1. Ellen
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:04 am

    Does Paul do a lot of construction work shirtless? Lucky you!


    • Jenny
      November 17, 2015 @ 10:51 am

      I was thinking how to politely say “Paul has got some guns!” without sounding like I was coveting VEB’s husband. You managed it nicely.


      • Erin
        November 17, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

        Hahaha… thanks ladies. I almost missed that until you pointed it out.


  2. becky up a hill
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:07 am

    I can’t get past the $8,000 Craigslist in Arkansas. I hope you can at least tell me, as one of my great Aunts was named Arkansas. I am not kidding. Boom. I will tell you her sister’s state names another day. Suffice to say, I think my great granny Alabama got the pick of the litter, so to speak. p.s. I don’t live in Arkansas.


  3. Leslie
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:09 am

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! So excited to see more!! 😀 I’m living vicariously through your remodel, as my husband said, “Oh HELL no” to remodeling ours.


  4. Judy
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:12 am

    You are having Thanksgiving? Without a working kitchen? I bow to you. When I redid mine I had no one come near my house for the entire 5 weeks, never mind holding Thanksgiving.

    It’s looking great! Smooth walls with insulation? I swoon (from my 225 year-old house while wearing fingerless gloves to type).


    • Diana
      November 17, 2015 @ 11:32 am

      I had the same thought! Elizabeth is brave to have Thanksgiving with no working kitchen. I would be TERRIFIED!


  5. Patricia
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:12 am

    I’ll bet boosting extremely large giant fancy things upstairs or onto the roof is what gives Paul his biceps. In other words, he OWES you. Keep the construction photos coming … the ones in his T shirt.

    Go team Giant Fancy Things!


  6. Dodie
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:13 am

    So exciting!


  7. Christina in FL
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:13 am

    Oh my stars!!! You go!!! I imagine you and Paul dressing up opera full regalia and toasting each other when this is done! :)))


  8. tammigirl
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:15 am

    It seems like you gave up way too easy on the GFT in Arkansas.

    Are you sure it’s just a reverse osmosis system and Paul isn’t drugging you somehow?

    You should probably see a doctor. You know, just in case.


  9. Darling Lily
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:27 am

    I live in Arkansas and am stunned that you found any sort of GFT here. I love my state, but GFTs are generally rather thin on the ground here.

    If I assure you that 8k is just outside my budget, can you somehow secretly tel me what it is?!

    So very excited to see this progress!!!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 17, 2015 @ 11:04 am


      • Amber
        November 17, 2015 @ 11:19 am

        WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWO! I live near West Fork AR! HOLY MOLY!!!!! I do not have an extra $9,000.00 laying around, though. This piece screams you! AMAZING! If I sell a kidney and get this, I will gift it to you someday!


      • Darling Lily
        November 17, 2015 @ 11:31 am

        My God.

        Of all the GFTs in the world, that is the GFTest.

        It is the actual Bomb Diggety of GFTs.

        In Arkansas,no less.

        And you MUST have it!


      • patra
        November 17, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

        Where are you going to put this GFT???? It’s OMGmazing… but seriously, where’s it going????


        • patra
          November 17, 2015 @ 12:20 pm

          Oh – I see THIS was the relenting… too bad!!!


      • Rose
        November 17, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

        But wait! not so hasty, check out the sellers other items. If you go there do not, I repeat DO NOT take your van, but you must rent a 24 foot moving van. The good news is that you will no longer have to agonize over your kitchen reno because you are going to have to sell the house first to pay for ALL of the GFT’s that you will be needing to purchase there.

        On second thought I think you had better stay home….sorry the realist took over.


      • Linda
        November 17, 2015 @ 12:55 pm

        That GFT belongs in your kitchen. It is no ordinary GFT, it is an MFT — monumental. And will solve all your storage needs while guaranteeing eternal happiness and daily bliss as you dispense hot water from the hot water thing. Love the progress!


