Over the break, we took time to just be in our house. It was the first time since moving in in June that we were alone in our home over several days and it felt incredible. It felt like home. Even amongst all of the drywall mud splattered on the covered floors and rearranged bedrooms (we’ve been sleeping in Faye’s along with 20 dining chairs) and lack of furniture. It felt like ours because some of the things we imagined 6 months ago, when we bought the house, were really starting to come to fruition, but also, I think it being just our family there really helped. And it got us thinking.
Maybe we don’t want to be renovating this house for 10 years like we set out to do last year. The start of a new decade, a new TEN years, got us thinking about the last and how we started the 2010s with no kids and now we have three! And by the end of the 20s, our oldest will be 19, going on 20 and likely out of this house, her childhood home. While I have no qualms with a childhood that includes a front row seat to hard work (and I have no doubts she’ll pick up her own set of handy skills in the process), I don’t want our daughters’ entire childhood to be set in a home under construction.
Home is a feeling and I want them to feel that sense of comfort and calm and peace and solitude and safety and togetherness. So as both, a very scary and very exciting resolution, we decided to see if we could fast track our renovation to two years. Not saying we won’t be picking up a paintbrush in this house after 2021, or ever REALLY call our house “done.” It will always continue to evolve. But the major projects that bring a lot of unsettled-ness (hey, new kitchen), as well as the ones that bring all the settled feelings (like a bedroom!)–we want to tackle it all over the next two years. (cue nervous laughter).
So, our plans for 2020 are ambitious. Some of it we’ll be acting as lead and subcontracting things and other projects will be completely DIY. So I think and hope there will be a great mix of content, too. Here’s what we have lined up for this year:
Dining Room/Living Room
Like, yesterday, please. I have it in good faith that the construction in the living room and dining room will be done by the end of January. The tile guy came by yesterday and said he’s going to start on the dining room floor this week and will be done next week. The trim for the living room window is due to arrive next week. The big question mark is the fireplace–like I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON THERE–but I feel like we’re in a good place to be dust and floor covering free very soon. And then by the end of February, I think we’ll have it livable with base furnishings and then we’ll take our time fine-tuning things.
This is another in-progress that is so close I can taste it. Today, the wood floors are finishing up and then we’ll move things back in place for the last time. We want to add trim to the wall behind the sectional (our Charly is due to arrive in the next month or so) and our logo and scoot in a fridge and a bunch of finishing touches. We have talked about adding more windows in here eventually, but I think we’ll live with it for a bit.
In our last house, I was putting the finishing touches on our room as we were putting it up for sale. We never really had a completed room for the 6 years that we lived there and I didn’t know what we were missing until I spent a few weeks in a finished space. Turns out, have your space to unwind and rest at the end of the day be a finished space is SUPER relaxing and rewarding. So in this house, we’re putting it near the top of our list. We’re set to paint our bedroom THIS week! We’re going to tackle our fireplace this month and our bed that we ordered December 1st is going to arrive in February.
When we added a ceiling to the music room, we made the new space upstairs into our closet. Our current master closet (see it below) is pretty much the same size as our last one but a lot less usable due to how it was laid out. Our plan is to tackle our new closet in February (we’re still deciding what system is best, we LOVED our IKEA PAX but would really want to make it look a little more custom if we go that route. We’re also looking into the Container Store and California Closets. Any other recommendations? I think in our bedroom, we’re going more light and bright with contrast trim, so I think it would be fun to make the closet a little more bold.
With the removal of our closet from our master bathroom, we took measurements and realized it’s a HUGE SPACE THAT FEELS incredibly cramped. Like a very cramped, long hallway with dressers on all the sides. The bathroom is a 10×21′ space (so, okay, like a very big hallway) but it is laid out SO ODDLY with a bathtub that has a giant stair taking up the majority. We are going to reconfigure the entire thing (right now we’re thinking of a wet room–tub in a large shower–at the far end where the closet currently is) but we haven’t drawn up any plans yet. For reference, we usually go over about 5 ideas before landing on the one. Our goal is to start this April 1st! We’re excited. We’re very excited.
