Accepting the Learning Curve of Our First Renovation and what I’m learning along the way…


This is what my ‘in progress’ kitchen actually looks like right now. It’s not pretty, and it’s not super fun to live in.

I had been a bit naively optimistic in hoping that could stack up the kitchen boxes and make a usable ‘counter’ space on top of them until our actual cabinets come, which clearly isn’t happening. Right now we have no dishwasher and only 24″ of usable counter space, if that. It’s definitely not our dream kitchen scenario!

I knew we’d have plenty of curve balls and surprises during this renovation, but one thing that’s been kind of surprising {or maybe just a surprising reality check} is the learning curve that I feel like keeps dragging me down.

Every time you do something for the first time there’s always the learning curve… everything takes a little longer and is a little harder until you get the hang of things and everything isn’t brand new and unfamiliar anymore.

But guys, this isn’t my first renovation. Why am I in the middle of this silliness?! I guess if I’m being honest, even though I’ve done a lot of projects in my design career, most of my experience isn’t in residential design… it’s also been a while {like five years?} since I’ve done a residential renovation… and most of all, everything is totally different when you’re doing a renovation for yourself and you decide to live through it.

In a ‘normal’ renovation you get the luxury of figuring everything out, the design, the details, the finishes, the mistakes, before you move in. A delay or surprise feels a lot different when you have to live with it until it gets sorted out!

Some things I had totally figured out, and those went pretty smoothly. I have a contractor I love, an amazing flooring guy, and the best appliance guy… no surprise, figuring those things out were a snap. Kitchen cabinets have been a pretty painful experience. It took me a whole month to find a company who could make what I wanted at a price we could live with. Now it’s 4 – 6 weeks until they arrive, and then another two weeks for the counters.

Longest few months ever.

But here’s the thing about the learning curve, and it’s something I’m reminding myself, and my manfriend, of often right now. Everything we’re doing this first time around that’s more challenging, or taking longer because we have to figure it out, will be so much easier the next time around. And also, taking a little longer to make sure you have what you want… or you have the best price you can get, is worth it.

I’m someone who has a hard time really enjoying something unless it’s ‘perfect’, which can really keep me from being happy in all the beautiful ‘imperfect’ moments in life. This project is teaching me how to enjoy the messy process, and it’s reminding me that really, nothing is ‘perfect’. Or maybe, everything is perfect, even when it’s messy and isn’t that the best lesson of all?


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