Happy New Year! We’re a few weeks into 2016 now and with things finally getting back to normal after the holidays, Max and I were able to sit down and talk about some of the projects we would like to tackle on the house this upcoming year. We’re pretty excited!
We closed on our house in mid-August and ever since then we have been working on improving the place seemingly non-stop. We didn’t tackle too many “huge” reno projects this year. We’ve mostly been doing subtle updates to modernize the house. And let me tell you, 2015 was certainly the year of paint. To date we have painted lots of walls and cabinets including:
- Kitchen/Dining room walls + cabinets
- Front living room walls
- Back living room walls
- Hall bathroom walls + cabinet (see the progress post here)
- Master bedroom and bathroom walls
- My office walls
- ~1/3 of the basement walls
We’ve probably purchased 20+ gallons of paint in these first 5 months. And who knows how many rolls of painters tape, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, etc.
And I must give credit to Max for about 95% of the painting that has taken place so far in this house. He’s way better at it than me.
So if 2015 was the year of paint, I have a feeling 2016 is likely going to be the year of furniture. We’ve been putting off purchasing a lot of big items because we wanted to see how we would use the space first. Now that we know how we want each room to function it’s going to be a lot easier to make decisions about the furniture pieces we need and room layouts.
But besides getting lots of furniture, some of our other house plans for 2016 include:
Finish TV projection area. We just recently got a couch for the basement and I don’t even know how the delivery guys got it down the stairs. All I know is that thing is never leaving the basement. Right now Max is working on getting his TV projector and sound system set up. And I’m trying to explain to him how we need to hide all the cords. We’ll see who wins that battle.
Finish Max’s bar area. Since Max is setting up a larger TV system on the other side of the basement, having another TV behind the bar seemed a little over-kill. So instead, in that cutout section behind the bar we’d like to add some built in shelving for glasses, bottles, and other barware. We also want to get some barstools and add a mini fridge underneath the bar. And this may be ambitious, but it would also be cool to add some kind of keg system so Max can have some of his beers on tap.
2. Garage work area
Our garage is pretty spacious and we have a lot of room to add in a workshop area out there. We think it would be nice to have a place to keep tools and have a designated area to work on projects that we can’t necessarily do in the house. The garage came with some built in shelving for storage, but we don’t necessarily need ALL the shelving – there’s a LOT. So our plan is to cut one down and adjust it to counter height and then put up some peg board so we have somewhere to keep all of our tools organized. We’d also like to add in some better lighting out there so we can actually see what we’re working on.
My dad came out at the end of fall/very beginning of winter to help with the garden. He removed the grass, tilled the dirt, and added some peat moss and sand. Oh! And he already planted some garlic for me. We checked on it about a month ago and it seems be doing really well so far.
We’d like to eventually add some railroad ties and fencing around the top of the garden to keep the critters and the pups out. And of course we’ll have to get everything planted in the spring.
Max is also thinking about buying some hops rhizomes so he can brew with his own hops. Those definitely won’t fit in the garden so we’re thinking about how to build some trellises for hops to grow in other parts of the yard. Apparently they get REALLY tall.
4. Master Closet
Right now the master closet is a mess. To me it looks like the original one from the 70’s and some of the rods in there are about to fall off the walls. It’s a decent sized closet – Max and I can both fit all of our stuff in there. But the space could be used a lot more efficiently. So we’d like to gut the whole thing and start fresh. One of the things I would really like in the closet is to have some small built in drawers so I can keep my jewelry organized.
5. Kitchen counters + sink + backsplash
We finished painting the cabinets (pictures to come soon) and I think this dramatically improved the kitchen. So now we’re thinking about options for replacing the countertops and sink and adding a backsplash. Hopefully this will be something we can get to in 2016.
6. Built in bookcases
There’s a ton of dead space on the main wall in the second living room. I would looooove to have some built in bookcases installed on that wall in there, so we’ve started tossing around some ideas. Lately I’ve been seeing some really good Ikea hacks all over Pinterest so that may be an option.
7. Continue installing laminate flooring
Having carpet and dogs does not really work. It’s so hard to keep clean especially in the back living room. We installed a doggie door into the sliding glass doors so now the pups are constantly tracking mud through the house. But it’s especially noticeable in this back room. I think it would make much more sense to continue the laminate flooring from the kitchen into this area.
I’ve already contacted the manufacturer to see if we can get our hands on the same flooring. But unfortunately the product has been discontinued and they do not have anything comparable that they are currently selling. So… we may be out of luck with this. I’m adding this project to the end of our list because it would be nice to get to, but who knows if we’ll have any success locating similar flooring.
Let’s Get Started!
This list is pretty ambitious. But I think this will be fun to check back on in a year and see how far we’ve come, what we accomplished, and if projects actually went according to plan.