The Little Known Cure For Renovation Procrastination

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Dear Laurel,

About a year ago, I purchased my dream home in my dream city. I feel so blessed to have been able to do this. So, before moving in last December, I had all sorts of plans for renovating it.

 

It is nearly ten months later, and I have yet to finalize the plans. I guess you could call it renovation procrastination?

 

However, I vowed I wouldn’t do what I did the last time, which was almost nothing except for one room. In the end, that was a good decision, but this time, I was hoping it would be different.

So far, it’s not, and I’m hoping you can do or say something to help me out.

The reality is that I live alone. And, although I’m making lots of new friends in my new city, I still have to do it all on my own. Ironically, I was married for nearly three decades. But, while I don’t regret for one second that I’m no longer married to that individual, certain aspects of life were far easier when I was.

Oh gosh, I sound like a whiny, ungrateful bitch. Pardon my French. I bet you’ll tell me to hire someone and then make a decorating and design plan and just do it. Easy for you to say!

 

Oh, I’m sorry, Laurel. I shouldn’t put words into your mouth. Please tell me the secret to get past my renovation procrastination.

 

Thank you in advance. Love you, girlfriend– and your blog! Oh, and I’ve purchased ALL of your lovely interior design guides. I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Muah!

Laurel

 

***

 

Darling Laurel, (pretty name) ;]

 

Please don’t be so hard on yourself! Frankly, I think it’s wise to be in a home a minimum of one year before beginning any renovations. Therefore, you’re actually right on schedule.

Also, I don’t know if you realize this or not, but there’s this virus going around that’s killed millions of people? Have you heard about that? And, if you moved last December, that means that you did so in one of the most challenging times in history.

 

So, please, girlfriend, lighten up.

 

I very much recommend you listen to the following classic Bob Newheart video.

 

 

So, yes. Make your plan. Hire someone if you need to, stop the kvetching and just do it. Yes, I know; it’s going to be:

 

  • painful
  • expensive
  • inconvenient
  • take twice (maybe three times )as long as the contractor says it will.

And, yes, you might even make a mistake or two.

However, when it’s over, you’ll be so proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished.

Back atcha!

Laurel

 

*********

 

Laurel???

 

Yes?

 

Did you just write yourself a letter and then answer it as if it was someone else?

 

Uh-huh, yeah, I did. I mean, who else is going to listen to my crazy thoughts but me?

And, you know when I fell flat on my face two weeks ago? Well, before I went out, I made a list of everything I needed to do and had vowed to do as soon as I went to the store and had dinner.

Well, clearly, that didn’t happen. But, gosh, I hate to think that I fell on my face as a means of procrastination. That idea is seriously disturbing.

 

Of course, at the top of the list was my renovation procrastination, as I’ve been feeling quite low about it in recent weeks.

 

It’s just that I’ve had the (unfinished) drawings on my portable drafting table that has been sitting on my dining table since June.

And, it is now mid-October. Oh, well.

 

Who else out there is prone to procrastination?

 

I see a lot of hands. Awesome! That makes me feel so much better!

But, Laurel… no way are you are procrastinator! I mean, you put out two blog posts every week, plus your HOT SALES.

And then, there are the FIVE guides you wrote.

 

Uh-huh, yes, I know. But, I also know that it only LOOKS like I’m not a procrastinator. Believe me, I’m one of the worst.

 

Okay, so what’s the secret for getting things done when one has no motivation to do so?

 

One) Money

Two) Accountability

At least that’s how it goes for me. And, since no one is paying me to get my stuff done, I need to be accountable. Fortunately, I can call upon that whenever I really need it.

So, it is noon on Saturday the 16th of October. I will do as much as I can today to finish so that I can show something to the contractor I’d like to hire.

 

Therefore, let’s take stock of what’s been done, what still needs to be done.

 

And, where the renovation block stemmed from.

What’s been done and I’m happy with:

The downstairs bedroom level re-design is one I’m super proud of. It might need some tweaking. But, I totally love the basic design, which you can see in the link above.

I also love the kitchen with floor-to-ceiling cabinets at the far end and no upper cabinets, and I haven’t finished the elevation drawings.

 

The hang-up has been the entry, not in terms of function, but form.

 

Functionally, I need a pantry, utility, and coat storage. Well, there’s a seven-foot span to accommodate that. The problem is the doors. There are the four tall kitchen cabinet doors, the front door, and the door adjacent to the bathroom, plus the proposed French doors to close that area off.

And then, the closet doors.  Four of them.

Hmmm… That’s a LOT of doors.

Funny, the other day, I received a delivery for some little end tables flanking my settee. Well, the delivery guy tried to let himself out through the closet!

