Sunday, April 4, 2010

Almost four years later...

I'm up for some home improvement.

(Oh, and hi, welcome back to my blog.)

I've never been savvy with decorating or DIYing, but I think it's time to step up to the plate. My pal over at Decorating Obsessed challenged her readers with a "Just Paint It Challenge," and that really got me thinking....

And thinking...

And thinking...

So what started out as a simple idea to paint this vanity white...

...turned into a list about a mile long:

Guest Bathroom
1. Paint vanity white.
2. Change light fixture.
3. Add hardware.*

1. Buy this Ikea workstation.

2. Add traditional office chair and smaller chair.

Master Bedroom
1. Move tall dresser into guest bedroom and rearrange furniture to improve flow.

Master Bathroom
1. Paint vanity white.
2. Change light fixture.
3. Add hardware.*

Living Area
1. Paint large bookcase, hope chest and TV stand white. Also recover hope chest.
2. Paint utility door and trim to match wall and move existing bookshelf unit with mini desk in front of it. (Will look into adding lockable wheels to ease getting into this closet to clean filters.)
3. Paint Aunt Wilma's occasional chair white and recover.

1. Paint cabinets white.*
2. Add backsplash.*
3. New faucet (current one is yellowed plastic -- yuck!).
4. New darker floor.

Throughout house
1. Replace brass doorknobs (blech). There are 14 internal doors and two external.
2. Repaint trim and doors.

I've put asterisks next to things that are likely pipe dreams.

I think all of these little projects will really turn our house from a dud into a more interesting space again. When formulating my list I tried to think of things I could accomplish by myself (or with an extra set of hands) and for little money. My goals were basically to update the house, brighten up the main living space and get the house market-ready (whether we're actually market ready ourselves or not will not be determined for some time).

I'm super excited and intrigued to move our existing leaning bookshelf/desk in front of the utility door. 1) That door is ugly and awkward and is horrible to look at when you walk through the garage door. 2) The arrangement of the doors created about 144 square feet of totally unusable space, which is I hear is pretty much the most awful thing ever when it comes to selling your house. Putting this unit there will turn that area into a bill-paying station and will provide storage space for dining linens and other hostess-related items.

The best part is I think I can do all this for less than $1,000. The most expensive things will be replacing the kitchen floor (we plan to use groutable peel-and-stick vinyl squares that cost about $1 a square foot but we have a fairly large kitchen), changing the doorknobs (I'll be scouring eBay/overstock/Craigslist) and adding the office furniture (hello tax deduction!). Even the mosaic glass tile I found online is relatively cheap at $8 a square foot. We're going to try to finance some of this by having a garage sale the first weekend in May.

So... Look here for details after I get back from my trip to D.C. and Philly as I start to break down the projects and plan. I'm hoping to get the majority of the work done by the end of the summer.