We have been in our house for 3.5 years; 4 years as of May 2016. We bought it back in 2012 as a foreclosure. Compared to some foreclosures I have seen, it was in good shape, and it had a great base to work with. That being said, it definitely needed updates. Some updates were small, like installing door knobs (none of the doors had them) and switching out light fixtures. Other updates were more work and expense.
One of the things that had drawn us to the house was being able to renovate the kitchen to our style, and we were able to expand the size of it quite a bit. The kitchen sink had leaked causing the cabinets to be moldy, and there were no appliances. The majority of our budget for 2012 and 2013 went to renovating the kitchen and buying appliances as well as a water heater and washer and dryer. We also painted quite a few of the rooms and switched out some light fixtures with inexpensive options I found at Home Depot or on Craigslist.
In the fall of 2013 we had a new boiler installed to make our radiant heat more efficient. That has been a great investment. We also made some cosmetic changes outside like taking down a scraggly, old pine tree from the front corner of our lot. Man, was that a game changer. Our yard, which is not in great shape, looks a million times better with that tree gone.
2014 brought us a gas fireplace, which adds a ton of character to our main floor. We also completed a small remodel of our basement bathroom (new drywall, shower stall, sink vanity, and ventilation fan) to make it functional. I found out I was pregnant in July of 2014 and didn’t feel well for the first few months of the pregnancy. Most house projects fell by the way side with sickness and then the excitement of our new baby on the horizon.
2015 involved painting and decorating my son’s room. We also did a mini-renovation of our upstairs bathroom. The layout stayed the same, but we switched out the sink and storage and painted the space. I love how that room turned out, and I learned a lot about my decorating process from that project. We also took down the giant, and incredibly random second story deck in our backyard in anticipation of our siding project this spring.
So, what’s in store for 2016?
NEW SIDING—We are having our house re-sided and the garage/shed painted to match. We are in the final stages of picking our colors, clarifying the design details, and getting on their schedule. It should be completed this spring.
FINISHING HALF COMPLETED PROJECTS—I really want to hunker down and finish some of the projects we’ve started but forgot about. We need to add a second coat of paint to our upstairs area. We need to finish painting the trim white on the second floor. We need to patch a couple of holes and touch up the paint in our kitchen. There are probably a few other things I’m forgetting right now, but you get the gist.
MATURE OUR EXISTING DECOR—When we first moved in, we made some fixes that were quick and cheap so we could focus on the kitchen and other necessities. We also used furniture we already had from our previous apartment. I’d like to spend some time in 2016 to mature some of our decor to better fit my style, which I’ve honed a lot over the last year or so, and to better fit our lifestyle.
For example, we bought a hutch and dining table when we first got married 5 and a half years ago. The table has long since been sold, but the hutch was moved to this house and painted yellow. The color was a good fix to add some life to the piece, but on the whole, it really isn’t very functional for storage. Plus, Finn loves to get into the open area on the bottom. I’d like to get a different hutch to use for our everyday dishes and storing decorative serving pieces that looks nice but is also super functional.
One area I’ve already tackled is our mantel. I had been switching it up with the seasons, but I was never very happy with how it turned out. I also had some art pieces I wanted to display but didn’t have a great spot for them. It has worked out well to have them out on the mantel as a more permanent collection, it saves me time and effort not having to re-style it all the time, and it has really added a finished touch to our living room. You can check out how it turned out in my post, My Mantel Decor.
Do you have any decorating goals for this year?