 

However, it was months ago that I stopped working on things, and I lost the momentum.

 

But, one day, it came to me. In fact, I even wrote about it a little over a year ago.

Hidden doors! Yes, secret doors for the entry closet.

Now, I can design a beautiful door for the bathroom closet, beef up the front door so it’ll be obvious that’s the FRONT door. And, then let the glass kitchen doors and French doors be the star and co-star of the show.

However, the entry can still be a solid supporting player.

What if we did four hidden doors. (Jib doors) and did a beautiful wallpaper mural over them that continued around the entire entry.

 

Below are some additional examples for inspiration.

 

Okay, what’s left?

The fireplace mantel –

This one is pretty easy. I want one very close to this one in a former home of William McLure.

 

William McLure-fireplace mantel

 

carved pine fireplace surrund circa 1910 - Georgian style - via 1st Dibs

  • Mouldings – One thing I had spent a tremendous amount of time on is the research of mouldings, particularly the crown moulding. That should be a separate post!

 

And, these, below are separate posts, as well.

 

 

my Back Bay Living Room LBI

  • Iron Security Bars – Ugh. The prison bars suck.
  • Stair railing – Let’s first see if the typical staircase is possible without having to spend $150,000.00!
  • Floors – They are not actually a priority, but at the very least, I would love to replace the den floor because it was laid on top of the original floor. This was originally a butler’s pantry; I’m pretty sure.

 

Oh, how I wish I had the original floor plans of the building.

 

 

Okay, it’s after midnight, and I’ve been having fun.

But, did I finish?

No, not yet, but let me show you what I did do.

 

William McLure- Georgian fireplace mantel sketch - Renovation procrastinationI turned William McLure’s mantel into a line drawing through photo editing and then some filters in PicMonkey. I don’t know which ones I used, but I just experimented until I got the desired effect.

My opening is roughly a 27″ square. For the size of my room, it’s ridiculously small. However, if I use some honed black granite, it will give the illusion of a bigger opening.

You might also notice that I added in some elements that I like from the carved pine mantel.

Later, I can add some dimensions to the drawing.

 

fireplace wall with art

I forgot about this mockup I did when I had the exciting but impractical idea to make some HUGE digital art. haha.

 

renovation procrastination - kitchen

The view looks towards the blah, dated kitchen, and entry with the Allison in Wonderland doors. I say that because they are minute in relation to the big opening over nine feet high, and in reality, they are a standard 80″ height.

 

Okay, get ready for the transformation.

 

Renovation procrastination no moreOh, man. I think I want to live here!

Wait. I DO live here. lol

And, no. I didn’t finish everything today, but I do believe I have cured my renovation procrastination.

 

Thanks, guys. I very much appreciate your help.

 

So, I’ll just finish up by going over a few things.

Yes, behind the wallpaper mural, which incidentally is from The Mural Source, will be four jib doors. Remember this closet post when I was considering doing some sort of wardrobe? That’s not a bad idea, but not for this space with this particular plan.

Jib doors, if you don’t know or recall, are the hidden doors with hidden hinges we looked at here.

 

best dining rooms vogue magazine

best dining rooms with a pretty jib door – vogue magazine

 

To the left, which is the vestibule leading to the den and bathroom, I think it would be very cool if it were painted a deep color like Farrow & Ball Down Pipe, perhaps.

 

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe

 

Interior Design - Whittney Parkinson - Sarah and Rachel Photography - hoffman - farrow & ball downpipe bulter

Interior Design – Whittney Parkinson – Sarah and Rachel Photography – Hoffman – farrow & ball downpipe butler’s pantry.

 

Chris Loves Julia black and white tile floor

I’d love to do a black and white floor as Chris Loves Julia did. If you are looking for the post from August and can’t find it, it’s because I was asked to take it down. The tile is from Bedrosians.

But, I think this would also be awesome in our building’s entrance hall if it ever gets a makeover.

The blue you see in the kitchen is the ceiling, not the wall. There are some beautiful blue, green, gray colors in the Laurel Home Paint Collection.

 

Benjamin Moore Opal Essence

 

Benjamin Moore Opal Essence is one of my favorites.

 

Below are two beautiful Paul Montgomery murals you can purchase and the beautiful lantern in the kitchen.

 

 

renovation procrastination - before and after design mockup for my kitchen and entry

This is just the look I’m going for.

