Yearly Report Card: 2014

December 19, 2014

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. 

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We have made it a tradition around here to make a post in the first week of the year about what projects we’d like to get done over the course of the year. They are our very favorite to look back on (and sometimes laugh about) because although we have a general plan and timeline of things to do, it rarely happens that way. The second part of that tradition is to look back at that post and the projects we had planned and see how we did and report back. Since we have family coming into town on Monday, we are done with hardcore projects for the year–it’s time to clean up!–so we thought now would be the perfect time for our yearly report card. (I’ve put the text from January 3, 2014’s post in italics for reference sake.)
1. Picture me wincing while whispering, the floors. In the first quarter of this year, before baby girl gets here in April, we’ll be tearing up all the tile and carpet on the 1st floor (all 1700 square feet!) and laying new flooring. It will be messy and hard and time-consuming and it will be absolutely worth it. We just keep saying that–It will be worth it!
We did it! And we survived to tell the tale! Although it was our hardest DIY to date, and earned the nickname Tilemageddon, we love our new ceramic wood floors. I don’t have to baby them or worry about them. And when Charly comes barreling  to the front door every day when Chris gets home from work, it all feels worth it. A few of you asked if we were still staining the grout–the one aspect of the floor that didn’t turn out as planned. After I wrote this post, I received an email that said wait to wait one full year before staining the grout as it will naturally darken because it is not sealed yet. The grout dye we got is a stain and sealer in one, so after a year if we still think it needs it–we’ll do that. Put it on next year’s list!
 2. The nursery, of course! The nursery is on the first floor and will be receiving the same new flooring treatment as the rest of the square footage surrounding it, but also, you know, other decor. It’s a very blank slate after its recent paint job, but I just ordered an area rug today as a sort of jumping board for the rest of the room and will share a mood board, soon!
Huzzah! A+ It’s really weird to think that Faye just joined our family in April. Her and her room came a long way this year. You can see more details right here.
nursery after
 3. Greta’s room is also on our list this year. So far, we have plopped her bed in place. Her room is downstairs and although it desperately needs new carpet, too–we are just not sure it is in the cards this year. That won’t stop us from sprucing the rest of the room up and injecting her personality into it. She has been through a lot lately and we want to make sure she has a special place just for her.
Well, we didn’t get to replacing the carpet downstairs, but her room did get some attention in the fall. She is finally old enough to have real, solid, unwavering opinions about what she likes and it was a blast working with her to make her room a place that reflected just that. We’ll give ourselves an A- there, since we didn’t get to the rug. :) If you missed it, you can read more about her room here.
4. Call it the year of the bedrooms if you must, but our room is getting some attention this year, too! We’ve never done a proper full makeover on our bedroom–ever. We need that. A sort of sanctuary to come to at the end of the day. I think everyone needs that, right? Our room (like so many others, I’m sure) is always last on the list, so knocking it out our first year here seems like a good idea to us. We like our nightstands and mattress, but pretty much everything else will go. So say your goodbyes to the bed and pathetic, old bedding.  Ha!
 Is there something below failing? Somehow we managed to make this room look WORSE over the course of this year. Now we have wall missing and baseboard gone in addition to the pathetic, old bedding and eyesore ceiling fan. 2015 has to be your year, bedroom! Bonus: We did do the guest room this summer.
5. We. can. not. WAIT. to tackle the lighting (and lack thereof) in the great room. This will most likely be a first quarter project as well. The fluorescents in the kitchen, bad but also off-centered dining chandelier and outdated and low ceiling fan in the living area are all getting the boot. We’ll be adding recessed lighting throughout the space, with room for a new fixture in the dining room as well as some pendants in the kitchen (when the time comes). We tackled recessed lighting ourselves in our last home’s family room, but are really thrilled we’ll have attic access to work in this time around. Really. Can’t wait.
Oh, F. The good news is, that ceiling fan that was dangerously close to our heads and didn’t work in the living area is gone and the dining room chandelier got updated, too!
great room progress
The other good news is, despite our nearly failing grade on this one, we’re bringing in a contractor to see exactly what it would take to vault the ceiling in here. I’ll give you a minute to let out squeals to echo ours. … So many things are riding on that assessment right now (kitchen, lighting, foreverness in this house) we’re anxious to hear what they have to say and crossing our fingers it’s doable! We’ll address this in our 2015 projects to look for post and hopefully have answers by then.
6. When we painted the great room, we didn’t extend the paint into the adjoining staircase because it required a little more effort. For starters, a ladder at scary angles. But also, the removal of some awkward accent-wall wainscoting? We want to tear that down, paint the whole thing, add a new chandelier and hundreds of family photos. Or a few large pieces of art? We’ll see.
Ahh, we were so close on this one. And funny how things change, huh? We ended up painting the banister a glossy black and the wainscoting, trim, and walls all the same color and it improved the whole look!
I am still working on finding a new fixture for here and pondering about photos, too. We’ll be seeing more evolution happening here, soon.
7. Add a fireplace in the living room. Hanging our fauxdenza in the living room was always a sort of placeholder until we figured out how to put a fireplace on that wall. And, well, we figured it out. Now we are just gathering ideas for the actual look we want to go for before we pull that project plug. 
Boy, am I glad we didn’t get to this project this year. We only recently decided a fireplace would be better on the inset wall in the living room instead of the wall the art ledge is now on. Sometimes procrastination (or a lack of time) pays off. Still planning on this one.
8. And lastly, by the end of the year, we want to have a plan in place for a kitchen remodel in the beginning of 2015. Our kitchen is a good size and has a lot of potential, we think, but the current layout just isn’t working for any of us. The pantry is in the dining room. The island is large, but an odd shape (we’ll actually be tearing that out before we do the floors). And the appliances are sadly on their last leg–here’s hoping they can hold on just a little longer! Our last kitchen took us several months to plan so putting the planning on the calendar this year will hopefully give us a good start into an actual renovation next year.
The appliances are still hanging on by a thread. There are literally wires coming out of the top of the fridge! The kitchen got a little makeover this year to tide us over until the big renovation.
kitchen progress
We’re still crossing our fingers we can pull it off in 2015. There are a lot of other big things on our to-do list for next year already, but I suppose that post is coming up the first of the year. Per tradition. :)

