Looking back at my 2013 to-do list from last January, I have to admit that a lot of the list was really pipe dreams. But thanks to lots of problems with water both inside and outside, we ended up getting A LOT of those list items crossed off. It was a lot of work, and even though it was all worth it, I’m also really happy that I’ll never have to live through that again. We started construction on some small planned projects in mid-February, and the last project we finished was in mid-November with a whole lot of house turned upside down, massive trucks stuck in mud in the yard, and much more chaos in between. So here’s the list of what we actually completed this year. Some of it was on the to-do list last year and some of it got added along the way.
1. Renovate powder room.
2. Add built-in bookcases to living room.
3. New Dutch door and front steps.
4. Completely re-landscape front yard and quite a bit of the backyard too, and replace fence. (I can’t wait to share this you, but I never got a chance to photograph it before winter came because of some stubborn patches where the grass refused to grow. This spring for sure!)
5. Replace the roof.
6. New kitchen!
7. Open up wall between kitchen and dining room and add sliding door.
8. Convert pantry closet and dining room closet into built-in bar in dining room.
9. Refinish and reupholster dining room furniture.
10. New deck.
11. Tear out paneling in basement and replace with beadboard, and update playroom.
12. Have curtains made for daughter’s room.
I know I still haven’t shared many of these projects, but we’ve still been digging out from all of the construction and are finally getting to the point where I can photograph them so don’t worry, they’re coming.
Really, what we accomplished last year was enough of a to-do list for a decade so this year we’re going to keep the to-do list real simple!
The living room (pictured above) made major progress last year with the addition of the built-ins, as well as new end tables, lamps, and a coffee table, but the upholstered furniture and rug is very tired after nearly seven years of babies and a dog. The one piece that is still in ok condition is the coral chair which I put Sunbrella fabric on. But in my dreams, these things will happen:
1. Reupholster couch and striped chair. I was thinking of going with a simple navy Sunbrella for the couch, but the truth is that a pattern is going hide stains better, and I really don’t want to have to re-do this couch again anytime soon since I just did it a few years ago.
2. Replace ceiling light fixture. The one that is there was a quick fix to replace a ceiling fan (my least favorite thing in the world!).
3. Replace curtains. I like the simplicity and lightness of the white grommet top curtains, but I’d really like to take them up a notch.
4. Clean and/or replace rug. I purposely bought a wool rug because they are naturally stain resistant and have a good record when it comes to looking like new after a professional cleaning so I have my fingers crossed that this rug can be salvaged, but if it’s still looking a little worn, I’ll move it upstairs to our bedroom where much of it will be covered by the bed and get a new one for the living room.
5. You can’t see it in this picture, but we updated our fireplace by removing the tired old brass screen, however, we still need to re-tile the surround which is currently a not very attractive brick tile.
Next up on the list is the staircase. This is probably just a day job which makes it seem easy, but I know finding the time will still be a struggle, especially considering some of these items have been on my to-do list for a while.
1. Replace railing with natural (or possible navy) rope and stanchions.
2. Paint the walls. This is the only space we haven’t painted since we moved in. I don’t dislike the sandy color, but I’m tired of it. It’s taken me awhile to figure out what color I want to paint it, and I think I’m just going to with a bright white. It will look great with the navy stripes and rope, and because this is such a dark staircase, I hope it will brighten it up a bit.
3. Speaking of how dark it is, because the sun rises on the front of our house, most of the light that comes into this space comes solely from the window in the bathroom at the top of the stairs. It’s not much, and when the bathroom door is closed, it’s downright dark. So we’d love to put a sliding door on the bathroom with a frosted porthole window to maintain privacy while allowing the light in with the door open or closed.
There a few other projects on the list, but I’m not sure when they will happen.
1. Install an outdoor shower. Living by the beach with two kids means this should probably be at the top of the list.
2. Add a master bath/walk-in closet. We had talked about moving the master bedroom to above the kitchen addition and doing this, but because we had a lot of major unexpected expenses due to all the water issues, this got put on the back burner. We also decided that the best way to add this is to simply dormer out our bedroom. We’re not looking for fancy—we need functional so there is plenty of space to do it by boxing off the final corner of the house like we did when we added our third bedroom on the other side of the house. However, this project is still probably a couple of years down the road.
So that’s it. Here’s hoping that our much less stressful to-do list stays that way in 2014!