Thanks again for your help!

xo,

 

PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES

 

  • judy L gilmo - November 28, 2021 - 1:11 AM

    It looks beautiful! The jib door idea is brilliant! Glad you are feeling betterReplyCancel

  • Kristina Heisey - November 3, 2021 - 6:34 PM

    A year? yayy, I’m on schedule! I’ve felt like a failure: I have been staring at my living room since we got the keys in February. I’ve never waited this long before plunging in, but for some reason this time, I only want to make a move when I get an inspiration that I know I will love. Thanks for assuring me that I’m not a home decorating loser lol. xoReplyCancel

  • Mina - October 24, 2021 - 1:43 PM

    Pocket doors??? Let’s see!

    I think what’s bothering me in the picture is the super contemporary and thin kitchen partition end wall. It looks comparatively naked surrounded by finery and my compulsion is to dress it. Will it get moldings with the kitchen?

    FWIW taking one’s time hammering things out sounds like a good thing to me, especially this year! In the end you’ll love it so much.ReplyCancel

  • Fenella - October 24, 2021 - 8:21 AM

    There are pocket doors inside that glorious big door frame??? Wow, lucky! They are so elegant, so typical for the era of the house.ReplyCancel

  • Mina - October 23, 2021 - 2:33 PM

    Please excuse my terrible fingerprint artwork. What if you slid the doorway down some?

    You could hang art on the new part of the wall or put a pretty tree there, or even cabinetry like the kitchen feature wall.

    https://share.icloud.com/photos/0pN2bUJdBtiJOV9TgMLfDZ4HwReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 23, 2021 - 9:57 PM

      Hi Mina,

      Thanks but I have already considered this and many other options for the last year+. :] It wouldn’t be feasible for a lot of compelling reasons. One of them is that inside those one-foot deep walls,
      (yes, they are a foot deep) live two ginormous solid 9′-6″ high – 2″ thick, SOLID wood sliding doors which weigh a ton. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would cost because I would also have to hire a structural engineer. I am planning on leaving the opening pretty much as is, but would like to bury the doors behind a casing.

      In addition, moving the door over would also cut ALL light from the kitchen. I want to do the opposite; reflect some light from the windows. Plus, it would totally mess up my design that I’ve spent dozens of hours working on and am happy with.

      Plus, from the living room, it would disrupt the symmetry of the space. Plus, the front door would be too much IN the living room as that wall is just over 3 feet wide. The separation is a good amount. Any less and it would lose its being an entrance.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Winter - October 20, 2021 - 6:44 PM

    “Stop It!” Hahahaaaa…that’s great.
    Hey, this kind of humor can help us not take ourselves so seriously.
    An informational blog laced with with emotionally charged human challenges make it VERY INTERESTING.
    Your letter to yourself says it all. I have clients who just started their remodel a month ago after 5 years of non-stop design work, shopping, evaluating, measuring, covid delays etc. So you are WAY ahead of the game.
    Btw, as a fellow designer, I am aware how perfectionistic we can be and I’m sure you’re no exception.
    We all look forward to seeing the beauty you are going to bring to this place, but we also look forward to hearing about the glitches, the changes, the head-aches, the woes, and the frustrations as you go on this journey.
    Will it be perfect? H*ll no. No one ever get’s it perfect.
    Will it be fun to go on the adventure with you? F*ck yeah.
    In the same vein:
    My nephew overheard me say “oops” while painting one day and he said “Tata, there’s no oops in art!”
    I still think about that.
    How right he is.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - October 19, 2021 - 1:38 PM

    Laurel,
    Wow! Your vision is drop dead gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.ReplyCancel

  • Julie Shuchman - October 19, 2021 - 9:19 AM

    Hi Laurel:
    I love your new home but understand your “procrastination”. I think it should be reframed as “being overwhelmed” You moved to a brand new city without knowing many people- and became the homeowner of an apartment you’d dreamed about! Gee, I wonder why you didn’t leap headfirst into a Reno! But things have a way of working out and your image of the kitchen, jib doors, porcelain tile floor, mural is stunning. You say you are now ready to get on with the changes. That’s because you felt the pleasure of those changes. In looking at that image, there was joy. Yes the Reno will be a Pita! You know that better than anyone and I’m sure you are a perfectionist. But as you also know, step by step,look ahead to the beauty you wlll make. It will spur you on.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - October 19, 2021 - 8:54 AM

    Laurel, I would start with the least expensive project to get you motivated. Once it’s completed it will inspire you to continue. The sketches of the entryway with the mural is stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Cookie - October 19, 2021 - 8:43 AM

    Hi, Laurel,

    It only took 20 years for my husband and me to finalize the plan for our forever home. We have been here for 5 years. COVID actually has worked to our favor as it forced us to complete projects around the house. I made draperies for the main bedroom and cushions for the sunroom furniture. It is almost time to start repainting.ReplyCancel

  • Valentina - October 19, 2021 - 7:47 AM

    Sorry, it was a reply to CC’s true storyReplyCancel

  • Valentina - October 19, 2021 - 7:46 AM

    Love this story! Will adopt the technique 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jayne - October 19, 2021 - 7:46 AM

