WARNING: Today’s post is super long. Pull up a chair and a large cup of coffee because you may be here awhile.
Today, I’m drawing inspiration from one of my favorite blogs Nesting Place who’s joining forces with 24 other bloggers to show off their real homes. Real, imperfect, not styled for Better Homes & Gardens homes.
In last week’s post, Nester Girl shares, “We’ve knocked down walls, we’ve put things off, we’ve lived with the undone and the imperfect. We’ve got little pockets of pretty next to little pockets of ‘we’ll do that one day when we get more money and time’. There’s some pretty, there’s some potential, there’s some ugly, and it’s only fair that I show you all of it.”
Her leap of faith to show the un-blog-worthy parts of her house has really opened my eyes.
Of course I’m proud of our house and could not be more pleased to show off our beautiful rooms that we’ve spent the last fourteen months renovating. But there are plenty of not-so-great areas. Even downright scary looking sections. Because the Nester Girl is absolutely right- there isn’t enough time or money to do it all at once. We’re not Kim & Kanye for christ’s sake! We’re Jared & Julie- excited to DIY, saving for a baby, working full time jobs, exhausted and (one of us) pregnant.
So allow me to take this post to showcase the reality of our renovation. You’ve seen what we’ve done (pssst, visit the House Tour page for ever changing present pics) and now it’s time to see what we’ve yet to do.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re dying to work on this stuff but the “when are you going to do something with that?!” comments are really not helping us any. Seriously people. Back off. We’ll get to it. And in the meantime, if you’d like to donate any funds and manual labor, we’d welcome it with open arms! Kidding, sort of.
We’re certainly not short on ideas. Here’s the current to-do list…
1. Baby’s Room: Priority numero uno. Last year we removed that pesky drop ceiling, ripped up the shag carpet, added the can lights and new ceiling fan, but that’s basically where we left it. The door stays closed darkening our second floor hallway and we’ve just been using the room for storage. But since I’m in a constant state of nesting even when not pregnant, you can imagine how badly I want to see this room primed and painted and ready for all that cutesy-ootsey goodness!
2. Basement: A dumping zone for all our paints and supplies, the only thing we really have to show for progress on this basement is this new zoned heating system and new stairs.
With no chance of turning this into a finished basement (not enough ceiling height) we do have plans to make this a clean and bright storage space. We’re even prepared with loads of shelving in those neon green boxes.
And speaking of storage, since we cleaned out the baby’s room in preparation for painting and have yet to clean and paint the basement, where do you think all our storage boxes went?
Yup, the third floor guest room. So in case you were expecting to stay at the hotel Swanson in the next few months, better look into more spacious accommodations!
3. Third Floor Stairs & Landing: Ugh! There are few spots in our house that make me more unhappy than this third floor landing. I guess it’s a testimony to how much we’ve accomplished since at one point this house was covered in this blue carpeting and pastel wallpaper. But most of the time it just reminds me of Aquanet and shoulder pads… aka everything that was wrong with the 1980s!
4. The Backyard: So yes, progress has been made with the removal of the pool and deck and the painting of the back steps. BUT, there is still so much to do! Yardwork is daunting for me in a way that our indoor renovation never was. I think it’s the time consuming nature of it and the serious manual labor involved. Not to mention the cost! Our yard will be a step by step by step by step process that will take shape over the next 5-10 years- as most people’s yards/homes tend to be.
Though it’s a patchy mess to the right where the pool and deck were, I still could not be happier to have that hideous thing out of my yard. And the small piles of wood chips are a victory too. Buh bye stumps! That back red fence you see covered in vines will be another thing of the past this month.
But the rest will come in pieces over the next few years. Like this area that I hope to have gravel laid, three large raised vegetable beds, and a large grilling area. I’m currently collecting mismatched wooden dining chairs that will someday sit at a long harvest table in the middle of the yard. For those of you that are Parenthood fans, yes, Braverman-style.
And then we have super lofty goals for the left side of the yard. We’d love to extend our driveway straight back into the yard that arrives at a large shed/garage in the back corner. Not necessarily for all the vehicles we intend to own but more as an area that our kids could ride bikes and skateboards and play hopscotch and Jared could store all his workout, and biking, and kiteboarding gear in. The man has a lot of gear. I will gladly park in the driveway and forever scrape off snow and ice from my car for the hubs to have a garage-man cave. After all, he did tear down a big ugly pool for me.
5. The Little Things: These are things that obviously didn’t matter as much to us if we haven’t gotten to them by now but eventually, we really will get to them. Promise!
Like a new screen door. We never did find the screen to this storm door and our house gets intense morning sun! Mix that with a black front door and black storm door with no ventilation and holy hell will that heat hit you when you open the door in the morning! We have our sights on a beautiful new storm door, just need to get around to actually buying and installing it.
Mudroom closets. Again, we know the IKEA closets we will eventually purchase for this nook. We’ll be able to store all our winter coats, hats, gloves plus a small cleaning closet for this neat-freak so I can stop dragging down the vacuum from the third floor! But for now, it’s a good nook for the stroller! Yes, at just two months pregnant, we researched and bought a stroller. Remember my husband loves gear? Even baby gear!
Shelves in the bathroom. Another little nook! It was always intended for shelves, we just haven’t gotten around to it. Eventually it will be nice to have a space for washcloths, extra toiletries, and those bath toys that are bound to accumulate no matter how much of a minimalist we think we are.
Finally, this dilapidated wall in Jared’s office. My husband really is a saint. He’s never once complained about this nasty wall and his desk happens to face it. You know there’d be some serious bitching from me if I had to stare at these gaping cracks and wonky door to the old chimney stack that doesn’t closed every day! But bless his heart, not a word. It’s on the to-do list nevertheless.