It's our first full year in the new house, and here's what's on the docket.
Credit for this (uncharacteristically organized) plan goes to the roughly 24 hours we spent in the car the week after Christmas, providing ample opportunity to fire off a rapid fire series of would-you-rather style questions to Josh about what projects should be prioritized this year.
I am liking having this all mapped out for the year. Normally we'd just be tackling one project at a time and seeing what we felt like doing next. Having an outline of options feels like a lot of the leg work has already been done!
And here's what made the cut!
Whole house projects:
- Painting all the walls! Which sounds ambitious, but given we've already painted the front porch, dining room, and office/playroom since moving in (a mere 4 months ago!), the remaining rooms feel doable. But also saying "all the walls" is an exaggeration because a few rooms won't be touched by paint this year - including the kitchen, bathrooms, and possibly a couple bedrooms.
- Window treatments - or, as I like to call it, the war against Venetian blinds.
- Removing carpet + refinishing the hardwood floors - This will be for the living/dining room.
- Painting the exterior - Currently this doesn't feel exciting to me, but it needs to be done, and probably it will feel like a whole new house after!
- A cut flower garden / general landscaping - I transplanted my potted dahlias/zinnias/cosmos into our yard as soon as we moved in last summer and the month they had left to bloom after that was magical! Beyond this, we largely ignored the landscaping. Excited to get this more established this year, and can I say that looking at seed catalogues is a high point of winter.
- Our bedroom - We moved our stuff in and haven't done a single thing since. And I do feel like having a really functional bedroom makes life more organized.
- The side porch - Okay this one feels ambitious but my hope is to turn this into an eating area with a booth. It just would be so good for summer dinners! The prep work alone for this room is daunting, but if nothing else, those nails coming through the ceiling need to be taken care of. I'm pretty sure they are scaring people.
- The living room - Rug/furniture/lighting/a better TV setup. Just generally making it feel like a more cohesive room.
- The basement - Did you know we have a finished area of our basement? With carpet and drywall and everything? Maybe I will show it to you soon! Currently, it's being used for storage, but I'd like to get it cleared out and up and running as a more intensive play room! Like indoor jungle gyms, or just a place my kids can go when we're snowed in, for a change of scenery and burning off some energy. The furniture that's currently in our living room will be moving down there.
Here's what didn't make the cut.
It's hard to decide what projects to do first when everything feels important. I'm hopeful once we start knocking out projects, it will get easier and easier to prioritize future ones. Here are the contenders that didn't make the cut for this year:
- The kitchen - I am jonesing to do the kitchen! I don't mind the style of our current kitchen at all, but for the heavyweight kitchen that I want in my life, it's not the most functional in terms of layout. I deliberated doing it piecemeal (like moving cabinets around, or just switching out some appliances, or changing the flooring), but so much of it would snowball that we just need to leave it and do it all at once. And if we did it this year, we wouldn't have budget left for any other projects. So the drop ceiling, wallpaper, and linoleum floors will all be untouched for now!
- The first floor bathroom - Getting rid of the carpet, and moving the washer/dryer upstairs. I had this as number 1 priority for 2022 for a few months because laundry is so much easier to do when the machines are in a convenient location. But in some ways a bathroom renovation feels just as big as a kitchen renovation, and I think we'll feel better about progress if we can knock out several smallish projects instead of one big one. Plus, I suspect that once the basement is a hang out location, it won't be as inconvenient to trek down there for laundry.
- A fence - Currently our yard is fenced in on two sides, and there's not a very obvious placement for the other two sides. I'd like to get a better idea of usage before we go putting fences up, just to make sure we don't obstruct flow.
I'm only now realizing looking at what we want to get done this year that we're all about setting the tone for our whole house (flooring! interior/exterior paint! window treatments!). Which feels fun and like a good place to start. Future years we'll work on fine tuning function of specific areas, and get into the nitty gritty of kitchens/bathrooms.
TBD what we'll do first, but we better start soon because this list is not small!