Episode #73: Home Project To-Do List

Hello there! This week, we’re chatting about which upcoming projects we are tackling this season.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Thank you to this week’s sponsors! Be sure to check out the offers and codes from Magic Spoon, Bev and Ritual! And if you’re ever looking for a sponsor code that we mentioned on the podcast you can find them on this page.

Show notes:

Emma’s project list at the holiday house: Updating kitchen cabinets (adding hidden trash and a built-in microwave), main bedroom and closet updates, adding a faux fireplace, and her baby’s nursery.

-Emma’s new bedroom chandelier and nursery chandelier.

Here’s a link to the stick on tile Elsie purchased for her kitchen backsplash.

Elsie’s project list: You can read my 2021 project list (with before pics) here. Items on my list this year: our kids shared bedroom, dream closet, office, main living spaces, main bedroom, and balcony.

Should Elsie do a phase one kitchen makeover? Should we paint some bathroom tile? Do you think it’s worth it?

Here’s a link to my current remodel checklist. I make a detailed list for each room as I go along, but this is the broad scope of what I am trying to accomplish this year. 🙂

*Sparks Joy* Here are two affordable items that are bringing joy to our everyday lives:

Emma’s – True Lemon packets.

Elsie’s – This mini waffle maker. It’s the perfect size for toaster waffles or breakfast sandwiches.

Thanks so much for listening! Elsie + Emma

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 73 Transcript

Elsie: Emma, tell us what is on your holiday house to-do list this season.

Emma: Yes, so, you know, as I mentioned the last episode, I am planning to stay at the holiday house pretty long term because I’m planning to have a little baby there this summer and maybe stay longer. I’m sort of interested in buying it just to be my personal residence. But we’ll see.

Elsie: That house has had a long journey of different plans for it. And I’m so excited to see what it turns out to be. It’s like destiny.

Emma: Yeah. And I just living there, I just kind of am falling more and more in love with it? Because it is a quirky old house. It’s over 100 hundred years old, but I love the neighborhood. I have like three close friends I can walk to their houses, they’re all moms. And there’s a little coffee shop and wine bar nearby. Obviously I don’t get to drink the wine right now, but, you know, it’s there. It’s there. So on my my, you know, list of, like, things I wanted in my dream home was that I could walk to the elementary school, something about — so growing up you might remember this Elsie, but we used to walk with our grandpa Jackie to church sometimes every now and again. It would just be me and him. Like, I just have memories where we would walk to church and it was not a very long walk, but there is a little creek on the way and he would show me how to skip stones. And there was a little school playground on the way and I would swing for a little bit and I just be in like my church dress. And this was just like a really special memory I have with my grandpa. And I think somehow in my mind, I’m like, it would be cool to like start my day walking my kid to school and then go home, work, work, work, work, work, work, motivated to finish on time because then I’m going to walk back and pick them up from school and maybe we can play on the playground a little bit or walk over to that coffee shop or see some of the other parents or whatever.

Elsie: It’s some of our happiest memories with our grandpa.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: And I see why you feel that special nostalgia for the walk.

Emma: Yeah. So I’ve always wanted to have a house where I — that could happen like it was close enough to the elementary that — I mean we wouldn’t do it with snow or you know, but it just seems. Yeah. And this, this house you can walk to the elementary school, it’s really very close by. So it checks a lot of things on my list. I also really like working there, like the light is a lot better. So it’s easier for me to do my food photography and like photography of projects and things for our blog, which is really fun because I love photography, so I feel very energized by like that. Anyway, I’m getting off topic for renovations, but I just really like this house and the more I live there, the more I’m like, actually I probably wouldn’t have bought this house, but now that I’m living here, I kind of love it. So, shame on me! (laughs)

Elsie: That’s how I felt when I almost bought it, too. It’s definitely a house that charms you.

