I guess you could call this our year-in-review post since we are currently working on our last makeover project of the year.
For those of you who follow along with me on a regular basis, you might be surprised that I haven’t shared any of these projects on the blog this year at all.
But there is a story behind the reason why my blog, and our lives, have gotten sidetracked this year, and a story I will share with my readers when I can. This is a story that is still unfolding and a story that can only be told with much care and consideration for all involved at a much later time. For now, we will just focus on what I can share with you – my home.
Behind the chaos of some unexpected life challenges, there have been projects still going on in our home.
Today I am going to share an overview and some photos of the projects we have been working on. These projects may be reshared early next year as individual posts with more details and photos. For now, I will just share them as they are.
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I am not a big money-making home improvement popular blogger with sponsors and backing to fund my home improvement projects.
However, I am a Certified Interior Designer who over 15 years ago bought a beautiful mid-century-inspired home that needed fixing up and upgrades. My husband does most of the heavy work and each project is a DIY adventure in skills and budget.
The budget is always something we stress over, work extra hours to make happen, and plan ahead for the next phase of makeovers.
We have always had big plans and big dreams of finishing this house. Each room needs attention and some TLC love. I am sharing the small projects, and one large project, we finally got done this year.
Deciding to purchase and renovate an old house is definitely a labor of love and includes some hard work. It is what we do. This is our fourth purchase of an older home to fix up.
Trips to the hardware store, especially Home Depot are on our weekly to-do lists.
When you tackle improvements and updates on an older home, you are often battling the aesthetics and design decisions of the previous owners. Not to say that all of their decisions were bad, but are definitely an indication of home decor from a different era.
The feel of our home is important to us and it takes much work and a lot of time to update an older home to your dream vision.
And let’s be honest, a lot of homes built in the 1970s were not pretty.
They included wood paneling that today’s owners either have to rip out or tediously paint over. Me included. I fully believe as a Interior Designer and someone who grew up in that era, that the 1970’s had some of the cheesiest and ugliest flooring ever!
You couldn’t have convinced them of that at the time though. Makes me wonder what the opinion will be 20 years from now of all the current Farmhouse styles.
For our mid-century-inspired home, deciding what is worth keeping in its vintage style, and what to improve to a more modern look is a delicate balance of staying true to the bones of the house, what needs major repairs, and what is just not something we like at all.
We often find that we worry if we are taking our improvements in the right direction for the next owners. Will they think what we are currently improving is a good idea?
After an especially hard DIY project completion, we often have a discussion that we should try to buy a freshly built new home. A new house that is already done, ready to move in, and the only decision you have to make is where to put the furniture.
Then we just laugh because that is not us.
But we always end up talking about it again so you never know what we may do one day.
Most of the work and our budget this year went to improving and repairing the exterior of the home and improving our outdoor living areas.
As I have previously shared in a more detailed post, we finally hired a contractor and had two new decks rebuilt for the front and back of the house. The new front deck totally transformed the look of the front of the house.
Afterward, my husband and I started several landscaping mini projects like planting new bushes and laying many layers of river stones in new flower beds and walkways. Older flowerbeds were totally dug up and removed for new grass seeds to to planted in their places. These small outdoor improvements will continue through next Spring when I hope to showcase a much cleaner and amazing-looking yard that I have envisioned for years!
We are not even close to being done with it.
While experiencing a very wet summer and the dogs have already killed a couple of the new bushes, I am not sharing those photos just yet. It looks awful!
However, we did carve out a space outside of the fenced backyard to build a fire pit and outdoor sitting area. This space is quickly becoming a place to relax and enjoy our cooler Fall nights this month while making s’mores.
Future plans are to use this firepit to also burn down the large pile of brush and branches cleared out from our landscaping efforts over the next few winter months while getting a chance to enjoy the outdoors a bit. Weather permitting of course.
Back in the middle of March, a horrible storm that thundered during the early morning hours caused a very large oak tree behind our property to uproot and come crashing down on our new backyard fence.
The repairs happened a few months after the building of the new decks but we eventually hired the same original fencing company to come in and rebuild the damaged sections of the fence.
Even though most of our efforts have been on the exterior of the house this year, a long-anticipated interior project has been started this month.
The last project we are tackling this year, which is currently in progress, is to remove the nasty carpet out of the guest bathroom (originally my daughter’s bathroom) and install vintage-style black and white Mosiac tile. As I am writing this update, my husband is laying the last sheets of tile in the closet. More updates are planned for this guest room and bathroom so expect a full reveal next year.
As if our year hasn’t been busy enough, we also took a break from working on our own home, and did some updates to our rental house, The Bradford Street House, to put it on the market early this Spring. Some fresh coats of paint and a new bathroom floor helped us to sell the house the first weekend it was on the market.
This year hasn’t been all about home improvement projects.
At the first of the year, my husband was given a promotion in his medical career so we both have had to adjust to his increased responsibility and hours. Blessings often come with new responsibilities and life changes.
We also took some time to travel, visit family, and enjoy our two new grandchildren born this year. My husband just returned from a much-anticipated camping trip alone, and I was able to spend a week at Disney last month with a close friend. We are both striving for more margin and balance these days.
For the rest of this year, I will be sharing Holiday posts and projects so today just seemed like a good time to share what we are doing around our home and more than the small craft projects I often share with you. Next year I have many changes planned for the blog and our home. I hope you come back to see how things turn out.
Psalm 90: 17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands – establish the work of our hands!