Welcome Home

The past two weeks have been a little nuts! Within 8 hours of closing on our new home, we began the renovation process, as we had 2 weeks to do all of the work, clean, pack and move. In the meantime, Scott had to take off for 5 days to compete at the Tae Kwon Do World Championship tournament.*

With both kids, a puppy, a bum knee, broken air conditioning, hired crew and amazing girlfriends, we got it done!

The house had 18″ ceramic tile throughout the main areas. I’m not a big fan of tile, while it’s a cinch to keep clean, it’s hard on my feet and knees. I wanted wood laminate instead of the tile, and after consulting with my friends on Twitter, we decided to remove the tile completely and then laying the laminate.

The alternative would have been to lay the laminate on TOP of the tile, but then we’d have an awkward 3/4″ tall transition to the carpeted areas of the house. It’s a lot of tile to remove, over 1,000 square feet!

All the bedrooms would get brand new carpet and I decided that the bathrooms and kitchen would stay as-is for right now. We’ll renovate those areas after we settle down a bit.

Our family room is quite small compared to our old house – and this built-in entertainment center/fireplace thing was not really placed in the ideal location. There was no way we could center a couch directly in front of the television without blocking access to the patio. Simply put, I’m the gal who arrives extra early, counts and measures out the movie theater seats and rows so that I can sit dead center in front of the screen.

Plus, who needs a fireplace in our area of Florida where a “cold winter day” is 50F?

Within days, the floor was smashed in pieces. How do you do this? With 5 muscular men and several handheld powerful, vibrating machine chisel thingies.** I absolutely recommend hiring people to do this.

After the tile was out, they had to come back with more powerful, vibrating machinery to chip and sand off the adhesive on the flooring. 

Coco supervised, as usual.

As for the fireplace, it’s gone. Our contractor, Brett came over with his son and knocked that entertainment center down.

Then the wall was patched.


Because of my busted knee, I couldn’t be on my feet too long and couldn’t climb ladders. My friends Kelly and Wendy came to the rescue and painted the trim where wall meet ceiling and where ceiling meets even higher ceiling.

You know when you have awesome girlfriends when they’ll climb ladders for you to vacuum.***

I loved the floor crew – it’s a family business, Kevin Hasett and his team stayed an entire week to do the job. I fed them Gatorade, pizza and frozen delicacies like White Castle burgers and Hot Pockets.

The wood laminate we chose was a darker, walnut-y color with a smooth surface and glossy sheen.

After sweeping 82 times and Swiffering 53 times, the floor looks fantastic.****

Our first three pieces of furniture: Dakota, a massive 125 pound pit bull makes a comfy beanbag. His sister, Nakita, a 60 pound pit bull makes an excellent footrest. Skinny, scrawny Coco would make a great coffee table, except she’d probably eat your snacks and drink your beer.

New furniture arrives and then the moving begins.

After 3 days and nights of moving, unpacking, organizing, we finally had the chance to explore the edges of the property. We hadn’t walked the perimeter yet, so last night was the perfect to see the view from the tree line.


On our walk, I discovered a shed I never even knew existed!

And a concrete platform. Perfect for FIREWORKS!!!!

And the perfect spot at the second fishing pond for our housewarming party – a pig roast.

As Ty Pennington would say, “Welcome home, Steamy Kitchen family, welcome home.”*****


*Scott came home with BLING from his Tae Kwon Do tournament! He won 1st Place for Sparring, 2nd Place for Creative Weapons and 2nd Place for Traditional Weapons!


**My mom reads my blog, keep it clean guys, keep it clean.


***I’ll show you their pretty faces another time, the three of us were dirty, grungy, dusty and sweaty.


****Have pets and kids?! DO NOT GET THIS KIND OF FLOORING. It scratches and shows scratches like crazy — you look at the floor the wrong way and it scratches. (_____________)  <–obscenities deleted. This subject will have to be for another post 🙂

*****Those boots? Last month. Austin, Texas. Troublemakers.

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Comments 57

  1. Kristin

    Your new house is AWESOME. Ugh, but your floor demolition depresses me. I need to rip up all my tile, and was hoping it would be easy. I knew it wouldn’t be, but you’ve just confirmed it. 🙂

    Glad to see you made it back to Austin. Was that Callahan’s?

  2. The Georgia Yankee

    Big job, the floor and the fireplace, but you were so smart to take care of them up front.

    Now tell us true – is it your work in the steamy kitchen that made this financially possible? If you say yes, you’ll be giving incredible hope and a shot in the arm to countless webanatics.

    Awesome property, by the way. Can you say what town you’re in?

    Take good care,


  3. Beachcomber

    Nice house. Gorgeous hardwood floors. Those ceilings are awfully high! Congrats to Scott cool trophy. What color is the wall in the photo where your friend was on the ladder painting?

  4. Elizabeth Scheller

    I clicked on this looking for the story behind the red boots, then read the home redo article. i don’t know why I thought you were homebased in New York (though I did wonder where you kept the chickens)……and now see you are based in Florida. I would have axed the fireplace too! The floors look great. I have 2 (grown) kids and pets. My home is 60 years old with original hardwood floors. I decided not to sand/refinish my floors when I moved in because I knew I would stress out over scratches. So I just waxed and buffed and look at any scratches as part of the history of the house….much less stressful.

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