This is the time of year when we traditionally make lists of resolutions and goals for the coming year. The new calendar year stimulates a feeling of “making a fresh start” and energizes one to tackle self-improvement efforts. Applying the custom of New Year’s goal-setting to the context of my home, I have identified a list of priorities for home-improvement and home-decorating during 2016.
Please note: I am currently in St. Augustine (winter travels) and so I was unable to take any new photographs for this post. So I searched pictures already on my computer.
1. Replace certain kitchen appliances.
The refrigerator and stove currently in our kitchen were originally in our south Florida home that we built in 1992. When we updated the kitchen in that house, the appliances were transported to our mountain home, which was then a vacation home. So, these appliances are more than 20 years old.
Since we installed propane heat and hot water systems a little over a year ago, we’ve wanted to replace the stove with a gas stove. We hope to once and for all get that done this year.
The freezer section of the refrigerator recently began randomly initiating defrost cycles and leaking water onto our wood floors. Because of this unacceptable situation we emptied it and turned it off before we left home for our winter travels. We’ve already selected a new one that will be delivered when we return in early March. Lowe’s recent sale presented a most opportune time to purchase a replacement.
We’ll also need to replace the microwave because we’re moving to stainless appliances. I actually love the dishwasher, so I’ll be looking for a way to update it to blend with the new stainless appliances rather than replacing it.
2. Convert an old coffee table into a bench.
We have a solid wood coffee table that we don’t really have a place for in our current home. However, Mr. MT Nest doesn’t want to get rid of. Sooooo, I came up with the idea of making a bench for the bedroom. I purchased a foam cushion and fabric (shown in this photo draped over the table and cushion). I made a skirt for the table in late November, but didn’t get around to covering the cushion before my unexpected trip in December and then the holidays and now our travels. Upon our return in March, I will be on this! Watch for a post.
3. Address window treatments in main living area.
Back when this house was our vacation only home, sometime in the late 80s, I made curtains for the windows in the main living areas on the first floor. Some of these are still hanging on the windows. That was some strong fabric! Others are gone and haven’t been replaced with anything. Needless to say, it’s time to get update!
4. Update and/or replace living room furniture pieces.
When we used this home for a vacation home, we readily accepted furniture cast-offs from family and friends. It was the most inexpensive way for us to furnish what was at the time our retreat in the woods. Most of the furniture picked up this way has subsequently been replaced or discarded. However, in the living room we still have a love seat that came from Mr. MT Nest’s parents and a rocking chair and foot stool that were in my parents home since my childhood. The love seat has seen better days and will be retired when we find suitable, affordable replacement seating. The rocker and foot stool hold sentimental value. I hope to re-upholster/recover them this year. This will be my first foray into upholstery. I suppose it’s possible that I may end up needing to involve a professional, but I am going to give it a try first!
5. Makeover the grandchildren’s guest room.
The bed shown in the photo above belonged to my parents. It’s a double bed that we’ve used in the second guest bedroom. In November, I took it down, took the old mattress to the landfill, and put the head and foot boards into our storage unit, replacing the bed with an upholstered daybed with a trundle. This switch out signaled the start of a guest room makeover, albeit a slow one. This room is where the grandchildren sleep and play during their visits. Their toys are stored in this room. It also houses all my craft supplies. I am hoping to create a stylish, multi-functional guest room. I am still considering color scheme, furniture, room arrangement, etc. This project will probably be completed in stages throughout the year.
6. Refresh/update small table in great room.
Mr. MT Nest and I like wood. Anyone who enters our home will notice that we have lots of it around, on the walls, floors, and furnishings. We’ve never been very fond of painted furniture. That said, I’ve been considering painting this table. It’s old and showing its age. It needs something to improve its look. This might just be my first chalk paint project. Who knows? We’ll see what happens.
7. Repaint make-up vanity and chair.
Some years ago, Mr. MT Nest gave me this make-up vanity for Christmas. It’s painted “expresso.” Over the years, the paint has deteriorated, especially on the top surfaces, and the ultra-contemporary style doesn’t fit too well with the other furniture in our bedroom. So, I want to makeover the vanity and the chair. (Still researching colors, hardware, etc.) Second chalk paint project perhaps?
8. Replace passage doors on first floor and paint or stain unfinished wood door and window frames.
We plan to replace all the downstairs interior doors with solid core doors like those we used upstairs. We’ll also be replacing the closet doors in one downstairs bedroom and the laundry area. After all the doors are replaced, there is some staining or painting of door and window frames that needs to be done. I have been undecided whether to stain them or paint them. That’s one reason they remain unfinished. I intend to make a commitment one way or the other during 2016!
9. Update and paint downstairs bathroom.
There are a few little tweaks that I want to make to the downstairs bathroom and then I need to repaint it. I am so over the color we painted it when the bathroom was remodeled in 2008. Too yellowish. I also want to replace the towel bars with hooks and update the décor.
10. Add plants to the landscape.
During 2015, we worked on the exterior space and added a new stone patio, rock façade on the foundation walls, and lattice panels under the decks. We’d been holding off putting in landscape elements until those projects were complete. We are looking forward to adding landscaping this coming spring and summer.
11. Furnish the new stone patio.
I look forward to hosting several summer outdoor parties. Summer in our mountains cannot be beat. It’s a great time to enjoy an outdoor cocktail party or to dine al fresco. But we first need to add furniture to our patio.
12. Begin work on the picnic area.
This is a view of the lower part of our lot from our front deck. During the spring of 2015, Mr. MT Nest spent quite a lot of time and effort clearing the undergrowth on this portion of our property. In the future we plan to have a few trees removed so that we can create an area for picnicking and a play area for our grandchildren. We also want to put a storage building on the upper part of this section near the driveway. Hopefully,if the budget will allow, during 2016 we’ll begin to make some progress on this plan.
This is a pretty ambitious list, but I look forward to looking back next January to see how we’ve done on accomplishing these goals.
Thinking about my goals for 2016 compelled me to reflect on our life during the past two years, since we left south Florida and moved to Our Mountain Nest. It is truly a blessing to live where in western North Carolina. Each time we step outside or peer through a window we are reminded of God’s handiwork. When we drive between our home and the “big city,” (aka Asheville) the magnificent views sap any bits of tension from my body and I marvel at the beautiful, ever-changing vistas. And we are close enough to our wonderful grandchildren to be a regular presence in their lives, truly a blessing! I am deeply thankful for all these blessings.
What’s on your list of home improvement goals for 2016?
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