A’s To Your Q’s — Temporary Bathroom Makeovers, Condo Status, and Incomplete Projects/Rooms

Whenever I start getting asked the same questions over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, it’s obviously time to just write a post and answer the questions directly.  🙂

So let’s jump right in…

Why waste time and money on a temporary bathroom makeover?  Why not just do the final remodel right now?

There are a few reasons I’m doing a temporary makeover on the bathroom.  The main one?  MONEY!

Here’s another look at the floor plan right now so you can see how the bathroom and hallway (and everything else) are configured right now…

house floor plan - 9-2014

And here’s the long-term goal…

house floor plan - future plan

So the plan is to remove the small closet in the hallway, move the bathroom wall out about two to two-and-a-half feet (even with where the front of the hallway closet is now), and completely reconfigure the bathroom to include a large roll-in shower.  All of that is going to be very expensive.

First of all, that wall in the bathroom that needs to be moved is a load-bearing wall.  And unlike the wall in the kitchen where I could put a visible header, this wall will not be a DIY project since I’d want the header hidden in the attic.  That’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to construction, and I’d want a professional handling that.  Based on estimates I’ve gotten for other framing jobs, I’d estimate that moving that wall will cost about $1500 to $2000 alone.

Then every single bit of the plumbing will need to be rearranged.  I’d estimate that will cost between $800 and $1200.

And finally, in order for the shower to be usable by Matt, it has to be curbless.  That requires some major construction on the floor in order to drop the shower pan below subfloor level.  Again, that’s not a DIY project, as the design will interfere with floor joists, which will have to be reinforced another way, etc.  I mean, we’re talking about some major construction.  And again, I can’t imagine that that will cost any less than $2000 just to get the construction done and the shower pan in place so that it can be even with the rest of the flooring.

So right out of the starting gate, I’m looking at possibly $5000.  And that doesn’t even begin to touch the other things I’d need just to finish the bathroom — drywall, Hardibacker cement board, tile, trim, vanity, sink, faucet, lighting, new electrical and (the big one) a frameless glass shower enclosure.

I could easily see that remodel costing $8000 to $10,000 with all of the professional help I’d have to hire for the major things.

If we had $8000 to $10,000 of discretionary money just sitting in our bank account, we would have an HVAC system right now.  But a bathroom remodel doesn’t even rank in the top five list of my main priorities right now.

“Sell your condo!!  Then you’d have the money!”  No, actually we wouldn’t.  Even in the absolute best possible outcome, we’ll walk away from that sale with about $10,000 in our pockets.  And that’s the best possible scenario.  Can you guess what that money is earmarked for?  (See previous paragraph.)  🙂

There’s just simply no money for a bathroom remodel right now.  Unfortunately, neither of us are independently wealthy.  Neither of us are trust fund children.  We’re just regular folks who have to scrimp and save for big purchases just like most normal people.

So for now, even though it looks like some pretty major things are going on in that bathroom, they’re still really just cosmetic — new drywall, a few pieces of Hardibacker, and $100 of cheap subway tile will have this room put back together. I can handle a few hundred dollars right now.  I can even handle $1000 since things in that price range come out of my decorating “allowance” and not out of our “we’re saving for big purchases” account.  But I just can’t handle $8000 to $10,000 right now.

And when it comes time for us to start on major remodels around here, we very well might decide that the hallway bathroom is fine just like it is, and we’d rather spend our money on adding on the main stuff at the back of the house.  Who knows what the future holds?  I do have big dreams and plans in my head, but when it comes right down to it, the bathroom I’m creating right now could very well be the one I’ll live with for the next decade.

What is the status of the condo?  Have you finished it?  Did you sell it?

The condo is exactly as I left it at the end of last year.  The last thing I got finished was this bedroom.

So if you saw that, then you’re up to date.  I haven’t done anything else over there since then.  And it’s not because I’m just being lazy or burying my head in the sand.  I’d love nothing more than to finish the condo and get rid of it.

So why am I not making that a priority?

Well, one thing I don’t think I’ve ever shared is how Matt’s condition affects me and the projects I can tackle from day to day.  Matt has multiple sclerosis, and often needs help from me.  How he’s doing on a day-to-day basis really affects whether or not I have to stay home, or whether I can leave.  On some days, he’s doing well enough that I feel confident leaving him at home for hours on end.  On other days, I can’t even leave long enough to run to the neighborhood grocery store down the street, or to go to Sonic to get an iced tea.  On those days, I just have to stay at home and figure out what I can work on around here using the supplies I have on hand.

So without going into details, let’s just say that the past month has been tough for Matt.  And that means less freedom for me to come and go.

The condo will get finished, and we will sell it.  Eventually.  But right now, I just can’t stress about it.  Stressing myself out about it won’t help anything, so I’ve tried to adopt a laid back attitude about it.  It’ll get done when it gets done, and in the meantime, I’ll just keep myself busy around the house.

Why are you not finishing any rooms?

Okay, I’m going to try to answer this question once and for all.  🙂

There are many factors that go into how I work on projects, and what I choose to work on from day to day.  As mentioned above, on some days I’m not able to run to Home Depot to pick up supplies to work on a project that “makes sense.”  So on those days, I look at the supplies I have on hand, look at my list of things to do, and just pick something that I can accomplish that day.

In some situations, what I can and can’t work on is dictated by other factors.  For example, right now I’m not working on the living room, entryway, and music room because of the ceiling.  Before I move forward on any of those rooms, I want the ceilings re-drywalled, and that’s a messy job.  Taking down all of that old drywall, with the decades-old insulation that’s probably filled with disgusting things (we do, after all, have squirrels living up there, and we’ve had rats in the past) will make a complete mess of those rooms.  So why go to the trouble of decorating those rooms now, only to have to remove everything I’ve done, drape the doorways with plastic, and make a complete mess?  After all of that mess, I’m going to want to scrub down every surface and give the walls a fresh coat of paint, so it makes no sense to do any of that right now.  So I’ll wait and move on to other projects that I can actually work on right now.

And the drywall will get done.  I’ll be doing that with the  help of my brother and sister, but right now I can’t do anything until the squirrels are gone and the holes where they’re getting in are sealed up.  Hopefully the animal trapper guy will have all of that finished up in the next week.

