Looking back on 2018 & Ahead to 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

If you had told me we would have bought and moved to a new home in December of last year, I would have laughed in your face! I SO didn't think this was in the cards for us, but man, life sure has a way of surprising you! This holiday season, we took some time to reflect on all 2018 brought us, and dang was it a good year. We got married, sold our home for more than we expected, bought a fixer upper in our favorite neighborhood, went to St. Lucia for our honeymoon, went to Scotland for another wedding, began renovations, got a surprising amount done in a short amount of time... we're really just blown away by it all! 

Now that we are fresh into 2019, I wanted to share our last home update recap of what we accomplished living here for the last little bit of 2018, and some of our project goals for 2019.


We are saving and planning to have this bad boy painted hopefully by early/mid 2019!! We moved up our timline on this recently after finding more wood rot after our wet winter/fall. Not only does it need it aesthetically, it needs it functionally. The people who painted it right before we bought the house used the wrong type of paint and/or didn't properly prepare the house for painting, so there are tons of areas where the paint is peeling and moisture can get in. Since we have masonite siding, we need to be really vigilant about water intrusion and protect the siding. Painting is a helluva lot less expensive than residing this house, so we're prioritizing this to stay on top of it, and I AM SO EXCITED. 

Along with the paint, we hope to tackle some landscaping simultaneously. Since these huge shrubs are up against the house, it will be easier to just have it removed before anyone comes to paint, so that's our goal. Unfortunately, they're very much dead, so they really just need to go. We're going to have to demo what's here with a professional so we are sure we get all the roots out, but we plan to slowly plan and build a nice garden ourselves this spring. 

2018 accomplished: 
Pretty much nothing! 

2019 To Do: 
  1. -Paint house & trim 
  2. -Paint front door 
  3. -Paint stair railing 
  4. -Paint garage doors to match house
  5. -Replace exterior light fixtures
  6. -Re-landscape front yard

I am so excited about far we have come with this space! It was SO boring before, but it's really starting to give me a welcoming, classic feel. 

Here's what it looked like when we first moved in,

And here's what this space looks like now: 

2018 Accomplished:  
Replace flooring on main floor
Remove carpet and re-finish stairs
Improve/repair railing (currently a little loose)
Take down curtains
Replace rotted trim on exterior
Paint the room a new color
Paint the spindles & risers white
Replace lock with smart lock/touch pad
Spray paint nickel hardware black
Add a coat drop area

2019 To Do: 
-Replace entry light with something more stylish
  1. -Scrape popcorn ceilings in entry and hallway ( I want to do this so badly, but it makes such a mess I really have to psych myself up)

I had high hopes of this space feeling "finished" by the time we had our families visit for Thanksgiving, but I under estimated how much energy would be going to just getting the house set up, and I didn't get as much done as I thought. But, things came together recently and I'm really happy with how it's turning out! 

Here's what it looked like when we moved in:

Here's what it looked like on our last update: LOL sad. 

And here's what it looks like now: 

2018 Accomplished:  
  1. ✅Replace carpet with hardwood floors 
  2. ✅Make windows operable
  3. ✅Replace light with something more stylish 
  4. ✅Paint room
  5. ✅Get an indoor/outdoor rug for easy cleaning
  6. ✅Add window treatments

  7. 2019 To Do: 
  8. -Add some wall decor 
  9. -Possibly re-cover ceiling. We've decided in this room instead of scraping, we want to do an "accent" to cover it like this.  We may or may not get to it in 2019, but it's on the overall project list.


Here's the room from when we moved in:

Here's where we are now: 

Living Room To  Do: 
  1. ✅Remove carpet and replace with hardwoods 
  2. ✅Paint walls & trim 
  3. ✅Remove the crooked curtains & patch curtain holes -- ask me about how we found a huge leak from the seller screwing curtains into our shower pipe.... 
  4. ✅Replace back door (this is something we actually negotiated for the seller to take care of)
  5. ✅Make windows operable
  6. ✅Re-face fireplace tiles with sticker tiles 
  7. ✅Add blinds to windows

2019/General To Do: 
  1. -Add a screen door to back door
  2. -Replace window screens (most of them are rotted out, and our cat fell out the window last week, much to both of our surprise!)

The fireplace is a bigger project, for sure. We likely won't do this project next year, but it's something we'd love to get to sooner than later.  

