So we’ve done projects before–big projects. Whole renovations (not just remodeling) that encompassed an entire floor. I knew that Idlewild Cottage would be a huge project, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so darn exhausting. It seems like every surface needs to be removed; every item needs to be redone. Not just the areas we were expecting–but everything. Even when you plan for so much to be redone, there are areas we just weren’t planning on/budgeting for. #hellogarageroof

BUT. I have had so much fun working with our contractor in designing the spaces on paper. I’m learning so many new things, and I’ve done almost all of the interior demolition myself (minus some muscle required from my husband and father-in-law in the kitchen), which gives a certain amount of satisfaction. And perhaps a twinge of vomiting when I discovered a full five gallon bucket’s worth of moldy cat food under the kitchen cabinets. No wonder there was such a rampant rodent problem…

I’ll get into all the nitty-gritty later of the exact plans, but in the meantime, we’re trying to take this:

This actually looks better than our current house–the software doesn’t allow us to add “50 years of distress” to the facade.

To this:


Emily Behnke

Formerly a high level professional in a scientific organization, Ms. Behnke now owns and operates an organization and design company focused on living well in small spaces.