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Must be nice

Must be nice

April 12, 2007

That was the subject line of an email I got this morning. On a morning when I already am in a funk wondering, WHERE THE HELL IS SPRING?!?

Hail? Ice storm? Three inches of ice covering my driveway?

What is next, locusts?

Must be nice to be you.

Well, yes it is actually nice to be me, thank-you very much. But not for the reasons that you think.

It is nice to be me because I have a house filled with people who love me. People who routinely drive me precariously close to the edge of the crazy cliff, but people who love me nonetheless.

You think you are so perfect

No, if I were perfect I would have made little people who wouldn’t drive me crazy. Also they would have better toilet aim, not color on themselves, and hang up their coats without being reminded.

Showing off all your perfect furniture

Most of my furniture is from IKEA. I had to cart it home in flat pack boxes. And then assemble it myself with a teeny tiny allen wrench. And while I do really like it, it isn’t Ethan Allen, nor do I pretend that it is.

It could be yours too along with a plate of Swedish meatballs for $1.99.

Ack, enough.


This week marks 4 years that we have lived in this house. Four years that we have been pouring our blood,sweat, tears, and even a thumb into making this house a home.

It may seem when I post photos that suddenly our house is fixed up like magic, but that isn’t true. I don’t blog about every little detail of everything we are doing to the house because it is boring. Does anyone want to read, “I painted another wall today” or “I stripped some wallpaper” or “My god if I have to look at this white peeling vinyl kitchen floor another day I might kill myself.” We constantly are working on something, usually more than one project at a time.

The rest of this is probably only interesting if you are renovating an old house, dream of renovating an old house (you poor poor deluded soul), or wonder what the hell I do with all my free time. So I’ll put below the fold. Every single thing in these photos that has been done, we have done ourselves. With our own hands.

Our own very tired hands.




Family room


Family room




Looking into breakfast room

looking toward the breakfast room

view from breakfast room into family room





No, you may not touch the throw pillows

Posted by Chris @ 4:48 pm  

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  1. Kai says:

    I applaud your hard work and think your house looks gorgeous! I hope you enjoy your endless hours of hard work for many many more years to come!

    My house is all Ikea too. :)

  2. Laziza says:

    Uh, is that a MURAL?

  3. Novaks8 says:

    Chris- who are these people who email you these shitty emails? (excuse the language)

    You are and have always been my favorite blogger.

    NOT because you are perfect but because you are NOT and you blog about it!

  4. Janssen says:

    Laziza, I was totally thinking the same thing. I kept squinting, thinking “Are they inside or outside?” Gorgeous house! I love it!

  5. Scout's Honor says:

    Wow! I bow to you Gods of DITY. I started to paint the exterior of my house last summmer. One-third done before rains came. I started to paint my daughter’s room three different pin stripes of pink when we moved in almost two years ago. The paint cans, tape, plastic tarps still line one side of her bed because I have two walls to go. You see where I am going. So anyway, I really respect all that work. Those were major renovations–to complete them with all those little hands and feet underneath you is beyond miraculous. You rock bigtime in my book.

  6. Lilly says:

    Wow! What a transformation. Beautiful work. …and Gack! What a dark and ugly room ‘before.’ What in the world is the yellow thing that looks strung across the waterfall in that giant mural?

  7. cheryl says:

    somehow I don’t think that placated the psycho. but I think it rocks!

  8. Abbey says:

    It is really beautiful. THough I can’t understand why you didn’t keep up the oh so lovely waterfall mural. I am so impressed that you have not only done all the work, but that you have such style and ability to visualize what needs to be done.
    Just fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  9. gingerstory says:

    Coming out of lurkdom to say–don’t those hate mail people have better things to do? It really amazes me. GET A LIFE I SAY!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your house! You definitely have an eye for it! Wow, what hard work.!!

  10. Erinn says:

    Fantastic work. Maybe you were to be the designated blog punching bag today. I hope I’m as cool as you when I’m a mom.

  11. jm says:


    (Kidding. Whoo boy, am I kidding.)

    Wow. This person actually channeled all of that jealous energy into writing an email to you this morning. When he/she could have been, you know, getting off of his/her butt and fixing up their own house.

    Sucks to be them. Imagine. That is a lot of hate to cart around for no good reason.