    Genius!ReplyCancel

  • Ellie - October 19, 2021 - 6:45 AM

    I love you Laurel!
    And the doors must stay! I would try to match a hardwood into the kitchen.
    Your fancy new Boston apartment is super posh almost as it is without much “new construction” I promise you!
    Perhaps a little kitchen resurfacing….and a new rail around the staircase. You have years and years to do this and that….
    Make it comfy and pretty for your now. Relax.ReplyCancel

  • CC - October 18, 2021 - 10:06 PM

    True story:
    When I was in my late 20’s I went to see a shrink, a german shrink nonetheless, about some issues I was having.
    He listened politely and then LITERALLY slammed his fist onto his desk shouted “Schtop IT!” and told me to do this every time I had useless recurring thoughts or worries.
    He would proceed to slam his fist onto his desk several times more and shouted “Schtop It!” …to show me just how to do it.
    Moral of the story:
    I’m now 62 and never went back to another therapist or shrink… and I still always think Schtop It! when my thoughts become unproductive or my worry wart syndrome rears it head…😂
    To this day I say thank you Dr. Kirschner!ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - October 18, 2021 - 8:06 PM

    It’s STUNNING!ReplyCancel

  • gayle - October 18, 2021 - 10:28 AM

    This was a wonderful post Laurel. Love the jib doors, the mockup and William McLure’s fireplace mantel. By the way, do you think that’s a Louise Nevelson work hanging above it? Anyway, your apartment will be beautiful. I had to laugh when I read that your procrastinating was so bad that it caused you to fall on your face to keep from working on your project(I’m so glad you are healing!) When I was training at my hospital (years back) I woke one morning and I just didn’t want to go in that day. I delayed as long as I could then hopped on my 10 speed, went down the road a piece and got hit by a car that ran a stop sign. Took a lot of banana cream pie to get over that one. Enjoy your day and thanks so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - October 18, 2021 - 8:54 AM

    Hi laurel I have actually taken the time to read all the comments and agree/ sympathize with most! Been there done that! 🙂 The biggest projects and messiest projects first!! Unfortunately, it’s the staircase. The grand dreams are over and now reality has set in. You have to decide, do it or not do. I think you should, that stair case as you age will become a hindrance but really 150,000??? ( not sure if you were joking) Second, floors. Once you decide on stair case, floors will follow. After that, all the really beautful projects will fall into place.ReplyCancel

  • SM - October 17, 2021 - 10:04 PM

    Hi Laurel! So elegant and beautiful how you combined the two spaces into one, but still separate, with the blue paint and black and white classic floor! The mural also diverts focus away from the awkward wall in the middle, your eyes tend to only see the pretty landscape and elegant glass cupboard! Such a smart solution! It will be absolutely beautiful! BUT, don’t get too stressed out about it, it doesn’t really matter if you do it now or a year later, or whenever you really feel ready for it.ReplyCancel

  • Judy - October 17, 2021 - 8:47 PM

    I believe with any designer, doing work for themselves is the hardest. It might be a little fear of making an expensive mistake. But that being said, do not wait. We are in the second year of doing a large addition and redoing a kitchen and 2 baths. We downsized as we had a farm and age took over. With the Covid crap every material and contractor has had delays. And that is if you could even get something or someone. And things are only getting worse, so hang on tight. The delays will also increase $$$ on labor and materials!!
    PS: I love your blog, taste and plans. Look forward to watching things all come together.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - October 17, 2021 - 8:32 PM

    Oh Laurel, you said “Okay, get ready for the transformation”. Well I wasn’t ready – I think I actually gasped! Wowza – what a difference! Then I had to think about “time” and go back and make sure you said you moved in December. Where did the (almost) year go? Have you noticed that the older you get the quicker it goes? So maybe not so much procrastination as a problem with time. The only suggestion I have is to make a list and cross things off as they get done :))ReplyCancel

  • Carole - October 17, 2021 - 7:05 PM

    You may post all of the deVol kitchens, farrow and ball, Sikes, etc., for our education, but until you deal with that stairway/bannister mess will you have peace of mind?ReplyCancel

  • Fenella - October 17, 2021 - 6:41 PM

    Whoops, sorry, my mistake Laurel! I’ve been playing catch up on your posts and comments, missed that one.ReplyCancel

  • Carol King Platt - October 17, 2021 - 5:47 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I had to pause when I saw the beautiful black and white marble checkerboard tile.

