How to Survive a Home Remodel


Surviving a home remodel can be tough. There are always delays and cost overruns. Today I am sharing my most important tip on how to remodel your home.

Waco Dining Room

Remodeling an entire home is a big and often stressful project.  Remodeling our Waco house was an especially stressful project because the “before” was kind of a nightmare. The house had a sagging foundation, plenty of rats, no electrical, a horrible smell, and was unliveable.

And yet, it was the perfect house for my remodel. Because it wasn’t perfect.

So how did I survive our home remodel?

The answer is the same thing I say about every project I have done.

You just have to accept that nothing is perfect. Especially in a remodel.

And that is ok. In fact, I think imperfections are a good thing.

The Dining Room

This photo is our dining room and kitchen. I love the look of fall.

In case you are wondering, the architectural piece above the french door is there because the door was 16″ lower than all of the windows on the same wall. By adding the piece above the doors, I brought the height even with all of the windows. Of course, the architectural piece is also a show stopper!

Tip: Don’t panic when you find a mistake. Come up with a creative solution instead.  

The photo below was taken a year ago. 

Waco Kitchen

See the horizontal seams on the wood floor?  Those are from where we removed the walls. My contractor quoted me the price to redo the floors and “marry”  the seam so it would be unnoticeable.

It wasn’t in the budget so I came up with this idea instead. I actually really like this imperfection.

The photo below was taken a few months before. Isn’t it good to know that our dining room is where our dead plants are stored?  (On a good note, we were able to bring life back to this plant and it is thriving now.)

Look at those floors! We sanded for days. And days. And days.  

Waco Kitchen

And look how nice our kitchen looks after we completed our home remodel. The only thing missing are the barstools.

Did you notice the old wallpaper on the ceiling in this photo? They had a hard time taking it off. Of course, the minute I saw it I said, “leave it”!  I love imperfection!

Waco Kitchen Island

I will never forget this day. I had been told that the cabinets didn’t fit and I had ordered the wrong ones. So I sat down with the instructions and moved a few things around. And guess what?  They all fit.

Waco Kitchen Installation

Did I mention how much I love our kitchen?

The Living Room

I don’t often show the living room (aka front room). I just forget!

This is such a cozy spot to relax, watch tv, or just have an awesome conversation with friends.

Waco Living Room

This photo shows what the room looked like shortly after I moved in the furniture. When I look back at the photo above and then look at the one below, I cannot believe how much difference a rug and drapes make.

Tip: If you ever want to “finish off a room”, add a rug and drapes.

Waco living Room Furniture

Here is another before photo of the living room. I took this on the day we installed the can lights in the living room. 

Actually the lights were installed when I was picking up coffee and when I came back I found out they had installed white recessed lights. On a dark wood roof. Aargh!

 I wanted brown recessed lights! My contractor told me we needed to leave them because we had an inspection the next day. And if that didn’t happen then we would be way behind my schedule.

So I ran to the hardware store and bought brown spray paint. It only took 15 minutes to paint and 20 minutes for them to dry (it was over 100  degrees outside) and when we brought them in the house  … they looked awful.

So what did I do?

I pulled out my phone and found brown recessed lights on Amazon. They arrived the next day with plenty of time to get them installed before the inspection.

And yes, we passed the inspection. (This  worked out fine, it  was  just another typical home remodel .)

Waco Living Room Progress Shot

The Front Bedroom

This bedroom is just amazing. I am beyond happy with how it came out. I think that’s because all of the furnishings are from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Ha ha.

Waco Front Bedroom

There is a story about his room that I don’t think I have ever told.

The picture you see above was taken before we completed the home remodel in this room. But I had a deadline. And I couldn’t miss it. 

So I set up the entire room and took a ton of photos. You might notice that none of the photos show the wall behind where I took this photo. That’s because it wasn’t painted. Yet.

Waco Front Bedroom Beds

Also, the floors hadn’t been refinished yet either. Fortunately, the rug hid the floor. And the quarter round molding hadn’t been installed. Or the drapes. 

Oh, and the light wasn’t working until halfway through the photoshoot.

After the photoshoot was over, we moved everything out and put it back into storage.

Waco Front Bedroom

This room was far from perfect. But just so you know, the photo I took of the unfinished, unpainted, and unsanded bedroom, was one of my top photos of 2019.

Which proves something I have always said.

Things do not have to be perfect. 

Especially with a  home remodel.

Waco Front Bedroom 2

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  1. I love your home!! We live in a very old home as well and renovated over 3 years. I love your style because well, it is the same as mine. I too love imperfection, its those little things that add so much character to the home. Beautiful job!!

  2. My girlfriends and I think we need to plan a girls trip to Waco so we can stay in your fabulous home. You did an outstanding job, every detail is perfection. Of course that doesn’t surprise me after all you’ve done to your home in Pas.

  3. Leslie,
    Good points! Sounds like “flexibility” is key to a remodel. Let me ask you a question though, it is something that has happened to me. When the whole deal with the lights came up and you ended up buying new ones…you paid and I assume the contractor had already charged you for them?? In my experience a contractor will ALWAYS charge you if he has to do more but will not give anything back… in the heck do you deal with that? Another time, the architectural drawings were wrong and a whole lot of cement had to be pulled out and re-poured in a different configuration. It was too late to go back on the architect, I had to submit a drawing to the city and had to pay my cement guy……was a costly deal and I had to pay it all.

  4. It’s nice to know things not going smoothly happen to everyone.

    Love your attitude – and this Waco AirBnB is fabulous. You did a great job.

    Love the two big beds in the bedroom and your “imperfect” floors throughout are so charming and awesome.

    1. Thank you so much, Michele. That means so much to me that you think so, imperfect really is sometimes more perfect 🙂

  5. Could you please tell me where your cross back dining chairs were purchased from? This might be your Waco home.
    Thank you

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