  12. Shel says:

    Wow, your home is gorgeous! I can imagine what hard work it’s been. You’ve done such an awesome job though.

  13. Susan says:

    Pure jealousy. Some people are pathetic.

    You are a wonderful and very REAL person, Chris, which is why you have so many fans. Don’t let a few rotten apples get the best of you, which is what they want to do. They want to try to make you feel as crappy as they do. Pity them instead. (I’m sure you do, but that was more for their sake than yours. ;-))


  14. Kelly says:

    wow. you guys are really talented. i love the 1/2 wall (where the bench i guess is?). what a fantastic addition!
    did you actually LIVE IN THE HOUSE during all that??? what a nightmare!
    finally - i love your blog. thanks!

  15. Crisanne says:

    I’ve always wanted a banquette-style (curse word processing that corrects spelling-I have NO IDEA how to spell anymore!!) table like that. Do you like it?

  16. Beth says:

    Why do I feel like my life is all of the before shots?

    :Wanders away muttering about Stupid Renovating of Houses.:

  17. MamaGeph says:

    People who write e-mails like that should get a wet dummy-slap. How cowardly is that, to write those things that they would never have the nerve to utter to you in person?

    Your paint choices are fabbo, but I am really in love with the fine carpentry work. Love it, love it, love it.

  18. Merry says:

    You covered up the mural??? Have you no taste?????

    I think your house looks great (and i have a lot of the same furniture, in a house that came ready magnolia’d and which i didn’t build) and it doesn’t look that good.

    I grew up in a house that my parents renovated from something with one radiator and a ceiling that fell in when we poked it experimentally. It had 9 layers of wallpaper, some victorian, many with layers of old wiring between them and it was significant hell for the lot of us at times, but a great project. My parents are still labouring over it now, 20 years on.

    I think you have every right to post the pics you do and i’m glad you do (but could you keep with the candy covered ones too so that i don’t feel too inferior and housewife!) :)

  19. Melissa says:

    Is that a big mural on the wall in the second to last picture?? I bet you’re regretting taking down that scene of sunshine and tranquility right about now. Or maybe not….

  20. Bronnie says:

    Wow! Your home has turned out beautifully. I’ve always loved the idea of renovating an old house. I’m only 22, so the first house I buy will the best in my price range, but eventually - I’d love an old house.

    You’ve done a great job!

  21. Rachel says:

    wow. what a wretched mural! you and rob are amazing. I applaud you and sit in awe.

    And again say that I would love to visit. But my messy house would likely push you over the edge. I’m guessing you don’t have murals of kid pictures across from your bed? ;)

  22. dcrmom says:

    It looks awesome. You have done an amazing job, and you deserve to enjoy it without jealous people giving you a hard time about it.

  23. julie says:

    The photos were definitely of interest because we are those naive makeover types. Oh, the horrors we will face, if we ever settle on which heap we want to buy and then fix up!

    Also, that painting about the couch (sunset/hill/tree) is beautiful. Is it one of yours?

    Also, um, what is up with the floors in the before pictures? Did just the one part of the living room used to be sunken? Did you have to lower the exterior doors or did you raise the floors? I’m so confused by the levels!

    And one last also: Also, your boys are so cute, standing around “helping”! “so, uh, whatcha puttin in there? 220? 221? Whatever it takes?” (ok, bad half-quote of Mr. Mom, but the husband and I use it whenever one of us is just standing around watching home repair in progress.)

  24. briana says:

    And did you actually change doors into windows by the table? I’m impressed.
    Where do you find the time to do all that?

    Oh, and I second the idea that whoever wrote you that mean email should be slapped. Or maybe a wet-willy. :)

  25. Victoria says:

    People who right emails like that do not deserve any recognition. Don’t let them bother you Chris…they’re just petty, little jealous people who are cowardly and hide behind anonymous email.

    Post whatever you want…it’s your blog and you don’t have to please anyone.

  26. Victoria says:

    I hate it when you click post and see a GLARING typo!

    I do indeed know that it is WRITE and not RIGHT.

    damn meno brain…

  27. MyDuckies says:

    I love your house, and appreciate all the work, YES WORK, that goes into it. Beautiful- Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!!
    And know we are completely jealous!!