    I’ll try to make this short. In another lifetime, my former and sadly now deceased in-laws lived in Quarters A in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in, (improbably) Portsmouth, Virginia. He was the Commanding Officer. She graciously entertained any important honchos sent down from D. C. who needed a day trip and entertaining while they were on business but were temporarily in the way.

    My dear in-laws had the last 2 stewards in the Navy, who were Filipinos. They were very nice and hardworking and cleverly appreciated the fact that they were working in a pre Civil War mansion for people who appreciated them and not on a ship off the coast of Vietnam.

    Anyway, the foyer of Quarters A had the exact same floor as the black and white one you showed. The less senior steward needed to scrub that floor once a week or more often if it needed it. He took great pride in it and played loud Filipino music while he scrubbed away.
    The point of this is that black and white marble foyers are good only if you have 1. Unlimited funds. 2. If nobody visits you. 3. If you don’t mind the dirt (showing) or 4. You enjoy Filipino music.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 17, 2021 - 6:39 PM

      Hi Carol,

      It’s not a real marble floor. It’s porcelain tile. 😊ReplyCancel

  • Rosemary - October 17, 2021 - 3:03 PM

    It is generally advisable to live in a space before commencing renovations. Renovating, even just decorating, can eventually lead to some burn out. It becomes draining and stressful to wait for contractors who are no-shows. Inevitably things take longer and cost more. Set time frames tp accomplish each step and try to enjoy the process. Remember that renovating in the current pandemic with shortages of labor and materials is especially challenging. Its also challenging to live in a space while it undergoes renovation. If the finished product is anything nearly as lovely as your mock-ups, you will smile each time you enter your apartment. I only wish you still accepted new clients!ReplyCancel

  • Fenella - October 17, 2021 - 3:02 PM

    The mock-up is gorgeous, however, the whole wall perpendicular to and in the middle of the large doorway thing seems a bit awkward, presumably a later modification to the original floorplan, so the kitchen is on the right and the den/loo on the left? I think I’d be tempted to remove that wall and have a larger kitchen/sitting area, and pop the loo in a corner perhaps, as plumbing allows.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 17, 2021 - 6:39 PM

      Hi Fanella,

      If you look at the previous posts I linked to, you’ll see numerous floor plans and also see that I made that awkward wall pushed back a couple of feet and widened, thus opening up the space without feeling like one is walking into the kitchen. The other changes wouldn’t be possible. I agree that it’s not ideal, but this is a parlor-level duplex and they did the best possible layout with what they had to work with. Upstairs, that is. Downstairs, no. Please also note that the bottom level does not follow the same footprint as the upper level from about 5 feet past the spiral.ReplyCancel

  • Christine Schimenz - October 17, 2021 - 2:35 PM

    Dear Laurel ~ Thank you so very much for this insightful article. I was divorced 20 years ago after my husband’s affair and fully understand what you mean about everything being “far easier” with a partner and somewhat harder on your own. Two years ago at the age of 70 I decided to embrace a longstanding dream and built a very small Greek Revival inspired home. I designed with an architect, followed your blog, found a lovely lot, and chose every element down to the door hinges and perennials in the garden landscape. Each decision had to be made with want/need and budget in mind. There were a few projects I left to be finished later one being a floor to cover the standard concrete on the screened porch. So, here I am today at a complete standstill from “builder burn out” needing window treatments, some furniture to be recovered or replaced and that porch floor. I’m deep, deep in procrastination mode so it was reassuring to read that I am not alone in feeling like this. I realize that Covid has taken its toll, but so has design exhaustion, dealing with financial reality and finding capable inspired contractors. I resolve to move forward in 2022 with all that remains and hope you don’t notice that I’m still procrastinating until then. Wishing you energy as you move forward and sincere congratulations on making the move to a city you adore and a home you love.ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid Stockton - October 17, 2021 - 2:00 PM

    Laurel, your mock-up is heart-stoppingly beautiful! An ordinary mortal like me wouldn’t have come up with that in a million years. That must be the reason why you’re the one with the blog.ReplyCancel

  • pauline v purdum - October 17, 2021 - 1:38 PM

    PS, love that sweet little painting to the left of the entrance there, but I know you will find the perfect replacement that will finish the look. Can’t wait to see what you would add there, size wise, etc. You mock up is so gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • pauline v purdum - October 17, 2021 - 1:34 PM

    Oh wow, think you have this one down Laurel, I love, love, love if.I am partial to black tile look and boy does it pull those spaces together. Like the time my DH went on golf trip shortly after we built our house with lovely hard wood floors in the kitchen and everywhere downstairs, and when I told him what I wanted to do, he said why would you want to paint perfectly good new flooring? When he came back from the trip, I had painted the floor in the kitchen and although years ago now, I still love it. The mural in your mock up is just the ticket. Do it all, now. Perfect solutions.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - October 17, 2021 - 12:58 PM

    I have decided that one should always wait AT LEAST one year before deciding on renovation plans. It’s important to live in your space and see what works and doesn’t work for you. I would also suggest getting into the apartments of as many of your neighbors as possible and finding out what they’ve done (and who their architects/contractors were). Those were the two most helpful things for us. We would never have thought about some options otherwise!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - October 17, 2021 - 12:49 PM

    Laurel,

    I’m so glad you’re healing so quickly from your fall. What’s the secret of your rapid recovery? Banana Cream Pie?!