Emma: Yeah, it really does. So anyway, I have a lot of things that I’m kind of thinking on for the holiday house. So here’s just a couple. Currently, so I’d already mentioned my kitchen cabinets in a previous episode, got my hidden trash, got my hidden recycling, got my built in microwave. Life’s good. (laughs) So the next thing was — making my dreams come true over here hahaha — uh, but the other thing is some bedroom and closet updates. So the main bedroom at this house, it’s kind of connected to another room, almost like a tiny living room.

Elsie: I feel like it probably used to be a bathroom before they built on. Do you know what I’m saying?

Emma: I think so. Or it was…

Elsie: It’s this little extra room, like old houses sometimes have that where you don’t totally — you’re like this used to be something that it’s not anymore.

Emma: It has a transition too, like on the floor. That just makes me think it might even have been part of the addition.

Elsie: Oh interesting.

Emma: Because they did an addition to the back of the house. So I don’t know, I, I’m not exactly sure. But yeah, it definitely didn’t used to be there, but it’s connected with this big archway and no doors, so it kind of feels like two rooms in one and there’s not a great way to break it up, which is fine. So what I’m going to do is kind of turn that room into kind of a rom-com closet/changing room type thing.

Elsie: I love that you added rom-com to that descriptor.

Emma: You know, they always have those big closets. (laughs)

Elsie: Oh yeah. A big closet is a fantasy.

Emma: Yeah. They always have some musical number where she’s like looking at all her shoes on the wall. I don’t have enough clothes to really do that moment, but I still am just like going to have like more space because the closet in my bedroom is really pretty small. It’s an old house. So that’s kind of one of the things about old houses. So my fairly minimal closet doesn’t really even fit in that space. So I’m expanding it over there. Still keeping the little green couch. I got a big full-length mirror. So it’s just kind of becoming more of a closet changing room type things because that feels like what makes the most sense for that space so that. I have wallpaper behind my bed, I’m leaving that, but I’m painting all the walls, a pink color and also the ceiling, and then I’m swapping out, we had a very simple ceiling fan and I never use ceiling fans personally. I only use the lights. So I’m swapping that out for this kind of coppery brass chandelier.

Elsie: Pretty! That’s exciting.

Emma: Yeah. So it’s very like pink and creams and brassy copper. And those are kind of the colors around the space.

Elsie: Well I’m so glad you’re making it your own.

Emma: Yeah, I’m trying. My theme is fancy grandma. So that’s I’m going for. So that and then I am also currently getting a faux fireplace built for the back living room. So this will be nonfunctioning — so there is a fireplace in the house, in the front living room, it has a chimney. It’s a wood burning fireplace. I’ll be honest, I’ve never lit a fire in it and I probably never will. I’m just not a big maintain a fire…I like to go to like outdoor bonfires or like fire pits, but I’m just not a big maintain a fire inside my house person. So. But in the back living room, I just wanted a few things that make the space feel a little more finished. So I’m getting a faux fireplace built and it’s going to be the kind that’s basically all the way tiled, like it’s very tiled. And then it has a very simple mantle. And I just kind of want a space and I’m going to put a bunch of candles in or like lights inside of it. So it’s not functioning. It doesn’t do anything with warmth. It’s just pretty and cozy and vibey. And then I can put pictures above it or I might put a projector screen above it. Haven’t totally figured that out yet, but I ordered some tile samples and I think I’m going to go with a pink tile. So it’s kind of a mauvey pink. I’m kind of doing a lot of pink in the house, pink and reds and terracotta tends to be a lot of what I’m doing.

Elsie: I support that!

Emma: Yeah, I don’t know, I’m into it. I kind of always wanted to do it and I feel like it goes with the house somewhat, so I’m just going for it. So I got that faux fireplace and then I’m also, I mentioned this in the last episode, but dreaming on and starting on my nursery in the house, which is kind of a plant theme.

Elsie: Aw! Yeah.

Emma: So working on my son’s nursery. So yep, I already ordered a chandelier, but I still haven’t pulled the trigger on the wallpaper, so I need to do that.