But really, the main thing that dictates what I’ll work on from day to day is my inspiration.  I’ve explained this over and over, and yet I still have people that don’t understand.  And I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason some people simply can’t understand is because left-brained, analytical people simply cannot understand people like me.  It’s not that you don’t want to understand.  It’s that you simply may not be capable of understanding because your analytical nature prevents you from doing so.  And I say that because I live with a left-brained, analytical person, and it has taken him 12 years to become accustomed to my right-brained nature.  He still doesn’t understand me, but he’s just become accustomed to me.  Or in his words, “I just gave in.  I gave up on trying to understand.”  🙂

But I’ll try one more time…

I’m remodeling my house pretty much by myself.  One person, two hands, doing about 99% of the work (so far).  In order to plug away at this, day in and day out, without getting burned out, overwhelmed, and giving up, I simply must go where my inspiration takes me from day to day.  If I wake up and have the urge to sew that day, then I find a sewing project on my list that I need to do.  If I feel the urge to build something, then I find something on my list that needs to be built.  I’m led by inspiration, and that keeps me going day to day, and keeps me excited about the things I’m doing.

There are some exceptions.  The current bathroom makeover, for example.  I’ll NEVER feel inspired to do drywall, but there comes a time when it’s inevitable, and simply must get done.  On those days, I give myself a pep talk, and just get to it.  But I try to keep those days to a minimum, or at least spread them out with lots of fun stuff in between so that I’ll be inspired to keep going.

Understand?  Ha!  I have a feeling that those of you who understand that already understood it long ago.  And those of you who don’t understand it probably won’t ever understand people like me.  But that’s okay.  I love all of you left-brained, analytical people anyway!  Heck, I even married one of you!  🙂


Phew!  That was one wordy post!  Congratulations to those of you who finished.  I feel like I should reward you with a prize!  😀



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  1. Sorry to ask more questions, but why have the roll in shower in the hall bath? Why not have it in the new master bath? I understand that will be a long way off, but you obviously won’t be doing the hall remodel anytime soon either… just don’t understand why the hall bath would be a roll in and not the master bath… do you plan on doing both showers that way?

    1. I don’t have answer to that. 🙂 It seemed logical when I planned it out, but that’s why I say that things could very well change, and we might decide to forgo the hallway bathroom remodel and just dump all of that money into the master bath, master bedroom, laundry room, and family room.

      1. That makes a ton more sense to me…being right brained and all! The hall bath will be used by company and quick personal trips only pretty much. I’d put the money in the master bath when the time comes and make this quick remodel of the hall bath the final. Can’t wait to watch the progress!

      2. Gotta add my two cents to the idea of making the hall bath the company bath and having the roll-in shower and wheelchair three foot circles built into the master bath. It was exactly what I thought as I looked at your projected remodel floorplan. That way you avoid the load bearing wall issues and may even avoid the floor issues (not sure what the floor is like in the existing sunroom.

    2. I’m glad you asked that Kelly, that was my thought too… . she’ll get it though. Like she said she’s the only one doing it.. Wish I was there to help…!!!

  2. No questions here, I am about in the same boat. However I enjoyed your explanations just the same. I love your blog, Kristi, it’s my favourite by far. I love everything you do to your house and enjoy reading about it. Your husband sounds like a real doll, mine has multiple illnesses too. <3

    1. For all the reasons you just mentioned is why I love you blog more than any other blog. You live a real life. And decorating fits in when and how it can. Also I love that every other post is not some dumb giveaway or sponsored post.

      1. I was wondering how to go about ASKING a question..sorry to interject here but I’m not particularly computer savvy so maybe Im missing something..

  3. I’m the same damn way. My husband thinks I am a flake! Lol. My bathroom has been sporting 3 paint options for about 2 years and I just got sick of my living room so now that’s ripped apart. I for one am appreciative of what you are doing. It makes for a more interesting blog 🙂 Always something new with you!

  4. i totally understand working where you’re inspired! 🙂 it is tough being right brained!! 🙂 LOL 🙂 I was going to ask the same question that I see already asked…why not plan for the new bathroom to have the roll in shower! A totally new room will be easier to do properly than retrofitting the existing. And cheaper too! 🙂 it will also be nice for him to be able to roll into the shower right from his own bedroom than to roll across the hall nakie if you happen to have company. 🙂 my ex husband was in a chair and it was a pain when we had company and he needed to shower. It was so much nicer when the bathroom was attached to our bedroom! 🙂

  5. I think I might be a little right AND left brained, since I “get” what and why you’re doing what you’re doing, but I also “get” that IF you had the money, you would proceed very differently. From the comments, I often get the idea that what some commenters don’t “get” is the concept of not having the money!

    Many of us read your blog because it’s real, in the sense that you DON’T have an unending stream of money, and therefore “make do”, in creative, interesting ways that don’t skimp on originality, style or quality.

    Carry on! An HVAC is by far the biggest priority. The fact that you’re able to do so much without $10,000 at your disposal to just “get on with” every major, forever plan you might dream up is what keeps me, for one, interested in your progress. That and your skills, energy and ability to keep yourself motivated, and us interested!
    I, for one, am constantly interested and amazed that you get so much done, with all the real-life constraints you have, and probably wouldn’t read your blog if it was just a list of what you bought lately. There are lots of blogs like that, and I am glad yours isn’t one of them!

  6. I had the same question as Kelly above ^, why not just do the roll in shower in the master bath, since that’s also going to be a huge project?

  7. Awww, every time you feel you have to do one of those posts I feel like we’ve been driving you crazy! lol But being split in my left-right-brain preference, let me try to explain the right-brained nature to your left-brained audience – and if it actually works feel free to copy and paste in the future! lol

    My left brain thrives on organisation – and numbers. If something needs to be done I’m going to make a plan, break it into separate tasks and organise said tasks in the best possible order (best = practicality-wise and also to minimise two numbers – amount of money required and amount of hours required). And then I’d get to it. As I move towards the end of the goal I can feel that I’m 20% done, 50% done and so on, and that motivates me to move forward.

    Then I have my right brain that fires random spurs of ideas. I see one thing that I like, and suddenly a storm of ideas comes from apparently nowhere. The inspiration may be a really insignificant thing, like the pattern on a sugar paper (has happened). Or I may even wake up with an idea, or even a more general mood to create something – (heck, I often wake up with unknown music in my head, ’cause I “hear” music in my dreams apparently 😛 ). And if I pursue these ideas, or moods, more and more ideas keep coming – sometimes faster than I can handle. While I’m “in the zone” like this I don’t need any motivation. I just chase those ideas and pictures in my brain and I’m blind to anything and everything else. I don’t get tired easily, and unless I’m seriously failing to create what I have in my mind, I don’t even realise I’m exerting serious effort there. And the results in those cases are the best results I ever get.

    Now the trick in this situation is this: I can’t get into this creative mode by myself. I can’t turn it on and off, and I can’t trigger it (at least not to its’ full) even if I actively go chasing after inspiring things. This is the exact opposite of what my left brain does, which is sit down and say “now we’ll do this” and you begin to do it. So when this creative mode hits you, you go with it. So yeah, you become random.