  28. Kini says:

    Awesome work! It really inspires me. We are trying to renovate a 1900 farmhouse that needs a LOT of tlc. I am completely jealous also! We have almost completed 2 rooms, except for the floors (which we want to have continuous through that story) and the door trims… It is a lot of work, I applaud you!

    Is that a bio-mass stove? We have one, we burn corn with it. It totally heats our whole house (albeit, the room it is in is very toasty) and we can go well over a year on one tank of propane (vs. our fill up every month of the heating season for $600+ A MONTH!).

  29. Lilly says:

    Your house is just beautiful and well worth all your hard work. I do have a question about kidstuff and keeping the living/dining area neat though. At our house, toys, legos, books etc migrate to the living room daily and it’s usually a few days before we do a clean-up, taking them back to their original storage spots. Do you have a clean-up rule or routine that helps everybody keep these rooms tidy each day?

  30. Sherri says:

    Wow the work you’ve done! Why is it that some people are drawn to these old houses that need such work?? I ask from my 1918 house with one bathroom and very little closet space - not even a linen closet to be found. Sometimes I think that woodwork is highly over-rated :)

  31. lorriane says:

    Hey,we love before and afters! Most of us only tear off flocked wallpaper, etc. You guys have had to do the big stuff! Congrats on an awesome job. Especially when you have to work around all the little critters LOL

  32. Jess says:

    You did a wonderful job. You should be super proud of all the work you have done on your home.

  33. Sarah says:

    I not only think you deserve to be on HGTV for your home renovation skills, would you come do my house too? (haha!) Your home is incredible and everytime I simply paint a room I think about how amazing people like you (and your husband) are!

  34. kirsten says:

    I hate that someone was assy enough to make you acknowledge them. Assholey asshole.

    On the upside, you have nothing to apologize for, lady. Anyone who reads your blog and finds perfection in the details is quite possibly insane. We like you because of your quirks and foibles, in addition to the sweetness and humor.

    Did the asshole mention coveting your food allergies, too?

    Sorry about the large # of ass-words in this comment.


  35. Jen says:

    Some people just suck.

    BUT, completely unrelated to your current post… I just saw a t.v. program that did a segment on food allergies and, although I don’t know you, I thought of you (freaky internet). Anyway, they were promoting this company
    and giving their allergy friendly cakes/cookies rave reviews. Thought you might want to check it out.

  36. Kellie says:

    I LOVE your house. I’ve been a stalker…uh, I mean reader, for a while and every picture posted with the house in it makes me jealous. In a good, “God, I want that” not a “must be nice to be her” way.

    I want to know a) how it stays looking so perfect with 7 children and b) if you want to come decorate MY home.


  37. Gwen says:

    Obviously Hate-Mailer didn’t stop to realize that you have to deal with crazy psychos (like his/herself) along with all your adoring fans!

    I think you have wonderful taste and I love the minimalistic look, it’s something I strive for in my 900-square foot “mansion.”

  38. robiewankenobie says:

    where do you live, again? ’cause i’m movin in!

  39. peepnroosmom says:

    Your house is gorgeous! You and Rob have done a great job renovating.
    Where do these crazy, rude people find you and why do they think they have the right to condemn you?
    I love your blog because you are a REAL person. You make me feel like I am OK. Like I am doing at least some things right.

  40. becky says:

    oh, and now you post these before & after pics to make the rest of us feel bad about our renovation skills. have you no shame?!

    heh. i kid, of course. wow, what a transformation. amazing!

  41. Erika says:

    would you be so kind as to give us your asswipe emailers address to the rest of us? I think we could mutter a few choice words to him/her. :dam jealous people:

    As the former owner and renovator of an 1867 victorian, you rock woman, keep on keepin on!

  42. Lisa says:

    Just delurking to say YAY! Don’t let the assholes get you down. What a petty, pitiful person it takes to write a letter like that. I think the house looks fantastic. I do think you’re airbrushing the toys out though. I’ve got six kids and it always looks like a Toys R Us exploded around here.

  43. Holly says:

    I think you are awesome. A agree with what Lisa says. People who write letters like that are sad and pathetic. You have great taste and a great artistic eye, and you’re a great mom. Plus your blog puts a smile on my face after a long hard day. Plus your house is clean! My house pales in comparison!!!

