Wellness Remodel Marla and Christy

11 Things We Did in Our Own Wellness Remodel

with Christy Howell of CRH Design Build

Remodel, renovate – while there is a technical difference the terms get used interchangeably and that’s fine. When we finally got a chance to do some work on our own home, of course we wanted it health, wellness and sustainably focused. Join our journey to learn 11 things we did in our own wellness remodel.  We loved working with Christy Howell of CRH Design Build and she’s a Trusted Partner of Green Home Coach to boot. 

Move or Remodel?

Not sure if you should move or remodel? That’s a tough question, and it’s one we recently had in our own home, which if you’ve been following me, you know we opted to remodel for now. More on that in a second, but first: 

If you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself if you like the area and neighborhood where you live. Consider if your home serves you well: is there enough space; is the space laid out well; could you fix these issues with a remodel? Consider what your long-term goals are. If you’re planning on moving within a couple of years, would it be okay moving twice? And then, know why you want to make a change. For us, our wellness remodel was about the peace of mind and joy of enjoying our space more. 

Our Decision

For my husband, Scott and me, we decided to go the renovation route to give us the flexibility to make other decisions in a few years. Moving more than once is just not something we can do right now. So, we are making a few changes to get the home we have functioning better for how we want to live. 

I will say, when we’re ready to revisit things in a few years, my eyes are going to one the hunt for a home near some trees. I sure do miss being surrounded by nature. 

Now, if you’re perched on that fence with no strong feeling for or against moving, check out what we’ve done with our home. Maybe it will spark some ideas for your own home. 

It all Started with the Kitchen (don’t most renovations?)

Of course it all started with the kitchen! To stay in this home, we knew we’d need to make a few changes to help us live better in our space. Scott and I love to cook together, but we did NOT have a “2-butt kitchen” and we were always getting in each other’s way. Opening things up allows us to use our space the way we love, which creates a home that serves us well. 

The wellness part of your home is more than just avoiding VOCs and eliminating other toxins. It’s also about creating a home that works well with how you live and one you can operate and maintain comfortably. That was a huge factor for us. 

Shout Out to Christy Howell of CRH Design Build and a Trusted Partner of Green Home Coach

Christy and I have worked together to build an ICF (insulated concrete forms) green certified home for her client and other projects. Christy and I have worked together enough that we were able to interleave the renovation work with repair work on our walls and floor. We are so appreciative of the extra mile she went for us and it is obvious she absolutely loves what she gets to do helping people in their homes. She did such a great job addressing our concerns while creating a beautiful space we’ll be using a lot more. Thank you Christy! 

Home Repairs – An Opportunity

When you need home repairs, you can take those opportunities to upgrade to healther and/or better options, which is just what we did. Our home had some extensive drywall cracks that needed to be repaired and repainted. We also learned we really needed to pull up all of the floor in our living area to find the source of the cracks. It turned out to be a crack in our slab all the way across our home (thank you crazy Oklahoma soil!).

To get to the cracks in the concrete slab during our recent renovation meant pulling up all our living area floor and then replacing it. As much as I do not like wasting anything, we knew we had to figure out the issue with our home and this was the only way. Since that meant replacing our floors, I wanted to find a good option that still did not bust our budget since this was more than our original scope. Fortunately, we were able to find an option I absolutely adore that is GreenGuard certified (yay for low emissions!).  The floor also came with Spill Defense for easy maintenance, and has an attached foam backer, which means I can walk around my house without my shoes on (and my knees won’t kill me)! Seriously, I have hardly been able to walk barefoot in my own home for years. 

I’m just thrilled with how they turned out. The lighter option brightened up our space, the padding made our home more comfortable, and the GreenGuard Certification means low emissions from the flooring. It is also super easy to take care of! 

Check out the Videos on Instagram

Check out a few videos on Instagram of demo time, the cabinet reface project, and before and after.   

Cabinets – something old and something new

For our project, we chose to keep as much of the existing cabinetry as possible for sustainability (and budget). We only had to swap out the island to give us the space we needed. The existing cabinets were painted and the new cabinets stained. All the cabinets got new countertops for a whole new look. 

The primer used on the existing cabinets was great for future durability, but it wasn’t as low in VOCs (emissions) as we’d hoped to find. Because we were able to run air purifiers, allowing the house to off-gas while we were away, we were fine with this trade-off, especially as it meant better durability. The final paint color was Zero VOC and sealed in the higher VOC primer for extra peace of mind. When the best, healthiest options aren’t always available, weigh the trade-offs. 

The “Jewelry” for the Finishing Touch

The green wall cabinets and deep wood toned island cabinets give me a little illusion of nature in our kitchen. I love it! The finishing touch was gold-toned cabinet handles, light fixtures over the island and in the dining room and a gold-toned faucet. They just sparkle off the beautiful quartz countertops and are the perfect “jewelry” for our new kitchen. 

Healthier, Sustainable Options in our Project

  • Kept existing wall cabinets
  • Painted existing wall cabinets with sealer for durability and Zero VOC paint for  color and final finish
  • New island cabinets made of wood and finished with stain (we could not get the lower VOC option we wanted so we off-gassed for several weeks)
  • GreenGuard certified flooring
  • Low flow kitchen faucet
  • EnergyStar, WaterSense dishwasher
  • Energy efficient garbage disposal
  • Trash and recycling center added in new island
  • All new lighting LED fixtures – island pendants, dining room chandelier, under cabinet lights, pantry light on open sensor and entry pendant
  • Repainted walls for repair part of project with Zero VOC paint
  • Cabinets, countertops, plumbing and lighting fixtures were donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Want to find information for your clients or even your own healthier, greener home? Head over to the new Green Home Coach website for lots of resources to help. Start with the Trusted Partners and Brands page for people and companies I trust and work with. Then there’s an archive full of podcasts featuring experts of all sorts, a blog, workshops and programs, as well as a shop where you can find healthier product options I love. Can’t find something? Just send me a message and I’ll help you find it! 

Resources and Referral links:

My website Green Home Coach

Everyday Green Home Shop for curated better and green products I hand select

Book: Living Green Effortlessly

Learn how to make your home healthier for you and our world in my Love Your Everyday Green Home

Instagram & Facebook: @greenhomecoach

Trusted Partners and Brands of Green Home Coach

Green Remodeling for a Better Home

10 Things to do Better in Your Next Remodel Project

Shop Your Values 


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