    Thanks for sharing your renovation procrastination with us. I am having the same problem. I love the plans I’ve made. But doing it will be permanent and costly. Maybe I enjoy dreaming more than I dislike my current space?

    In your case, you should call the contractor and get that entry & kitchen done TOMORROW. It is SO BEAUTIFUL just the way you’ve planned it!ReplyCancel

  • BethS - October 17, 2021 - 12:20 PM

    Hi Laurel,. So glad you’re feeling better! I agree with you about the idea of subliminal self-sabotage (if I can call it that made-up idea?)—I’ve had accidents when I’ve been very stressed. Anyway, from my seat in the audience, you’ve been a voice of reason AND an excellent designer! The jib doors are brilliant. YOU ROCK. hang in there 🙂ReplyCancel

  • susie - October 17, 2021 - 12:16 PM

    Thumbs up for the black and white checkerboard floor!! I’ve been working on ‘home improvement” projects around my condo since being vacinnated last spring. New interior doors going in before end of October. Then the only thing left on the wish list will be new kitchen countertops and undermount sink when I have the $$$. I’m intrigued by using Silestone’s “Cala Blue” for my countertop.ReplyCancel

  • Tamara - October 17, 2021 - 11:50 AM

    I love the mockup! And when I read the part where you mentioned the problem of too many doors, I immediately thought about that post about hidden doors 🙂

    I have renovation fatigue right now. Two years ago we decided to do a big renovation, and a year ago we got our contractor. Now it’s been 7 months since actually starting the physical process, and 6 months without a kitchen (and we have 4 kids). We’re still at least 2 months away from completion.
    All that to say, maybe it’s not so bad that you’re not renovating right now. Things are taking even longer than the usual longer, and supplies are more expensive.
    Maybe you’ll have a reno fatigue post in the future!

    By the way, I have done the interior design myself due to various circumstances and you and Maria Killam have been my sources. It’s definitely not up to par for a professional, but it’ll be so much better than I could have done before obsessively reading your blog 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Gail - October 17, 2021 - 11:41 AM

    It’s 8:30 am. I am lying in bed reading your blog. After getting up, walking the dog, and stretching my aching back, I have to get back to cleaning and painting our lower level suite. My tenant just moved out and my mom is moving in soon. Then there is the yard cleanup so when she looks out the window she is not looking at the mess from the roof redo. The roof redo has stalled because it’s been raining for 4 weeks. We may need to leave the tarps in place for the entire winter because in Victoria, where I live, it rains from November until March. The roofing issues have delayed the landscaping that was supposed to be done this month until next spring.
    We are in year 7 of our DIY, 1911 house restoration. I have worked full-time through the entire project. Sometimes what looks like procrastination is just plain exhaustion.When you were a working designer, that was your job. Now designing your apartment is the extra work that you squeeze in on weekends or the evenings if and when you can find a shred of energy and if life is all lining up nicely, which it hasn’t since the pandemic began. So yes please be gentle with yourself and enjoy your apartment as is until you are fully healed from your fall and are able to move forward at a pace that is reasonable for a full-time self employed professional. Oh, and not being 25 anymore doesn’t help!! Well I guess I better get up and get going…ReplyCancel

  • Maggie S - October 17, 2021 - 10:38 AM

    Your mock-up is fantastic!! I LOVE the idea of jib doors and having the same floor really unifies the space (also carrying the color through). I find that I procrastinate when my vision isn’t completely clear. Even if I have made the necessary decisions – I have a hard time if I am not really 100% sure of what I want to do.ReplyCancel

  • Debra - October 17, 2021 - 10:07 AM

    Fantastic light fixtures in the new hall and kitchen plan! It’s going to be so beautiful. Hope you’re feeling much better…ReplyCancel

  • Lisa from MT - October 17, 2021 - 9:46 AM

    Oh my my! All the words and idea pictures and I never imagined your foyer and kitchen looking so fabulous! You have serious VISION Laurel! It’s gorgeous!

