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7 Renovation Projects We’re Finishing This Year

September 9, 2021  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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At the beginning of every year we share a list of home renovation projects we want to work on for the year. You can really tell from our 2021 project list we shared in January that life can really change in an instant. We started the year off on the hunt to buy a little fixer upper, and instead we ended up selling our Modern Cottage home in Idaho and moved across the country to North Carolina and bought our charming Modern Colonial.

With that I think it’s time to share a more up-to-date renovation project list! Chris and I sat down the other day and really wrote out everything we wanted to accomplish in this house. One thing I did mention in that post in January is that we didn’t want to be living amongst dust and contractors indefinitely, and that remains true. For the most part it’s unavoidable, but we want to get through the larger chunk of it now so we can really live in our home and feel more settled.

So without further ado, here’s the 8 renovations on our list to finish by January? Somehow that feels crazy to say out-loud.  We’re feeling determined and excited about making our home feel more like us.

1. Finish the front entry.

The stairs and herringbone floors have been a work in progress and understandably so because they requires some serious precision and craftsman skills beyond our own. Happy to hire it out and collective jaws are going to drop when you see the reveal coming soon. We’re also going to add some furnishings to the entry, paint it and would love to eventually trim it all out!

2. Finish powder bath.

We shared a little update in this Casual Friday post but the penny tile is done, wallpaper is installed, and trim and ceiling are painted. The cutest pedestal sink got installed yesterday (I shared updates in my Instagram stories), and the most gorgeous antique mirror arrived yesterday. The toilet went in and now all we need is lighting and a toilet, but we’re nearing the finish line! Can’t wait to have this little bathroom available for guests to step into.

3. The living room is getting a phase one renovation starting immediately.

I’m talking paint and more paint, and lighting, and a new furniture layout entirely. I would say that this is where our furniture is translating the least and it will be so nice to have this space flow with the rest of the house. In the “Our Living Room Today” post I chatted a bit about maybe facing two sofas to open the space up. What do you think? Paint color TBD, but I’m narrowing it down for sure going with a tone-on-tone high gloss for the fireplace–probably hang an antique mirror.

Oh and the beams! There’s going to be beams in this vaulted space and I’m loving the way the white beams in the inspiration photo below make the whole room feel fresh and also dramatic. I really wanted beams, but nothing rustic and these fit the bill.

image source

Another thing to note is that the living room has a cased opening into the dining room and I’m going to be piggy backing that space into the design of the living room. Dining chairs just arrived, table is arriving any day now and I’m thinking a new light fixture of course, and some wallpaper to complement the living room.

This is also just a phase one. Someday I would love to have a custom stone fireplace and just moulding galore in this room.

4. The Bonus Room.

This is the biggest renovation project we’ll be DIYing over the next couple months. We’ve discovered we spend a lot of our free time as a family in this room so it’s getting bumped up the priority list. We’re making a built in desk area for the girls, installing lockers, AND building in little window seats into each of the nooks. We talked about paneling this entire room wall-to-wall-to-ceiling and painting in this post here, plus included a dreamy mockup worth checking out. Lighting is a must of course and I’m also envisioning a big vintage gallery wall going up the stairs that lead into this room. Our Charly sectional will stay put but this space but needs a rug (which we were holding off on until the floors were well past done).

5. Installing wallpaper, and more in the music room.

Spoiler alert, we’re installing a 360º mural in here and it’s going to be gorgeous. The lower part of the walls will have wainscoting and be painted. Are you tired of me saying “we’re updating the lighting” yet because we are. Maybe some light rearranging in this room and I’ll call it a successful phase one renovation.

 

6. Minimal updates in the bedroom.

Yesterday I shared our new bedroom rearrange and layout on the blog and honestly I’m really happy with where our room is at. I would love some new lighting of course, and the moment we get new window treatments I’m taking those shutters off myself. On the like-to-have list for this room is some picture frame moulding, but we’ll see if 2021 is the year for that haha.

7. Last but not least, the kitchen. 

You already know from this post that Jean Stoffer Design is designing our dream kitchen and it’s the biggest project and really the grand finale to this whole list. We shared the kitchen plans here and we’re seeing some progress which is hopeful (peek the gorgeous framed out range hood). A finished kitchen is going to make the biggest impact in our house because of the functional value it adds to our every day lives, but I’ll admit I’m equally excited about the finishes and materials being selected. We’re right on track with the construction of this space and are on track to be finished by the end of the year. Well… everything but the kitchen appliances. Another day, another story.

This list is long and anything is due to change, but we’re feeling so excited about finishing out this year with the main living spaces in our home fully functional and more reflective of us. It’s a little unsettling living amidst construction chaos which is why we’re pretty determined to use the momentum to just keep it going, plus look at how far we’ve come.