    The very very big benefits of this randomness is the ability to do an enormous amount of work without burning out and without trying to convince and motivate yourself, and also, the much better results.

    1. Wow. Phoebe’s comments really hit home. I didn’t think there was anyone else in the world who thinks like me. I totally understand the right-brain inspiration AND the left-brain need for organization, logic, and efficiency. It’s crazy (but wonderful too) to go to bed at night with a logical plan for tomorrow and wake up going in a totally different direction based on some out-of-the-blue whimsy. Sure makes life fun!
      Kristi, like others have said, it is your money, your life, and your home. We are lucky that you are willing to share it with us. Keep up the good work.
      On a different note, I have a new appreciation for what you are doing. I bought a jig saw last weekend (an out-of-the-blue whimsey to create a frame). I’ve never used an electrical saw of any kind, don’t have the proper table or bench for it, and am grateful after the fact that I still have all my fingers. But I made a frame. My SECOND frame will definitely look more square I’m sure! LOL

    2. explained “ME” I really thought I was of the crazy variety and kept it hidden as much as possible!!! To know I have someone else similar if not ‘exactly’ like me is just so darn exciting…so look out world I am now going to brag about my ‘left side, right side’ way of thinking! Thank you Phoebe!

  8. It must be exhausting hearing the same questions over and over again. I read all the posts so I know what’s going on and I can go back to previous posts if I forget the answer to something. Personally….I prefer to just sit back and watch the magic happen! Do whatever you want, when you want…I’m enjoying every moment!

    1. Oh I so agree with you! I very seldom comment simply because I LOVE the mystery of “what did she accomplish today?”
      I work the exact same way!
      Kristi, please PLEASE never change your blog! 😉

      1. Agreed! I look forward to it every day and wonder what you are going to tackle next. Thanks for explaining how caring for Matt affects your choice of project. That was a brave admission. It is obvious how devoted you are to each other. I know this isn’t the diet post, but I was wondering if you have seen any health benefits from eating paleo. I know it can take time but was wondering if there was a glimmer of hope for you two. Keep doing what you are doing. You are a wonderful person and a loving wife. Thanks for sharing your creative journey with us. 🙂

  9. I have never felt that I fall into anything other than the right brain category, but I’m so with you on doing what you feel the inspiration to do. I used to make lists of things I needed to do, and instead I would procrastinate and do nothing… I’ve found if I do something inspirational it will usually start a dominoe effect and I get soon much more done.

  10. Girl, what your doing is quite awesome….and although the blog was great…you do not owe the world any explanations. I would say there are VERY few people (men or woman) that could keep up with your daily schedule and come out not only alive but thriving and still creating beautiful things. So change your mind your plan your dreams all you want….we will still be eager to see the outcome of your awesome creativity. God bless you and your husband today 🙂

  11. Why not just rip out the tub and either put a wall up where the tub was or make the bathroom the same footprint just tubless and just use it for a washroom-toilet & sink?

    1. Perhaps you missed the long range plan to remove the current tiny master bath for adding on a new addition in back. They will need a full bath during all that construction, which means they must keep the hall bath as a full bath at this time. Down the road, they will build a new master bedroom on back after tearing away the current master bath, and will have to finish the new bedroom completely and move into it before they can turn their current master bedroom into a master bath. Kristi is definitely doing the right thing for right now.

      1. Driving to work this morning it hit me in the head, “Oh, yea, they needed that bathroom for when they take out their other one.” Ha!

  12. I understand with my right brain completely as we think with the same side of the brain. I am all over the place when it comes to our home. But I wouldn’t call it all over the place, it is more like where creativity will be best served that day and I understand your daily with your hubby, he is important and deserves 100% of you when it is needed. Plus if it is going to be your forever home, than why rush it or work on it at a pace one person could not possibly handle, you have gotten a lot done in the time you have been in it.
    As for the Condo, I would personally put it on the market as is, from what I saw , it looks great and is very sellable right now. Honestly, seeing gas prices drop the way they have been may be good for our pocketbooks right now, in the short term, but I don’t see it as a good thing long range and it could very well cause the bottom to drop out of the housing market again, so you may be better off just clearing up and out and put a for sale sign on it now. That is just my opinion. We could go into a nasty recession that gas prices could cause and financial people are saying is possible. People in the oil industry are losing jobs, trickle down effect could happen. I would personally just sell it while interest rates are quite low and down payments are even lower, fannie mae just dropped to 3% down and some can do 0% down, especially first time homeowners which is where your focus will probably be or empty nesters wanting less to care for and do. Do comparables in the area, talk to an agent and put the price up a bit higher than most that are selling, you will come in close to the above average asking and what a bank will appraise it for, right now it is all about the banks.
    I don’t think I have ever had a question about how you do things, because I do the same. After 5 children and now almost 4 grandchildren, my life revolves around the two still at home, my hubby and now my grandbabies. I am a stay at home momma and grandmomma that watches her grandchildren when needed as daycare is VERY expensive for my children to have to pay, I am cheaper, just buy me a pot of flowers to plant in the spring/summer 🙂 ( cheap date,lol) I have a left brained hubby too, but some days he can be right brained. It just depends on the mood he is in and how much convincing I have to do, lol 🙂

  13. You do not owe anyone any explanations for why you do things the way you do. Your house, your money. I enjoy following you and the projects you choose to tackle. My spouse also has MS that was diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 61, and I know exactly what you mean about how that affects your day-to-day activities. You are an inspiration!

  14. Kristi…in another direction…if you keep the condo for rental…you could have a long term income…Look at its location, talk to a realtor friend, and see if it would work for you and Matt…It could in the long run provide you and Matt with more monthly income…Just make sure the tenants are screened really well…

    1. Renters present a whole new can of worms related to expense and damage, time, and energy. As a prior rental properties owner and property management company owner, I can attest to the reality versus the allure of such supplemental income.

  15. My sister is the right-brained person – I am the left. We both frustrate each other but we also complement each other. I bounce things off of her and vice-a-versa. We have just come to the point where we understand the way we each think and just plain live with it. Be that as it may, it is very nice of you to answer everyone’s questions. Personally, I would just tell us all to take a flying leap but you are way too polite. I am a widow who is on my own – redoing my house room by room. You are my inspiration. If you can do it, so can I. One step at a time. Yours is the first thing I read every morning and when I get discouraged, I read about some of your past projects and get re-energized. I do have someone who helps me with the heavy stuff but most of it I do on my own. Keep up the good work!