Elsie: Exciting. OK, we’ll link to the chandelier because I can’t wait to see what you picked. All right, let’s take a quick sponsor break.

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So I’m on a two-year schedule to remodel our house that we moved into. I think we moved in August. So we’ve been here about six months now and we love it. I feel like we’ve really bonded with the house. It’s feeling like home, but…

Emma: You’ve gotten a lot done in six months, too.

Elsie: Thank you. But there’s still so, so, so, so much to do. So, we’re kind of got an aggressive schedule. But when I really — one day I took like half a day and I just worked on this schedule and I’m going to show it to Emma and maybe I’ll post a picture in the show notes of what my schedule is.

Emma: Woah! Mhmm.

Elsie: But it is really aggressive this year and the next year we might be done in 2022. So…

Emma: Wow.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s possible that we’ll be done with all the main stuff. And I did leave a couple things off that are just like not important to me right now, but with the stuff we really want to do, the grand finale, which we’re planning to do a year from this summer, is like the kitchen, new flooring in the downstairs, the pantry, a pretty significant laundry room makeover because the laundry room is like the shittiest part of our whole house by a lot.

Emma: Yeah, it’s pretty falling apart, kind of.

Elsie: (laughs) Yeah, it’s not so great. And yeah, we wanted to wait until covid was completely over. We wanted to give time to save up and time to think through all the details because the kitchen makeover is such a big commitment and we’re planning to stay in this house a long time. So leading up to that, we’re doing kind of this year all of the “easy” stuff. So it’s a lot of stuff that Collin and I can do without very much outside help. So that is really exciting. We’re going to be busy. OK, so some of the things, we’ve already finished the wine cellar. We’ve just shared the kid’s bedroom. We have finished my dream closet, which really.

Emma: Yay!

Elsie: Yeah. Really, really is like a dream come true.

Emma: It’s more of a rom com closet, really.

Elsie: I feel like I could go in there and do a funny dance like they would have in, like The Holiday or Love Actually.

Emma: Yes, you should put it on Instagram or something (laughs).

Elsie: OK, I’ll do the rom-com dance. (laughs) And then we’ve just completed my office, which is one of the most exciting things ever, is like your first day that you get to work in a new office that you planned out. And it really is my dream office and it really is perfect for all the very unique type of work we do, which is the combination of a lot of computer work and a lot of crafting.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: And to be honest, a lot of taking care of my kids in between. So it’s like a combination of all those things. The perfect office for that. And then on the list for the spring and summer is our main living spaces, which I’m really excited about. Our living room and our dining room downstairs are kind of like all one big room and I’m going to get that all beautiful because this house has — one thing it has spoken to me very clearly is that it doesn’t want all white walls. It is not interested in being an all white House. It’s not interested in minimalism. It’s like that’s good for you. But for me, I’m going to need several patterns of wallpaper that you can see at the same time. So…

Emma: Fun.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s kind of exciting and it’s very clear that that’s what the House wants and obviously what I want as well. And then our main bedroom is something I’m really excited to complete, hopefully this summer. So it has a little balcony, which is one of the things when I first looked at the house listing those like, mouth on the floor type of features about the house…

Emma: It’s very cute.

Elsie: It’s special. I walk out there a lot in the morning to check the weather, you know, and then it has like the nice noise, like our swimming pool makes like a nice noise, like has it kind of has a waterfall part to it.

Emma: Yeah a little trickle sound.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s just like a nice little spot. And so I’m excited to make that over and make it like really cute because it’s something that we weren’t able to address at first. And it can be really cute. It’s like obvious that it has the potential to be like A+ Instagram adorable, and at the moment it’s like just a little porch that has no decorations. And our main bedroom is weirdly big. In a weird way.

Emma: It is.