  44. Jennifer says:

    Try not to let comments like that get to you. I’m certainly not the wisest person in the world but I have found that when people criticize other people for the nice things they have it’s because they feel inferior for not having equally nice things. It’s obvious you have worked hard to make your house a home and how you manage it with seven kids I don’t know. I only have 2 kids and we have an unfinshed wall in our house that has been that way for TWO YEARS. I may have to call someone to finish for us because it’s pretty obvious that we’re never going to get around to it.

  45. theotherbear says:

    Wow, what a great (and BIG) job you have done. I bought my house in 2000, and we still only live downstairs because upstairs is being renovated. So I know how hard it is to get these things finished, and am way impressed!

  46. jen says:

    Well, I really am sorry that you got a rude e-mail, but I’m glad you posted the before and afters. I loved seeing those. I hadn’t noticed the stained glass above the door before, but it is very clear in one of the before pics. You did an awesome job!

  47. Monica says:

    I found your blog through another old house blogger and was fascinated from teh beginning. I wish you would post more info on the remodeling of your home.

    I do have to ask, is that a MURAL on your wall?! The 70s was a dark dark era, and not just because of the shag and panelling.

  48. leeann says:

    I love what you have done to your house. It is gorgeous. Beyond gorgeous. I want it. lol

  49. Kelly says:

    I want some Ikea now. I’ll have to see if there’s one in my city.

    Love your color choices too.

    Ignore the trolls.

  50. Carola says:

    You are an inspiration, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. You’ve done an amazing job at you house. I read your blog everyday to remind myself that, yes, there is time to do most of the things we have in our minds if we just use our time wisely (as of course you do). You always surprise me. Don’t let any jealous and stupid comment bother you.

  51. Jenn says:

    I’m one of those twisted souls who dreams of a house to make my own.

    It’s beautiful!

  52. Polly says:

    I’m not a stalker, I promise. But I have waited patiently for you to post more recent pictures of your renovation. I am so proud of you and your husband. I have even told my husband what a good job you’re doing. Your family room is a testament to that.
    I know one negative comment can make 100 seem meaningless. Just do try to ignore that person’s mean streak.
    Keep up the good work.

  53. Sarah says:

    Also delurking to say Ikea rocks and so does your awesome house. Just cuz it looks like a million bucks (and it sure does) doesn’t mean you spent it.

    And if you did? SFW?! It’s your house, your money, your life. Hate-mailer can go take a flying leap!

    I love your blog and will keep coming back!

  54. Deputy's Wife says:

    I must be naive, but why in the heck would someone take the time to be so freakin negative? And to waste their time pouring that negativity into an email to someone they don’t know?

    Probably, from the outside looking in, most people think everyone else has it perfect. What I think I love most about your blog is that how you write so truthfully. No glitter and glitz, this is how it is, and that you find humor in almost everything. You make me laugh out loud, my favorite thing to do.

    Enough of sappy crappy stuff. I will comment, once again, I so loooove your house. We are still working on ours. We must gut out our hallway upstairs. My husband says it would be too much with all of our kids (all three of them, don’t laugh). I showed him your pictures and told him how many kids you have. Now, he has no excuse.

    One final thing. Thank God you have good taste. That mural was, oy, it was horrible. (Please don’t reply and tell me you saved it either.)

  55. Melanie says:

    Your house is gorgeous. Though I bet it would feel even better knowing you were drinking a glass of wine while various minions made it look like that, rather than realizing exactly how much freaking work went into it.

  56. Mary W says:

    that rude person can BITE me.

  57. Joan says:

    I enjoy everything you write - it’s your blog - your history - if “they” don’t like it, why are they even reading it? Asshats!

  58. Clare says:

    What a ninny! How sad that people try and make themselves feel better about themselves by berating and talking down about others.
    The person who emailed you has only acheived making themselves look like a bigger wanker than they already are. So sad.