  16. I’m sorry you’ve had to explain yourself once again, Kristi, with even additional questions as a result. It must be extremely frustrating in view of your multiple references to budgetary constraints, Matt’s illness, and the fact that you literally a one-woman show. You have unbelievable tenacity, patience, and will power, on top of immense talent. Sometimes people forget that the first three are not in endless supply for anyone. Most of us empathize with the challenges you and Matt face as you share your renovation adventures and truly appreciate your openness in doing so. Cheers, Ardith

  17. Kristi Cares!
    I suspect you have 650,000 likes because you care about us! Our ideas, thoughts, feelings etc.
    My gut reaction was ‘why does she waste time with these nosy people?’ Kristi however listens, gleans what is pertinent, helps where she can and moves forward!
    Well played, I’m so addicted!

  18. I don’t know why you think you need to drop the shower pan below the subfloor in order to have a curbless shower stall. I have a curbless shower stall in my master bath and it was all done from the sub floor level up. A slight grade was created from the drain area upwards so that the water drains properly and then it slopes gently down again to the balance of the bathroom floor. My master bath is roughly the size of the one you have in your plans – but ny girlfriend did the same thing in her much smaller master bath in her condo. Since her condo floor is a concrete slab there was no possibility of going below that level.

  19. Thanks Kristi for your explanations. Makes you real to all of us. You can holler for help too and we are here to cheer you on!

  20. Your ideas and solo work are very inspiring. Sometimes I turn on the computer and I’m just floored by yet another incredible project! However, I would encourage you to tap into your latent left hemisphere and start using tarps when you demo. I’m exhausted just looking at all the mess that has to be handled piece by piece & the possible damage to other surfaces. 😉

  21. You inspire me with each and every post you make and each project you do. I always have a project or am planning one in my head. You keep on doing what you are doing. You are an amazing woman.

  22. Hi Kristi — your house, your condo, your money or lack of it. Totally relate to this. I too would tell people to jump in the lake when they constantly ask you questions. . . .

    On another note what software do you use for the floor plan? I’m trying to find one that is free and easy to use.

  23. I agree you don’t not owe anyone explanations for what/how/when you do things, and it must be irritating to have people question you about such. I’m sure everyone has your best interest at heart.
    Looking at the plans again, I think you might very well be happy with leaving this bath footprint the way you’ll finish it now. It’s a nice location for guests, and I personally think one bathtub in every house is important. Add one of those curved shower rods, and it feels nice and roomy when showering. Only caveat I saw is that it’s the only other bathroom in the house. When you do the big Master/Family addon/remodel, Matt will Have to use this one.
    Looking at plans again, might it be possible to remove the two closets (hall and bathroom) and add a larger doorway for him? (wouldn’t help the shower obv, but would provide other uses). Then rework part of master closet to hallway as your linens/storage. With the bedroom rework, you’ll gain a whole new master closet anyway.
    SO..just thoughts..fwiw. Have fun…I bet you have it half way back together by now don’tcha!

  24. Have you pitched your adventures to HGTV? Strong woman with power tools and moxie, struggling to do it on a budget. Sounds like a winner to me!

      1. Here’s a link that might work for this! Go to hgtv.com and search “are you renovating in a small town.”
        Kristi, I don’t know how small your town is but it might be worth a shot. Think of the possibilities!

    1. I was thinking the same thing OR Lowes or Home Depot could sponsor her!!!! They could advertise on her blog for $$$ (so she could hire labor ) and give her the materials she needs to do the jobs!

      Second thought….I do not have a ton of money by any stretch…but I would be willing to send her $100 towards any of the makeovers….Would anyone else like to send money ????? We could start one of those funding pages. Any one else in?

  25. Kristi : You inspire me everyday. I don’t know how you do it all by yourself. You motivate me to do more. Keep going, no matter what direction it takes you.

  26. Hi Kristi. I am sure that Matt’s illness is difficult for both of you. We all have our crosses to bear, and Matt has a really hard one. I often wondered if Matt had help during the day due to his illness. I thought maybe he had a male nurse come in every so often, but apparently he does not, which does make it hard for both of you. Men like to feel that they are taking care of their families and it takes one with a very strong spirit, to allow himself to be cared for. I am sure we all could add Matt to our daily prayers asking the Holy Spirit to fill him with the strength he needs. I know I will certainly pray for both of you. OK, enough of me being “nice”! About the load bearing wall…..first, let me say that having a roll in shower in the hall bath is a good idea. There will come a day that you guys do not live there, and the next family may have a child or parent that is in a wheel chair. You want your main bathroom to be able to accommodate the masses. Now about this rolling shower, I have been in handicapped hotel rooms, only because that was all that was available. I have seen these showers that are perfectly suited for wheelchair occupants and they are level with the floor. They are not dropped below the floor. The one’s that I have seen are slopped towards a drain in the center of the shower floor. It is not a steep slope, just enough for the water to drain. I believe that can be done with the mud that is put in under the tiles. I think, if you have not seen a hotel handicap bath, you should try and visit some Nice hotels in your area and ask to see the handicap rooms. I think you are totally capable of creating what they have without a huge expense. I also think the hall bath size is fine for a rollin shower, toilet and sink. Please take the time to visit hotels and take a measuring tape with you. You will be surprised. You might not have to do anything other than remove the closet. Why make more work for yourself if you do not have to. Whatever you do, you will do. Blessings

    1. The NKBA access standard for wheelchair turning space in a bathroom is a 60″ circle, add to that another 60″ for a roll-in shower and you require the 7’3″x10′ bath that Kristi has planned.

      Perhaps the hotel bathrooms you have experienced actually have transfer showers, not 60×60″ roll in showers.? There’s a big difference in accessibility between the two, I think.

      We just shopped for shower stalls and I looked at ADA options. It’s my understanding that, yes, there are showers that have no recessed drain, but they have a small ramp into the shower. I’ve only read very little, but it’s my understanding that it’s best to have at least an 8″x8″ area blocked out around the drain to allow it to sit below the subfloor so you can have a level entry.

      I’m personally very interested in accessible design. I just wish everyone considered it in there homes. I don’t know of any bloggers who might incorporate access standards into their design except for Kristi.

      I wish companies would see the value in promoting accessibility and sponsor Kristi and Matt with a new, total wheelchair friendly bathroom. I think more and more consumers are going to be interested in this area of design. Especially with the baby boomer generation wanting to “age in place” and their children (me) wanting to create homes they will always be able to visit with ease.

  27. I understand completely! I work the same way from an inspiration stand point and from a need to be home stand point too. No MS here, just a couple of teen girls, their friends, and hubby who works way more than he should. Plus 300 pounds of lovable fur balls that are high maintenance some days.

    Kristi, keep chugging along at your own inspired pace! We will always be here to root you on.