    I’m struggling with procrastination right now too and hoping that a little focus on the end result will help get me moving forward again. Cross your fingers!ReplyCancel

  • Lin - October 17, 2021 - 9:39 AM

    The mural rocks your plan – GO FOR IT!ReplyCancel

  • Sandzi - October 17, 2021 - 9:39 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    A few years ago we went through a reno on a newly purchased 25 year old French Country style home. Yes, the first half of the project was slow and took 80% of the budget. The second half of the project took too long and took another 80% of the budget (yes, eighty).

    But that’s not why I’m writing. (I hadn’t found your blog and didn’t have your guidance soon enough.) During the project my impatient husband frequently asked me: “What is going to happen here”, or a variation of that. My standard answer was “It has yet to reveal itself”. Later it became an acronym “IHYTRI” (pronounced like: “I try”. After a couple of months he said “no more IHYTRI”. The new acronym is “IFTTRI” Or, “it’s friggin’ time to reveal itself!”

    The reno (2,800 sf, every room downstairs) was completed in about six months. Yes, at almost twice the budget and I did make some mistakes. But it’s our favorite home ever and we are still happily married.

    Good luck on your reno and I’m glad you’re recovering nicely from your face plant. BTW: How was your experimental garden?

    SandziReplyCancel

  • Diane Bockelman - October 17, 2021 - 9:34 AM

    It looks beautiful! The jib door idea is brilliant! Glad you are feeling better❤ReplyCancel

  • Mary E - October 17, 2021 - 9:31 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    It seems to me you’ve got the hardest parts of your renovation completed. The design & finding a contractor.
    I find what gets me motivated is finding something I love. It sets a spark in me & makes me excited to get the renovations under way.
    Enjoy your Sunday.😘ReplyCancel

  • ALISA KLEIN - October 17, 2021 - 9:26 AM

    I think one of the reasons we designers can’t decide for our own homes is the pressure we put on it that it has to be the best. And we are afraid that the day after we pay for it we will find/create something even better. Accept that in every project something could have been better but it is still unquestionably better than before.

    It’s also very hard to make decisions without bouncing them off another person. If you hire a designer you trust they can help you move past this stage as I’m sure you’ve done for your clients in a similar position. Find a designer who will work up a timeline and will enforce it.

    All easier said than done, I know.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - October 17, 2021 - 9:20 AM

    OMG! I too am procrastinating because I don’t yet have a clear vision of how to renovate my kitchen. You have a clear and gorgeous vision! Your vision —- every detail — is GORGEOUS! Please go for it!ReplyCancel

  • Candy Perfetti - October 17, 2021 - 8:53 AM

    The mockup was and still is breathtaking. It totally transforms the space. Elegance and sophistication are always timeless.

    From what I’ve heard about contractors in our area (Boston) being majorly delayed due to supply shortages, and prices being doubled for the same reason, I don’t think it’s procrastination, it’s your professional intuition telling you to be patient!

    In the meantime…your mockups inspire me and kick-start my week!ReplyCancel

  • vanessa - October 17, 2021 - 8:52 AM

    Hi Laurel, hope you are recovering nicely from your accident. I wanted to share that in my “procrastination” I am now on my third kitchen cabinet colors/style. In my experience the longer it takes me to make a decision the happier I am with the result. I must say that the Abkasha Instagram you shared helps me stay grounded. All the best!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - October 17, 2021 - 8:48 AM

    Wow Laurel! The design for the entry/kitchen is absolutely beautiful. It is such a challenging area to do right and you nailed it! When I first saw your post about procrastination of renovations, I was wishing that I had procrastinated on my primary bathroom job currently underway – now in week 12 of what was supposed to be a 2 1/2 week job – and that was having all materials on site before the start. I don’t think I’ll ever want to renovate anything again ! I live vicariously through you though – beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Gilda Stigliano - October 17, 2021 - 8:39 AM

    When I built my home 6 yrs ago, I selected Opal Essence for my ceilings, as referenced by YOU on your blog and I adore it! SO I have some of YOU in my own home! thanks you, it’s lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Susan C - October 17, 2021 - 8:27 AM

    I love your mock up. What I thought was a terrific idea was to use the same paint color as the background sky in the wallpaper on your kitchen ceiling. Looking into the entry and kitchen will appear as one cohesive space. Take care of yourself, tomorrow is another day Scarlett ❤ ps It was through your post that many of us find other wonderful creative people. Big mistake on their part for not liking you to share!ReplyCancel

  • caron - October 17, 2021 - 8:19 AM

    Wow Laurel!! The kitchen view and entry look great. I can feel your enthusiasm. Renovations require creativity and endurance(besides all those concrete things like money and permits and expert contractors and materials and… LOL)You definitely have it all and cannot wait to see the process unfold. So glad you have healed quickly. You GO GIRL!ReplyCancel