    In other news, I LOVE it when you post before and after pics of your house!!! I’d love to see more! :)
    MY DH and I have a house that the 70’s threw up on our land. Brown/cream/orange swirly curtains and blinds, brown and orange kitchen and bathroom. Oh it’s just gorgeous, lol
    It is funny walking through the rooms that have been renovated and into one that is exactly as it was when built. Time travel is possible in my home :)

    Sorry, enough about me, ahem, love your blog :)

  59. bluepaintred says:

    do you know how tempting it is for me to say “you missed a spot”. i wont do it, but the temptation is there LOL

  60. Dy says:

    Boring? Are you shitting me? OMG, I come here to see pictures of your house when I throw yet another thing for storage into what’s eventually supposed to be our master bath. It reminds me that it IS possible. And when we FINALLY put baseboard in the bathroom last week (sadly, not due to actual progress on our house, but b/c we had company coming, and they have boys, and I wasn’t sure our mold resistant drywall could withstand their boys AND mine all at once…), I was so excited and thought, “OMG! Eventually, except for the crappy ass low ceiling, and hideous brick exterior, and ugly porch, my house could start to look like Chris’! Just three more minor power tool accidents, one trip to IKEA, and a LOT more baseboard…”

    I’ll bet your commenter has never put blood or sweat, or much more than spittle into any endeavor, or he/she would “get it”. Gah.

    Well, you encourage more of us than you know. I hope that helps when the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, and it’s looking to be one of those days.


  61. Maliavale says:

    I get e-mailers like that. As much as I’d love to say, fuck ‘em, ignore ‘em, I can’t. Because I can’t. But you know they’re just bitter. And who cares? You deserve to be happy. You work hard. You know? So … fuck ‘em!

  62. Karen says:

    And here I was thinking that email would go something like, “Must be nice to be you because you’re one hot sexy Mama who can write funny stories and you’re sweet, kind and wonderful.”

    But then, I would have written it to you.

    Stupid effing haters.


  63. meredith says:

    What you so generously share of yourself on your blog makes me smile everyday, thank you.

  64. Linds says:

    Wow. As a seasoned home decorator here too, I am SO impressed! Ikea rules here too. Please keep the photos coming, and ignore ridiculous emails or comments.

  65. Kristie says:

    Two things:

    1) I am seriously annoyed at people who think they can send you smarmy, hateful e-mails. Who on earth do they think they are??? I check your site every single day (and shamefully, don’t sign near as much as I should) but on your behalf, I am righteously indignant that the morons of the world send you such garbage!!! I hope you never doubt that the other 99.9% of people who come here do so because we are entertained by what you write, and enjoy the small glimpses of your life you are willing to share with the rest of us. Please don’t let the small percentages of ass-wipes take the fun out of it for you, because that would take the fun out of it for us. (somehow, that was supposed to be supportive but it would up being a little selfish about me, didn’t it???) :)

    2) I love to see the photos of your home, both before and after. Your house is a little like your children. You are putting in the pain-staking, albeit loving care now, and the beautiful results will be enjoyed by everyone forever.

    Thanks for being you and sharing it with us!

  66. Maine Mom says:

    Your hard work has paid off in my opinion. Your house looks awesome!

  67. Student Nurse Nancy says:

    Your home is beautiful! LOVE LOVE LOVE the yellow on the wall. IKEA rocks. Our kids miss it so much since we moved south and there is no IKEA to be found. Quick question, what do you do with all the clutter? I only have 4 kids and the papers, toys, and crap is driving me crazy. I’m tempted to just get a big black trash bag and throw it all away.

  68. Student Nurse Nancy says:

    Oops, I mean the papers, toys and crap ARE driving me crazy. Not “is” driving me crazy. Grammar police came by and slapped me upside my head.

  69. Debbie says:

    I love your blog (as I have said before) and hate it that people are reading and then passing on negative comments to you! I just can’t handle rude, negative people, who are GUESTS here. Whew– I feel better hope you do too, btw– excellent hard work on the house rehab.

  70. CountessAmy says:

    Wait, let me get this straight. You are raising 8 healthy and apparently well-adjusted children, publishing a fairly popular blog and renovating an entire home at the same time?
    Who cares about some jealous person, hats off to you and every other over-achieving mother out there for maintaining your sanity!

  71. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! Just beautiful, Chris. I pink puffy heart the pics of your son working with your husband. They look like a great team. Love the buckets of, is that, plastic silverware? Brilliant! Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

  72. Nicki says:

    So your telling me that there is in fact an end in sight….someday. The bathroom I started demolition on last June, will in fact get finished? That someday the tub and sink will having running water??

    You give me hope. The house may be IKEA (What is wrong with that?), but it is certainly beautiful!!