  28. I love seeing your process, because I’m doing the same thing (on a much smaller scale!), working on one room, going and doing something the next. Our ‘big’ projects are tearing out the horrible metal railing on our stairs, and replacing it with a half wall, and tearing out all the carpet and putting in hardwood floors. We can’t afford to do those things right now, since we have to save up. So I putter. I paint one room, then I might go and work on the door I’m restoring the next day. Then after that I might paint another room, or I may get out the good ol’ rattle can of oil rubbed bronze and spray my Craigslist and thrift store finds – or hem up the curtains that I *had* to have, but are 6 inches too long.

    I have no schedule to get things done. I’m just getting them done as I get them done – and that’s one reason that I love your blog. You may have different reasons for doing it this way, but it helps me to see that I’m not the only one not going room by room, project by project, instead of doing them in a linear fashion!

  29. I could be wrong, but maybe you are getting a lot of new followers that haven’t seen your old posts about the way you work? They love what you do, but haven’t heard those answers before. Not that you have to explain to begin with, but I’m just trying to say that they might not be trying to be annoying. From your posts (I’ve read 2 like this so far), it sounds like you get a little annoyed at your audience and I don’t think they are trying to be. They love you and want to know you more.

    I would just do what you do best and link back to a past ‘explanation’ post if you keep getting those questions. That will answer their questions, but allow you to spend time doing what you love.

    On another note, you could sell your condo as it is, and probably still do very well, but there’s so much blogging potential over there that the world would miss! 🙂

    1. I agree with your post Rachel. When you open your self and your home to the world (and let’s face it Kristi has followers from Canada to Ohio to Germany) we’re all going to weigh in with our opinion. Another poster said that maybe these questions seem to be from “newbies” who haven’t read her previous posts and I agree with that as well. I don’t think anyone of us means to be malicious but sometimes were confused and things that she does don’t make sense in our head. But that’s okay, it’s not our home, is not the way we do things. Everyone is different, everyone has their own agenda, and resources.

      1. ^This.^ Kristi, I think the reason you keep having to re-hash your rationale for doing the things you do in the order you do them is because you keep getting new followers/readers that don’t know your backstory and haven’t read your prior posts (you’re a prolific blogger [thank goodness, your blog is my fav and I read it every day you post!] and it’s a lot to wade through for a newbie).

        I know you’re aware that most people do not ask certain questions to badger you or offer suggestions for things that you’ve already covered won’t work for you, it’s just a consequence of new readers feeling comfortable enough to jump in to the discussion (which is wonderful!) and why I see some other readers help explain what’s going on to them (also wonderful and helpful).

    2. I don’t think Kristi sounds like she’s getting annoyed…at all. On the contrary, I think her answers and explanations are more than gracious!

    3. Actually, as a general rule, I don’t get annoyed by questions. I really do write these posts to be informative, and when I start getting the same question over and over, it’s generally easier for me to just address those questions in a post rather than answer 20+ separate times. But I don’t write them because I’m irritated. I enjoy questions and giving information. Frankly, I’d MUCH rather someone engage me personally and ask questions and give me a chance to answer, rather than taking the conversation to a third party website, talking about me, and making assumptions about me. I’m a pretty open book, and I welcome questions and will answer them as openly and honestly as I can, and as time allows.

      The only time I get irritated with questions is when I write a post in which I go to the effort to explain something, and then someone leaves a comment on that post asking a question that I’ve already answered. And example would be the person who left a comment on this post and asked me if we had sold the condo yet. (There were a couple who asked in a joking manner. Those made me laugh. This particular person wasn’t joking, though.) And the person who left a comment on the previous post asking me whatever happened to the music room, and if I had finished it yet. :-/ I’ll be honest and say that those questions irritate the crap out of me, and sometimes, if you were to be in my house as I read those comments, you’d hear me yelling at my computer. 🙂 But with that exception, I welcome questions.

  30. I love the way you work. Your mind is always organized and being creative means plans change or as I tell my husband, they get “refined”.

    I kind of agree with Colleen about putting the house on the market now. As an artist, it is often difficult to let go of a piece you have been working on. You have invested time and effort in making the condo a happy home. Paint walls if that needs to be done, clean it and sell it. Someone will love it and appreciate your work. You don’t need it as an anchor when you have wind in your sails at the new house.

    I really admire your energy, creativity and the care you take of your family and home.

  31. I’m sorry you get asked the same questions over and over. I like that you work on different projects (of all sizes) and between the house and condo. Its one of the things that keeps me coming back each day to read your blog. I don’t know what I’ll read each day and that is great. Your creativity is an inspiration to me and that IS my prize. Thank you.

  32. Ditto to all the above posts. I especially like the idea of checking out the handicapped bathrooms in local hotels. Might be a way to do what you want to do without all that expense.

    One other thought – have you looked into possible grants to pay the cost of retrofitting a home for a handicapped person?

  33. Kristi, I think you may have gotten a whole slew of new admirers after winning that contest. You might have to explain again and again as you get new peeps coming to your blog. That’s a good thing!!

    Keep up the good work. Your blog is always the one I check first!


  34. I love this post. I work the same way. Other than having a full time, sit down, incredibly boring day job, I jump from project to project. Some getting done at the absolute last minute. I started a chair reupholster job ($1 chair from ReStore) I was so gung ho about. After about 1000 staples and I didn’t even get one piece removed, I pushed it to the back burner. It’s been months. It’s in the way and I walk around it daily, but I just couldn’t face anymore staples. I’m starting to get the itch again and I can’t wait to see it finished so maybe this weekend I’ll pull another 1000 staples. What I love about you is that you are just one little woman and you accomplish things that are just amazing. I want to build a mudroom but my husband is a little hesitant. I don’t know if he’s not sure of his skill or my skill. I’m fully capable of doing it, yet I hesitate because of him. I guess I need him to carry the heavy stuff. Anyway, I showed him your kitchen and he was amazed. You are amazing. Keep doing what you do. I love following along.

  35. Whatever you are doing, I love seeing it. No questions here!! 🙂 Matt is blessed to have you.
    May God bless each of you and give you strength to endure!

  36. Why you don’t beat your head on the counters more often is beyond me. So may questions! lol My thought was also on the master bath being the major remodel, leaving the main bath as-is. However, with the master bath plans as they are, have you considered adding another door from Matt’s game room into the new bathroom for ease of use? I’d do one of those amazing bathrooms with an open walk-in galley closets behind the sink wall to reduce the number of doors.