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What do you think?

  1. Meagan Briggs says:

    You and Chris are very good at what you do! #2014DIYWIN!

  2. Alison says:

    You two have been crankin out the posts lately too! Not sure how you do it all. Of all of these projects I was glad to see Greta’s room finished for her. Here’s to a great 2015.

  3. Alison says:

    I love this idea! We found a notebook from when we were convincing ourselves to buy our current house that said “Drywall in Living Room- $250” and laughed our butts off at ourselves- yeah, the actual drywall might cost $250, but the mud, supplies, time, etc…not so much. We ended up hiring someone to do it for about $1,500. HA! To be blissfully unaware.

    Congratulations on a very productive year though! I have a feeling 2015 is our “year of the bedrooms.” :) Can’t wait to keep following along.

    • Julia says:

      We have one of those notebooks, too! Planning out every project we’ve done for years. It’s definitely a keepsake. And yes, a source of humor at times, too.

  4. Blair says:

    your house looks great! i love seeing all the changes in one post, it really shows how much work you guys have put into the house over the course of a year.

    • Julia says:

      Thanks Blair! This post didn’t even touch on the guest room or living room updates. 2014 was productive! And we know 2015 will be even more so. Can’t wait!

  5. Amy B. says:

    Hi! Love year-end retrospectives. Especially since I’m a new reader and wasn’t here at the beginning of the year! Question: I linked over to your new dining room chandelier, curious how you fixed the off-center-ness of the old chandelier, but I didn’t see anything about it. We’re dealing with that in over our kitchen table and I’m not sure how to fix it. Do you have any blog posts about it? Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      I think we talked about it in the chandelier post, but we always try to be careful of explaining electrical things because they can go very wrong for people that don’t know what they are doing. In short, we measured the center of the space and Chris went up in the attic and moved the junction box to the center and we patched the old hole. And we’re always glad to welcome new readers. 2015 is gonna be great!

  6. Jess Lundgren says:

    Yeah!! Excited to see where you guys decide to go with everything! Thanks for letting us tag along on your journey!

  7. Erin says:

    New reader here, and I just wanted to say I enjoyed this post a lot as I am a first time homeowner and often feel very weighed down by the incredibly long “to do” list. So nice to read of others plans for their home. Really love your style!

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