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What do you think?

  1. 1. I look and think your favorite bed from your last house would have looked wonderful here…
    2. Amidst the photo color options today for the LR I loved the grey green greige choices with those great tall windows, made the outside look like it was coming in through them.! Gorgeous. That said the deep blues made it look like the sky was inside and outside. So I’m no pait color decision help at all :-)
    Thanks for all the inspiration
    PS Making life changes even when necessary and you do it, really takes a huge psychic toll and your energy and brain availability is juts not the same, but like the energy a new baby requires, you will be able to do more than eat, sleep, repeat in just the right time.
    Look at how far you’ve come! Bravo

  2. Kate says:

    Love all of these projects and it’s so inspiring to see the transformation. Would you be open to sharing the contractor(s) you’re using? We live in the area and are trying to find a really good contractor to address a potential flooring / structural issue.

  3. CanadianMum says:

    So many amazing changes and updates already! Your list is aggressive but doable I think :)
    When I moved into my previous home there were plantation shutters on every single window in the house, including the French doors to the back. I removed all 42 sets myself week one. They made me feel claustrophobic -I truly disliked them. Put a little flyer on the steps all the homes with our floor plan in our golf community. I sold them all in less than 24 hours…which used for new custom black out blinds (shift workers) and custom drapery. One of my best decisions ever :)

  4. Heather says:

    Oh I hear you with the kitchen appliances!! Such long waits. I ordered a new fridge and range in April and they arrived in August! And that is pretty good from what I’ve heard. So sorry you have to wait :/

  5. Betsy Ainsworth says:

    Hope you like your bed on that wall – I’d hate to block the window. It’s looks beautiful!!!

  6. Suzan says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post and good ideas. I love Chris and Julia. ;)

  7. Mary Lynne Crosby says:

    From a couple that is remodeling to your family remodeling best wishes ! I love seeing your great perspective ! I know it will be gorgeous!

  8. Stacey says:

    So many wonderful plans. I am excited for them all of course, but particularly curious about the 360 degree mural! I cannot wait to see that in place. Thanks to all five of you for sharing your home and lives. Hugs from Michigan.

  9. Rebecca R says:

    Your current music room reminds me of your front green reading room in your old house idaho (2 houses ago). Familiar feels cozy!

  10. Jeannine520 says:

    I went with two facing sofas in our living room and recommend it. The other option was to put it like you have in your above pic. We tried ours like that and I think it gives a “just look in and keep on walking” vibe when one has to walk around the sofa to get in the room.

    Everything is looking great! The project I’m most excited to see is that entryway!!

  11. Katie says:

    I feel like painting the family room with the fireplace the color of your shirt in the post (green) would look amazing. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  12. Brandy says:

    Stop holding out on 6, girl 😂😂
    Am I the only one who can’t see it? I’m so much more intrigued now. So excited for all of it!!

  13. Margaret says:

    SO excited for every single one of these! Can’t believe how much you have planned before the end of the year.

  14. Casey Fleck says:

    I’m excited to see if you find the large dresser you mentioned for the bedroom. I too need something quite large for our room. It’s huge and I need to fill the space with something substantial. Will be keeping an eye on your progress ;) And love your stairs!!! Can’t wait to see the entry

  15. Anna says:

    I’m excited to follow along – especially the dining room and music room, as I am thinking about using wallpaper in my own home for the first time and I like hearing about the thought process that goes into choosing! On that note, I have one quick question re. your beautiful powder room! I’m assuming you chose to centre the stripe on the wall that is opposite the entry? Could you explain generally how to choose which wall to centre paper on? I wondered if the fact the paper is not centred on the mirror/sconces was a trade-off for something else I’m missing? Thanks! You’re doing an amazing job.

  16. Pamela Jonest says:

    Love the look and function of 2 sofas in a living room.

  17. Vicki Maiorano says:

    Ooh, I’m so excited to see all this 👏👏👏

  18. Sherrie says:

    After 5 years in our current home – open great room – and buying a bad choice sofa and Re-arranging countless times- we finally GOT IT RIGHT – with 2 new linen sofas facing each other floating in the room. Perfection. If you have open casement walkways to other rooms – it’s only way to go.

  19. Kate F says:

    It’s a little thing but having lived with two couches flanking a fireplace I have to say it is my favorite furniture arrangement ever. So so comfortable for lounging but also terrific for entertaining. I say go for it!

  20. D Allen says:

    I’m not in your demographic, but I absolutely love your style, ability to listen to a home for design guidance and following your journey. Wishing you much better health and comfort in your new home and environment!

