Phase one of the remodeling is complete

Step one of the gradual remodeling of our downstairs has been completed with minimal disagreement between my wife and our 22-year-old daughter Emma.

Of course, when talking about disagreements between my wife and Emma the word “minimal” is sort of relative.

If my wife and Emma both came downstairs in the morning at the very same time and one of them said, “Good morning” the other one would say “Is it? Is it really a good morning?”

My wife and Emma tend to disagree about things is what I’m saying.

The remodeling of our downstairs was first discussed by my wife and Emma a couple of weeks ago. And when I say “was first discussed by my wife and Emma” I mean in the sense that Emma said our downstairs needed to be remodeled and my wife-to use a decorating expression-blew a gasket.

I think that’s a decorating expression.

But after much back and forth my wife agreed to let Emma “Maybe, sort of, if you don’t do too much, if you check with me before you do anything and don’t get rid of anything I might let you do some remodeling of our downstairs. But not too much and really don’t get rid of anything.”

It was sort of a tepid agreement.

Because Emma didn’t just fall off the design truck, she opted to begin the remodel on something she and her mother already agreed on.

Emma convinced my wife to take a counter just off our kitchen that had served as a place to store stuff from someone named MacKenzie-Childs and turn it into a coffee bar.

The most challenging part of the transformation for Emma was convincing her mother to allow the MacKenzie-Childs stuff to be relocated elsewhere.

I told my wife the stuff from Mackenzie-Childs would go to a farm where it would be able to run and play with other MacKenzie-Childs stuff.

My wife said something to me I can’t repeat. Well, I could but it wouldn’t be polite. And, I’m pretty sure, it’s physically impossible.

By the way, in the interest of fair disclosure, I should point out the reason my wife has so much MacKenzie-Childs stuff is because I bought it for her.

See, my wife loves MacKenzie-Childs stuff which is unfortunate because it tends to be a bit pricy. But because I can never go wrong when giving my wife the gift of MacKenzie-Childs stuff I’m often willing to pay the price.

So to speak.

this is a "before" picture of the counter Emma turned into a coffee bar. In the foreground is stuff my wife put on our kitchen counter to decorate. In the background you can see the counter filled with MacKenaie-Childs stuff.
Our friend Chrystie Limes pointed out in any remodel you need before and after pictures. So, in the background of this picture you can see the counter before. Note the MacKenzie-Childs stuff. I need to be honest here. We really didn’t have an honest “before” picture. This picture was taken a couple of months ago. Having the counter in the background was a happy accident.


What Emma did was relocate the MacKenzie-Childs stuff to our dining room. Once Emma relocated the MacKenzie-Childs stuff and my wife realized how nice it looked the rest of the coffee bar transformation was a breeze.

And by “was a breeze” I mean it was a small hurricane.

See, the problem is, in design, Emma believes less is more while my wife believes, in design, more is not enough.

But, after discussions only slightly more complicated than the discussions between Major League Baseball owners and the players to restart the season, my wife and Emma came to a coffee bar agreement.

Another by the way, while my wife and Emma were setting up the coffee bar, I suggested they set up a bloody mary bar instead.

“No,” Emma said.

“Well…” my wife said.

“No,” Emma said.

It wasn’t that Emma was necessarily opposed to a bloody mary bar it was she felt, knowing her mother, a bloody mary bar would quickly get out of control.

Emma had a point.

Emma had a hard enough time keeping things in the coffee bar to a minimum.

Wife: Oooh, why don’t we add this creamer?

Emma: No.

Wife: What about these coffee cu…

Emma: No.

Wife: Ho…

Emma: No.

I did mention, when it comes to design, Emma believes less is more didn’t I?

Eventually, my wife and Emma were able to stock the coffee bar with just enough stuff to please my wife but not too much stuff to upset Emma.

It was a delicate balance is what it was.

The after picture of the now clutter free coffee bar.
Here is the after shot. Note the absence of clutter.

The next day, as Emma was preparing to return to her internship in Kansas City, she causally mentioned I now had the toughest remodeling job.

“What are you talking about?” I said.

“You have to keep mom from junking up the coffee bar with stuff,” Emma said.

Suddenly, I needed a bloody mary.