Let me preface this post with the simple statement that I know I don't live in squalor by any means, despite how I may talk about my frustrations with this house. I know we are lucky to have our home and quite frankly I get uncomfortable talking about this house and my vision for it because I worry that I sound like a whining ungrateful suburbanite, when all I really want to do is have this house live up to its potential and create a home that we can happily function in and be comfortable in. And let me say we loved our last house. Almost up until the day we decided to sell we were doing things to that house to improve it, many of which we did ourselves. We brought both our kids home from the hospital to that house. Aesthetically we loved its unique characteristics and its vast storage space. It was hard to leave that house and when we got to the new one, quite frankly I think we were burnt out from constant home improvements in the prior house to dedicate the time and energy this new one deserved.
But that's going to change in 2012. We both feel that now is the time to create the home that reflects us as a family, and we feel refreshed and energized to dedicate the time and resources it's going to take to get there. We've spent the last two years looking around, scratching our heads and feeling perplexed as to what to do. Afraid of making any mistakes, wasting any time or money we simply did nothing. In April last year, still undecided, we took the backyard on because we at least knew what we wanted there. But now we're ready to tackle the inside, because even in California you can only spend so much time in your backyard.
- The overall goal of this house is to first and foremost improve functionality by gaining more storage and work space. After living in the house for 2 years we have realized that we don't necessarily need more space, we just need to use the space we have much more efficiently than we currently are doing.
- Goal #2 is to make it our own. Hang artwork, place interesting pillows, area rugs, and decorative objects that represent us. In other words all those finishing details that make a house a home. Fun, quirky, traditional but with a modern flair, we want the house to feel warm, inviting and have a sense of humor to it.
Master Bedroom - create a calming yet functional room where we can rest and refresh, not just a place to sleep in.
Recover window seat cushion
Get a bedskirt to cover the underside of our bed
Install some sort of overhead lighting so we don't trip on things at night on the way to the lamp
Install swing lamps on either side of bed
Find new nightstands that would offer more storage since we lost a dresser in the move (doesn't fit)
Kids Rooms - place the last finishing touches on them
Order and install closet doors (same goes for linen closet)
Replace ceiling fan in Syd's room
Entryway - create a landing zone that is functional yet still inviting and manages to be clutter free
Ideas include hanging hooks, adding a secretary that could hold mail and paperwork & be closed up at
night, and a single chair instead of the bench with some type of storage cubbies next to it.
Living Room - this room probably requires the least in finishing touches even though the list seems long, I really want this room to have the most impact though since it's the first room you see when you walk in.
Make pillows in coordinating fabrics
Get rid of that piano and figure out where to put the keyboard (perhaps in the corner)
New coffee table - thinking a glass top with gold gilded frame perhaps from flea market
Replace that stupid fluorescent light with recessed lights
Guitar stand for Art's guitar which for now sits upright in its ugly case
Find actual furniture feet to replace those ridiculous furniture mover pads with
Bar Area - create a secondary eating and arts & crafts area for the kids, primarily to preserve our dining room table
Install pendant lighting
Family Room - this room has the most potential for design impact, centered around the aqua couch
Make pillows in coordianting fabrics
Move buffet over to become media storage and hide those stupid cords!
Dining Room - the grass cloth and shutters are our most recent addition and instantly made the room feel warmer. It also made the old beaten up dining room table and dated ceiling fan really stand out like a sore thumb
New dining room table
Install a built in hutch to hold china up top and hold kid's craft supplies on the bottom
Replace ceiling fan with new chandelier
Office - it's any wonder I'm ever hit with any type of creativity juice working in this dreadful set up. the room works as an office for both Art and I, a guest room, storage room for laundry baskets and a vacuum, all our important bills and filing system, and stores all the kids and my craft supplies. This room is severely overworked and needs a break.
Knock out closet to create more space
Get rid of Queen size bed and replace with a daybed for overnight guests
Build a dual desk for Art & I that runs the length of the wall
Hang monitors on the wall for more desk space
Create a working craft island/cut table for me
Organize all craft supplies
Garage - this space has caused the most amount of stress for Art and I and also caused the most fights. I hate, hate, hate the garage and I hate living like this. I look inside and I think we're too young to have so much crap! Since we lost square footage in this house when we moved, several pieces of furniture didn't fit and so we shoved them in the garage, hoping to sell or use them one day. Then things just kept getting shoved in there and as Art said "it's already a mess so what's the point in trying to keep it clean?" I'm thrilled to report though that last Friday we ordered one of those pods that's delivered to your house. Everything has been cleared out of the garage and all the shelving has been ripped out as of last weekend. This weekend Art will start the process of dry walling.
Hang drywall and paint
Hang cabinets and work bench for Art
Seal the floor (we did this at our last house and it makes such a difference in the look & feel of the garage)
Buy a ping pong table and have fun!
Of course there are other little odds and ends that we'd love to do some day like replace the floor in the kitchen with hardwood and build a proper mantel for the fireplace, but for now this is what we want to tackle this year. I don't know if we'll even get close to all of it, but if we could at least conquer the garage and the office, I'd be very, very happy.
When I look at the pictures I took yesterday of some of the rooms, especially our own room, it makes me sad that we've basically spent the last two years paralyzed out of fear to make any decisions, and so in a sense we've lost out on 2 years of creating a home that we could feel happy and proud with. I know that's a little dramatic sounding and all, but you know what I mean. I'll show you an updated progress report of the garage next week. It blew my mind when I saw how much he accomplished in a weekend, all on his own. And so now for your viewing pleasure I'll share with you our home...I think it's the first time I ever have shared this much here on the blog?
And I saved the best for last...the garage. Get ready for it...wait for it, wait for it, man this is so embarrassing
BAM! Here you go.
This is the American dream isn't it?
To have so much crap you can't see the backside of the wall?
The idea to get the pack rat was in fact brilliant though. We were trying to figure out the logistics of how we were going to take everything out, organize and have a garage sale during January when the weather can be unpredictable. Art finally had the idea to rent a pod so we could have a month to do the job right the first time, and it has been the best thing we could've done. I can't wait to show you guys the progress pictures next week.