We just finished a month-long home improvement spree in anticipation of a house appraisal for a refinance, and the house looks pretty much just how I want it to look. It’s more exciting to me than is probably healthy to have things the way I’ve pictured them for so long, and it’s gratifying to know that what I envisioned worked out and looks pretty good.
Of course, the house is never “done”, but it’s done enough for now. We still have to finish the man room/sewing room in the basement and finish the trim in the rec room down there as well. But that will get done, and there’s no rush. This last big push involved painting the ceilings, trim, and walls in every room on the first floor, and the stairway and upstairs hall as well. Everything looks so clean and new I almost don’t want to let the kids in any of the newly painted rooms. Not realistic, but probably the only way they’ll stay looking anywhere near as clean and nice as they currently look.
Since keeping the kids confined to one room is unlikely, we did make sure to make each room child-friendly. There’s something for them to do in each room, since I’ve found that despite having an awesome play room in the basement almost solely dedicated to their stuff, they really basically just want to be wherever Matt and I are. There are a few puzzles or toys or books or activities in each room of the house, except the master bedroom, which is not a room I want them to think of as a play space. They are welcome in there any time, of course, but not to play/run/jump/build forts/make messes.
My favorite update we made is the new built-ins we installed in the study. We used a tutorial I found online and created “semi-custom” built-ins using Ikea Billy bookcases as the foundation. It came out better than I could have hoped. And although I really wanted to “style” the bookcases entirely as I would love them to be, reality reigned again and all of the lower shelves house children’s items. It looks great and it’s how it should be. This is a house full of children and it reflects that. Not in a plastic, Fisher-Price-covered way, I hope, but in a youthful, fun-filled, bright and colorful kid-friendly way.
We did navy blue walls in that room, which raised eyebrows whenever I mentioned the plan to anyone (including our painter), but it looks AWESOME. The room is really bright and I knew it could handle a dark color. It’s Matt’s favorite room and with the white bookcases along one entire wall and a huge window bay across from that, it doesn’t look dark at all.
In moving all the furniture and rearranging everything on the main level to get the painting done, we seriously decluttered and organized. We got rid of a ton of crap we’d been storing for nearly 6 years since we moved here and have never used in that time. We got rid of piles of paper. We got rid of items we don’t love and don’t need, but were holding on to for some odd reason. Everything looks so much neater and more spacious. I love it and I don’t want to ever get so bogged down in stuff again that we have to do a massive purge just to get to a comfortable state. Less is more!
What I love most about all this is that we got it all done just in time for Spring. I got almost all my spring cleaning done already by default–when the rooms were empty it was a lot easier to clean them and since we got rid of so much, we have less to clean in general! That just leaves the yard to tackle. That is a huge undertaking, but since the house is in a great state, it doesn’t seem daunting to get the yard in similarly good shape. A few more weeks and we should be able to get out there and get going.
Yay for home improvements and spring cleaning!