The Home Improvement Project That Never Ends

The Home Improvement Project That Never Ends

When we moved into our house six years ago, I had an office.  It was lovely and looked out over the hillside in our backyard.  I could see the sunset from my desk.  The sunset!

You see, it was right there where the red star is.  Plain as day.  My lovely, beautiful, real, adult office.  For me to do work and type and store office supplies like tiny little Post-it notes and highlighters.


But then something wonderful happened:  I got pregnant.  And before I could find a fancy little organizer case for my Post-its, my lovely office turned into a nursery.  And now it’s full of Legos and Monster Trucks and little boy T-shirts.

And I work in my room.  My bedroom.  And the little post-its end up all over the bedroom floor and the laundry ends up all over my desk.

One day last summer when I was working and not watching the sunset out of my bedroom window, I had an idea: I could build an office.  You see, right next to that snazzy star that was once my office is a long, skinny room entitled “attic.”  Attic and office are one and the same to me.  Just slap some sheet rock on the walls, some carpet on the floor and boom!  A new office.  This one where I can see the sunrise, which is just as cool as the sunset.


So I had a really nice talk with my husband.  I explained how badly I needed the desk and the office supplies and the window with the sunrise and then I very kindly reminded him that he was the one who got me knocked up and essentially stole my other office so it would be in his very best interest to figure out a way to make said new office work.  He agreed.

We called a contractor.

And visions of new bookshelves and brightly painted walls disappeared when the bid came back at $12,000.

And then my husband said the most terrifying words I’ve ever heard him say:  “I think I can do it myself for cheaper.”

Now I know, I should have smiled a big smile and said something reassuring like:  “You know, I’m sure you COULD do it for cheaper but your time is just so valuable that I’m just not sure that’s a good idea.  Maybe we should save up for awhile and then pay the contractor.”

But I was blinded by office lust.

And I made a mistake.

I said yes.

And so it began:  The never-ending, never-stopping, never-finishing, never-everything renovation job in my house.

It hasn’t been pretty.

We aren’t fighting– mostly because Cameron isn’t speaking to me– but things have been… shall I say… tense.

You know that room in the floorplan that says loft?  The one that is supposed to be full of Legos and kids reading in bean bag chairs?  This is what it has looked like since last September.  I’ll do the math for you:  That’s nine months.


And yes, that is my son’s clean shirt hanging on the vacuum hose.  Where else would it go?

And because of this nine-month (did I mention never-ending) process, I have been worn down.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve been irrational.  I’ve been a nag.  I’ve been utterly and undeniably crazy.  Yes, crazy.  But can you blame me?  There is a counter top in front of my linen closet.

And since crazy is as crazy does, I’ve done some crazy things. Last week, I was so tired of home improvement that I sent my husband and 10-year-old son to Home Depot by themselves to pick out paint.  Yes, you read that right.  I tried to explain that I was thinking “a buttery yellow” and that he could send me pictures from the store to confirm.  But then I got distracted and put my phone on the counter and went into my bedroom to work and I didn’t respond to his calls or pictures.  So he made his best “buttery yellow” choice– and I’m being honest, he did an amazing job considering the fact that he is a) a man and b) doesn’t have a clue what I was picturing in my mind’s eye when I said “buttery”.  It’s more sunshine-y.  But that’s okay.  I can do sunshine in my office.


And then I had the crazy idea that maybe the kids could help us paint the room because the sooner it was done, the sooner they could get their play room back.  Which sounded like a smart plan in theory until I realized that a) my kids are really messy with paint and b) my kids are REALLY messy with paint.  There are now blotches and drips all over the walls, the floor and my daughter’s hair.

I also have a spot of yellow on my eyelid that hasn’t budged in three days.

This is how the room looks at this moment:


Now you may be thinking, “Wow, those walls look really blotchy,” and then you may dismiss it and think that there must be a shadow in there or the light must be weird.  But that’s where you would be wrong.  Because the problem with the walls is not that my household as a collective whole is really bad at painting.  Every single one of us.  And even though I have rolled sunshine-y yellow paint onto those walls multiple times, they still look blotchy.  And uneven.

You also may have noticed the the floors are solid plywood with yellow polka dots.  I would eventually like to cover these lovely (original-to-the-house) floors up with something, but right now my husband and I are in a bit of a stalemate.

He wants something fancy like hardwood or that fancy laminate that looks like wood.

