To kick-start the new year, I love sitting down and creating a (mostly realistic) list of projects I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. You can check out last year’s list here, and an end of year recap here. I expect priorities may shift, but it’s always nice to have a roadmap to guide the year. Here goes…
1. Master bathroom
As I’ve shared previously, we’ve already started tackling the Master suite. I’m breaking up these spaces since each one is going to be a heavy lift and we’ll be tackling them one at a time, for the most part.
2. Refinishing the upstairs floors
We’re breaking up refinishing the floors into two stages (upstairs and downstairs), so we can shuffle furniture around and minimize the time we need to move out of the house (I hear the fumes can be awful). Before starting on the walk in closet, we’re going to need to feather some additional hardwood in since we’re stealing some width from the master bathroom, so it feels like the right time to complete all the floors upstairs at once.
3. Master walk in closet
This is going to be our first feat in woodworking and I’m pretty excited. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with organization and despise clutter, so planning out a closet that’s incredibly functional but also beautiful is a very rewarding project.
4. Master bedroom
Now that we’ve moved into our fully decorated guest room, I realize how amazing it feels to wake up in a space that makes you feel happy. I’m so excited to recreate that feeling in our master bedroom, and to design a space that starts every day off right.
Since this is the final space to tackle upstairs, it’s about time I gave it an overhaul. All the changes in here will be cosmetic: new lighting, paint, crown moulding and new furniture. We also need to figure out some creative storage solutions for this little space, since it’s pretty dire. Right now, it’s become my husband’s interim closet, so it’s feeling even more cluttered and claustrophobic than ever. Here are some sad photos of the space for reference. Just imagine a large hanging rack and lots of clothing bins in here now. And about 5 lamps on the floor. Yeah, no bueno.
6. Main beam and upgrading joists
One project that we meant to tackle last year, but just didn’t get around to was replacing the main beam with a steel beam. Currently, it’s wood and supported by many semi-permanent lolly columns, but installing a permanent solution will give us peace of mind.
7. Removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room
The first time we toured our house, we recognized that while there’s a lot of open space downstairs, the real game changer would be opening the kitchen up to the dining and living room. Bundling installing the steel header beam in the kitchen with the main beam will save us some engineering costs, so we’re planning on doing them all at once.
8. Widening the doorway to the sunroom
After a lot of debate, we’ve decided that the most economical but also high impact way to integrate the sunroom into the main floor is by opening up the doorway into the sunroom by about 2 feet and running the same hardwoods into the space as the rest of the main floor. We went back and forth on this one a lot (widening the doorway v. completely opening up the sunroom into the living and dining spaces with a beam that stretches the width of the house), but sometimes you have to do what’s right for your real estate market and bank account. There’s a lot of value in having a bonus space that can serve as an office space or playroom, so we’re sticking with that.
For reference, you can see how narrow the doorway to the sunroom is currently in the below shot. Please excuse the not great quality shot, it’s the only one I have on hand of this angle. The dining room is to the right of that door frame, and the width of that wall is 25 feet for reference.
This is a controversial one. The previous owners redid our kitchen just under a decade ago and it’s nice. But… it isn’t exactly the most functionally laid out and it feels different from the rest of the house. A lot of the finishes that were used (read cheap MDF cabinets) haven’t held up terribly well, aren’t our style, and detract from the house aesthetically. We love cooking and the kitchen is a super important place in our home, so creating a space that brings us joy and unifies the house visually is a priority. We don’t expect to finish the kitchen by the end of next year, but definitely have the plans ready to go and be in the initial phases.
For reference, here’s our current kitchen (looking about as good as it’s ever looked). I don’t yet know if we’ll be painting the cabinets, refacing them or going down another route. The cabinets are definitely not high quality and they haven’t weathered daily use super well, so TBD on what’s going to happen in here. What I do know, is that I’ve mapped out a new layout that’s pretty different from what we have now, so we’ll be figuring out how to achieve that plan. Also, did I mention the revious owners laid engineered wood over what I assume is tile so there’s a step up into this space from the dining room? Our plans may change once the wall is down, so we’re going to keep our plans in here fluid. Regardless, it’s going to be all about making this space cohesive, functional and beautiful, no matter how the plans shape up.
Here you can see the wall that will be coming down.
There may be some other projects that sneak onto this list (e.g. the laundry room) or that aren’t big enough to warrant being a major project (e.g. finally getting around to painting our window frames black), but I’m excited to see how much we can accomplish in the coming 365 days. And on another note, I’m also going to hold myself more accountable to posting here more regularly, so stay tuned for more content.
Let’s do this, 2018!