Construction Chaos

I’m living on a job site. I guess if you’re going to go through the chaos of moving, you might as well do everything at once, right? It’s like when you have babies—give them siblings while you’re still in the habit of changing diapers, or else you’ll never have the will to do it again.

That’s a long way of saying we have no kitchen. We ripped it out. We moved in on July 1, unpacked a few kitchen boxes to get by, and then packed them right up again for the demo.


The family room boxes, meanwhile, remain packed. Because they go in the same space as the kitchen. And like dominoes, the mess backs up through the rest of the house. No point in cleaning these days.


While we’re camping out, we have the microwave and toaster oven in the basement. All disposable plates and frozen meals. Anything that requires a cutting board or a hot plate? Forget it. I’m not doing any dishes in the laundry room. Thank goodness the previous owners left a fridge and freezer in the garage.

I’ve officially got my comeuppance. I’ve spent years writing about beautiful homes, walking into the “after” pictures, cooing over the gorgeous interiors, and laughing with homeowners over their stories about the months they had to suffer through the construction. Now it’s my turn. I haven’t gotten to the laughing part yet.


The problem is, I’m a Cancer. That means I’m a Homebody. A Nester. I can’t stand having things out of place. But now everything is out of place. Nothing is hung on the walls (on purpose, but still). You need shoes to walk anywhere, the glass on our coffee table is filthy, and I can write my name in dust on every piece of furniture that isn’t covered. It’s enough to send me into a fetal position!

But here’s my lesson, which I have to re-learn from years ago, when my then-new husband and I spent six months painting all the walls in our old house and ripping out THAT kitchen too: It’s just going to take time. Maybe I’m older and have lost patience and perspective, which is why I’m feeling so undone?

But yesterday gave me a preview of better days to come—a glimmer of what things might look like before too long: The cabinets arrived.


And just like that, the guys started installing them.


There’s a drawer that holds spice jars, and another with pegs in the bottom for posts that can hold dishes in place—all the nifty things I’ve written about and seen at Kitchen and Bath Industry shows, but never had myself.

On Friday, they come to measure for countertops—two different types of granite we chose at the stoneyard with the help of (sister and brother) Nadia and Richard Suburan at Aidan Design. We also just identified the pendants that will hang over the island, and I’m loving the bookshelves that will hold all my cookbooks:


Patience, my mother cautioned the other day. OK! But boy, is it hard.


  1. Jennifer Sergent says:

    I will, thanks Jean! All the walls are white in this house, which I intend to keep so the architecture can speak for itself. I would love for you to see it sometime!

  2. Love the new house and love those soft gray (?) cabs with the warm wood tones. Keep the walls white!

  3. Your new kitchen looks like it will be beautiful! I love the light coming in those windows. Cant wait to see the after photos.

    Here’s a take-out tip from another serial renovator – try galley foods for dinner delivery, if it’s available in your area. There are four choices of fresh cooked dinners everyday. Delivered to your home at better than restaurant prices. The food is so delicious, I order at least once a week. (Even when not under construction 🙂


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