  73. maggie says:

    Your blog is beautiful and so is your house. I don’t understand negative emails and comments. It’s just mean.
    I hope you have a great day!
    p.s. we are getting an IKEA. I’ve never been to one before!

  74. cole says:

    OMGosh…how could you have replaced that amazing waterfall mural???? That is PRICELESS and beautiful. and so weird? Seriously…what was that room before???

    We too have an old house and moved in 2 years ago and the work will.never.be.done.ever. I am going to die in this house 40 years from now saying on my death bed…”WE STILL NEED TO DO THE BATHROOM OVER….”

    It is cool though, to live somewhere with a history and a life. We got to know the family that lived her for 34 years before us and it is nice to know our kids are wrecking it jus like theirs did.

    And what 7th grader emailed you about being perfect? You should totally snap her bra in gym today in front of all the boys and then no one will talk to her at lunch.

  75. Ashley says:

    Ugh.. people like that annoy me. 1st - I personally love seeing home renovation stuff like that. Plus, I don’t think posting pics of your home, your furniture is bragging or showing off by any means. If it bothers them so much, why are they checking out your site? Sounds like they are a bit jealous but also a bit off to take the time to send you an email like that.

  76. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    People suck. Screw ‘em.

  77. Kristen says:

    just trying to figure out how in the hell you are able to keep those rooms so pretty and clean for pictures. Especially with aforementioned 2 year old.

    THe house looks fantastic.

  78. jody2ms says:

    Your house is looking so good! I cannot wait to see what you do with the kitchen. That was my favorite room to renovate.

    Spring is in Texas. At least every other day. Today is cloudy and windy. We were heading to the beach, but who knows now.

  79. Keri says:

    I’m in awe of you and your husband for doing all this work by yourself and not killing each other in the process (although I’m sure you felt like it at one time or another)! Well done for making your house beautiful! Ignore the internet trolls and enjoy your remodeled home…they are just jealous.

  80. Holli Smith says:

    I am so jealous but in a great way not a pshycho email stalker kind of way! It is absolutley GORGEOUS and I would LOVE to have a house that looked like that (I just had my house built in May and it’s not that nice)!
    I admire anyone who can handle that kind of work and mess alone let alone with kids! I could never do it and have the utmost respect for those that can!
    YOU and your imperfections and analness ROCK! (is anal-ness a word)?

  81. Denise says:

    goodness maybe I can get a little makover mojo rubbing off here.. and get my master bathroom done and my entryway painted!

  82. Tonja says:

    I don’t know WHY you got rid of the waterfall mural… it’s hott!
    (With 2 “t”’s!!)

  83. Katie says:

    You and Rob are amazing, I can’t believe that’s the same house. Good job, bottles of wine for everyone!

    No ice here but I’ll join you on the whining about spring. It makes me grumpy it’s April and I’m still wearing a winter coat.

  84. Christina says:

    Wow - we do not have that kind of patience and engenuity - what a testament to hard work. If I lived anywhere near an IKEA all of my furniture would be from there, too :)

  85. Tal86 says:

    Okay…so what if you sit on the couch watching soaps, eating bon bons while a tutor teaches your 7 kids. So what if you hire round the clock contractors to renovate your house. So that it can be finished on the date and time that you come back from your spa day, having been pampered, manicured, pedicured, and facialled out, so you don’t have to bring your new face, fingers, and toes into an unfinished house? So what?!!!! If you have the money and the time, and the blog to post it on, what does it matter to this person? Why do you need to defend your actions? Even if you were doing the above things, that is your choice. Your children aren’t going around starved and in rags while you’re living the high life. Sheesh!!!

  86. Lily Calla's Mama says:

    I think you AND your home rock, and you worked very hard to achieve the stunning results that I see in those pictures. The person who is so envious of your “nice” life should spend more time working on their own rather than emailing you about yours. Good grief. :-P

  87. Keri says:

    Chris - IS THIS LOSER WHO SENT YOU THAT EMAIL FOR REAL? Sorry for all caps. I know I dont comment alot, but I read everyday. What I dont understand (and this goes for some of the other blogs I read) is why people feel like they have to ALWAYS CRITICIZE and pass judgement on people. I will never understand. I assume this Lo (short for loser) is NOT someone you know. Either way there are no words to describe. If he/she doesnt like what you say, dont read. Its america and we have choices. I am SO TIRED of people being mean to each other. Its that simple. Just be nice & if you dont have something nice to say, dont say it at all. STOP PASSING JUDGEMENT ON PEOPLE. Chris, I love your blog.

