As I’ve been looking back over the past year and the projects we completed, I realized we have done a lot! 2017 was about getting settled, listening to our house, getting to know its style, and learning the way it functioned best. It was also about tackling the immediate issues, like an aging water heater, broken garage doors, and turning the sunroom into a finished studio.
This year has been about making the homes ours…or at least parts of it! Even working at a pretty good pace, we’re not going to get the entire house done in a year. We focused primarily on the main floor since that’s where we spend most of our time.
Here are my favorite projects we completed in 2018…
I knew I wanted to do this before we even bought the house. There was 13-year-old, beige wall-to-wall carpet in the dining room and home office and it really didn’t work for me. While I’m always going to prefer hardwood over carpet, I don’t mind it in certain rooms. I didn’t like it in the “formal” dining room or in my home office, though. We had hardwood floors installed in both rooms to match the flooring already in the eating area and kitchen. It made a huge difference in the feel of those spaces and was a great foundation for some of the other projects we tackled.
This one is one of my favorites because it was a gamble that paid off.
I was considering all sorts of ideas for the dining room, including wallpaper and an entire wall of built-ins to showcase my ironstone collection. I also had the idea of a full-room landscape mural. After looking into several options, I decided to try to paint a mural directly onto the walls using MMS Milk Paint. I mean, I literally decided to try it out when I woke up one morning and put the brush to the wall while still in my jammies and I just kept going. Over two or three days, I had a finished mural and it turned out better than I anticipated. It turned a square, pokey dining room into a unique and memorable space.
This project was another favorite, because it was so simple, yet so impactful. It literally was just primer, paint, two packs of tongue-and-groove beadboard, corbels, some MDF shelves, and new pulls. It was inexpensive, relatively easy and completely customized stock cabinetry. And, best of all, my ironstone now looks at home there.
I had the opportunity to partner with HanStone Quartz to have gorgeous counters installed in our kitchen. Along with that, we had a marble subway tile backsplash installed and I repainted the walls and island. I’ve shared before that my dream kitchen is one built from scratch around freestanding antique pieces. So, I wouldn’t say this is my ultimate dream kitchen, but it is gorgeous and I absolutely love it. It has the best layout of any kitchen I’ve cooked in and it makes me smile every time I walk into it.
I actually had a dream last night that Jeff and I had to move. We were looking at buying this great old house wherever we were moving (the dream wasn’t specific about location), but it had a really ugly kitchen. I told Jeff I was sad that I didn’t get to enjoy my pretty counters longer!
(Completely random, but as we continued to tour the house, it started to turn into a crazy mansion with a ping-pong tournament room, an elevator, and a professional salon off the master suite. I told Jeff I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing such an elaborate home on my blog, even though it was cheaper than our last house. Can you believe I’m dreaming about this stuff?!)
I still have a few finishing details to do in the laundry room, but I made a big push this summer to give it some personality. What I like so much about this makeover is that I didn’t make any changes to the bones of the room. The cabinets, sink, flooring are all the same, but I used paint and beadboard to give it an entirely new look.
I’ve always wanted to surround my house with boxwoods and hydrangeas and this year, I started on that path! Giving our landscaping a makeover isn’t as simple as just putting new plants in the ground, though. We had loads of gravel and stone to haul away first! We ended up hiring some kids from our youth group (who were doing odd jobs for people as a fundraiser) to come and help us with the physically demanding job. We cleaned and cleared everything away and then I worked on planting and mulching throughout the summer. I can’t wait to see how everything grows over the years.
The last big project of the year was having slate flooring installed in our foyer and half bath. Both Jeff and I absolutely love how that turned out. The huge builder-grade square tiles just didn’t do this two-story entrance justice. Now, this space, that connects all of the other spaces and the one that all of our guests see when they first come over, represents our style. Honestly, I think it represents this beautiful house better as well.
It’s been quite a year! We’ve been intentional about making choices that are classic and accentuate the style of the home instead of competing with it. So far, I’m very happy with the decisions we’ve made and the places we decided to spend our decorating dollars.
Here are the projects we have planned for 2019 so far…
- Installing hardwood on the staircase (that’s happening next week)
- Built-in closet and shelves in the studio
- Landscaping one of the side gardens (maybe both)
- DIY project on the living room fireplace surround
- More painting! Our bathroom, both boy’s rooms specifically
- Basement guest room makeover
And I have a few smaller projects on my list like sewing pillows, lots of organizing, and it’s finally time to get rid of some things I brought from my last house in the hopes of using here. It’s just time to let them go and free up space in the garage, closet, etc.
Of course, I’ll share all of the projects along the way.
If you’d like to check out the progress we made in our home in 2017, you can find that HERE.