops and cabinets evolved into a whole new kitchen space, plus revamping the master bath, scraping the 'cottage cheese' ceilings and painting every room, removing all carpeting and refinishing the original wood floors throughout the house, replacing sliding glass doors, and of course wiring the house for broadband.

After months of attempting to coordinate our hand-picked participants with a contractor, and eventually moving out completely in order to accommodate the floor, ceiling and wall work, the project finally commenced on February 14, 2005. A month later we moved back in, just in time for the demolition of the kitchen and den! We'd been stepping around stacks of boxes and furniture, inhaling dust, going to the laundromat every weekend, and - obviously without a kitchen - eating out every night. But by mid-August, things were almost back to normal, and a successful final inspection was made on September 7.

By Summer of 2006, it was apparent that the next thing needing attention was the pool, and it was almost completely refurbished over just 2 weeks in June and July, and just in time for record temperatures! (go directly to the pool page)

Here's a pictorial of the projects - enjoy!


In most of the house, the original red oak floors had been covered by carpet. The living room area in particular had endured years of damage from dog liquids and steam cleaning, and once the floor was sanded, the complexion evened out nicely. A coat of golden oak stain and 3 coats of polyurethane made the floors look terrific. They couldn't have survived as well if they'd remained exposed for the last 50 years.

We brought in the guy who'd done the floors at Leslie's brother's and parents' homes. There were only a few surprises when the wood was uncovered, such as this old floor heater hole, but all were repaired seamlessly.

Phase Two: the Kitchen!