Wooo! This is one of my FAVORITE posts to write and share every year because I LOVE goals and I love planning. Sharing it here gives me a clear marker to look back on at the end of each year. Multi-year renovations are a whirlwind. There are phases of fatigue, phases of overwhelm and definitely a lot of ups and downs. It’s easy to get clouded and feel discouraged by day-to-day progress, but when you zoom out it feels a lot more encouraging because you can see how all the little projects are adding up!
Currently, I am still in the beginning phases of our renovation. I have about half the spaces fully planned, but I am still scratching my head about quite a few spaces. I am hoping that in the next season or two they will be fully planned and beginning to see significant progress! At the moment, I am struggling with renovation fatigue, so I am mainly focused on executing ideas we already know for sure while I recharge my creative batteries.
Pictured above is my first tile choice for our new home. We used Fireclay Tile in their star and cross pattern in the color Tumbleweed. It’s a light pink/beige and I really love how it came out. It was surprisingly challenging for me to commit to a non-white tile—I almost backed out at the last minute. But now that I’ve broke the seal, I can’t wait to use more colorful choices for our home renovations.
We moved into this home in August, and in the first five months we lived here we had the exterior painted, we completed the coffee bar for my office, spruced up the wine cellar (post coming soon!) and did a mini makeover on our main bathroom (since we don’t plan to gut it and remodel it for many years).
Here’s my mood board!
OK… here are my 2021 renovation plans! I will warn you in advance—there are a LOT of spaces. My strategy is to do more rooms and spaces this year and then do the more destructive and expensive renovations in 2022. So basically 2021 will feel very instantly gratifying as we breeze through a bunch of easier and more budget-friendly renovations. I’m excited!!!
Powder bathroom (known in our home as “the Transylvania bathroom”). The lights flicker and go on and off constantly, which adds to the atmosphere. We’re planing to give this spooky lady a head-to-toe makeover later this spring. It will be our first FULL bathroom renovation in this home and I am strongly considering a 1970s rainbow theme. This is the first house we’ve EVER had with a powder room. In the past, it was always on my wishlist. So I want to go all out making it glamorous and creative since it’s the main bathroom that guests usually use or see. I definitely do not want to play it safe or neutral with this space.
Movie room. We feel so incredibly lucky to have this room and we use it A LOT. This room was basically the only babysitter we had in 2020 … and also the only date night. Haha, that just got sad! OK, anyway, we love this room. We love that it came with a TV and a projector. The projector with the large screen is more accessible for our kiddos since they are visually impaired. We really loved it in our last home, so as soon as we moved in we upgraded the old projector (it was broken) and updated a lot of the technology in this room (it still had one of those CD players that you can put 100 CDs in). So we brought it up to speed for streaming music and television and everything like that. Function-wise, it’s a 10/10 already. Design-wise, it still has some work. So far, we removed the wallpaper, got the walls skim coated, and painted the whole room a deep mustard color to match our sofa. Then, I had a little freak out and returned the sofa right as the return window was closing (had huge regrets on the choice of velvet for our main sofa—it just was not durable enough for us). So, currently I am still picking out a leather sofa and I am not sure whether we will keep the paint color or paint it again. Emma has really strong feelings that we should replace this carpet. It doesn’t bother me, but I have considered adding a rug. Overall, this room is a puzzle that I have to keep taking apart and trying again and again and again. I am looking forward to completing it this year!
Main bedroom. One of the rooms I am the MOST excited to transform. We’ve already replaced all the carpets with hardwood. One of the bigger items in our budget this year is updating windows. We have ’90s windows with the blinds encapsulated between two panes of glass, and many of them are broken—so whether the blinds are up, down or halfway up they cannot be moved. I would like to replace our window with plain glass. I am also going to price out my “dream windows” and see if it’s within our budget (I have a feeling it will not be, but I still have to check!). There are also three places in our home (including right here) where we have the weird ’90s window with the mini window on top. I would like to replace these with normal windows—no mini on top! Beyond that, I would really like to panel this ceiling and add beams, update the light fixture and add a faux fireplace in this room.
Balcony. Just outside our bedroom is this balcony that is my absolute dream come true. I have a very specific vision for this space and it’s going to be EPIC!!!!! I can’t wait to share it all with you!
My closet. (and also Jeremy’s closet) We’ve been working on this over the holidays and it’s nearly complete. We did a low waste renovation for both our closets, which means we used what was there as much as possible while customizing it and making it nicer. I’m THRILLED with how it came out and as soon as I find a cute rug I will photograph it and share it with you!