  21. Carol says:

    Love the bedroom redo! Cozy

  22. All great and fun. Congratulations

  23. Anne says:

    I’m sure you’re hearing lots of calls to save the shutters. It’s similar to the painted brick culture war (I love a painted brick house…don’t tell my parents!) We Southerns mean well–haha!

    I live in VA, bought a house with plantation shutters, and lived with ours for several years because that’s just what one does, right?! Ultimately we took them down. I was SO much happier! I like a lot of light and they really do limit it. It’s your house–not everyone else’s! Glad you’re going against the tide :) Can’t wait to watch your journey!

  24. Danielle says:

    I’m interested if you will paint the trim around the windows in the living room? Or would you leave the trim a lighter colour since the window frame is white? I’ve never been sure how you deal with that.

  25. April says:

    Where is number 6? Oops!

    Maybe living room and dining together should be 3 & 4, and then shift 4 and 5 down to 5 and 6.

  26. Megan says:

    Please reconsider removing the shutters. They are such a staple in upscale Southern homes, and would look perfect in place with the addition of custom drapes. Please check out the magazine Southern Living for modern Southern style inspiration. This home has the potential to be so lovely. Lean into what it is instead of trying to make it into something else. IMO two sofas on each side perpendicular to the fireplace will look great.

    • Julia says:

      I’ve looked into them, was all for them, gathered lots of inspiration, but in the end, they just aren’t practical for us.

      • Stacey says:

        You HAVE lived with them a while and gave them a chance. As you have said, you want more light in the room. Your home is lovely and will become even more so with your keen eye!

  27. JL says:

    I’m most interested in your strategy for the lighting and paneling in this home. Will you create a house plan for each, like you’ve done with the paint colors and wallpaper, or do you prefer to go room by room? For example, a master plan for all the bedrooms to have panelling on the walls and wallpaper on the ceilings vs. one bedroom has a paneled ceiling, the next has papered ceiling and so on? The same for lighting – will every ceiling light be different or will you repeat any (as the previous owner did)?

  28. Olivia says:

    While I have faith everything will continue to come together beautifully I feel like the two matching couches in the living room will ultimately not feel like a fit. Even though those doors don’t get much use I have this sense you aren’t going to feel good about actually blocking them while they are still there. If they are removed one day that is a different story but it’s like a sub conscious thing that we inherently don’t feel great about blocked doors if that makes sense? I think chairs on that side could be a better solution. Just my two cents! You did ask;) I have faith you will pull together a jaw dropping space one way or another!

  29. Venita says:

    I’m anxiously following to see good ideas and be inspired to stretch my design wings. I’m glad you linked the posts fir some of the rooms, I had somehow missed a couple of those:).

  30. Courtney says:

    First of all, I want to thank you for not keeping these things a secret from your audience. I really appreciate you guys being so transparent! It helps me understand your thought process, which helps me think about my projects!

    Are you guys planning on getting cheap appliances (maybe fb marketplace) in the meantime when the kitchen is finished?

  31. Jesseca S. says:

    It is going to be amazing! That is a very long list, but I am so excited to watch it all unfold.

  32. EP says:

    It’s amazing how quickly you guys have put your touch on this house! It’s looking so bright and fresh already.

    I am so interested to see how these beams look with the rest of the living room. On first glance the vibe is very Spanish/Mediterranean to me. Can’t wait to see how you execute it.

  33. Amanda says:

    So excited to continue to follow you on this journey! I’ve been going back and forth on going light or dark (probably mid-tone!) for our family room. How do I decide!? 😅 The list is long but it’ll feel so much better once it’s done.

  34. Linda says:

    I love all of your projects so much. It’s very fun to follow along! I was wondering where the piano has been placed?

  35. Melissa Wiley says:

    Love all the things! I’m in awe of your style and how you bring it all together. Can’t wait to share these projects with you.

  36. Patricia says:

    What a fun ride for the rest of us! Who don’t have to live with the construction noise, dust and the loss of privacy… I feel for you but am excited for the finish line.
    As always, time lines will shift and you’ll get new ideas. Part of the fun of following you.

  37. Megan R says:

    Eek! I’m so excited for ALL of these! I think dueling couches on either side of the fireplace will be just what that room needs. And the tone on tone… 👨🏻‍🍳💋

  38. Laura C says:

    Appliances are a nightmare these days. We waited six months to get ours, and then another month for a crucial part of the stove, which was out of stock everywhere. Good luck!

  39. Jenny says:

    I can’t wait to see it all come together! It’s already looking so good!

  40. B says:

    I’m excited about all of the projects and you have made so much progress already!

  41. Becky says:

    So excited to follow along!

  42. Rachel says:

    I am so excited to see this all come to fruition!

  43. I like the design of the bedroom it is very subtle and minimal. You crafted the design of white color. White walls with white curtains and white bedding looks perfect.

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