  • Paulette - October 17, 2021 - 8:06 AM

    I love the way the color of the sky in the mural is peaking out above the cabinetry in the kitchen! Brilliant! I love the striking lantern you have identified. The black of the lantern pairs with the white of cabinetry, just as black pairs with white on the floor.
    I like the “mature consideration” comment. This is a special building, a special situation, and your intuition is telling you that before you tear into these venerable and code-laden walls, mature deliberation is required. Smart woman! Gorgeous taste! Beautiful design! And that little hint of Down Pipe on the left is also pulling colors from the mural. Brilliant vision. And wasn’t it worth waiting for?ReplyCancel

  • Pat from Cape Cod - October 17, 2021 - 7:54 AM

    Hi Laurel! LOVE the mock-up! You will have a beautiful entry and kitchen. I can imagine sitting in your living room and looking back at the kitchen and entry wall and it bringing me joy. Every time. It will be like night and day. Love all of your ideas for correcting the problems with your space. As far as original plans, I think I mentioned at some point: the Boston Public Library. When we did our renovation on Beacon, we got copies in color (we framed the floor plan of our floor) and black and white. We also got a cd of the whole building. They have the plans stored offsite but will send them to you. (Or you might possibly have to pick them up when they get them—can’t remember exactly). Perhaps lmk if you are successful. Another thought: it might be a good thing you waited. With the supply chain issues, appliances are limited. When you do buy, I recommend Yale Appliance. Great customer service. Good luck.ReplyCancel

  • Téa - October 17, 2021 - 7:38 AM

    You’re an ARTISTÉ – procrastination gives you time to “think” and “dream”! Loved the “Bob Newhart” clip! I’m going to share that with my daughters who kvetch A LOT 🙂 . Hang in there, Laurel – you are loved!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - October 17, 2021 - 7:10 AM

    Love it. Do it!!
    You are so funny. Rest is a 4-letter word in your world. Take care and thanks for the humor, joy and beauty you share with us.ReplyCancel

  • Amjean - October 17, 2021 - 6:50 AM

    One suggestion I would make is to
    make sure you have room for a future home elevator in the space allocated for
    stairs. If this is your forever home, when one ages stairs become difficult.ReplyCancel

  • Debra - October 17, 2021 - 6:39 AM

    We just bought a house by The Villages Florida. It has green laminate counters flanked by orange oak cabinetry! In every other house I’ve always had to wait to do reno. This time we are ready to roll as soon as we get there. Guess what? I’m stalling! I think I want to live in this place for a bit before we tear it up front to back? Is this procrastination…or experience?!
    Ha.
    I’m going with the latter.
    Get going Lauren, maybe you can fit in at least one project by the holidays.

    Hugs,
    DebraReplyCancel

  • Ines from Amsterdam, Netherlands - October 17, 2021 - 6:10 AM

    Totally recognisable. Tip: cut it into pieces, interesting enough for the contractor to come over for. First the floor, fireplace or doors perhaps? Inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Ruthie - October 17, 2021 - 6:01 AM

    Oh. My. Word. Yes!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - October 17, 2021 - 5:42 AM

    I am living through a entire house remodel and it is hard like everyone said it would be! Why didn’t I realize how enormous that shower would be, why can’t the doors open the other way, what do you mean you can’t do a pocket door there, someone can I am certain… I kinda hate it. I already want to move out.

    I did not know you could do all the work of writing a post and someone could ask you to take it down??? That’s awful.

    We just stayed in an airbnb with a minisplit and it was just so silent and worked so well! I loved it.

    Your mockup is simply gorgeous! I do hope it works out like that! Don’t be hard on yourself, you’re busy, all this is very complicated and always more expensive than planned.ReplyCancel

  • GL - October 17, 2021 - 4:52 AM

    I suspect that the reason for procrastination in such matters is that somehow one has a niggling doubt about the plan. (Certainly I did right to procrastinate on re-finishing a dining room trolley, which is now nothing like what I’d originally envisioned in … 2013, which as I recently discovered was when I bought it.) So perhaps it would be a good idea to re-name procrastination as mature consideration.
    Your mock-up image is just gorgeous — I do hope you can turn that into reality.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle M - October 17, 2021 - 4:39 AM

    Ohhh LOVE the mockup. Do it, do it! 👍
    Must be even worse for you as a decorator, sooo many options, my technique to avoid reno procrastination is forcing myself to say, ‘choose 3 styles, now pick one of them.’ Ok, now, choose 3 couches, pick one’, I have to reduce the number of options..or never make a move hahahaha. (Reserving the right to change my mind of course haha).
    Hope you are now on a roll. That mockup is GORGEOUS!ReplyCancel

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