I’ll admit I debated about whether to write this post about my house goals for 2017. But as I get increasingly comfortable in my own skin (evidenced by the fact that I blush just slightly less often now than I did in junior high) I figure I can handle the potential public humiliation by sharing this list. See, every year I create a private, and lengthy, list of house goals. I update it all year long. Man I love crossing things off that list. But I never ACTUALLY MEET all those listed goals. Usually not even half of them. I have had “Office” on the list, with many subparts to that, since we moved into our house in 2010. Not one thing has been done to the office. So I’ve come to think of the list not as hard goals but more like a running list of things I want to do or that I try to force my husband into thinking are important enough to do in that year… or maybe the year thereafter.
The sole impediment to making progress on the list is time. Or lack of it. And I can cite to three things for that lack of time. First, work. Both my husband and I are full-time lawyers (no, we don’t work together) and when work gets crazy, house projects slip to the bottom of the list of our priorities. Good news is that we have lighter trial schedules this year so that means maybe a little more time for the house. Second, fun. We really like vacations, me especially, so we enjoy spending as much time as possible traveling and otherwise maxing out the fun in our lives when we’re home. What really is the point of life without fun? But all that fun often means it is difficult to sometimes skip the fun in favor of some tedious house task. And third, kid stuff. Our kids are into sports, have too many play dates, and plus we like to hang out with them too. They’re 6 and 8 now and at such great ages it is hard to take time away from them on weekends for house stuff. But I guess that’s what play dates at other kids’ houses is for…
With that very wordy introduction, here are my 8 house goals for 2017.
1. Turning our Closet into our Master Bathroom
This is the one I am most excited about and that will make the biggest change in how we live in our house. We are turning a closet into our en suite master bathroom. We hired out the initial plumbing for this project in the summer of 2014, which you can read all about here. Since then, we’ve done pretty much nothing. The room connects to our bedroom, is awkwardly shaped with a super sloped ceiling, and we’re just going to work with what we’ve got to add function/value without rebuilding our entire roof to make it a normal bathroom. I keep telling myself it will be charming. I’m working on the plan for the finishes now, but will probably stick with the black/white/brass/wood/marble thing. I’ll also need to build a bunch of storage under that low roof area. This will be our most time consuming project of the year but hopefully well worth it.
2. Basement Bathroom
Last year felt like the year of bedrooms and I think this will be the year of bathrooms. The basement bathroom is another project started years ago (maybe 2013? 2012?) and this past fall we started up on it again. It truly is very tiny and very awkward but we decided it’s not worth a major overhaul. Here’s how it looked when we bought the house.
All we’re doing is new flooring, replacing the vanity, patching/painting the walls, adding trim, and a new toilet, but it is so low priority it never gets done! So I’m determined to get it finished this year, and likely before our master bathroom. Consider it bathroom remodel practice for our master bathroom.
This one is a necessity. We’ve needed a new roof for a while and we are finally biting the bullet and going for it. Good news: it is happening right now! The roofers are there doing their thing and hopefully it will turn out well. We’re going for a black/charcoal roof, which has to be better than all of the brown-on-brown-on-brown going on right now. As part of the roofing project we’re adding a skylight into our new/future master bathroom. We’re doing all the internal work on that (drywall, trim, paint, etc.) so while we’re hiring out the roofing work itself, there will be plenty of leftover related projects for us.
4. Exterior Trim
In an effort to brighten up the house, all the cream/brown trim will be going white and/or black. We’re hoping this classic black/white/tan combo spruces up the house a bit without the major expense and hassle of replacing that vinyl siding. There is a long story about why replacing our siding isn’t easy and why we can’t just tear it off and use what’s underneath, but the point is that we aren’t up for the siding challenge (or massive expense) yet, or ever? So some painted trim will have to do. Hoping this is a springtime/early summer project if the weather cooperates on weekends.
Our office is small but will be a LOT of work. It is a basic small box with awkward window placement, ugly light, and these existing, not very cute, built-ins.
We have to do some major patching on the ceiling/walls, extend the existing built-ins to the ceiling, sand/prime/paint the built-ins, and more. But it is so ugly now there is no way to go but up. My husband works in the office and I rarely step foot in it, but I’d like to make it a better space all around. He’s thinking all club/leather and I’m thinking bright/transitional for him. We’ll see what happens.
6. Living Room Refresh
We did all the major work on our living room already by adding in our window seat and built-ins, creating a new fireplace and surround, installing new floors, painting the walls, etc., but we need a few more things to call it done. We’re updating our seating – the leather chairs are going and I need to fine replacement seating. Also, we need to deal with lighting – the space is dark especially in winter and at a minimum we need a new lamp(s) or wall sconces. And maybe a new rug?? Okay, now I’m getting crazy.
We have a deck off our dining area and another off our master bedroom. We’ve made no updates to either one in years so this may be the year to update some of the seating/planters/finishes. We were gone all last summer so this summer we’re staying in Seattle and hope to maximize our time outside, and I really want to like where I’m hanging again.
This one isn’t a goal so much as to mentally figure out what we want to do with out basement and if we figure it out, get started on it. Our basement is a good size but only a portion of it is finished. So much of it is unfinished and unlike these pictures of when we bought the house, it’s now filled with too many tools, materials, wine barrels, etc.
Yep, that’s a mauve concrete floor throughout. Lovely. As our kids get older they spend more time down there so we really want to make it fun and functional for them and for all of us on family game or movie nights. I’d also really like a dedicated laundry space rather than just folding clothes in a corner of our unfinished basement. Not sure how much money/time to put into this project, but it is hovering on the back burner.
So, that’s where we’re at. Things are off to a great start in the fun department which means a slow start to the projects. But maybe by putting them out there I’ll publicly pressure myself into working harder on them.
Anyone else have those projects that never seem to get done? Really, if all I accomplish are the two bathrooms and the office I will consider that big success! Here’s to a great year of house projects and lots of fun friends!