House-related Plans for 2017

For the past several years, I’ve always done a list of goals for house projects we wanted to finish over the course of the year. This year I’m going to do a similar list, but I’m calling them plans instead of goals. It’s a relatively minor distinction, but one that reflects where we are with our lives and our house at the moment a little better. The first couple of years we lived here, it seemed like there was always so much that really, really needed to be done. Nowadays the vast majority of our spaces have gotten at least some attention and love (with a couple of notable exceptions that we’ll get to momentarily) in the time we’ve been here. Don’t get me wrong; there is plenty that we still want to do (and there’s also a good bit of too boring to blog about but still necessary basic maintenance/updates that are still in progress: windows that need to be replaced, trim that’s starting to rot as the house heads toward 40, shrubs that didn’t survive last summer’s drought, etc)…but overall we’re at the point where most projects seem less urgent and more like things that would be nice to do when have the time and budget. It’s a good place to be; there were times when I never thought we’d get here.

But that’s not to say we don’t have some pretty big plans for the year, so let’s dive in!

Back Deck/Covered Porch: I’ll just go ahead and lead with the biggest one. Right now, as I type, someone is here to give us an estimate on rebuilding our back deck, something we’ve been wanting to have done ever since we moved in. And then the plan is that we’ll work on the adjacent covered porch (formally a screened porch, but we tore the screen down awhile back) ourselves and finally have a nice outdoor space. And it won’t look like this anymore:

I’ll be thinking/posting more about all of this as we go along, but definitely everything will be getting a nice stain or paint. I had some thought of tile for the floor, but I think it’s more likely it will get a stain and then indoor/outdoor rug/s instead. And we still have a lot of deciding to do about furniture and how we want to use the space in general.

Downstairs half-bath: this is the year when we’ll finally be tackling the last untouched room on the first floor! I guess it’s the last untouched room in the house, really, if you don’t count the laundry room or the upstairs hallway. So let’s not count them. I keep waiting for a plan to spring into my head fully formed for this room, and it keeps not happening. Which is too bad. Right now it looks like this:


Not so pretty. I would love to get rid of those textured walls and redo the cabinet doors (I’m pretty okay with the counter, which is cultured marble), but I think that’s all going to have to wait. But we will be painting cabinets and walls and switching out some fixtures. Again, more on the plans later. I have no idea what to do with the overwhelming amount of wall space in the ridiculously long half bath. ANOTHER gallery wall? Maybe. You just never know. There’s no natural light in here and it opens onto an also dark hallway, so my biggest challenge might be making whatever we end up doing in here look okay in the photos.

Dining Room: I’ve been itching to redo the dining room for awhile now. We made some progress by getting new chairs that I’m really happy with, but I’d like to paint and maybe get a new light fixture and figure out what I want on the wall above the buffet. Here it is all dressed up for Christmas; it looks much more like a room in need of a makeover today:

The Office Side of our Master Bedroom: oops, this was on last year’s list, too. The plan is to stop using this space as a storage area and turn it into a nice office space for both of us with a sitting area. Right now it looks like this:

Unless you zoom out, and then it looks like this:


Less good. And yet I feel like a finished room up here is very much within reach!

And that’s it! That’s all I’m going to say! Manageable, leaving time for other projects here and there, but if we get them all done I’ll be very pleased.





House-related Plans for 2017 — 13 Comments

  1. There’s no such thing as too boring to blog about.

    About the dead shrubs: I don’t know what kind they are, but here’s a story. One winter there was such a long hard freeze that my parents’ large holly tree, maybe 25 tall, lost all its leaves. All summer they mourned it, and talked about what kind of holly they would replace it with, but being them didn’t get around to taking it out. All winter they waited. Then, in the spring, it started putting out new leaves. When my father and I sold the house some thirty years later, it was about 40 feet tall and flourishing. So, depending on how you feel about these shrubs, waiting would not be a bad idea.

    • Hmm…interesting! The dead shrubs are all boxwoods, I think, and my experience has been that those don’t come back, even if I leave them all yellow and dead in a planter box for way longer than I mean to ;). Maybe I’ll take this opportunity to buy some more interesting plants for the front and then try hard not kill them.

      • No, I don’t think you can hope for the boxwoods to revive, even though they are smooth leaved evergreens like hollies.

    • It’s true! (although the mess might have spread since I took the photo….it’s possible there’s a giant fort in the middle of the room now, made out of all the chairs and a couple of blankets, that a certain four year old is going to be very sad to say goodbye to)

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