      • jamie
        November 17, 2015 @ 3:33 pm

        but will that thing even fit in your kitchen? and if it won’t be the only storage solution in the kitchen (and it seems doubtful it could be), how will you choose additional storage that will complement this but not clash or compete with it while not looking boring and underwhelming? it seems a difficult piece to try to make work. plus with that huge decorative thing at the top of it, there’s all kinds of wasted space above it, as opposed to a large bookcase thingy where the shelves stop shy of the ceiling only by the height of the upper molding. i wouldn’t raise these concerns if you were getting this as a free or inexpensive score that you could re-sell later at your leisure if you decide it doesn’t work, but this piece isn’t a bargain, it’s selling for full retail price. if you buy it, you’ll be stuck with it, because you’re always stuck with anything you spend $8000 on. and then you’ve just spent the entirety of a budget you could have used to build full-kitchen, from-scratch, solid hardwood, antique-joinery, high-end cabinetry with huge moldings and deep inset panels and all the detailing you want, even animal-head carvings, a matched set of antique locks with keys (they’re actually pretty easy to find if you just want about 6 of them) and then you can add tassels to said keys if you want. if you can at all justify spending $8000, you should consider using it to spend the money on real cabinetry built in the old style, which no one does anymore because it’s so expensive. they’d rather only spend $3000 on their cabinetry than have mortise & tenon joinery and coped molding corners, custom-cut molding profiles, solid wood shelves and solid wood custom-milled beadboard backing (of the same wood as the shelving, not some crappy cheap soft pine), elements a really skilled finish carpenter can make happen for you, and the same elements you really love about old furniture. then the whole kitchen will be as good as antique (especially if you super nerd out like i do and source reclaimed wood for its superior, dense grain), all of it, not just one single over-the-top thing (that’s going to steal the sunshine from the piano island anyway). okay, that’s my practical advice. i figure since paul is not on board, you could probably benefit more from practical advice that will make you okay with not getting it, so i figured i’d chime in to that effect.


      • Lena Campbell
        November 17, 2015 @ 11:22 pm

        See I imagined a GFT costing $8K being a mirrored utility van to haul other GFTs.


    • CS
      April 13, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

      Just FYI, the biggest and best antique mall I have ever found is in Botkinburg, AR. Admittedly, they do also sell reproductions (good quality ones, too), but most of what they sell is genuinely antique. And also FYI, they have wardrobes and Art Deco cocktail cabinets TO DIE FOR!!!!! Book-matched veneer, fantastic condition — they have it all. Totally worth a trip to the middle-of-nowhere, to a barely-qualifies-as-a-miniscule-dot-on-a-map “town” (to tiny they don’t even have a stoplight or a gas station).


  10. savannah
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:30 am

    HUZZAH!! For you and also for me BECAUSE after 8 years in this house (which I have grown to love) the Husband said “Sweetheart, 2016 is going to be our year of the great remodel!” I have learned much from you and your invaluable lessons on remodeling and other fancy things! 😉


  11. Carole @ Emu Bliss
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:32 am

    Wait, what’s the dilemma that you solved that was holding the kitchen hostage???


  12. Jamie
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:36 am

    Thanks for the progress report! You know, whatever you’ve come up with, its something you’ve thought about and planned forever, and I have no doubt that it will be gorgeous.


  13. SilvanaJoanne
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:37 am

    Looks like you’re making great progress! I can already see it looking fantastic 🙂


  14. Linda D.
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:40 am

    I’m sitting here like that statue from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil looking at my hands. Left hand: “They’ve torn out the kitchen.” Right hand: “They’re hosting Thanksgiving.” Back to left hand: “BUT THEY’VE TORN OUT THE KITCHEN!!!!”

    I’m shaking my head, grinning ear to ear KNOWING you guys are gonna rock an awesome kitchen!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 17, 2015 @ 11:07 am

      Well, technically we have a sink. And a stove. And a place to chop stuff… so there should be no barrier to me proving my theory that if you have those things, you have no need of a new kitchen.


      • Beubook
        November 17, 2015 @ 11:19 am

        Yeah…it’s kind of true. I was the cook on the Gazela (Philadelphia’s tall ship) you’d be amazed what one can pull of with clean water and a heat source. YOU’VE GOT THIS.


    • Darling Lily
      November 17, 2015 @ 11:38 am

      Frankly, I’d be more nervous about someone denting the door to Narnia or scratching one of the other Preciousii than merely cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal in campground conditions.

