Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith

When a perfectionist moves into a fixer-upper…

A Year of Home Improvement

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2011 has been a busy year!

But guess what?

2012 will be an even busier year…I hope.

Slowly but surely, Dave and I have been peeling back the layers of ugly that have been choking our home for decades.

Now it is time to take a little rest and admire what beauties we have revealed this year:

How Our Home Progressed in 2011

Project #1: Bush and Tree Pruning (March)

The cedar bushes lining the front porch made our home look shabby and spooky, but with the help of a friend’s chainsaw, the view is much cleaner:

My next step will be to plant more attractive shrubs and flowers.

That is….after I replace the porch skirting and have the steps rebuilt!

Project #2: Floor Leveling in Laundry Room (April)

Even though it’s not visible in this photo, our laundry room floor sloped and needed to be leveled before we could install our washing machine.

Unfortunately, since leveling concrete is not cheap, we put this project on the back burner while we saved up.

Finally, after 8 long months, I got to do my laundry in my OWN house!!

Project #3: Horizontal Stripes in Guest Bedroom (April)

I had a lot of fun transforming our smallest guest room from this:

To this:

I hope to have even more fun decorating this whimsical room!

Project #4: Stenciling the Study (April-August)

This project started out very promising after I painted the formerly-pink walls of our study navy blue.

But then I whipped out the wall stencil….

…and things got complicated real quick!

4 months and 3 tries later, I revamped my strategy and defeated the project:

Now my study is the crown jewel of the house!

Project #5: Tree Removal (May-July)

On May 1st, this happened:

I stared at this view for what seemed like months before we finally found someone to remove the tree:

The view outside our den’s bay window still needs improvement…but at least there isn’t a gigantic limb blocking the light!

Project #6: Master Bath Touch-Ups (June)

Even though I am still not satisfied with the tile and paint in our master bathroom, the space has come a long way from where it used to be.

Project #7: Ceiling Fan Installation (August)

After living in the house for over a YEAR, we finally got up the courage to install our ceiling fans ourselves.

Let there be light!

Project #8: Doorway Widening (September)

The doorway between the den and the living room was way too small:

Dave and I were amazed at how fresh and open the space became with the removal of a few inches of wall!

Now, if I could just knuckle down and finish installing the trim….

Project #9: New Roof Installation (September)

After months of hassle with insurance and evil contractors, we finally got our new roof installed!

The tree incident in May relieved us of having to pay out-of-pocket for this expensive job.

No more squirrels running around in our attic, no more creaky wind turbines, no more decrepit brown roof tiles!

Project #10: Floor Sanding and Painting (September/October)

It was such a relief to have clean, bare floors!

Even though we sanded the staircase by hand, our work paid off in the end:

New floors allowed us to move forward on making our house feel more like a home.

Project #11: Paint Fireplace and Stove (October)

Even though we loved our wood-burning stove, it was a eyesore:

But thanks to paint, this corner is now the brightest spot in the room!

Project #12: The New Stove (October)

Even though installing a gas stove is not technically a “project,” the appliance elevated the space from this:

To this:

Ahhhh, I LOVE my new stove!

Project #13: Installing Downstairs Bathroom Utilities (November)

I stayed out of this bathroom for 16 months, and it is not hard to see why:

A new toilet and pedestal sink made a huge difference in the look (and smell!!) of the room:

There is still much work to be done on the floors, though.

Project #14: Repaint Guest Bathroom (November)

This is how our guest bathroom looked when it had a gray ceiling and gray walls:

And here is how it looks with a white ceiling and beige walls:

So much cleaner!

(I also repainted the counter tops which I will share more about in a later entry.)

WOW!  Did we really accomplish 14 projects this year?

Some days I feel like I am not getting anywhere with this place!

Some days I wonder when our home will ever be finished!

And then there are days when I realize that I need to give us more credit!

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