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Home Projects for 2013


I said in my post yesterday that I have a home improvement list a mile long.  That might be hard to believe, but you have to remember that you see very strategic shots of my home and I’ll often use pieces for photo shoots and then sell them, leaving a big hole in my house.  2012 was a crazy year for me that started with cramming in home improvement projects to get ready for a Better Homes & Gardens photo shoot, the Nate Berkus Show House Proud home tour, then the book, then the Flea Market Style shoot.  The May fair came right on the heels of all of that, then I had the Women’s Day home office shoot, the launch of the paint line, moving to a new space at Lucketts…you get the idea.  It was nuts.  All of these things prodded me to “finish” some rooms in my house, but it was very rushed.  I didn’t get to take my time and let the rooms develop overtime as I find things I love, which is how I like to decorate.  Now that my blog will be a bigger focus this year, I can take my time and work on my home at my own pace. (Why do I feel like these are “famous last words”?)  Here are some things I would like to accomplish…

1.)  Install hardwood floors in our family room and master bedroom.  I have been waiting for this for YEARS!  The beige carpet was spotted and stained when we moved in and it’s gotten even worse (mainly from my “cool mom” phase when I let my kids eat and drink in the family room.  I’ve since become an “uncool mom” and have restricted that to the kitchen.)


Oh gosh…I can’t believe I am putting that picture on my blog…and with a watermark.  I think that’s a Rice Crispie on the floor.  I was obviously feeling cool this morning.  Anyway, I also am just not a fan of carpet.  I love how it feels underfoot, but it’s hard to keep clean and, this is totally a “looks thing”, it doesn’t photograph well.  We just purchased this flooring…


It’s Heritage Hickory made by Old Virginia Mill Works from Lumber Liquidators.  I originally had my heart set on solid hardwood, but we needed over 700 square feet and it was going to be expensive.  I also ended up liking an engineered hardwood floor better.  It’s a click-together floating floor, so it will be easier to install and it has a 30 year warranty.



It has saw marks and imperfections that give it the character I was looking for and the finish is satin, so it’s not super glossy-brand-new-floor-like.  People must think I’m crazy when I’m in a store saying I don’t want something to look like it’s brand new and that I like gouges and imperfections.  We hope to start installing it in a couple of weeks.  (Of course I’ll blog all about that process.)

2.) Refinish the floors in the living & dining rooms.  I wrote about this a couple of days ago.  You can read about my plan HERE.  Not sure when it will happen.  I’m sure I’ll wake up one morning and have a bee in my bonnet and I’ll want to start on the floors.

3.) My office. This is a room I had to finish in a rush for the photo shoot for FMS.  I really love the way it looks, but with three huge armoires in there for storage, it felt claustrophobic.  I am working on getting rid of about 80% of my stuff, so I can have space to work and create.  (If you live close to me and want some craft supplies, let me know!  I’m getting rid of paints, glues, ribbons, all sorts of things.  I’m also going to sell a Cricut – one of the big ones with a bunch of cartridges.)  I’m selling the rustic cabinet and moving out the mirrored armoire.  I already moved an antique oak cabinet in and will be using the t-shirt counter used to house my milk paint at Lucketts in there as well.  I can’t wait to get that space organized.  Again.  For about the 12th time.  (Oh, the “m” and the wallpaper are staying.)


4.) Boy’s room.  I have not done a thing to my boys room and it really needs better lighting, storage and some personality.  They mostly play in the family room right now, but I’d like to start moving the bulk of the toys and play time to their room. We’re thinking about doing built-in bunk beds to fit the space perfectly and some built-ins for toy storage.


5.) Master bedroom closet.  The closet we have now is a very standard bi-fold door closet with too much wasted space.  We’re going to knock out some walls and build a closet into the recess with a place for everything.  I don’t have the stomach to photograph it for you in the state it’s in now.  Not today, anyway.


6.) Finish my bedroom.  This is another room I just had to get done for the book and I used some leftover fabric that was more teal than I wanted, but it was what I had and I went with it.  This room is going blue & white like the rest of my house and I got a great start on it with my HomeGoods shopping spree.


7.) Get Organized.  Another byproduct of the whirlwind that was 2012 (and 2011) is disorganizing.  My closets haven’t been cleaned out and sorted in quite a while and an excess of stuff stresses me out.  I know it’s in the attic or a closet and it’s not bothering anything, but I know it’s there and it bugs me.  I feel so much better when I know where everything is and it’s neat and orderly.  This will be an ongoing project that I’ll work on here and there.

Those are the biggies, but I’m sure I’ll add more.  I’d like to work on the stairwell and the upstairs hallway.  Both are in need of more light and some color.  They are currently dark, beige and void of personality.  We also have two bathrooms that could use a makeover, but I doubt that will happen this year.  And there are a bunch of little things I would like to do…some furniture that needs attention, sewing projects, reworking some accessories, patching holes, touching up paint, changing out some lighting fixtures, etc.  I can’t WAIT to get started and share it all.

What projects do you have lined up for 2013?  


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  1. Kathy says:

    And I thought you were perfect! It gives me hope. We moved into a 1935 small farmhouse about 15 years ago. The house is the last to get fixed up. We have improved the property, built fences, a huge barn/shop new garage and office for hubby. Oh and we put in a pool. Looks like this year we will finally get to the house. You have inspired me to take pcs and maybe blog when we take off the roof and change the footprint. Could be fun. Keep those projects coming. I think you have made a good choice in your new focus.

