Snowballing Projects

February 26, 2014

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Last week, in this comments portion of this post, reader Jacqueline wrote:

In a similar vein to your post about painting the ceiling, do you think now would be the time to paint the cabinets too (if you’re planning on doing that as an interim step to replacing them eventually)? Or is that just tackling too much at once when there’s no real benefit to doing that in conjunction with replacing a floor? Would you have done that prior to removing the floor if you were planning on doing that?

I tend to snowball things and then get more overwhelmed or procrastinate even more – would appreciate your insight on the balance of diving right in vs. taking on too much.

While I gave a short answer right there, there was more to divulge that we weren’t quite ready to share until now. But first, I am not sure we have the balance thing just yet, but there is a list of projects we’re currently tackling in conjunction with the floors and some, that although it might be easier, we are passing on.

For instance, painting the kitchen cabinets. That is something that is definitely on our radar, and although it would be easier without having to worry about floors (we could even break out our sprayer indoors!), it’s a huge project alone and one that we would like to save up some energy for. Not to mention, the dusty conditions we are currently living in wouldn’t be ideal for keeping a smooth finish on freshly painted cabinets.

Another project we considered doing is the lighting in the great room. With all of the furniture out of the way and while we’re already cleaning up debris, it almost makes sense to toss our fluorescents and terrible dining room chandelier while we’re in the mode and install recessed lighting. We still plan on doing that this year, but want to get a better sense of how furniture and the kitchen will be formatted after all the dust settles (literally and figuratively) before we dive into lighting plans.

So what did we add to the list while simultaneously tackling the floors? I mentioned here, painting the ceiling. While it’s not a very fun job, it’s one of those where the current conditions couldn’t be more ideal. Without worrying about dripping on furniture or floors, painting a ceiling might actually be quick and painless for once. (Feel free to tell me to dream on.)

We also took this opportunity to rip out our kitchen pantry and island, and along those same lines–and what we weren’t quite ready to divulge–the closet in the laundry room.


We were very back and forth about removing it or keeping it and it was a decision we needed to make before laying the floors so they could be seamless through that space as well. Last week, we finally decided to pull the trigger and tear it out. The closet sits in the laundry room area and there’s also a half bath back there. The whole space, off of the kitchen that leads to the garage, has a door that closes it off. While it is a good-sized space, the closed in closet makes everything feel so crammed.


The previous owners turned the coat closet into more of a storage closet with shelves, but our plans include ripping the whole thing out and making it more of a mudroom/laundry area. With hooks for coats and a place to sit with shoe storage while keeping things less claustrophobic. 4 doors (garage, kitchen, closet and bathroom) within a step of each other felt a little stuffy for us.

IMG_1837 IMG_1838

As you can see, we still are in the demo mode. Chris got it down to the studs, but we need to pick up some sheetrock and move around some insulation (and electrical) before we can tear those out. We have started gathering ideas (take a peek here!) for the space after the floors are all done, but to be honest, the laundry/mudroom might be a summer or early fall project after we settle into life with a newborn. That? That’s where I draw the line of taking on too much. They are only newborns for a few months and I really can’t wait to soak in that and that alone–as long as the floors get done, I guess. Ha! Do you tend to snowball projects? How do you keep renovations in check? Feel free to chime in on the original question.

PS. Heads up, giclee prints of last week’s painting, Swept Away, are now available (in 4 different sizes) in my Etsy shop right here

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What do you think?

  1. […] actually already tore out a coat closet that was in the laundry room area which really opened things up physically, but it also allowed our minds to view different […]

  2. […] for awhile, you may remember last year around the same time we were demoing our old tile floors, we also took out a closet that was in our current laundry room off of the […]

  3. Linda says:

    That’s a perfect spot for your mudroom! I’ve always wondered; How do you know which walls can be removed without causing structural damage and which are load bearing?

    • Julia says:

      Chris helped his dad build their previous home, so he knows these things. But if there is a wall that runs the majority of your home in our case, the wall spanning from the kitchen to the reading room, chances are it is load bearing.

  4. Jimena says:

    It looks so much better already!

  5. Good call on the closet! To be honest, I probably never would have thought of that in the middle of replacing the floors, but it makes perfect sense! That will really open up that space a ton!

  6. I’m always letting my projects snowball. I need to be better at knowing my limits.

  7. Snowballing projects pretty much is my life. I call it the cascade effect. Somehow starting to build a new window seat and plan our new kitchen has prompted rebuilding walls upstairs, creating an entire new closet, and calling the plumber about turning another closet into a bathroom – don’t even ask how but they all relate. Love seeing your guys’ updates and glad I’m not the only one facing this snowball!

  8. Love seeing the progress of your home. And I can’t wait to be INSIDE it later this year! With the floors DONE!

  9. Jacqueline says:

    Hey- Thanks for addressing my comment! This is really helpful. I really like the direction you’re going with the mudroom/laundry area – can’t wait to see!

  10. Carol says:

    Ha! It’s not so much that I snowball projects as that I start them in the heat of the moment and then get bogged down by little things like reality. Ask me how many YEARS ago I threw away our kitchen cabinet doors because they were warped beyond saving (oops…) but new ones are going in tomorrow, so it’s all good, right?

  11. Kelly G. says:

    I think this is an excellent way of going about things! A great way to keep things kind of under control, but still considering all the options and what’s right for your fam-

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