We haven't done much with our kitchen other than work on spray painting some of the door knobs to a matte black style, but are hoping to have this room painted and the trim repaired by the end of January. We definitely want to update this kitchen at some point, but everything is pretty new and in good shape, so while I don't like how it looks, it's functionally fine and we're going to focus on other areas that need attention more urgently (like the outside paint). 

But, this is my inspiration for what we'd like to do down the line! 

2018 Accomplished: 
✅Remove & replace tile floor - this was an unexpected 2018 project, and I'm SO happy we did it!
✅Convert coat closet to pantry (door is being installed this weekend, and then it will finally be done, done!)
✅New refrigerator
✅Convert coat closet to pantry

2019 To Do: 
-Paint & touch up trim around baseboards 
-Finish pantry trim & paint
Future Goals:
-Remove fiberglass backsplash & replace with tile 
-Paint cabinets white
-Replace yellow counter tops 

Just for fun, here's the pantry from before: 

Here's what it looks like now: 

This pantry has been the slowest project ever... my contractor got busy and hasn't been back to finish the trim in over a month, but he's actually coming later this week to hopefully wrap this up. Once the trim is up, I can paint around it, and this space will feel a lot more finished. However, even half finished and exposed drywall, I am obsessed with this transformation. It gave us 18 inches of more walk space in our kitchen, plus, the glass door is so stylish and functional.  Having the microwave in here has been such a nice feature. A lot of people asked us if it was inconvenient and it really isn't at all! It's off the counter and out of the way, but easily accessible, and we've really liked having it in here. 


We have plans to finish drywalling out the little stair railing window sometime soon, but not sure if it'll be in 2019 or not. Even without that space being enclosed, this little area is coming a long way! 

And here's where we are now: 

I found these awesome little chairs on Facebook Marketplace, and I have plans to paint them and add seat cushions, but haven't gotten to it yet. Our kitties love sitting in this bay window and watching the bird feeders though, so I think we definitely see plans to add a built in bench at some point! 

2018 Accomplished:

  1. ✅Buy kitchen chairs & table 
  2. ✅Add bamboo shade to picture window 
  3. ✅Scrape paint off windows
  4. ✅Move curtains off window frame and re-hang curtains

  5. 2019/Future To Do: 
  6. -Paint walls (hoping to get this done in the next couple weeks!)
  7. -Drywall the spindle window 
  8. -Replace light with something more stylish 

Much to own surprise, I've managed to stay focused on the projects I've started downstairs and am focused on getting those finished. I'm sure once I feel like downstairs is more "finished" I'll start to get some inspiration for decorating and painting upstairs, but it hasn't come to me yet!

Here's the rooms from when we moved in.... beige, beige, and more blah beige.

Front guest: 


Back guest: 


These rooms have furniture now, but are still in their "early" phase, so I'll wait to share photos for another time :) 

Upstairs Bathrooms: 

When we moved in: 

Here's where we are now: 

For us, the master bathroom is totally workable for the foreseeable future. It's not the design I would have picked, but it's clean and new, and in good shape so it's staying as is. We do have plans for the guest bathroom, though. 

Aside from house painting, the other big project we have planned for 2019 is re-doing the guest bathtub. The previous owners took out the only tub in the house and replaced with a bathfitter shower. We plan to undo that, and put a bathtub back in. We figure it's smart to get this done before there's a little critter that needs naptimes, etc. during the day, so we're saving to do this mid-next year. 

2018 Accomplished: 
✅ Not a lot! Just moved in and took down all the silk, beige curtains

2019 To Do:
  1. -Replace guest shower with bathtub 

  2. Future goals: 
  3. -Paint master shower surround (the internet says I can do it with this!) to match the white basin 
  4. -Paint tile floors 
  5. -Replace counter tops with double sink 
  6. -Paint cabinets 
  7. -Replace mirror with double mirrors 

The back deck:
At some point, we'd really like to turn this into a screen porch, but our priorities have shifted a bit after seeing how poorly painted the house was (having been freshly painted last year, it's shocking that it needs it again), so we're re-prioritizing the budget. I'm bummed because this was a project we (my husband especially) were really excited about, but it doesn't make sense to prioritize this right now.

I've had about a million quotes on this project,  (more about that experience here), so knowing an estimate of what it will cost will give us a lot of time to figure out a savings plan for when we're ready! Maybe in 2020!

Thanks for reading along with this novel of a post! It's been really fun keeping track of everything we're doing and having a place to go back to look at how far we've come! I'm planning to start doing these quarterly moving forward, so I'll be back in March with another update!

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