I want something that will cover the freaking floor in the next four days so we can be done with this nightmare.  You read that right.  Four days.  That’s my breaking point.

So I’m voting for these Carpet Tiles.  They are mix-match remnants that we can just stick down and make a pattern.  I have rationalized this for many reasons, the first of which being that Amazon has two day shipping and claims that they take “less than an hour to install”. I have also rationalized that since it looks like a kid built the room (what with the uneven sheetrock and drippy paint) that if it looks like a kid did the flooring as well, people will walk into the room and think, “how educational of the MacPhersons, teaching their kids real life skills like painting and floor-lying at a young age so they can grow up to be productive, home-improvement-skilled adults.”  You see, this type of floor makes me look good.


Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 10.48.25 AM

So now since you are MY blog readers and are obviously loyal to me, you should probably write a comment in the comments section telling my husband that my choice is right and his is wrong.  I will show him your comment and explain to him that the ENTIRE world agrees with me.

So anyway, the home improvement is… improving.  And only the next four days will determine if I am able to keep my sanity and be rational or if I will totally go off the deep end and do something crazy like order rainbow tiled carpet for my office.

Also:  if you see yellow paint in my hair, don’t ask.



  1. Erin, Erin, Erin…
    I have done many upgrades in my 60 years, lots of blotch and drips along the way. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just hang a bunch of stuff on your walls (maybe a giant bulletin board would work, lol) The floor area is not really that big, however I have carpet in my office and everything sticks to it. Staples hang up in the threads as well. I hate to say it but I would go with a smooth finish, easy to dust mop. Home Depot or Lowes usually have contractors that install for a small fee. That fake wood flooring goes down really fast and easy. I bet they would have it done in less than a day! Check it out and good luck.
    Maybe just go to the store all by yourself and order it up and schedule the work. Done deal. Hubby will be thrilled that
    he is DONE. Order window coverings at the same time then stop at Staples on the way home and get yourself a new chair and a bunch of Post It’s and fun highlighters. LOL.

  2. Love this! Totally relate! But, your paint color is upbeat so you have to think positive! We did the fake wood flooring in one room-the pieces snap together. Super cheap and easy. Kurt, God bless his many talents, is not the most handy guy and I was nervous, but it came out really, really well.

  3. Um, multicolored in and match tile carpets are like a dream come true for me. Obviously they have my vote… And you know me well enough to know I’m not kidding.

  4. Home renovation can be sooo stressful, even a single room can upend an entire house. But. BUT – you are going to love having this space, and what you’ll do in it, and in a few months, you won’t know how you got along without it. I like the choice of FLOR. It’s quick, and it is easily dismantled in case you ever want a change. Have a ‘room-warming’, and celebrate all the hard work!

  5. We once had a bathroom out of service for two years because my husband decided to fix a problem in the shower himself. At the end of two years, we had to pay the plummer $800 to fix the stuff that was evidence my husband was a little over-ambitious. But that bathroom is painted yellow, so there you go. Just sayin.

  6. You had me at: “But I was blinded by office lust….” Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    And even though I reeeeeaaalllyyyyyy want to agree with you and I don’t actually know your husband, I have to vote for fancy laminate that looks like wood. Because you will be in your office for many years and as a writer, I know you will look down throughout the day when your mind is wandering, I meant focusing 😉 on the writing in front of you…and when you look down at that floor, I want you to see AWESOME not hodge podge.

    Also, Homegoods has great rugs at reasonable prices so you can slap one on there if you really want a rug.


  7. you are hilarious! its looking great!! and let’s be honest you and i are both way more likely to be working at sunrise (its currently still dark out right now) than at sunset!) as much as i love hardwoods, i think it would be on the random side to only have hardwood in this room of the house. i like more continuity so since the downstairs is concrete and the upstairs is carpet, i’d do the carpet tiles. or what is the floor in the kids bathroom? next door? tile?

  8. When we went to sell our home in Kansas, I was convinced we needed to paint the guest bedroom/office because the walls were dirty. I too pictured a buttery yellow, but once it was on the wall, I never had to turn a light on again as it was the room of eternal sunshine. I needed sunglasses to enter. We decided to do the painting ourselves and almost got a divorce. Luckily, we were able to sell the house regardless, but we added a new marital vow to “never again attempt to paint a wall ourselves, but instead to invest in a professional painter in lieu of a marital counselor or divorce lawyer.” And we have kept that vow. Would love to see how your office looks now!