Check it off the List

What my parents used to say is true:  “The older you get, the faster time flies!”  I can’t believe another year is gone.  They all begin to blur together and things that happened “recently” are suddenly two years behind me.

This post is more for me than you, I have to admit.  When I look back in 5 years and say, “When did we build that fence?”, I’ll be able to difinitively find an answer by coming back to this post.  What did we do in 2017?  We did a lot. And many of those things were home improvements.

2017 was a year of checking things off the list.  We made a list of things we wanted to update on our property.  It included little unfinished house projects, plus larger things we’ve wanted to tackle for a long time.  Raise your hand if there are things that have always annoyed you about your house but you have never taken the time to fix/replace/paint because it has never been on the priority list.  Yeah.  THAT’S the list I’m talking about.  I’m feeling really good about the check marks we made in 2017.  Like the broken kitchen drawer that wanted to fall to the ground every time I opened it.  That got fixed after 8 long years of living in this house!  And so did this trim in the master bedroom:

before and after trim

Notice the dust on the baseboards.  This is why I will never be a professional house cleaner.

We moved in and tore out the bedroom carpets immediately.  It left a space between the wood floors and trim.  We finally added small trim and painted it; an  easy project that we procrastinated on!  We also trimmed out the closet.  Wow.  It took all of one afternoon!

We changed out our porch light, put up my dream destination signs and also a trellis with a jasmine vine.
random projectsA bigger project has been our kitchen.  The cupboards have always been fine, but not necessarily my favorite. They just really got on my nerves this year…

It all started when I asked Matt to install a few partitions so I could be more organized…
kitchen partitions
That morphed into full-blown cabinet painting when all of these images were pinned to my pinterest board:
kitchen inspiration
Our blah monotone kitchen…
kitchen paokitchen before
I messed around with Photoshop and collaged together some of my favorite elements from various kitchens (left) and then re-colored my kitchen and added floating shelves in place of my cupboards to see if I would like it (right).
ps version_kitchenTeal/Green + natural wood + white= a good start.  I took doors and hardware off our upper cabinets and re-painted the lowers.
kitchen beforekitchen after
We’re not ready to tear down all the uppers yet for the floating shelves, so for the time being we are going to paint the uppers white and leave the doors off.  I’ve weeded a ton of dishes out and kept only what we really need.  After all, we’re only 2 people!

kitchen cupboard details

Details like the new Ikea hardware and lined shelves helped make the project feel more complete.

Then of course we tore down that nasty-ass shed with the black mold where all the old paint, windows and shingles the previous owner left were still being stored.

before shed
after shed
We were left with an empty slab and another problem: the back of the shed acted as a continuation of our fence and we needed a secure fence to keep our new puppy in the yard.  We then said hello to a new fence project.
fenc before
Isn’t the view of our neighbor’s crummy old vans lovely?  We got straight to work designing a tall, escape-proof fence.
fence afterWhat I love most about this project is that we used all of the siding from the shed we tore down.  There’s something very satisfying about recycling and creating something you like aesthetically.

fence after 2

Matt designed it so we could leave the tree growing.

Just like I’d “had it up to here” with the kitchen, Matt had “had it up to here” with the slippery tile front entrance at our gate.  Bless the man’s heart who lived here before us, but man! if he didn’t think about how slippery tile gets when a pool of water freezes on top of it!  I didn’t mind the mosaic look but to maneuver a jump with arms full of groceries over a pool wider than your leg-span isn’t the funnest way to spend a rainy day…

entryway before
entryway project
Matt broke up the tile and removed it.  He evened out the earth beneath it and we placed stepping stones as firm landing spots with gravel in between for drainage.  Hopefully this will work…
entryway after
And the last project of the year was re-grouting our shower floor. (Wait-he also re-stained our deck!) We had missing tiles and mismatched grout-yuck!  I didn’t realize how disgusting it was until he was finished!
shower before
shower after
We still have a few things on the list like new coats of paint and ceiling fans.  But for 2018 we have a new list entitled “Trailer.”
This project is a big one!  You’ll be seeing a lot more “before” and “after” photos for this!  Until then, I’ll leave you with the sunset view from the trailer door…
trailer view


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