  2. I like your idea of taking your time with a room and letting it develop over time as you find things that you love. I have a list of things in my house too (paint master bath and bedroom, replace vanity in master bath, replace mirror in master bath, paint various pieces of furniture throughout the house, reupholster a few more, etc.) and it is good to remember to reign it in a bit and let a room develop as I go. Thanks for the reminder. Good luck with all of your projects this year!

  3. Brooke says:

    I am in love with your t-shirt table, I just built the farm house table you created, but am not loving the finish yet, how did you paint the legs on the t-shirt table? or what is the best way to get the look. I have already painted the legs with a white milk paint and sanded it down in different areas but it needs something more. Thanks for sharing your talents.

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      I painted the table legs with MMS Milk Paint in Ironstone. It went crazy chippy on me, but it worked!

  4. You will definitely have a busy and productive 2013! Good luck! I posted something similar to this with all my goals for my home! I plan to look back on the post in six months and see how much I’ve gotten done. =]

  5. very cool. You are inspiring me to itemize my to dos by room. I might actually remember to do them that way & stop overlooking the ugly spots

  6. IHappy New Year Marian! Wow I am so comforted to know that if you could accomplish that LONG list of yours, I can for sure complete my small list. I would be more than happy to get that beautiful red dresser with small white knobs in your 12/31 post off your hands? Please let me know, good luck with the List :)

  7. Sorry Marian it is the one featured with the carousel horse.

  8. Maria Ward says:

    Reading your blog inspires me. I run a small business (no employees) and I have a storage room in the back. Let’s just say I have filled it with stuff. When I see something that still has life, is cheap, and I can maybe restore, I buy it. I just don’t know which direction to take w/ this hoppy. I need to consolidate my thoughts and make a plan. I will also be getting my home ready to sell which means organizing and staging, then….building a new home. I really liked reading that you will be using an engineered flooring. I’m on the fence about that and am still weighing the pros and cons of hardwood vs engineered. I would like to create a blog about the selling and building process. I just need to wake up one morning and find the courage! Thanks again for the inspiration!

  9. Our big one is the kitchen. We need to get the paints for the walls & ceiling, I have the paint for the cabinets already. It needs a new floor and I would love to paint the counters with that product that looks like granite. And we need to finish the main floor bathroom.
    Looking forward to seeing how yours turn out!
    Debbie :)

  10. I’m tired just reading that list! I want to clean out the garage so a second car can come in, paint a bathroom, organize the craft stuff in the basement, upholsterer my daughter’s chair and cover her sofa cushions. In reverse order. I’ll be watching your floor project since getting rid of carpet is also on the list.

  11. Oh, My God, Marian!
    I also have a few!!!! One of them is my bathroom upstairs. My house only has 2 bathrooms, and we use the one upstairs the most.
    I am going to write a post on my projects too, so that way I cannot make excuses not to do them, LOL!
    I will be following your projects and getting inspired!

  12. Wow it was crazy for you last year {but exciting!}. I’m definitely cleaning, sorting, purging, simplifying room by room this year. Everything else goes to the hubby. 😉

  13. I’m like you Marian. I love organization and beauty which drives me to “redo” everything or at least dream of it! When I read of the many things God enabled you to accomplish in 2012, I’m encouraged that He will also enable you to do your home projects with joy this year. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

  14. I can hear myself in your words. I’m full of ideas, I get inspired on a whim and disorganization — even behind closed doors — drives me nuts! I’ve got a list a mile long of “to-do’s” this year and I could easily add to it. It might send my husband over the edge, though, if I verbalized it all!
    Can’t wait to see all your projects — they’ll be awesome, as always! :)

  15. I have so many projects to do around my house as well…including putting floors in our dining room and kitchen, we just finished putting in up cycled barn wood flooring in our living room and hall and its so amazing what it does…plus we had green carpet. Anything is better then that. Can’t wait to see yours projects this year!

  16. Tammy says:

    You are so inspirational! I love your blog and seeing all of your fabulous ideas and creations. I have started painting furniture and I love it. I’m not sure if I love seeing the transformation or the hunt for that super cheap “diamond in the rough’ the most. I would be very interested in buying your Cricut if it’s affordable…I’ve always wanted one and could really use it for the reclaimed wood signs I’ve been wanting to create. Please let me know what you’re asking for it if it is still available. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2013!

  17. alissa says:

    I just found your blog and love your decorating style! I especially love your kitchen it reminds me of my own and mine is all white with green accents and I have been so wanting to paint a chalkboard wall and have been nervous to do so but I love yours and the way it looks in your kitchen!!
    I just inherited a cricut from my very best friend I would love to purchase any of your cricut cartridges you may be selling. Thanks!

  18. Rachel says:

    I just purchased your book online. I love your decorating style! I am a big fan of french country although it is very hard to find in Florida. I also have a very long “House-To-Do-List”. We bought a foreclosure just 12 days before I gave birth to our 3rd child so you can imagine our to-do-list is going rather slowly. We have done a lot but still not happy. I am so glad I found someone whom I have much in common. Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration!

  19. After I start your Rss feed it appears to be to be a ton of nonsense, is the problem on my side?

  20. Stephanie says:

    OMG I want that M. Where did you get it? I couldn’t find where you said anywhere, if you did.

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