14 January 2014

A Year of House Projects: Making a list and checking it 50,000 times.

After our basement started holding water for the second time after a heavy rainfall, Matt and I came to terms with the fact that there was no use in constantly talking about everything we needed to get done around the house, but that we actually needed to act on those words.

We finally sat down and made a list of EVERYTHING we want to do in each room of the house, in every section of our yard, and on every exterior wall of our home.  Not a corner of our property was left forgotten.

It's nice to know that we actually accomplished a lot since we moved in over the summer. While our list of to-do's spans 10 pages in a blank notebook we've designated for our house project brainstorming, we have quite a lot of successes with the house too:

So far, we've:

  1. painted the bathroom, hallway, living room, and stair well -- including trim!
  2. bought a rug for the living room
  3. replaced the storm door
  4. replaced the porch light, living room light fixture, and hallway fixture
  5. bought a new bed and mattress
  6. came up with an entry way solution for our "no entry way" entry way...if that makes sense...
  7. organized the built in shelves in the basement
  8. cleaned out the mess/junk left by previous owners from under the deck
  9. updated the security system 
  10. rearranged our bedroom for more space
But every time you finish one thing, there's always a million more waiting. This year, we would love to cross EVERYTHING off the following list, but I know that's going to be impossible. Let's hope we can get to at least 10 things.

Here's our list of things to do on the main floor: 


  • paint the ceiling white
  • buy real end tables
  • buy new curtains
  • get sofa cleaned
  • new door mat
  • decorate above the shoe cabinet
  • add a gel-fuel fireplace like this one
  • find a neutral blanket for the sofa
  • put chess pieces back on chess board
  • add a cover for the cable sticking out of the wall...seriously one of my biggest pet peeves about this room.

Another issue I'm having is the alignment of the frames above the table lamps.  From some angles, it looks like they hang directly above, and from other angles, they're off a little. The whole room is pretty crooked really. If I can't fix it, I may move the frames to another room. 

  • find rugs or runner
  • hang pictures
  • change the hall closet back to a coat closet (currently used as linen/shoe/coat/hamper storage)
  • replace door and hardware leading to basement
  • replace hallway closet door and hardware
  • change from guest room to master bedroom
  • replace door and hardware
  • replace curtains
  • paint
  • fix medicine cabinet door
  • replace built in shelf door
  • replace sink (currently sits above counter and is clear glass --- a pain to clean!)
  • re caulk...everything
  • fix or replace tub fixtures
  • paint
  • clean grout
  • figure out a better lighting solution -- it gets so dark in there!
  • fix the foot boards under the island -- dishwasher repair man managed to break them and claimed it was already like that...
  • clean oven
  • clean and re-fill spice rack that was left behind
  • clean grease exhaust
  • clean cabinet stains
  • add a window curtain
  • replace counter tops with quartz (probably will be on this list, untouched, for 4 more years...)
  • replace drawer fixtures
  • remove chair rail 
  • paint
  • replace window treatments
  • fix the table 
  • paint and stain table and chairs
  • paint or stain the buffet
  • add a rug
  • refinish floors (wood only)
  • replace switch plates
  • fill in wall holes
  • address the chewed up trim from previous four legged homeowners ;)
It's a SLOW work in process, but we're starting to see results and it's a little addicting. For instance, I thought we'd never get rid of the school bus yellow on the crown molding, baseboards, window frames and stair case. White trim helps make everything so much brighter! 


  1. A corner shelf! Can you move it all over, take the frame down, and put a cute corner shelf in? (Like, one made from an old door, that's my favorite!) This room is beautiful. I wanted white furniture so badly, but we've got a black dog.

    1. A corner shelf! Such a good idea! I might think about doing that for the corner between the windows. I've always liked the look of built in corner shelves too...especially if there's a cabinet involved somehow. I'm all about extra storage!

      The main reason we have the blanket on the sofa is for the dog (also black). He knows he's only allowed on that part. We've had the couch for almost 4 years now and never had issues keeping it clean until we were burglarized. They ruined the sofa by stepping all over it to get our belongings out of the house and through the window. :(

      Chester knows he's not allowed on the arm chairs. :)

  2. I love that you added "including trim" I LOATHE (read that in screaming) painting trim. bleh, sucks.
    uh - I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE x10 your couch and chairs, seriously, love.
    and with the curtains (love them too, nice and long!) if you want to keep them, you can always try to find one panel, or something similar (burlap?) and make a roma shade (is that what it's called?) for the other window, that folds? those are cute.
    you have quite a mighty list - and taking that chair rail out? really...ahh I love it, I want to add something similar to one of my hallways hahahaha.
    I love how peoples taste is so different!

    1. Trim is the worst!!! Originally we were going to take the top trim down and replace it because it doesn't match the crown molding in the rest of the house and because it was installed upside down. After painting trim in the bathroom and hallway, we couldn't bring ourselves to do any *extra* trim work???so we just did the bare minimum...which still required two coats to hide the yellow.

      Curtains - my mom actually found the exact set with matching curtain rod!!! But....it is discontinued :( I may try to just find a match. But yes, they are burlap...it's just been hard finding the same shade of color and grommet style.

      The chair rail isn't really a chair rail...and it was placed too high. It looks awful. We might replace it...haven't decided yet!

  3. Its good to make lists to know exactly what you need to. I pick a project a week and if I am extra motived I do a couple of things. Don't let the list overwhelm you- you can do this.

    1. As weird as it might sound, the list actually helps me feel that these things are possible haha. I have a knack for "voicing" all that I need to do, but then I start forgetting what I need to accomplish and instead I'm stuck with this feeling of knowing there's SO MUCH but I can't remember what. So having the list, handwritten, in it's own notebook, is definitely a good thing!

      My husband and I have picked ONE thing each to do this weekend, and we can't start anything else until we've finished those tasks, so I'm right there with you!

      Thanks so much for visiting! I caught a glimpse of your blog yesterday and it was so inspiring! I can't wait to spend a little more time there this afternoon!


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