Garage phase 1 (organization)
This is another project that we waited until the very end to do at our last house and we learned, being organized in the garage really helps every project go more smoothly. Knowing where all the tools are. Parking inside. Ample storage for seasonal things–I mean, I’m daydreaming while writing this.
Down the road, we might swap out the garage doors, get new windows to match the rest of the house (the garage windows are at the front of the house!) and a few other phase 2 things.
Welp. Yup. Our kitchen makeover last summer was originally only supposed to tied us over a year and then we did it, and LOVED the improved aesthetics so much that we thought, Ohhhh maybe it will last us a good two years. But the truth is, painting the cabinets didn’t improve the function or the awkward layout or the too small cabinetry.
If you follow along on stories, you heard our impromptu dive into the kitchen’s faults on Christmas night. It came on the tail end of hosting a few nights in a row. You know, really having the opportunity to test her out and it also came with a lot of frustration on Chris’s end–the cook in our home. So we decided this summer we’re going to do the kitchen. While we can grill and eat outside, we’ll be making some magic inside. We have some very big ideas that include taking out the current pantry, and expanding the kitchen 6 feet and mudroom 2. When we mapped it all out–it made so much more sense. Can’t wait to share.
Our music room is going to house our piano (it was Chris’s great grandmother’s!) and our record player (hence: music room) and hopefulllyyyy a puzzle table. But it’s also going to be a pass through to the dining room and living room and I kind of picture it like this jewel box. I’m not sure if we’ll do wallpaper (okay, I’m leaning wallpaper) or paneling, but I want it to be bold and warm and intimate. Gathering lots of inspiration for this one.
Hallways never really make it on a project list and they don’t get a ton of before and after attention, but is it weird that I’m strangely excited to show our hallways some love. You can see our upstairs and downstairs one as soon as you walk in the front door so they are prominent and I want to be very intentional about giving them some attention…and killer lighting.
Now that Greta’s room has new carpet, I would say it’s 75% there. But we’re going to take it all the way this year. I’ve been searching high and low for some really good vintage horse art (she LOVES horses) and I’m stewing about what color I want to paint the trim and I need to order a window treatment. Her room was definitely the worst one when we moved in, but also since she’s the oldest, she has grown into her passions a little more so it’s been fun to give her room some much-needed attention and a new, fresh direction right off the bat.
Basement Media Room
Hi, we have a basement that we don’t share very often–it’s currently STILL filled with boxes from our move. It’s small, but kind of great. It has dark gray carpet and dark gray walls and it makes a very natural media room. We’re picturing a big sofa and even bigger screen and paneled walls ceiling with thick crown molding and beautiful light fixtures around the room. We’re really excited to have a space where we can lounge and watch movies as a family and with friends, too. We always get questions about not having a TV in our living room, but we like having it a more tucked away space so we can be a little more intentional about it.
Update Lighting in Faye’s Room.
Faye’s entire room will likely be on hold until next year, but her lighting could REALLY use some attention now. She has one fixture in a rather odd location and it makes her whole room feel dark and dreary.
Move Polly to Big Girl Bed
My heart hurts even writing this. Polly loves her crib, so we’re holding out as long as we can, but the girl is TALL and truly out-growing it. I know at some point this year, we’re going to need to move her to a twin sized bed and I’m keeping my eyes out for something vintage. I love looking ahead for things like this so I can take my time checking different sites and thrift stores and then pounce if the right thing comes up.
So there you have it. 2000 words about all the projects we’re hoping to tackle in 2020. Of course this list isn’t all inclusive. We already have some fun projects we’ll be doing elsewhere on our calendar. We always like to throw in smaller DIYs, too. Also, I can’t even imagine a whole year going by without tackling something outside. But this is what we’re focused on and getting pumped up for and can’t wait to take you along for the entire year.
Which project are you most excited about?