Gosh, I guess it’s been since May when I last blogged some of our home improvements. We worked really hard this summer and crossed quite a few more off of our list. Though our list is still quite long, I’m starting to feel really good about the amount we’ve accomplished and what we have left to tackle. I guess you could say the light is visible at the end of the tunnel.
When we first moved in, I worked like a maniac. Then I hit a lull and lost my passion and drive for a bit. I started to get bogged down with all that I wanted to do but couldn’t clear my vision enough to decide where to go next. N helped me through it. July was another month of hard work and I think August was the turning point where I started to feel very accomplished. Here are some things we’ve done since May:
-dormers This was one of the first things on our to-do list and we were itching to start them. It took about three weeks start to finish (but boy were those three long weeks. The Amish crews started promptly at 7:30am and by start I mean they were pounding on the walls (to our bedrooms) or climbing through the gaping holes in our bedrooms.) We also had roofing crews and interior crews to live with but I kept telling myself, “this will be worth it!” And it was/is! We have so much natural light pouring into these rooms now.
Here is the girls’ bedroom before, ours had the exact same set-up with only a skylight for natural light. (get a load of that wallpaper and carpet too!)
End of day 1! Good thing it didn’t rain!
Collage of progress pics and one from the outside
We also painted both bedrooms and added new carpet to them
Styling the girls’ room is far down on my list right now, but it looks so much better with the new paint, carpet, and windows!
-blinds The house came with lace curtains that did not afford any privacy and at the same time obscured the view (I mean we practically bought the house for the view). We decided to have roller blinds installed instead and I am VERY happy with this choice. I love that we can completely hide them when we want to see our view or we can customize the length depending on the height of the sun. I love how the color adds a bit of dimension to the walls as well
–osmosis We had our well water extensively tested and it came back completely healthy. However, the taste was not one I wanted to get used to. We added in a reverse osmosis system to our sink and refrigerator. I love the taste and am so happy with this choice!!
-paint (doors, trim, etc) No inch of the downstairs has been left untouched by a brush. The upstairs still remains to be painted but all of our initial focus has been on the down. I burned through quite a few This American Life episodes while painting trim/doors and can still recall some of the more impactful episodes as I am looking at different parts of the house.
Our powder room went from beige to Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy. Dramatic difference!
-living room ceiling The living room ceiling was covered by a particle-board type wainscotting that didn’t look professionally installed. N ripped all of this down and whitewashed the weathered boards underneath. I like this look so much better!
Side by side of wainscotting and boards underneath
Progression pic, you can see the particle board, boards underneath, and whitewash
–hang pictures Hanging pictures was, admittedly, one of the hardest things for me. I drug my feet over it. N really had to talk me into it. I definitely wanted to wait until we had the walls painted but even after that I was having a hard time committing. It was really hard to reconcile decorating this house with all of the things meant for another house. But I truly think this was a turning point for me. Once the walls started to come alive, it no longer felt like our house was in a constant state of undone. The vision finally started to take place and I found my motivation to continue.
Some of the artwork included is by my mom, myself, Brad Johnston, and my great Uncle Les
-art cabinet Love this beauty that got left behind. Right now its full of the girls’ art supplies. I couldn’t bring myself to chalk paint it as I had done the other two pieces of furniture but instead tried a gel stain and updated hardware. Love the finished product!
–sold the hot tub/other for the sake of the fireplace We’ve been going “gazelle intense” (thank you, Dave Ramsey) for the sake of the fireplace makeover (the next big thing on our list) and selling everything we aren’t madly in love with. The hot tub was a nice little perk for our house but ultimately one we never really used to it’s full extent nor cared about all that much. Selling it (and a few other things) brought us very close to our fireplace goal. No regrets!
Still a few more things on our list and I am excited to tackle them one by one. I’m sure things will slow down a bit as we regroup our time and money but I feel great about the point we’ve made it to thus far!
I also thought it would be fun to start another mini-series (can you tell I like these??) that would highlight small details of the house that I love or have grown to appreciate. While certainly far from flawless, this house is not lacking in character. I’d love to capture the things about it that make it unique, starting next week. Stay tuned.