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Remodeling requires a sense of humor. Press play above for Weird Al Yankovic's take on Coolio's "Gangster's Paradise", called "Amish Paradise" from his 2000 concert tour.


Once I learned to work on a house I got dangerous....

In our first house, a fixer-upper by anyone's definition, I learned to do serious home improvement as a necessity, not a hobby. We moved to to a larger house, with correspondingly larger needs a few years later. I re-plumbed and re-wired both of our houses from the ground up. I replaced most windows and installed several sliding doors where windows used to be. I remodeled all of the bathrooms.

I was an unlikely handyman, but have risen to the occasion. Here are a few shots of one kitchen and one bathroom project I took on. They are in order of: before, during and after (I hope that is obvious).



Mary Lou has become our decorator....

Here is a sample of a few improvements she has made in the last two years: The first picture below shows a stencil she applied to accent the same bathroom shown in the remodel above. Our sun room was done in a mixture of flowers and rattan (second picture below). The planter box over the sliding door is actually an upside down pine prototype I made for our dining room's oak mantle. She used a hand drawn and painted stained glass technique to hide a bad view from our kitchen window without eliminating the light (third picture below).


Mary Lou took out all of the grass in our front yard and replaced it with plants (three pictures below). The third picture below shows the initial planting.


Our bedroom remodel brought in a Titanic movie theme. The first picture below shows a stained glass window treatment to give a portal look, along with a feather brush paint technique on the walls. We replaced my round waterbed, dating from college, with a raised frame waterbed with the frame modeled after the ship's railings (second picture below). The third picture below shows an interim step in the stained glass work with the portal outline and the bad view she eliminated.


Our kitchen and dining room remodel was done in steps from summer 2003 through spring 2004. Mary Lou did all the planning and most of the execution as well. The first step was to convert one of our two living rooms into a formal dining room, leaving the old dining room's area to expand the kitchen. The first picture below shows the new dining room. We then replaced the kitchen's horrible old hung lighting with recessed (second picture below, which also shows the old cabinets). We took out the old island and moved it to the dining room wall, opening up the kitchen floor space while providing continuity in the cabinets (third picture below).


We added crown molding and black hardware to the cabinets to bring out the theme of our antique 1908 stove and then Mary Lou painted them white. We finished with wall and ceiling paint, a wine cooler, a free-standing wood island, new countertops, a Pergo floor and a copy of Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace (pictures below). Total cost, not including our own labor, was under six grand.


Up My Family Pets Cars & Bikes Cabin The "Winery" Remodel

Mackey Group, Inc. 2002 - 2010