Posted by: Brenda Kula | January 13, 2009

Chaos In The Garden Room


This is my beloved garden room. See the drain in front of the couch? Robert has all my books boxed and everything is shoved against the brick wall.

This is what it looked like before:


With a Charlie Ross peeking out from the side of the rug. I hadn’t noticed that before! Yes, it’s the same room, but now it’s been taken apart. Truly ugly, isn’t it?


This is the last room of the house to be remodeled. We began one year ago this month. When we purchased the house we’d been renting for three years. First the kitchen, then the master bedroom. Then the hall, the master bath, the guest bath (both of which were fairly gutted). Then the two guest rooms. Then the living room, entry. And finally the new dining room with all the wonderful light.

But now we’re down to this room where I spend most of my time when I’m not outside puttering in the gardens.


Iย  nearly cry when I look at it. I’m spending the bulk of my time inside in the adjoining bedroom, where my computer is temporarily housed. Mold and dust abounds. Insulation has been flying. I’m sure my trash collection guys are really sick of this stop. For a year now, as we go from one room to another, mounds of trash gets heaped at the curb, awaiting pick up. They just came this morning. I looked out this afternoon and viewed what is waiting for the next scheduled pick up on Friday. I’m sure they look at one another as they pull into our back alley and one of them probably says: “When on earth are these people going to be done with this house?”

Note the French doors to this room are gone, along with the two windows on this wall. You’re looking in from the living room. The doors and windows don’t come back. They’re part of what’s out at the curb right now.


A real mess…

This drain and the rock floor will be leveled and covered with flooring.


Apparently the homeowners before, when they enclosed the room and covered most of the floor with a rug, thought it appropriate to cover the drain with fabric and cardboard.

It will be amazing when this house is “finished” and I can walk into every room and just stare at the transformation. And when I do, I’m going to write about the experience. I will give you my personal account of what worked and what didn’t. Who worked and who didn’t! What I am most pleased with. What I would change. You get the picture. Well, not yet. But you will. Lots of photos of every room. Soon.

And this is what I picked up yesterday with my 40% off coupon at Michaels.


This is just the storage unit. I don’t get all the goodies inside the plastic! I’ll put my own goodies in there. In one section of the garden room will be my crafting area. There will be an L-shaped desk (courtesy of Robert), with lots of storage features. He will be building much of it himself. I had a high old time on Sunday when the storage cubes I showed a day or so ago went on sale there, all for 40% off! I hit the royal jackpot with that one. Robert will mix and match them with the desk and more varieties of wall storage.

One corner of the room will house my computer desk, back in its old place. Then there will be the couch back in it’s space against the brick wall. We’re leaving the brick. Otherwise the walls will be dry-walled and painted. We’re thinking a nice grayish blue, like the sky just before a storm. Robert’s own paint mixing creation. I too will be surprised at his concoction.

The aquarium is now in the living room. We’re pondering whether to put a built-in aquarium in one of the walls… That decision has not been made yet. Still looking at the numbers. The cold hard cash. I’ll let you know when I know!

So for now, I’ll be writing to you from my little corner of the bedroom. Where one section of my computer desk has been placed, so I can stay in touch with my blog pals.


  1. When one door closes, another one opens. Or wall in your case.
    Remember… don’t breathe the fumes and dust this time, okay?

  2. It looks good, but I am sending Robert an edited photo with windows in back of the sofa. I’ll bet he’s tired of my input, huh?

  3. We know Mr. Robert works hard. We know it will end up beautiful too. Hang in there!!

  4. Its going to be gorgeous,your so lucky!!
    Get some fresh air this time round stay away as much as you can till its done.

  5. Brenda it is going to be so worth the trouble and inconvenience!! Just try and hang in there and dream about the finished product. Can’t wait to see it!

  6. Brenda, you are getting a whole new house out of this. Can’t wait to see the new room.

  7. Hi Brenda, this is going to be so nice, I know you are sick of having your things all stacked up and not pretty like they should be, and will be soon again. An organized craft room sounds like a dream come true. That blue quilt in the before shot is a beauty, did you make that one?