Guest bedroom. We are already 95% done with this room, so it will be one of the first tours we share … coming soon!
Guest bathroom. The second (and probably the last) bathroom we will be renovating this year is the guest bathroom. It’s very small and I have a pretty clear vision for it already. We will be keeping the existing layout and salvaging some parts of it (you know I love to reuse cabinets and vanities when possible) and making it clean, fresh and 1970s inspired.
Jeremy’s studio. This is another room we are close to completing. It should be wrapped up and ready to share sometime this spring. We did 360 degree bookshelves that wrap around the entire room. It’s a deep, moody color and really unique.
My office. I am building my dream office, and I’ve never been so excited before. The room is the perfect size and I am using every nook and cranny to add storage for all my (MANY!) DIY and craft supplies. I am not sure when it will be complete, but I would guess within the first half of the year. VERY excited to share every detail with you.
Playroom/bunk room. Attached to my office is a literal hidden room. It’s a good-sized bedroom, but since you have to go through my office to access it we know it would never work as a family member’s bedroom. So, we decided to use it as a bunk bed room. We’re planning to rip into those walls you see on both sides and do built-in bunk beds on each side. It will be so magical when the girls start having sleepovers and cousins visit and everything. This room will also serve as our playroom. We’ve currently been using it as a place for our (too many) dollhouses to be.
Art room. Just off the entryway of our home is a small office. I have been using it as my office since we moved in as my future office is being built. We have also been using it as a place to store all my painting stuff like canvases, paint and my easel. Our kids love to paint as well, so I think we will keep this as an art room moving forward! It’s near our living spaces and I love them having access to creative supplies to make crafts whenever they want.
Dining Room. You can see my progress and the current state of it here. I would like to add wallpaper or paint the walls a color and remove that stone ledge and do built-ins in that spot.
Living Room. So far we’ve painted this fireplace white, added curtains, a hanging chair, and furniture. I love this space and we use it SO much every day. To complete this room, I would love to wallpaper it (or possibly paint a mural). I am leaning toward removing the entire fireplace mantle and starting over. It’s tough because the fireplace is not bad, but it’s not good either. The other thing I would LOVE to do is panel the ceiling and add beans down here. I think that would make a world of difference!
Hallways and small spaces. My summer goal is to tackle a bunch of small spaces. Our hallways, stairways entries, landings … they are all plain and boring. One of my goals this year is to add art, family photos, rugs, mirrors and just generally make each space feel decorated and intentional. Small spaces are really fun!!
Kids’ shared bedroom. This room is already underway and I can’t wait to share it. We chose to do a really bold wallpaper and we painted the trim, other three walls, and ceiling all one color. As you can see here, the room we started with was pretty basic and boring. I promise you it won’t be boring when we’re done!
Pantry. Ah, our moldy pantry! I am proud to say that the mold has been removed and we’ve been making it into a beautiful and organized pantry. I will share this space with you soon.
Entryway. We painted the front doors first thing when we moved in. It made it instantly feel more like home. After months of living here, I am now leaning toward replacing the front doors for functional reasons. I’d also love to find doors with windows. For the entryway, I think wallpaper would be super pretty. I am strongly considering a wallpaper for this space. Oh! And a new light fixture ASAP.
Pool area and landscaping. There have already been a lot of changes since this photo (taken on closing day). We cut down that magnolia tree (it was basically halfway cut off since it was planted too close to the house and it looked weird, and it was super messy). We painted the red brick white. We’ve also recently added a safety fence to our pool area. When it starts to warm up again, I would like to find cute furniture and a pool umbrella, redo the landscaping, replace all the outdoor lights, and hopefully repaint our patio as well. We are also planning to convert our pool to saltwater so it has less chlorine. There are endless outdoor projects we need to tackle, so we decided to start with the pool area since it’s a space we use a lot. It’s also the outdoor space that’s most visible since the whole back of our house is windows that look out to this area.
My big picture 2021 goal is to really BOND with this home. We moved twice in 2020, pivoted away from our Airbnb investments (we’re currently about to sell our last one and close that chapter) and generally just became more exhausted and burned out than I’ve ever been. With that said, I am so grateful for this home and I see it as my first priority to recharge and get inspired for all the renovating we have coming up!
Rooms/projects we’re not addressing in 2021 (but probably will in 2022): Kitchen, breakfast nook and pantry, laundry (currently the least practical space in our home), main bathroom, both kids’ bathrooms, front porch, tile floors in downstairs, garage, and outdoor projects besides the pool area.
Whew … it’s going to be a busy year! Which renovations are you most excited to see??? xx. Elsie