    1. Because when you make a blog its part of the territory that you will be asked questions and people will comment, sometimes its going to be the same questions again and again from different people. But you cant get frustrated or grouchy with these people because in this case, this blog is a part of her income(and there is nothing wrong with that) and if she starts getting upset with people and alienates them she loses her income. Sounds like you have been a long time reader and have heard these questions before, but keep in mind there are a lot of new people who havent and if she snaps at them, then they will all leave, along with some of the long time readers.

      Blogs have a huge customer service aspect to them if you make money from the blog. Each reader increases your income and the same if you were a restaurant owner, you cant snap at a new customer just because they are the 100th person to ask what the soup of the day is.

  37. It’s kinda fun to see these posts pop up every once in a while when you get fed up with the questions. Now you can just link back to this post in the future without having to go to the trouble of reexplaining everything once again! I can say that I was really surprised to see you taking out the tile in your bathroom this past week, but that wasn’t the first time you’ve done something like this and the end results more than justify seemingly random decisions. Your kitchen is the best example of this. You started out with a light fixture and just a few little cosmetic changes and, bam, 7 months or so later you have this wonderful kitchen and all these fantastic projects.

  38. God bless you, woman! My thoughts on the condo are the expenses you are still paying. The utilities, condo fees and taxes,etc. Get rid of it, bank the money towards your hvac and have one less thing to do.

  39. You are an inspiration!! Thank you! I love to work on many projects at the same time – it keeps life from being boring! Right now I’m organizing my sewing room, working on two quilts, moving my books and sanding the laundry room cabinets for painting. Plus I’ve had paint swatches on the Master bedroom walls for a couple years. Each day I get to choose what I want to work on that day. It keeps life interesting and fun!

  40. Keep on plugging away. I totally get it and love your blog. I think I mentioned this before but to me decorating/designing a house is an art form. It happens and evolves as it happens and evolves. Your house, your art! No explanations needed!

  41. You don’t owe anyone any explanations about why you are doing things the way or in the time frame you are doing them. I know you must get frustrated getting the same questions over and over. If i were you, instead of spending your time re-answering them, just start referring people back to other pages where you’ve answered these questions before. I know that some people just won’t ever understand especially if they take blogs from other DIYers that do seem to have endless amounts of money and time. I know this since I take some of those types of blogs myself and always wonder how they do it. Some do it because they have contractors doing all the big construction work, unlike you, doing it mostly yourself. Others seem to have quite a lot of money or else are comped lots of the materials they are using and none that I know of have a chronically ill spouse that they care for that limits what and when they are able to get done. You are doing a fantastic job! I look forward to your post every day to see what you’ve accomplished since your last one. It’s YOUR house so you should just do things as you see fit and not worry what anyone out here reading has to say about it.

    1. To be fair, she really does owe her readers and explanation, mostly because they are her readers and she doesnt want to alienate them. I think posts like this are good for the blog, because there are tons of new people who dont understand and if you get rude with them, they are gone and for Kristi, thats money out the door. Blogs are just as much about customer service as they are about good content. Thats why lots of successful blogs do take so much time to respond (I notice Kristi does as well). In this scenario, you cant afford to get frustrated with your readers, or rather, your customers, just like any store or restaurant owner would tell you, if the 150th person asks what the soup of the day is you smile and tell them tomato soup, even if you just told the person sitting right next to them. If I had just started reading and made a comment then someone got a bit short with me and linked me to an old blog post, I would be gone and never come back again and while I am not one to go out and complain, other people might be, which would lose even more potential readers.

      I like that Kristi takes the time to address these things, it gives a good feeling of interaction between her and the readers, makes us feel like she is listening and considering what is said. While I dont think anyone here has the right to tell her what to do with her house, they are going to question the why or how now and again.

      But, if you long time readers think its a lot of work, you can always take a few minutes to help out with a nicely worded reply to someones questions if you know the answer. It builds a nice community amongst the readers and makes the blog friendly for new readers.

  42. Kristi, as I’ve commented before, you go girl! I live daily with a disease that some days I’m able to do things and some days I just can not seem to pick my feet or arms up! My husband is an absolute angel as you are to Matt! May God bless you and him! Always enjoying your blogs!

  43. I am right brained as well and sometimes a little left, I always have 4-5 rotating projects and even if I spent all night trying to pump myself up to tile, If I get one good ‘idea’ the next morning I will spend the whole day organizing my garage so I can have a work shop and a place to park my car. Its how I am and I know it frustrates some people but everything does get done… eventually.

    But for me (and potentially others) my issue isnt with the eclectic order of the project work. For this particular project its more about the resources. I am not even talking about time and money here, though those do matter as well. Personally I am a huge science buff, and I know that in the US our footprint is massive. So what makes me cringe about the last post is the idea that you are going to use a bunch of concrete board and tile and then throw it into a landfill within 3 years, especially the concrete board because concrete is one of the most damaging things to the environment that is made for housing. Thats not to say that I am saying “dont use concrete”. Its a great long lasting material and I believe can get a long and meaningful amount of use if used properly and personally thats the way I work, to make each product where I use material last as long as it can.

    I am by no means trying to lecture you or tell you what to do with your house. I am only trying to explain why some of the readers may be a little confused about your last post. I am not by any means an extremist or about to break out into a spiel about the environment. But this may be why a lot of people were asking so many questions or saying “Why” on that last post, it may not all tie back to your order of doing things, some of it may just be that some of us dont understand doing something then tearing it out 3 years later. As I said, its a personal perspective, and nothing that should offend you, it just might be part of the reason there were so many posts asking why and suggesting other things.

    Though I do agree with others, get the condo off your hands asap. End of Feb, beginning of march is when the market picks up, which gives you a few weeks to tie up loose strings. Then with the money you and Matt can have a nice HVAC and a comfortable summer. Plus each payment you make, you lose money in interest to the bank, not even small money, big money. So when the condo is sold you keep the money from the payments and have the bonus of losing nothing to interest in the condo.

    Regardless, good luck with the bathroom, I am sure it will turn out great and I am excited to see the after.

  44. As Cathy mentioned, you do have readers all over the world. I live on the tip of Africa so I receive your posts in the evening.

    I soooo look forward to climbing into bed at the end of the day and “visiting” with you. I am always keen to find out “what Kristi has been up to today”.

    You are real, caring, and amazingly talented and I thank you for sharing every day with us.

    God’ s richest blessings for you both.

    1. PS We also own and let properties and the problems that go with it are minimal (in South Africa at least) compared to receiving a regular income for life and still retaining the asset.

  45. Hi Kristi! So sorry to hear Matt is struggling. I totally understand how bound to the house you can become. People who’ve never experienced this disease can’t understand the roller-coaster it can be. You’ll get that condo done when you can, and in the meantime, enjoy yourself doing what you’re inspired to do. With all you’ve accomplished, that seems to be working!!