      Victoria is clearly a Goddess.


  15. nemo
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:41 am

    I think you could write (and illustrate) a modern Jane Austen style novel where Mr. Darcy remodels the kitchen and we all swoon. I did not marry this man. I do all remodeling myself, while DH curses me for blocking access to the back door (while I point out there are actually two doors to the house).


    • Beubook
      November 17, 2015 @ 11:21 am

      My husband likes to say his strength is “strength,” mine is everything else. He is excellent at carrying heavy things, I’ll give him that.


  16. Gaylin
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:44 am

    Goodness your just teasing us along! Ugh your killing me girlie! Lol
    But I am on the edge of my seat reading every post! I am utterly impressed and in awe your cooking thanksgiving dinner!?
    Your humble servant of patience (NOT!)


  17. Joanna
    November 17, 2015 @ 10:45 am

    Go, Team Giant Fancy Things, go! As soon as you finish the kitchen you will have a lot of time, energy and money available for more critical GFT acquisitions.


  18. Shelley Zurek
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:01 am

    Coming to Philly this weekend maybe I will bring Walt and we can help? Because I can’t get past your remark: “AND are having Thanksgiving, so I don’t want to move the TV into the living room until we are done having company.” HOW THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT? Please take photos.


  19. Elizabeth Speicher
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:05 am

    Your progress is thrilling! All this and hosting Thanksgiving too? You never cease to amaze.
    Wait, did Narnia move into the family room?


  20. Jenny
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:05 am


    “There’s GFT in Arkansas but I won’t tell you what it is.”

    “Here’s Paul in a tee shirt flexing his arms.”

    “We solved a major dilemma. But I won’t tell you what it is.”

    We ALREADY check the mail several times a day looking for the next update, and yet you treat us as if we are not loyal and faithful stalkers-I-mean-Fans.

    Have mercy on us, we beg you!

    (Seriously, you are the bravest woman I know at this moment, hosting Thanksgiving without a kitchen.)


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      November 17, 2015 @ 11:09 am

      lol… I relented on the GFT and posted a photo above in the comments.

      dilemma solution is next week’s post and I’m not about to steal my OWN thunder.


  21. Garden, Home and Party
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:09 am

    It looks a thousand times better already. I’m so excited to see the finished result of all your and Paul’s hard work. Did I read your post right, you hosted a dinner party and are hosting Thanksgiving? Take out? 🙂
    Happy upcoming holiday, I am very thankful for your blog friendship and always entertaining posts.


  22. Holly
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:20 am

    Hey, it’s not a monumental bookcase but I know where you can find a monumental Victorian sideboard. And you only have to drive to Virginia!

    Too small photo: http://pictures.estatesales.net/1040901/24850852/1-t.jpg
    Info: https://www.beckestates.com/upcoming-sales.html


  23. Joanne Andresen
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:29 am

    You are hilarious and I know you will not accept this proposal BUT I think your true calling is entertainer rather than covetous Craigslist lurker.
    You have actually given me the nerve to demand there not be a ho hum island in remodeled kitchen- only a grand piano or a small row boat will do! Thanks for the support!


  24. Anna q.
    November 17, 2015 @ 12:11 pm

    Let’s start a go fund me page for this ARK. Behemoth! Just so we can all see what VEB will do with it?!?


  25. Margy
    November 17, 2015 @ 12:37 pm

    So nice to see one of your posts in my email. They are a little ray of sunshine and laughter in a time that I have struggled with a heavy heart due to all the badness in our world. You’re doing more good than you know. Xo


  26. Betsy
    November 17, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

    We clearly suffer from the same hearing impairment! Whenever my husband says “No!” to a great find, my mind immediately jumps to “what can I sell fast on Craigslist?”. I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one with this affliction. Have you found a cure, other than hounding the husband until he gives in?


  27. Janna
    November 17, 2015 @ 1:42 pm

    Ladies – it is the 7th photo down you must focus on – the shirtless man behind the plastic. Focus ladies!


