If you're a chronic planner, a creative, or even just a day dreamer, then you're familiar with the constant stream of ideas flowing through your head at all times of the day. When it comes to our home, I have a running list of ideas for each and every room. I can't help it, my mind just automatically goes to paint colors and light fixtures.
But as much as I love tweaking this house to make it a haven for our family, it's easy to become overwhelmed by all that's left undone or yet to-do. This home definitely isn't the fixer of our last home, but it's enough of a blank slate that it's pretty noticeable which rooms we've touched and which spaces are still waiting for a little love.
When I was working on the new site I hit a road bump when I got to the "Home Tour" page. This is one of my favorite spots to visit on other home/DIY blogs and I've always had one on mine. So what to do when your house is very much not an "after" yet? Celebrate progress, that's what!
As I pulled pics of the house when we first moved in I was shocked at how different some of the rooms are today. Yes, there's still plenty to do, but we've come a long way in putting our own stamp on this place. And it's got me excited to keep going!
Here's how things are looking compared to move-in day two years ago, and what we're eyeing for our project list this coming year...
This is our front door/entry. And evidence of children.
As you come through the front door you walk right into our living room. We loved the vaulted ceilings and all that glorious natural light.
We did not love the floors or the dated window coverings.
A look to the right and you'll see our garage door. This is how we enter the house 99% of the time.
Our first item of business was to address the floors. The previous owners had a large dog and while the upstairs carpet was fine, the light carpet on this main level was pretty gross. We weren't loving those curved steps either. So, before we started really unpacking we built out the steps and put down some durable new flooring.
The new floors made such a huge difference. Those rooms instantly felt fresh and updated and the floors have been so much more practical for our young (read: prone to spills and tracked dirt) family.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do something with the area that juts out into the living space. We went bold with a deep navy and I've never regretted it (color is Volcanic Ash by Valspar).
With such a dark accent wall, we went pretty light on the remaining walls. This room gets such fantastic natural light and it's my favorite spot to drink my morning coffee. Well... sip, get interrupted, reheat, then sip again....repeat 5 times....
After years with empty walls and family pics in boxes (or digital files on my computer) we finally put together a family photo gallery with some floating shelves.
This huge armoire was a Craigslist score and it's on my paint radar this year! I'm sure I will be polling you all for color choices because my indecision is ridiculous. It houses some smaller musical instruments, music books, and photo albums.
We carried the navy wall color into the dining room, just off the living room.
We sold our old dining set on craigslist and swapped it for a round one, added some open storage and removed the lamp shades from the chandelier - simple changes but ones that really gave this space a fresh feel. And clearly I need some updated pics of this room #merrymerry.
One of my favorite updates happened back by that garage door/entry. We ripped the bar out of this closet, mounted a ton of hooks, and magically the coats stay off the floor. Usually.
We took the new floors into the laundry room, but haven't really touched the space since. I'm hoping to address some basic functional issues in here this year: a shelf over the washer/dryer and wall storage for cleaning tools (vacuum, mop, etc). We also need to paint and do something with those cabinets.
And then there's the very green great room. Our main level is one big circle, so you can come into this space through the dining room or by the garage door. It really had so much potential, but also some challenges for furniture placement (hello, giant counter cutting the room in half).
And that range hood. My 6'4" husband literally has to bend down to cook at the stove. I don't think countertops or a backsplash are in the cards this year, but painting the cabinets and ripping out that hood are high on our list!
While we're at it, we'll probably ditch the track lighting. We already swapped out the ceiling fan for a flush mount and it offers plenty of light.
I wasn't sure how to set up this space, but once we let go of this room as a homeschool space and finally embraced it as a family room, it really changed the way we used the house. We spend almost all of our family time here, and it's been a great space to host friends. I was desperate to ditch the green (which read a whole lot more neon in person), and we finally got a less abrasive coat of blue on the walls.
It was a good fix at the time but I never loved it. The kids wanted color; I wanted neutral. Even with that serene blue, the room still felt really dark by the fireplace, but then...
...a blessing in disguise. a huge leak caused us to rip up all the floors. It prompted us to jump on a few other projects (like white washing the fireplace) and now we've resumed the saga of which wall color will make everyone happy. Currently, undecided.
Upstairs you'll find 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
Originally we had the boys bunked up in one room, Mia in another, us in the master, and the extra room was my office craft space.
We said goodbye to the yellow, beefed up the trim, and ditched the half shutters.
Then a little lady joined our family. So we traded the desks for a crib and had fun transforming it into a girly nursery to welcome home our newest bambina.
The other princess in this family started with a very green room that's now a pale pink. This room has seen at least five different furniture arrangements, that never really worked until we eliminated a large piece of furniture and combined her bed and dresser into one. #IKEAtotherescue
My mini hoarder has worked so hard to pare down her things and we're almost done making this her own special space.
Purple was not going to fly in our boys' shared bedroom. So, we quickly got up a more masculine color.
These beds are from James' childhood but the movers lost the base/support pieces in our cross country move....older pieces not easily replaced. Since the room is on the small side we decided to bunk them up. We're working on making it a cool reading/sleeping spot for them and I obviously owe you some updated pics of this room!
Our master is a complete blank slate. We slept on a mattress for the first few months here.
We finally added a bed and moved in a smaller desk when my office morphed into a nursery. And then we neglected her. She became the stash-zone when company was coming and a lot of those piles never left. At the end of last year I knew we had to reclaim this space. We did a little furniture shuffling, a little purging, and paint is going up this weekend. I've been collecting things for this room for awhile and had grown up talk with myself about finally doing something with them. I'm so excited to give this space some long overdue attention!
Finally, the garage. It has great storage, and for reasons I can not explain, all of our stuff is piled against the walls and nothing in the cupboards/shelves. I don't even know. As soon as it's warm enough, we're all over it. We have a few lingering boxes to unpack and I really want to get this area purged and organized for summer.
While I do have specific areas I want to work on this year, I think more than anything I want to stop avoiding the hard stuff. When it comes to our home, it's easy for me to take on a skewed perspective. Even though I love a project that addresses form and function, I can easily get caught up in all the pretty stuff when I need to be doing the dirty work of cleaning out a closet.
For the coming year I thought about those areas that I've been avoiding. The areas that drive the other members of my family bonkers (not necessarily me). I tried to think about the best time to tackle them and avoid flashbacks to painting cabinets in the dead heat of summer. So while I'm putting some of the house fluffing projects on hold for a bit, I'm getting excited about facing some of these giants. Not necessarily because it's going to be loads of fun, but because I know how good it will feel to buckle down and do the work. Nothing has given us more satisfaction in our home that clearing out the excess and paring down to the stuff we truly love, need, and use. I hope that we can eventually get there with the entire house. So...
Finish the unfinished. Touch the untouched. Use what we've gathered.
That about sums it up.....in an extra long, billion picture format ;)
*Does anyone else have house projects on the agenda this year? How do you prioritize projects in your home?