    BTW: Please, please, please post about you’re HCG diet; seems like it’s been 6 weeks since you started this round… Hope it was a good experience.

  46. Kristi, thank you for another snapshot of your life. I guess I am right or left brained at any given time lol! Sometimes the ideas fill my head to overflowing..like I want to tip my head to see if they empty out my ear! (No, I am not on nor require any meds.) Other times I have a list that I work from and can easily check things off of and see progress in an orderly manner. However, I generally have no expendable cash available so then flit from one project to another that are doable with what I have available. Then there is the 4 y/o grandson who thinks he should be involved in any project regardless of size or expertise needed and THAT is when I wish I had meds!

  47. I didn’t see this mentioned in the comments (but I may have missed it) :)……

    A simple DIY for Kristi is on an entirely different level than the average homeowner. Because she has the skills and tools and supplies etc….., she is able to start projects as her schedule and desire allows.

    Kristi tearing out a bathroom is like me just painting a bathroom. Of course her “small” DIY will take more time but those of you who have read her blog for a long time know what I’m talking about.

    In case it wasn’t clear, I’m so impressed with the work accomplished. It’s a pleasure to read this site and thank you for not having those silly sponsored posts that make no sense. Every time I see a Nature Box post on a design blog I want to scream.

  48. Kirsti, I simply admire your planning and work ethics. I don’t bother you with questions aswe are all individuals. And I look at your blog everyday and love to to view what you are doing. And yes very honest and by your own hands. The best blog ever.

  49. Ha….I am old enough to be a “no” brainer!!!! I just like to see what you are up to, and occasionally let it motivate me to do something of interest…I think, okay, Kristi did all of this stuff, I can at least get a curtain made or a picture hung!
    I am so glad I found you, so that you can motivate me!!

  50. I love everything you do on this blog. And although I’m a left-brained person I get why you go with the flow or follow where inspiration leads you. I adore this blog and look forward to reading about and seeing what you do each day. And until someone just starts writing you checks to pay for your renovations, do you, girl, do you. Be blessed.

  51. What you’ve accomplished so far is incredible! And I’d rather read about your real-life, attainable renovations than some “lovely” trust-fund renos.

    Who’s with me?!

  52. I live in UK, and the construction methods might be different from yours, but if I understood correctly you need a hidden shower tray because the bathroom has suspended floor. Depending on the size of the void, it might be cheaper to fill it with hardcore (under the whole bathroom or just under the shower) and lay a concrete floor. Then you wouldn’t need the expensive tray installation and can simply slope the floor towards the drainage hole.

    The $800 for rearranging the plumbing – do you mean hiring a contractor to do this? Seems too much for materials. If this is the case, I would like to encourage you to do the plumbing yourself. It is not a rocket science, doesn’t require exceptional physical strength, and the tools are not expensive.

    As for this post – thank you for writing it, I am new here, left-brained 🙂 and this helped me understand the logic behind your actions. I enjoy reading your blog very much, found it by chance while googling ‘two blinds on the same window’ for a project of mine – the picture of the living room windows attracted my attention, and I am so glad I clicked on it. You do an amazing job, I wish you best of luck!

  53. I really enjoy seeing all the stages of each project, and mixing it up keeps it exciting! Totally agree about working on what inspires you from day to day. I do that too! Your decision process seems completely logical to me — do what you can, when you can, and ride the creative wave! You go girl!

  54. I understood it the first time you explained it. And the 37 times after that. As well as your most gracious explanation today. The good news is that now every time someone asks you can just link them to this post. Or perhaps I will take that on as my own personal contribution to the Kristi linauer fan club.

    1. Yes! Well said Jennifer!!
      I think most people just actually don’t bother to read it all properly or REMEMBER anything which has already been shared from day to day!
      Anyway! Thanks for sharing more, it’s good to know where people are at! You are such an inspiration and amazing to be able to be so flexible day to day!
      I used to read TONNS of DIY blogs, now i pretty much only read yours!
      Much love and please don’t ever stop sharing your journey with us.
      Love & prayers for Matt too. Really hope the next few months are easier on you both.
      Claire x

  55. What I don’t get is why anybody would be concerned over your decorating decisions or the process it takes?? I mean, if they don’t like the way you do things they shouldn’t be coming to your blog, right?? I love your blog for the very reasons you described…you are real, your husband is real, your budget is real, and your house is real. I am so tired of blogs that are nothing more than ads for the products they sell or a $10,000.00 kids bedroom make over. I understand your way of thinking and that is exactly what keeps me coming back to your blog every day! Keep it up and don’t worry about a thing except making you, and your husband, happy.

  56. Kristi, You are an inspiration and godsend. Your blog never ceases to amaze Me! Dedication hard work and Love of what you do are far more valuable than $$$$$’s. Those of us on tight budgets and health issues GET you! Matt and You obviously are a very Special Couple! Keep on being Who You Are!

  57. You need a like button….
    I get it. I do things the same way you do. It drives my fiance nuts, he digs in and finishes one project before he starts on another.
    And the whole money thing… Yeah. I get that too. Sometimes you just have to do what you can afford, and leave the major stuff for later. If at all…

  58. I think what you are doing is spectacular.
    I just found your blog recently…..have cruised around it and your FABULOUS projects and make overs and am astonished by how and what you tackle on a day to day basis.
    Who cares who understands or not…….I just LOVE seeing where your designs and inspirations take you…..I think its all WONDERFUL…..and commend you ……hang in there sweets……
    Sending you many appreciation hugs!

  59. I totally understand! I’m an artist, and I married a chemical engineer! :/ Definitely opposites! But I adore him, and we still like each other after 9 years of marriage. lol! Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, probably because you sound so much like me and my crazy, creative, DIY self. 🙂 I admire you for so graciously trying to explain our side of the brain to the other!

  60. One thing I was curious about that in your plans I can see only one bedroom. Do your other rooms convert for overnight guest or do you not have overnight guest or family Frankly I have turned my bedrooms into exercise room and craft room so overnight guest have to stay in a hotel close by actually this makes it easier for us because my husband go to bed early (health reasons) and this way we don’t have to entertain all the time plus I just can’t have people around me 24/7.My children and grandchildren live here in town. If they moved I probably would have to work something else out. But for now it works. I also am right brained and cannot be creative all the time and jump from project to project. Since I do art journals of course those are never finished. Anyway love your Blog and talked way to long

  61. Well, I for one find your work habits fascinating, and somewhat liberating. There’s a certain freedom in going where inspiration takes you, and since you don’t have issues with finishing what you started, then why not go wherever your inclination (and budget) lead you? I echo the sentiment of the commenter above who finds this blog appealing because you work within budgetary constraints as do your readers.