  88. Keri says:

    PS - Did you paint your kitchen? It was green before? I remember you mentioning you wanted to. Love the colors & the “clean lines”

  89. Maddy says:

    Chris, please don’t let the MAJOR LOSER get you down. What a sad person. I hate that you even get mail like that…

    Love your house, love the renovation pics, etc. Keep em coming! Very inspiring!!

  90. Stephanie says:

    I love seeing pictures of your home-it gives me hope & ideas for our own 100yo house. The barley paint was my favorite tip so we can get the spongebob yellow (soft buttercup) off the walls.

  91. mauree says:

    I give you tons of credit for even assembling the IKEA stuff, much less the real work — free time how do you have any free time at all?? You are truly an inspiration. We are on week three of fighting with IKEA over a dresser drawer that does not match our set. They suggest that they cannot fed x the part since we bought it in a store– mind you 2 hours away. Prob. my last IKEA adventure — but I love their stuff— b/c in the end kids trash it all Ethan Allen or not!! Keep on keeping me reading and laughing with your wonderful blog!!

  92. Emily says:


    I think you are inspiring. I read your blog to be inspired. I hope you get multiple times more positive feedback than negative. Please keep blogging!

  93. Jodi@OC says:

    I was doing the “IS THAT A MURAL?” too. LOL

    We have been redoing our house for the last 5 years so I totally sympathize with you. Our house looks nowhere as nice as yours though. We need to work on that. :)

  94. Stephanie says:

    Must be nice. To have all these wonderful people who care about you and support you. That’s got to make your day when for every hate mail, you get about 100 love mails!

    Your house is beautiful. I totally respect all the hard work you guys did. I get stressed out just painting a room.

  95. Nancy says:

    Delurking to say that some people are just plain stupid. I admire the hard work you put into your house, and I LOVE the IKEA!
    We spend way too much time there, but thankfully not a lot of money. Our apartment is slowly turning into an IKEA showroom. :)

  96. daring one says:

    It must be nice to have so much work to do. Some of us out here have to resort to being lazy and bored all the time. When it gets really bad, sometimes we have to send insulting emails to strangers. Think about THAT next time you feel like posting a picture of your perfect insulating and your deliciously gorgeous pipes.

  97. Jennifer says:

    The person who sent that needs to be poop bombed. I’ll do the honors.

  98. CathyC says:

    Are they crazy? I LOVE your house, and frankly, I’d move me and my family in if I thought you wouldn’t kick us out. Your house is gorgeous. PLEASE continue to show us pics of it. I wish my house looked half as nice. great job!

  99. Rae says:

    You are perfect, and you have great taste. Your house looks beautiful. I know a little of that kind of hard work… good job, Chris.

  100. goodsandwich says:

    Frankly I think anyone who does home renovation is a frikkin SAINT. I am sitting here reading through all the comments on this post just so I don’t have to go paint my kitchen cupboards, and I am doing it the lazy mommy’s way (taking down one pair of doors at a time, painting them in the garage, bringing the pair in the next day — or later).

    This isn’t the first time someone has been mean about your house looking nice, or your kids being homeschooled, or your family seeming to be financially comfortable, is it? I’m glad you do share as you’re a talented and interesting blogger; drag that people let their jealousy go mean. (Full disclosure — yes I am jealous of your lack of laziness! :) )

    If it wouldn’t bore YOU too much, I’d love updates on the renovations as they go. We’re fixing up a much smaller house that is both “better” than yours (less work to do, warmer climate) and “worse” (smaller, in a mostly bad neighborhood, being fixed by lazy self), so I’d be happy to play along.

  101. B says:

    At first I thought the entire wall was torn out and then I realized it was a wallpaper mural. Geesh. Can’t imagine why you got rid of that! :-) Beautiful job on everything. It looks great. You should be proud. Just curious, do you ever miss the green paint? I really liked that color, even considered using it in one of my rooms. The tan is definitely more serene, and maybe that’s what a Mom of 7 needs!

  102. kate says:

    Where did the mural go? It was awesome… but if I were trying to have a nice house, I probably wouldn’t have kept it either.

