Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Home Goals

Aside from the skincare goal I shared with you on Monday, to get better skin and look ten years younger within a month, my main goal this year is to conquer this house.  Oh this house.

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. 
The list broken down by room looks like this:

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
     Hang artwork
     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.

     Area Rug
     Reupholseter chairs
     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

     Area Rug
     Make pillows in coordianting fabrics
     Replace ottoman
     Hang artwork
     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
     Area Rug

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?

Our master bedroom has a very cool slanted ceiling above our bed and it feels very cozy sleeping underneath it, especially when it rains.  We need to take advantage of it and hang some pretty antique framed artwork, more rustic looking nightstands and I'd love to hang swing lamps on the wall instead of table top lamps.  Our duvet is simple and clean, which I like and the red quilt is left over from Christmas.  I would love to recover the bench seat in a romantic yet bold pattern to offset the plainness of the bedding.    
I seriously can't believe I've looked at this thing for 2 years.  I really don't know why I just haven't removed the pad and left it empty.  Oh I know, because there was no more room in the garage!
This wall and dresser looks so pitiful.  And that artwork on the floor?  It's been there since the day we moved in 2 years ago.  God forbid you put a nail in the wall and change your mind down the road and have to putty the hole.
We installed these Martha Stewart for Home Depot closet systems in both the kids rooms and we love them.  Now some doors would be nice.   
This house had zero linen storage up until 2 months ago when we knocked into part of Syd's closet and built this one.  Again, a door would be a nice finishing touch don't you think?
I'm thinking a secretary on the wall where the mirror is so we can dump mail and school paperwork, and then close it up so we don't have to look at it.  Move the red piece over to where the bench is and place a slim single chair next to it, instead of the bench and then hang some hooks above it?  Still trying to figure this are out.  
There is way too much red going on here, between the coffee table and the red cherry floors and the chairs.  The area rug in here is crucial I think.  It will break up a lot of the red tones. 

We bought these chairs years ago for $300 each at Macy's.  They recline and are so comfortable, no use wasting them.  I have a very cool bold graphic stripe picked out.  
We love the grasscloth so much and this picture really doesn't do it justice.  Once the grasscloth was hung though, it made that stupid ceiling fan stand out like a sore thumb.  The buffet is moving under the TV and the plan is to have a built in hutch built for added storage.  We've got to go vertical to gain as much storage as possible.
Oh this office is so sad.  This is the view as you walk in.  There is so much furniture in there it feels like a tunnel.  We have the queen bed from when my mom used to spend the night all the time when I was working full time.  It's now no longer needed and will free up a ton of space in here.
I have no idea where this desk even came from.  One day a few months back Art declared he needed his own computer here at home and so he moved the bed in the corner (it was previously in the center of the room) and brought in this hideous beast of a thing.  
Notice how small and petite my desk is, made even more quaint by the printer encroaching in on my feet every time I sit down.  Feels so cozy though! ;)
And this my friends is where I hold my vacuum, laundry baskets, sewing machine, fabric, paper and jewelry supplies and kids aft supplies.  Talk about a hard working closet!  Oh these pictures make me cringe.  No wonder it feels like a chore sometimes to craft.  
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. 
Linking up to the Nester's Home Goals Party
I'm also linking up with Jules' William Morris project, because the garage alone screams William Morris.  Go check out her series, it's been incredible.  

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