7 Projects We Want to Crank Out in 2017

January 4, 2017  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

We believe we should all love where we live.

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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Yesterday, we shared the nine big projects we completed in 2016 and today we’re sharing where we think we’re headed in 2017. Opportunities are always popping up in my inbox, so we try to leave room for those (and bringing makeovers to other people, like you!), while also knowing in the back of our mind what we would happily accomplish around here, including these 7 projects.

1. Storage Room

This one isn’t super glamorous, but it will be impactful. When we moved in, we were initially very excited about a sprawling storage room in the basement.

Fast forward 3 years, and you can’t even walk into it. The big issue here is all the shelves are about 12″ deep and equally as high which is great for food storage….and that’s about it. So we’re going to be overhauling this room to create more functional storage that will be way more useful for big storage tubs and luggage and get organized once and for all.

2. Girls’ Bathroom Downstairs

The bathroom downstairs, which will serve our girls and guests when we have them, hasn’t changed one bit. But it’s about to. This will be one of the first projects of the year for us and I’m nervous and excited. The weird truth is we’ve never gutted a bathroom before and this one needs it to make room for a tub. We’re still playing with layouts and finishes, but truly can’t wait to see this bathroom become something more. I’ve started gathering lots of inspiration on Pinterest right here.

3. Master Bathroom

We’ve also been living with the oddest master bathroom for three years now (there’s a toilet closet smack dab in the middle of the room), and while I am not terribly excited about doing two bathrooms in one year, the potential is motivating. We’ve gone back and forth about keeping the tub or just doing one large shower (we’re not really bath people), but recently we realize how frustrating it is not to have a bath downstairs right now, we think, in the future, it could feel that way in here, too. The whole room, and adjoining master closet, feel like a big puzzle we’re going to take our time to piece together in a way that makes a lot more sense with far less corners jutting into the space.

4. Playhouse Under Stairs

At the bottom of the stairs, in the basement, there’s a door that leads to storage (see arrow). It’s mostly old baby clothes and gear–something that definitely doesn’t need an entire closet and area under the stairs, especially when we get the storage room up to par. So wouldn’t it be so fun to make a little clubhouse for the kids there?

I’ve been getting lots of ideas, and while our stairs aren’t oriented like this, I love the idea of making the door smaller? Have a window (so we can see inside)? Wallpaper. Lighting. And Faye insists on no spiders. So that, too.

5. Landscaping in Front of Fence

A couple years ago, we added a fence to our property, but would love to add a lot of pretty landscaping in front of it this year.

6. and 7. Lastly, or probably firstly, we’ll be finishing our home office and guest room which are this close to being done.

What projects are on your calendar for this year?!

What do you think?

  1. Lauren B says:

    It’s been a busy year for us already so I’m just catching up on blogs. :) But even though this is going to be an INSANE year for us (work stuff + a new baby), we’ve already been tackling some major things. We are 3 days into a 5 day bathroom gut job (shower and tile went in today, wish us luck that we can finish in 2 days!). I am finishing up a nursery/guest room (a tiny 8.5’x11.5′ which has posed so many challenges). This is probably our last year before we sell so we need to refresh a bathroom, fresh paint and hardware on doors, and some smaller (but still time consuming) outdoor curb appeal projects. But we’ve gotten so much done in the first three weeks of the year alone, I feel like we are starting off on the right foot!

  2. Karen says:

    All very exciting!

    Just listened to your podcast and wanted to let you know I am an architect and would be happy to take a look at your current bathroom layout and play with a few layout options that might work better. It might give you an “aha moment” for what will work best for you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch! This kind of stuff is so fun for me :)

  3. Two bathrooms in one year does sound intimidating although I’m tempting to do the same, too! I’m excited to see your layout and design choices. We’re hoping to (finally) tackle our kitchen and bathroom remodel this year. We were hoping to have them started already but so many things have postponed us, such as recently breaking my foot. So my first priority in 2017 is staying off my feet then quickly brushing up on my step ladder skills. Whoops!

  4. We moved in 2 years ago and have not really done anything. Our money has gone towards furniture (okay and traveling) but no finishing touches on certain rooms. This year we are going to tackle a big paneling project, maybe a built-in dog pen for our Italian greyhound, and we’re going to start putting pennies away for new flooring throughout. Looking to see what you Marcums end up tackling this year.

  5. Jenn Freeman says:

    Well for us we still haven’t finished the first bathroom that we had started when you were here!! Yup almost a year ago… then next is making our master suite out of the two bedrooms. I can only imagine how long that will take us! ????

  6. Katie Schmitt says:

    When I first saw the idea of a playhouse under stairs I thought it was overkill…BUT, then I remembered when I was growing up my best neighbor friend had one! The space was painted and had a light and a bunch of toys inside. We loved it! It felt fun to have a “secret” place to go and play and use our imagination. Thank you for reminding me of that time! Good luck on your build, your girls will love it!

  7. Melissa says:

    We are building at the moment — finish date TBD ie April/may) we have found soooo much inspiration from your blog (appliances, kitchen, etc) I can even imagine how lucky someone will be to get your touch on their home! I would die for that kind of opportunity!! Keep up the amazing work! Can’t wait to see what you create in 17!

  8. Nicole says:

    We have too many projects that we want to do this year! We are going to work on the linen closet first and then add wainscoting throughout the house.

  9. Kristine says:

    We are finishing our basement in 2017. Right now it is a blank slate, I’m excited and nervous. We are planning to include a storage room, so I want to see what you do with your space.

    My dream for this year is to have you come gut and re-do my kitchen! It’s bad. It’s on the list, but we have to save up for a while before we tackle it.