  28. Sharon
    November 17, 2015 @ 2:21 pm


    I must admit that Paul in a tee shirt with flexed biceps is a particular ray of sunshine. The GFT from Arkansas has your name all over it, wishing for a way for you to get it. Let’s see, no kitchen, hosted dinner party, and hosting Thanksgiving…In Darth Vader voice,”Most impressive! ” Hugs to Elvis.


  29. judy
    November 17, 2015 @ 3:29 pm

    I love the way the sink wall looks so big and clean and 2! windows….I do not like the color of the GFT-It seems to be that awful orange look-not pretty especially so big!!

    I must say I noticed no dancing? and no Miss Elvis ……………………………..missing both but post was great-as usual…


  30. Marci
    November 17, 2015 @ 7:17 pm

    I should be making dinner or at the very least, washing the pile of dishes in my sink. I can’t as I am stuck pursuing all the GFT’s in Arkansas. That seller has all the GTF’s in Arkansas apparently. Gorgeous secretaries! I die. I will die hungry, but I die. Apparently dinner won’t make itself. Good luck with Thanksgiving. I have a fully functioning kitchen and I’m stressed at the idea of preparing such a large meal. You are a superhero. It will be fabulous and there will be dancing. 🙂


  31. Jean
    November 17, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

    Arkansas is really pretty especially this time of year. You will probably also be the first on your block to go there and purchase an $8,000 souvenir. At $8k, this souvenir may still be available in the spring. Spring is also pretty in The Natural State as Arkansas is known.


  32. Eliza B.
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:35 pm

    The room is hugely improved already ! What a ton of work ! ( I hope Elvis is doing ok….. )


  33. Fiamma
    November 19, 2015 @ 10:05 am

    Progress looks good.

    I love that you have had a dinner party and have people coming for Thanksgiving. That would give my mother in law a twitch because for her everything has to look perfect or else you can’t have anyone over. She is amazed we have people come for dinner and yet our living room has unmatched chairs LOL.


  34. LibraDesignEye
    November 19, 2015 @ 4:42 pm

    A handsome fellow with dance moves AND biceps, sigh . . . Janna’s got it right – focus, readers!

    Looks like the doorway to the kitchen and family room is gone – the header is gone and the walls are held back. Since I know there will be fancy moulding and trim, I’m betting there is must be a victorian glass transom window hiding in the attic .. . . . guessing also that the wall where the sink was going to go was probably informed by what you found in the wall when you opened it up for insulation and plumbing and plaster . . . so i’m going to study those demo photos more closely .. we will all now try to display Elvis like endurance . . . to wait for all your thunder (and more GFTs).

    Will you have the new, more enlightened (and single) Don Draper at your holiday soiree? He best wait for the New Years Party so you can put your best (kitchen) foot forward .. . my new years prediction .. .in 2017 = local home tours will be beating down your door . .
    Happy Thanksgiving Victoria – we are thankful for you!


  35. judy
    November 19, 2015 @ 8:49 pm

    Oh…….Ditto Ditto Ditto the Thanksgiving wishes-may all your dishes be Delish—-And double thanks for your wonderful Wit and Writing. You have brought so much Smiles,Chuckles, outright guffaws and laughter (that I wouldn’t have had without it) into my Life.


  36. Kristin
    November 20, 2015 @ 10:07 am

    I have been binging on your blog the past few days and upon reaching your last post was grief stricken. I was so excited to see your impeccably outfitted room finished, sparkling and ready for use. Alas, the blogosphere is also subject to the reality if time and resources. I will continue to cheer you on in hopes that one of us has a finished kitchen for Christmas.


  37. Rebekah
    March 15, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

    Oh my gosh, I have one of those instant hot water faucets! I had never thought of such a luxury, but it came with our house when we bought it (along with a hot and cold outdoor faucet, which confuses and annoys the staff at every hardware store we’ve gone to asking if they sell larger outdoor faucet insulators. “Why would you need hot water outside?” “I don’t know, it was there when we bought the place! But since you ask, it’s actually kind of amazing!”) Anyway, the instant hot water faucet is soooo nice! Good choice!


  38. Kayla
    March 21, 2016 @ 11:45 pm

    Hi! I live about 1.5 hrs away from your AR GFT (in Harrison AR)! So wish I could bring it to you! -Kayla


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