  103. Christine says:

    Stupid people shouldn’t breathe email.

    Oh, and, “IKEA rocks the Casbah!” she says, while sitting on her Mysinge Ingebo dark brown sofa.

  104. Brandi says:

    I wrote a comment in your first post about how beautiful your home is followed by a pity-party on my part. Ish.

    Point being you’ve worked very hard to get where you are today, in all things, and you should be proud of yourself, your husband, and your wonderful children.

    Please don’t stop posting pictures of your life. I bet for every one troll comment you get you’ve inspired ten others to do something positive. I de-cluttered three rooms in my house after getting inspired by yours. Thank you.

  105. kathy says:

    Absofuckinglutely amazing! Now, Jamie and I are *this* close to purchasing a house to remodel. Only the last inhabitants were Spaniards. Like the Spaniards in 1522 who fucked over the Mayans. The walls are said to be made of blocks from Mayan pyramids. So, one could say that the house is some 2000 years old. Give or take a hundred.

    Sound like a project you’d like? The huge plus is that here in MExico the labor is terribly cheap (so you don’t DIY) and the Mayan laborers REALLY know their stuff so you want to do it their way but materials are Very Very Expensive.

    But hey! NO DIY! Oh, and NO DRYWALL!!! :) I bow to your absofuckinglutely amazing prowess with a trowel! (down here the workers are designated either “full trowel” or “half trowel” depending on expertise.

    Wouldn’t you love some time in warm Mexico rather than freezing Conn (oh, geez! I’ve been out of the US so long I don’t remmeber how to spell that state. :).

  106. FishyGirl says:

    Wow. Just, wow. Both to the inane commenter and to the beyootiful job you all do. Makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with me that we can’t work on our house like that, and we only have the four kids, not seven. Just, wow. I love your house.

  107. T in HD says:

    “Does anyone want to read, “I painted another wall today” or “I stripped some wallpaper” or “My god if I have to look at this white peeling vinyl kitchen floor another day I might kill myself.” ”

    If you’re writing it, yeah, I do. You have a unique talent for turning the most mundane into pee-your-pants funny.

  108. Dana says:

    I really love your transformation photos! And you have great taste. Yay to you!

  109. ben says:

    But, on TV all the “after” arrives by the second commercial break.

    You mean, that doesn’t happen?

  110. Anna says:

    I am your 110th comment? That’s crazy! At least 110 people think you are great, so there’s no way you can let one nutcase with a bad attitude towards home renovation ruin your good day, right? :-)

  111. fairly odd mother says:

    Great work on your house—-it is beautiful!!! I hate grumpy meanies with nothing better to do than try to ruin your day.

  112. crazy8s says:

    Nice furniture, but more importantly– Oh how I love IKEA’s swedish meatballs!

  113. Joy H says:

    Great work - beautiful home AND it is NICE….you should be proud. You have excellent taste!

    gonna search out that Barley paint :)

  114. Eve says:

    113 comments? WOW! But I love your site and I can see why. I crave a fixer-upper. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m living in a ghetto rental house with Moose-antlers on the outside and pocorn ceiling.

  115. Jordana says:

    You guys are so awesome!

  116. InterstellarLass says:

    Uh, I might have a twinge of jealousy that your home is so lovely and I would like for my home to look as lovely. But who has to be so mean and hateful and spiteful to actually write you something like that? HAG. Her. Not you. Totally. You’re awesome. And so are your beautiful kids.

  117. Denise says:

    Okay, we all know that the complainer is an idiot and probably getting off on the comments that are being posted. I think people like that are sad and pathetic. You had nothing better to do with your life than make a nasty comment to someone you don’t know about something they do? Sigh. Pathetic. On an high note, love the house! As a mother of 3 with an old house that is in the process of being redone (we currently have unfinished drywall and plywood greeting guests at the backdoor, which they have to go to because there is no walkway to the front door, unless you count climbing over the rotting railroad timbers that MUST be replaced with a retaining wall THIS summer) I’m amazed at what you’ve accomplished! It’s encouraging. Right now, though, I’m more interested in your stove. How do you keep the kids away from it? We’re looking for an alternative heat source, this winter kicked our butts! I’m just concerned about rough housing near it. With three boys, I can pretty much guarantee wrestling in every room of the house.