  62. After reading your post today, and EVERY comment, I must say that I agree with most of the others. I enjoy your blog much more than I do any others. You are creative, you have mad skills in many disciplines, AND you are an excellent writer, adept at explaining techniques so that others may repeat them.

    I appreciate reading about WHY you do something just as much as HOW you do it. Your reasons for building or designing a certain way or in a particular order gives me information for my own projects. Your rationale for making a specific choice often gives me ideas that I had not previously thought of. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge as well as your experiences both good and bad.

  63. I just love this blog…it has already been very helpful to me…I do have one question..we have debating what to do with our living room, foyer and small office that is open to the foyer…it was a dining room in the original house plan..but just never used it as such and decided to make an office/craft room…the foyer is tiled with white ceramic tile…very outdated and unattractive..at least to me..i want to either tile over it..with a beautiful green slate..or have it removed and use the same flooring for the living room, foyer and office…do you have any experience with tiling over tile..I seen several examples online…that looked great..but not sure about the longivity or if it is a realistic thing to do..our plans are to use either laminate or engineered hardwood…ive also read that you can paint over unattractive tile..and conflicting opinions from the expert as to whether or not this is feasible….thank you so much for your imput…I love your beautiful and helpful blog…a million thank yous..Ive wanted to make so many changes but cost and uncertainty got in the way…Nonna O.

    1. If your tile is in good shape — nothing loose or uneven — then you can tile over it or put new flooring over it. I don’t have personal experience with that, but I’ve researched it in the past, and it seems to be a very common thing for people to do. Just be sure it’s in good shape. Painting tile is an option, using a paint formulated specifically for tile. But the color options are very limited (mostly intended for kitchens and baths) and I don’t know that I would recommend it for a floor in a high traffic area. I’d opt for new flooring if I were you.

  64. I love what you are doing and how you are doing it. I’m 61 yrs. young and am just now getting interested in DIY! If I lived close to you, I would be there in a heartbeat to help you! I admire you Kristi for your drive to do the hard work to accomplish what you envision. You Go Girl! If people don’t like the method to your “madness”, then they can just unsubscribe to your posts! OK, my ranting is over……Have a Blessed Life 🙂

  65. I’ve just found your blog, I don’t have a clue how! If I were young I’d be just like you. Last time I was young like you I thought too much. My sister mentioned my 50+ yrs last wk andd I was indignant as I’m only 50 & 3 months. These days, in my OLD age, I sew, crochet, restore furniture. Some furniture pieces I’ve been working on for nearly 2 yrs. (I only have two current in progress). I choose what to do each day based almost entirely on how I feel. I do consider need & priority but really I do this stuff for fun and at my age it feels really good to be able to do what I ‘feel’ like doing. Oh to be young again with the maturity and wisdom I now have… You are totally entitled to scamper to and fro

  66. Hi Kristi,

    I was looking at your latest floor plan and I read some postings about how walk-in closets are floor space wasters, and then I got to looking at your pantry in the dining room area and kind of though the same thing about a walk in pantry. I know you said you don’t like the garage door coming into the middle of the dining room. So with all that in mind I thought I’d put my 2 cents in about another idea for that area.

    My comments are based on trying to figure out a way to get the garage manway door out of the middle of the dining room, and still have an entrance from the garage into the house. Also, giving you the pantry storage you need, a beverage center, freezer (upright), and still have windows on the back side of the room for sunlight, a view into the backyard, and fresh air circulation.

    Now I know you have some utilities out in the garage and they are tucked in that corner between the storage wall and the existing entry door. My thoughts are to move them to accommodate this design I thought of. I’m not sure how expensive it would be to do that, but here goes…

    Let’s take out the pantry. And lets steal 5 ft 6″ from the storage area to create your new entry way, leaving the storage room 14 ft wide instead of 19’6″ wide. So now the left wall of the storage room would be just left of the entrance to that room. Then take that 5’6″ existing garage/storage wall and put in a new entry door that is hinged on the right hand side and swings into the room. Eliminate the existing (right hand) wall between where the pantry was going to be abutted next to the old (left hand) storage wall. Eliminate the garage door that entered into the dining room and wall it up. Now the floor plan looks like a lower case letter “r”.

    Just going by the measurements on your floor plan, the wall on the right as you come in the new entrance from the garage would be 7 ft long, (extending beyond the 14 ft dining room wall). The back wall with the windows would be roughly 17 ft 9 in. The overall all length of the dining room from front to back wall is 21 ft.

    I know you have a sloped ceiling towards the back of the dining room, so maybe some of my ideas for the back wall may need to be modified because of height restrictions, unless you decide to have the slope ceiling fixed when you redo the sunroom (wishful thinkng?).

    Now for the layout—When you enter, in front of you would be a window with a bench underneath it (I’m not exactly sure how the existing back door in the storage room would be affected by this new layout, that’s why I suggested replacing the door with a window in case the floor would need to be elevated. If not you could leave it as a door to the backyard.) and on the (7ft) wall on your right you could have coat hooks or a bulletin board. Continuing the layout on the back wall, going from right to left, would be an upright freezer (maybe with a built in surround like you did to the fridge in the kitchen), then a tall, floor to ceiling, cabinet, then next to that would be a double door (glass?) wall cabinet and a window to the left of that (to be centered over the sink base). Dependng on the size of the window, if there is room to the left of the window, maybe you could put some open shelving on the wall. The lower cabinets (right to left) would consist of an ice maker or base cabinet, then a small sink base cabinet, then your beverage refrigerator. Since there is counter space you could put your coffee maker and other beveage appliances over there too (you might need to add some outlets in the backsplash). I decided on this layout with the taller cabinets to the right side because there would be more traffic flow coming from the family room into the dining room and I thought it would be more open than having the taller cabinets on the left side (by he family room wall). Plus there is still enough room to open and access the taller cabinet and freezer on the right hand side of the room by the entrance from the garage.

    I just thought this layout would give you the stoage you want, you would still have plenty of sunlight with two windows, and it would make the room appear larger and add more functionality between the family room, dining room, and entering from the garage. This entrance area gives you a place to unload your arms when you come in from the garage, whether it’s just your purse, bags, shoes, or groceries.

    So now that the gararge door that entered into the dining room has been removed, you could build a ramp for Matt in the garage for the new entrance. Even with the bench and the freezer/tall cabinet along the back wall, the entry area still allow for apprx. a 4 ft deep “hall”, so there would be plenty of room for Matt to use this entrance also. Plus now you can arrange your furniture in the dining room however you want.

    Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. I know whatever you decide it will be perfect for you and Matt.