Making Progress (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 8)

img_1509There are holes in my walls, and this time they’re supposed to be there instead of spontaneously appearing as precious surprises from my teenage boy’s fist.

We are making progress, folks!

Things are a mess. They’re chaotic and jumbled. There’s a sheen of dust and debris over every surface. None of which is different than normal, actually. But WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.

I wish I could remember that every day. That it’s a series of steps toward progress, not instant completion. Like when my dad used to tell me I didn’t have to clean my whole room; I just had to pick up one thing at a time and keep doing that over and over until the room was clean. Of course, my dad underestimated the appeal of sulking on my bed and muttering into my tape recorder about how mean and horrible my parents were instead of cleaning, but he’d have had a point if my actual goal had been to clean my room instead of make my parents suffer. I mean, I made my parents suffer one step at a time until they suffered totally and completely, so I feel like I understood the spirit of what he was teaching even if I ignored the letter of it, you know? Like, my dad taught me to make slow, deliberate progress toward the larger goal of making them utterly insane, and I’m still good at making people nuts today, so WAY TO TEACH LIFE SKILLS, DAD.

Our remodel is coming along, though. We have a make-shift camping kitchen set up in the backyard on an old, peeling brown vinyl table, and inside, everything is ripped to pieces and being slowly put back together.

AND I think we’ve picked our countertops.

When last we chatted, I asked for your advice thusly: Can I do laminate or MUST I consider something else?

Guys, I was pretty set on laminate. Not gonna lie. It’s cheap, getting prettier all the time, EASY to care for, and hard to ruin. That’s a Woolsey Win, right there.

So if you wanted me to consider something else, you were going to have to talk me into it. Like, serious, sit-down, come-to-Jesus chat. I did, however, make a commitment to listen to you lest I end up with another green and orange kitchen, and what you said surprised me!

Here are the results, by percentage in favor of each option:


Given the choices of Laminate or Other:

  • 37% of you were all, “Sure! Laminate’s great!”
  • 34% of you were all, “STOP, BETH. LISTEN TO US. Quartz is what you actually want. We SWEAR.”
  • 17% of you adore Joanna Gaines, and she loves concrete.
  • 11% of you like your Corian counters (but others detest it, so…)
  • And less than 1% of you suggested other options like granite and marble, which doesn’t fit our budget.

Honestly, that’s a huge showing for quartz, so I looked into it more thoroughly.

Now, Greg thought we ought to source Phenolic resin countertops, typically used in laboratories, which are difficult to find, very expensive, and indestructible. Let’s be honest, indestructible lab counters are PERFECT for our house. We Woolseys are TOTALLY a Mad Science Experiment one foaming beaker away from setting the world on fire; we could use indestructible surfaces around these parts. On the downside, we briefly looked for some, and we can’t find any without making an extraordinary effort, except we have 5 kids so we’re unlikely to make an extraordinary effort for counters, you know? Psychiatric care? ABSOLUTELY; extraordinary effort, here we come! Counters? No. Counters are not now and are not likely in our future to rise to the level of Worthy of Extraordinary Effort. So it’s really not an option.

On the bright side, it turns out lab counters are very much like quartz counters — indestructible, unstainable, unbreakable resin — and so, while Greg, Mr. Cheap Pants, would normally put the kibosh on quartz due to cost alone, quartz is actually cheaper than lab counters, so he already self-prepared for this kind of upgrade. In our Christian house, we call this the Leading of the Lord. The Preparation of the Holy Spirit! In other words, Jesus wants us to have quartz counters!

(Please note: Jesus does not want us to have quartz counters. That’s offensive.)

Now, we don’t technically know yet if we can really afford these countertops because Greg told the countertop guy we wanted the countertop we definitely did not want so he sent the wrong bid. Greg says this is my fault because I told Greg earlier the same day that the Countertop We Did Not Want was the Countertop we DID Want, but Greg was clearly not listening when I told him the Countertop We Did Want had become the Countertop We Previously Wanted, leaving room for the Countertop We Did Not Want to become the Countertop We Now Definitely Want.

I don’t know why Greg can’t keep these things straight.

In short (too late), I’m fairly, almost, approaching-definitely certain we’re going for quartz counters. The type we’ve picked, installed, look like this:


And like this:


I tried to find pictures that show the counters with white cabinets, subway tile backsplash, and dark wood floors like ours. I think the pics above are as close as I’m going to get, except you’ll need to imagine them with perpetual paperwork, piles of sticky dishes, and an unidentifiable puddle of gelatinous goo by the sink.

In conclusion, construction is underway, I think we’ve made all the major decisions so we can actually proceed with the project, and you can say All the Prayers for Greg.

Sending love,






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18 responses to “Making Progress (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 8)”

  1. That looks a lot like our kitchen remodel, which I LOVE. We did tan (sandstone?) tile for the backsplash, which I thought kept it from looking too white and antiseptic. Although given Greg’s penchant for laboratories, he may not mind that…

  2. I’m soooooo jealous. We need a new kitchen, but we need a house first. Maybe a house will come with an adequate kitchen; that would be great. In the meantime, trying hard to be content in all circumstances.

  3. Yeay! Quartz! You. Will. Love. Them. I swear. Those pics you posted are so pretty. I’m super jealous. We have yet to start the kitchen but it’s on the horizon.

  4. I love Quartz!! In my dream kitchen that we remodeled and then had to move away from, I had Quartz very similar to your pick- indestructible and maintainence free! I wish I had it again now that I have little kids around… Your kitchen is looking beautiful!

  5. Love that look of gray against white! And you already have pewter nobs which goes perfectly! And EASY CARE! Over the moon, Alice!

  6. Looks like you will be done before our kitchen restoration is complete – geesh, it’s only been 8 months now and the contractor is 1/2 done. I, too, have dust everywhere and a make-shift sink. But honestly, this has been the project from hell! The contractor has flooded our kitchen twice and now we discovered they forgot to put insulation in the exterior wall and will need to rip out our newly installed cabinet. And did I mention, this contractor was featured on Undercover Boss and received the 2016 Prestigious Award for good work? Makes you wonder what the poorly rated contractors are like. GRRRRRR!

  7. So exciting, we love the quartz at our house, super easy peasy care and we NEVER want tile again for the kitchen, so don’t try that one out.

  8. Tip from someone who’s done this before – when you think it’s all done, all scrubbed and polished and beautiful – change anything in your house that has a filter: vacuum, furnace, air conditioner. ALL of it. Because any or all of those things could (will) break from the burden of sucking up all the yuck. And it will happen just when you’re sure your budget can’t spare another penny.

  9. Since your kitchen is well, not quite pinworthy yet, I’d love to pin the inspiration kitchen photos. But, alas, there is no source listed or pin button attached. Can you help a girl out?

  10. So what just happened was that, by getting Greg to lobby for something even more expensive and impractical, he’s now happy to “settle” for the perfect thing instead of the cheapo option?

    Well played.

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