  10. Niqui says:

    We purchased our home early last year, so our list of projects seems insurmountable! For 2017 we’ll be installing a wood burning stove in the living room and building an attached three-car garage off our kitchen. They are two large projects that will add huge aesthetics as well as function to our home.
    Here’s to a productive and fulfilling 2017!

  11. Debby says:

    In Jennifer, from Rambling Renovator’s old house, she made a very sweet a simple reading nook/playhouse under her basement stairs. It’s worth checking out. Good luck!

  12. monica says:

    Curious about the storage spaces (the room and the under the stars storage space?) – are these large enough for you to store your outdoor furniture so that you don’t have the need for the storage unit?

    • Julia says:

      I wish! It’s pretty much the size of a deep coat closet with a small crawl space that extends under the stairs. I think we could fit one outdoor sofa in it.

  13. Gretchen M. says:

    I know that playhouse! We actually went through that exact model home with the play house under the steps…and then we used most of their upstairs paint colors in our Pittsburgh house. Seriously, it looks cute in pictures but pictures don’t do it justice! I can’t wait to see yours.

  14. Naomi says:

    My god, you don’t muck around! And having followed your renovations last year, I have full faith in you that you’ll do it. You might even have the crazy idea to do both bathrooms at the same time to save cost! Or is that too crazy?
    Anyways! You certainly inspired me. I’ve already built shelves to the ceiling in my storage room 2 days ago, cut & refinished wood into desks for my studio, makeup room and laundry (the last one isn’t put together yet – that’s a big project), and bought and DIY’ed lots of home accessories, like floor-to-ceiling mirrors. All in the past week!
    Frankly, I’ve been sitting on these ideas for a year, and my family got sick of it. Still don’t have big furniture like sofas, beds, and carpets, but we’re on our way in 2017!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. Breanna says:

    Finishing our nursery to get ready for our little guy! And revamping our master closet. Ps. The blog does seem to be loading faster! ????????

  16. I’m oddly excited about the storage room, ha! Can’t wait to see the playhouse under the stairs, too. What a cute and unique idea! As I type this, our contractor is at our house finishing trim on our second story and installing doors. Next week they finish our HardieShingle siding!! We’ve been “that house” for over a year and had two different types of siding on our house. But, we had a baby and everyone in our neighborhood knows it, so they’ve been nice to us about it. :) Happy New Year, guys!

  17. Victoria Eyndhoven says:

    Moving in 16 days!! Gutting a bathroom, ripping up the floors on the main level and replacing with hardwood, painting what seems like 10,000ft of oak trim! and replacing the counters in the kitchen to spruce it up until there’s a budget for a facelift in the kitchen! Oh, and all new lighting, everywhere!!

    I’m just a little excited..have mood boards made for every single room! Very excited to try your tutorial for a shiplap accent wall in this house!

  18. Haley says:

    I would love to a mini kitchen remodel, finally get the main floor painted, and a mini laundry room remodel done. Oh and plan a wedding! We have to wait a couple months until we can solidify a budget for the house.

    Have you noticed a specific holiday or time is best for buying appliances?

  19. Jessica says:

    I’m super excited to see what you do in your master bathroom since I have a similar layout although my toilet closet is where your shower is.

    All your work is very inspirational. Excited for next year!

  20. Sammy says:

    I can’t wait to see your projects!
    We just completed a bathroom at the beginning of the fall and it was the first time I’ve ever done renovations. my boyfriend has done a few but not as pretty as the one we made!

    Some of our projects:
    Finish the kitchen – shelves, backsplash, and beams
    Update the entry stairway
    Cleaning the storage shed to be more functional
    Redoing the third floor living area

  21. Patricia says:

    As I’m currently camping in the corners of our house surrounded by boxes, I want to finish moving this week into our future downsized condo and decorate to our tastes. So far, I’ve purged every closet, drawer, shelf and hidden corner of our entire house. I’ve refinished a smaller round table for our smaller space (lucky find at Goodwill) and stained a new desk top I’m combining with two wooden filing cabinets for a Pottery Barn inspired desk. I’m ordering curtains this week for our bedroom.
    I still have to buy a trundle daybed from Ikea, organize the new smaller closets to hold all our clothes and figure out how to get everything into the smaller kitchen. I want to buy a magnetic knife rack and a pot hanger so I can maximize space.
    Oh, and the sectional sofa I ordered didn’t fit in through the hallway. So find another smaller sofa. Sigh.

  22. Carolyn says:

    We have a wall in between our family room and formal living room that we’re SO excited to rip down and make it one huge family room. I’m just going to put that as my main goal, because if we get that completed, I will die a happy woman :)

    Can’t wait to see your bathroom renovations!

  23. Just the other day the husband and I sat down to discuss our own projects that we hope to accomplish in 2017 – nothing like a good ol’ roundup of ideas to get us excited for what’s to come! We tackled two bathrooms ourselves in 2016 (along with the rest of our abandoned little bungalow that we completely overhauled), but there’s still SO MUCH MORE to be finished, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Although truth be told, it never stops, does it? :)

    Our list is something like this:
    Front porch, side deck, pergola
    Add curb appeal and landscaping
    Laundry room
    Nursery (eek!)
    Finish the master and guest bathrooms
    Install closets (first on the list!!!)

  24. Carol says:

    We’re BUYING A HOUSE this year!! It’s been a long journey to get rid of a condo with a failing condo association. After a year and a half with the in-laws (who are gracious enough to share) we are going to have our own house again this year -maybe by my birthday in March- and I CANNOT WAIT!

  25. We have a few projects on the list this year:

    1. The Butler’s Pantry Restoration/Refresh
    2. The library
    3. Exterior Landscaping
    4. Repairing a major section of the exterior of the house
    5. Maybe the main bathroom

    Cheers to a busy year!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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