Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Projects, projects, projects!!

So, my kitchen is stuck in the 1970s. If it could talk, it would ask me for new linoleum and beg me to put in shag carpeting. And upon seeing the successful remodel of my cousin, Aaron and his girlfriend, Erin's house, I was inspired to just start. I've been putting off starting or almost 6 months. It's such a large project, and I'll admit... it intimidates me. I am a perfectionist (see earlier posts), so I'm always second guessing myself, wondering if I will actually like the finished product, or if I will end up nit-picking it for the rest of my life (in this house). I want it to look professionally done, and I want to be prepared. Also... I want it finished. One of my biggest pet peeves is unfinished projects; it's not over until everything is finished and cleaned up. If it's not a permanent fix, it's not done (read: no jury-rigging). So, with about 6 weeks to go until teacher in-service begins... I am starting. I hope 6 weeks will be enough time for me!

Other projects I would like to complete this summer are as follows:
**Refinish a pair of lamps that are about to become candle holders (strange, I know, but i promise they'll be cute - I just KNOW it!)
**Paint the frame of a garage-sale, beveled-edged mirror purchased about a year ago.
**Hang pictures and buy/make matching sheet sets for the extra bedroom
**Paint fame of another Goodwill (actually, Gracie's Thrift Store) picture to go in my kitchen
**Continue my Craigslist search for 2 reading chairs and a side table to finish off my sitting room
**Re-finish the coffee table that will be in our family room after Lucy has completely finished teething

I know there is no way all of these will get done, but it gives me something to work for. I am a list person; If I have a list, I know I will get things done because I just LOVE to cross things out. I'm sick, I know. I also have a larger/more expensive list of things to do to our home that I'm slowly putting away money for. Since I'm in list-making mode, here goes...

**Re-finish/re-paint/recover my dining room table and chairs (see previous post)
**New refrigerator: stainless steel, with water dispenser in door, and freezer on the bottom
**Deep freeze for garage
**Solar water heater: b/c I love the Earth =)
**New A/C unit (desperate need, our is soooo old and inefficient)
**2" wood blinds for the remaining 2 windows (not standard size anymore, so they'll be $$$)
**Cabinets for laundry nook (for storing mops/brooms/cleaning supplies, etc.)
**Scrape Asbestos pop-corn ceilings and re-plaster/re-paint (have done this before, not difficult, just time consuming) in the remaining 3 rooms
**Paint pantry doors with magnetic chalkboard paint (fun!!)
**Screen door for front door
**Double pane windows throughout the house ($$$$$$$$!!!! Thus, this will NEVER get done)
**Paint our bedroom/bathroom
**Replace mirror and light fixture in guest bathroom
**Paint guest bathroom
**Hang pictures in hallway
**New interior doors/door hardware (old, nasty, brown slab-doors replaced with white 6-paneled doors and brushed-stainless knobs)
**Valence for front window (Can't find anything I like well enough...)
**Porch swing for front porch
**New shower head for guest bath
**Replace/repaint closet doors in both bedrooms
**Replace destroyed carpet (read: six men used to live here...)
**Add a make-shift floor to attic so we can actually USE it
**Ceiling fan/light fixture for extra bedroom
**Ceiling fan/light fixture that DIDN'T come from and industrial warehouse for our bedroom
**New dishwasher or stainless-steel cover for the existing one
**Replace cafeteria fluorescent lighting in my kitchen with either a sky-light or trendy track lighting
**Replace poorly-done wooden archway framing with actual molding (read: EXPENSIVE!!!)
**Re-cover couch in something that ISN'T plaid...
**New washing machine when the old one finally gives out (which is hopefully never!!)
**Add curbing/brick border to backyard
**Grass inside the new curbing/brick border
**Rock surrounding the new curbing/brick border (Craigslist! People just give this stuff away!!)
**Rip out old pool?? (For those of you who don't know... I have a diving pool in my backyard... that is filled in to the tile with dirt. Also, there are two 5 foot palm trees growing in the deep end. That's how long it's been sitting like that. According to the neighbors, The guy who owned the place about 15 years ago was the one who filled in the pool - IDIOT!! Seriously, check it out on Google Earth if you have my address... It'll give you a laugh.)
**Plant citrus/ficus trees in the backyard for shade
**Re-paint shed
**Replace rotting backyard gate
**New roof (this is becoming a pressing need... Either that, or we need a permanent drought)

Holy WOW! What a list. Will that ever all be done? NO WAY. I know enough about Real Estate to know that all of these improvements will make us beyond over-improved for the neighborhood. But, there are some that we will work towards, and others, I'm sure, that will fall by the wayside. It has been, and will continue to be a fun adventure fixing up this house. And while the plan is to move away from here eventually and rent out this place, I am mature enough to know that sometimes life throws you curves that change your plans. For all I know, we could grow old, retire, and die in this house. And if we do, I think I maybe, just MIGHT be able to get through most of this list =)

A home is such a fun project to work on. It's always in front of you, always giving my more and more ideas to add to your ever growing list. Not to mention, its a blast working with your honey on home projects. We just cleaned out and set up our 3rd bedroom this last Saturday and we loved spending the time together. Whoever said that re-modeling would press your marriage to the breaking point (and MANY people have told me this), should maybe have a chat with their partner bout expectations before you jump right in. These projects ought to be fun, and with good communication, they will be! All I know is that Eric and I can't wait to see what projects a Saturday (or in the case of the kitchen cabinets, SEVERAL Saturdays) might bring.

If you have any tips/thoughts/feelings on house projects or anything I've specifically mentioned, please feel free to share!! I love new ideas and thoughts on how to save myself time, energy, and money! =) And to all you other project-lovers out there, happy DIY-ing and make sure to share your stories with me! Wish me luck as I endeavor my first HUGE project! =)

I'm freaking out, here! I'm taking "before" pics, and I'm wondering... Am I doing the right thing? I mean, I hate the way they look right now... but in the pics they look so pretty. Sheesh! I'm glad a friend is helping me tomorrow, she can offer me moral support and guidance during this understandably difficult transition ;) Here's hoping for the best!!


  1. I can totally relate, I'm such a list person too and I have soooo many projects I want to do this summer. My mom and I recently checked out Construction Lots (it's on Washington in Phoenix) and it had some great, cheap stuff for remodel projects! It might help you get some of your list crossed off faster than you think.

  2. Hi there April,
    Just vegging here at Susan's and read ALL your blog and enjoyed it so much! Your list makes my to do list seem small by comparison but I am a procrastinator and perfectionist too. If I screw it up or don't like it, then what do I do??????? Anyway, two thoughts came to mind. Re blinds you may wish to check out online site www.justblinds.com and if/when you get to windows I highly recommend Door Pros as they are significantly cheaper than other window installers.
    Congrats on your job!!!
    Love, Long Lost Aunt Jan

  3. Well hello there, Long Lost Aunt Jan! I hope you are thoroughly enjoying yourself at Aunt Susan's... we loved our May visit so much that we had to plan another one for July =) Thanks for the recommendations, I'll be sure to check them out, particularly the blinds, which I am itching to have finished! I'm so glad you like the blog - it's hard to blog as perfectionist b/c even sitting to write a post I'm always trying to get it just right! I'm taking the plunge with the cabinets tomorrow. My friend, Selena is coming o help and provide moral support. Even now as I am taking "before" pictures, I'm second guessing painting at all! Lol, I wish I was more decisive, but I've decided to just do it, even if I'm afraid of the result. Thanks for your comment, and see you in a few weeks for Lisa's shower! =)
    Your DIY-Crazy Niece April