  8. I had not realized that I had been reading your blog for almost a year. I have so enjoyed seeing the remodeling– thank you greatly for sharing.

  9. I think it’s all coming together really nice. Is that like a sage green that the wall color is now? I like it alot. Say…can I just come move in with you!? ๐Ÿ˜€ hee hee

    Hope you’re having a good week. I think of you often…especially when I look at the dragonfly card you made me. ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. It is really coming along. I simply love the green and that couch. So comfy looking! Even in its temporary spot.

  11. Oh my …. a year is a long time to be in a state of remodel. BUt then you will have your perfect home….. looks like you are almost there..

  12. Like spring, this project too will welcome you with delight, dear Brenda. It’s hard living in a mess but at least you’re warm while waiting. You do everything so well, can’t wait to see the finished project, knowing it will be stunning!

  13. Brenda,
    Hmm, your trash pick up must not be “automated” yet. We now can only put out what will fit in the provided “can”. We can make an appointment to have over-sized objects picked up. I can’t wait to see what Robert does with your room.

  14. I never get tired of input. Thanks Nola
    I think i’m gonna try to get a pic. of Brenda in her lovely garden this week . coming soon!

  15. What a transformation has happened at your house! I didn’t realize you’ve been working on the entire place! Remodeling is certainly tough to “live through”, but your final results are looking splendid!
    Our trash folks wouldn’t touch what yours are hauling off—we have to rent a big old unit that is parked in the driveway. When it’s filled up, they come and remove it. Our weekly guys like the lighter and more compact type of garbage! ๐Ÿ™‚
    We’re getting temps below zero tonight—I just sigh when I see the photos of your flowers!! One day we’ll have nice weather again, too!

  16. It’s going to be well worth the effort! Can’t wait to see what you have planned for this lovely spot ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. ahhh progress! I must say I love that craft shelf!!! How cool that would be in the kitchen!! Keep blogging your progress-and get some sun today while it shines before the next cold front comes through.

  18. The process might be agonizing but the finished product..(I wish I knew how to put a strike in a word) you HOME will be so beautiful and a great place to enjoy.
    I would love to see the look on your garbage men’s faces…hee
    We pay by garbage container/can. We can’t put out more than our containers hold. So lucky you!!!!

    Enjoy your garden:-) Ours is very covered in frozen white stuff.

  19. Oh Brenda, Your disruption has been going on for a while now, but your plans for the garden room sound lovely. (Especially when you have your crafting area sorted out).
    When ever I move house – I am always amazed at what previous home owners do – like in your case the drain!!!

  20. Your home continues to evolve Brenda. I am sure it will be soooooo worth it, when complete.

    Hugs, G

  21. Your home continues to evolve Brenda. I am sure it will be soooooo worth it, when complete.

    Hugs, G

  22. Well, Girlie, you’ll get there. Look how far you’ve come. People said such pithy things to me too when I was going through remodeling hell. We took four years to complete ours. You’re much faster. It will look splendid, and I can’t wait to see it.~~Dee

  23. Brenda,

    I love Charlie Ross being under the rug. He is so cute and I almost missed him since he was all covered up.

    Your house is going to be so beautiful when you are done.


  24. Hi Brenda,
    Good luck on your remodeling of this room. Remember ‘no pain,no gain.”

    Just to let you know, I ordered the book A Year of Fog that you recommended a few posts back-it came and I’m really enjoying it!


  25. Brenda…I answered your candle question over on my blog.

    Boy Howdy! When you all remodel, you really remodel! The house is looking wonderful!

  26. I know you will be glad to get this last room completed and filled with all your wonderful new finds and crafting stuff! It will be worth all the dust & debris when it’s done Brenda!

  27. I love the part where you imagine what the trash guys are thinking……….so funny! :+D

  28. Looks like you’ve been very busy!!
    It’s going to be great when you are done though.
    I’m looking forward to hearing what worked and what didn’t.

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