What Does Cashew Mean for the House?

Well, simply speaking, having a baby will slow work down. Our goal when we first moved in was to have the house done in 5 years. Because we started doing more work for other people we knew that wasn't going to be entirely possible, but we were still hopeful it would come in around that time. By the end of this year we will have been in this house, working diligently away, for 4 years. And Cashew will come at about the 4 1/2 year mark (a little before). The lucky thing is that we really only have 2 more big projects, then the rest are smaller (repair ceilings, build cabinets, paint, redo our bedroom, etc.) A HUGE reason to get the floors done while we were on the trip was so that project could be totally out of the way and we wouldn't have to worry about shuffling a baby or toddler around while nasty fumes were going on piece by piece as we moved from room to room. But I'm trying to be realistic (while also being completely naive because I have no child yet) and say that I HOPE the house will be done in 6 1/2. I think Chris thinks it'll get done sooner, but I'm trying to kind of wrap my head around the fact that we'll be really busy, really tired, and want to hang out with the little Cashew. Right? :)

But in the foreseeable future, there are some changes and projects that we hope to get done before Cashew makes its arrival.  

First up: my art room.

And it will now double as my office. Besides my work at the A's, my other part time jobs are based at home and so it's very necessary to have a home office. A year+ ago we completed this strange little room off my art room that we call the "Animal Room" (because it smelled like a rotten dog when we first moved in)

(you can see the Before & After here)

That office area has gotten smaller and smaller for me, so I decided with Cashew coming the best thing to do for now will be to make my art room the art room/office...

And make the animal room the Cashew's room

As you can see, both rooms are in complete stages of: total hot mess. I've been super busy with work since we got back from the trip so I haven't had time to even move all the furniture back into the art room/office. For instance, the filing cabinet is now in here, but as you can see from the above pic the filing cabinet drawers are all over the animal room floor. My goal is to get the art room/office organized and under control by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. It'll also make work life a lot easier for me because I can't really find anything when it could be in here, could be still in the front room, could be in the animal room, or could be...

Then I'll have a nice (sorta blank) canvas to work with for Cashew's room

I say "sorta blank canvas" because a decent amount of stuff will stay the same in here as Chris and I are trying to be as practical (and easy on ourselves) as possible. The paint color (boy or girl) will stay the same. Most likely that artwork on the wall above the shelves in the above pic will also stay the same if it's a boy or girl (yes, there can be PINK and PURPLE in a boys room, gasp). That center shelving unit with the bobbleheads on it will also stay in here and be some super awesome storage for all the baby stuff we will inevitably begin collecting over the next 6 months. 

So what's changing in here? Well, obviously we will need to get a crib. I hear those are very important. We'll also remove the 2 additional storage units to make way for a dresser/changing table and then also get a nice comfy chair for me to feed in (I hear those are also very important ;) I will also make a new shade with some blackout fabric and probably make it a roman shade because that'll be the most efficient. Tack on some smaller decorating things (photos, more crap to go on the wall) and a mobile, all the baby clothes, lotion, diapers, etc. that'll move in and I think that's where we'll call it done. I'm trying not to be overly fussy and just keep it simple. I know things will change and evolve over time, but we'll just roll with the punches. At least I'm hoping that's what'll happen. I will probably run around like a chicken with my head cut off and have several freak outs along the way to "keeping it simple" but I'm hoping that by telling myself to keep it simple, I'll be more likely to keep it that way.

One BIG project we're tackling and hoping to have finished by the time Cashew arrives is that pesky back bathroom. FINALLY!

This is the last gut job in the house, so it would be really nice to have it done before a baby is rolling around. The last big project after this one will be the laundry room, and it's not nearly as invasive - it'll involve leveling the floor, installing a new floor, and building LOTS of storage cabinets. My organizing heart goes pitter patter. 

But this bathroom has been in need for almost 2 years now and getting to finish it before the arrival of Cashew is a HUGE goal. And I feel so wonderful saying that we have FINALLY started working on it!!!

The floor is crazy out of level so that was quite the undertaking, but we're moving along on it and I can't wait to share more about it tomorrow!

So there you have it. The must projects are: getting my art room/office in order, putting together the nursery, and finishing the back bathroom. If we get really lucky we might complete a smaller task here and there, but again, I'm trying to be totally practical :)


Jessica said...

Sounds like a great plan! Good idea getting as much as possible done before the baby is born. Some babies are super laid back and great at sticking to a schedule; some hate being left out of anything, including home renovation. It's just the luck of the draw--I have some of each type.

meryl rose said...

Lol, some of each type, I like that! :) I wonder what little Cashew will be like... :)

Colleen Proppé said...

Hi Meryl and Chris,

I am so impressed with your ability to get so much done together(not like us dysfunctional families who can barely manage a bike ride on the weekends ;)
I love how you are making Cashew's room right next to your art room/office. That is so smart! You will be able to put him down for a nap and then get a couple hours of your own art/work done while still listening for little sounds nearby. I think you will be very happy with your plan once the Cash is in the present.

We definitely do need a DIY kitchen fix over here, but it looks like you are going to be super busy. If you are ever in Marin and want to see how I have survived having twins in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath--- a closet that held a water heater has been turned into a third bedroom for one of the boys-- you are welcome to drop by. It's just down Elm from your mom's Lansdale art studio. Hope we get to meet you one of these days, and best of luck with all your projects, including the little builder inside. ;)