Elsie: The ceilings and just the scale — it’s strange and it really needs a big design to pull it together and make it feel like a room that’s designed, like if that makes sense, like it looks like it’s missing all design in it. It’s like just so boring right now. And like the herringbone floor, we did that right as we moved in — is definitely like the part of it that’s really exciting. And the rest of it is just like boring and white and big and weird and awkward. So that is all the projects that I’m really excited to work on this year. So we’re just going to be like moving room to room to room, doing lots of wallpaper, lots of ceiling detailing, lots of paint, lots of colors. And then next year we’ll be doing the big kitchen thing. So I’m not sure, you can tell me what you think I should do on this, but I thought of doing a kitchen, like a phase one mini makeover just for fun, just because I know some of it we’re going to rip out. And I’ve always wanted to do one of those fake marble counters. So tell me and you guys can tell me as listeners if you think it’s worth it to like do all that, even though we’re not going to keep it in the long run just to like basically just try new things that we’ve never tried. And it would make it cuter in the meantime.

Emma: Like you’re going to paint a countertop to look like marble?

Elsie: Yes. I’ve seen people do it like on Pinterest and stuff, and it’s really intriguing to me. But I’m like…and like putting in like a fake backsplash and I could do things like that to make it cuter in the meantime.

Emma: I think a fake backsplash would be cool. I don’t think you should paint the counters, marble. I don’t think that will work. I…I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it on the Internet, but I just don’t…I wouldn’t do it. But you do whatever you want.

Elsie: The other thing I could do is OK. So we have a lot of bathrooms that are not for this year. We could pay some of that tile in those bathrooms that we know eventually it’ll be coming out, but we could just like do it for fun. I feel like painting floors and painting wall tile is something our blog readers are really interested in.

Emma: You could also try that technique wallpapering a floor.

Elsie: Oh, yes, I’m trying that, actually, the stick on the floor tiles? I’m trying that in a bathroom right now. It’s exciting. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: So it’s going to be a fun year. It’s going to be Makeover City. All right. Let’s take a quick pause for a sponsor break.

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Elsie: Ok, real quick before we go, let’s do our segment about what is sparking joy in our lives right now. So this is one affordable item that is bringing your life extra joy.

Emma: Yes. And mine is actually very affordable this time. Last time I mentioned my Shark hand-held vacuum, which is not like the cheapest thing ever, but OK, mine this time is True Lemon packets, which I’m actually drinking one right now!

Elsie: Woah! (laughs)

Emma: But they’re just these little packets of like crystallized lemon. That’s the only ingredient. And you put it in your drinking water and it just helps me drink a lot more water all day, which is always one of my goals, but especially right now that I’m pregnant. So I love it. And yeah, it’s just you can put fresh lemon, which I do that sometimes, but I hate when I buy fresh produce and then end up not getting to it in time before it gets, you know, moldy or weird. So I kind of like these because they don’t do that.

Elsie: I always, always, always use my lemons. Lemons are like a thing I know that I’ll use no matter how many I get and then I run out.

Emma: I usually do, but every once in a while I’ll like forget that they’re in the fridge or something. I don’t know what I do. And then I’m like, dang it, I just hate when something goes bad and you didn’t use it. It’s a bummer. So anyway, True Lemon packets. That’s mine. What’s sparkin joy for you?

Elsie: Ok, so I got a mini waffle maker. And so it’s one waffle maker that has four waffles like on the what do you call it, the griddle. So it’s like four in one so you make four at one time and they’re…

Emma: Oh that’s nice.

Elsie: Yeah. They’re nice and small like I got it because I was looking at different ones and I realized we needed like just kind of a simple waffle maker. I got this one because I was like, I think you put these in the toaster and our kids really liked the, like, Eggo waffles. I was like, I think I could make a bunch and freeze them. And then when I got it in the mail I was like, oh my God, this is the perfect size for a breakfast sandwich. So.

Emma: Oh!

Elsie: Yes! So I’m really, really excited about a link in the show notes. It, it’s just a waffle maker that makes four waffles instead of one. But I think I just like ini things? And yeah, it’s definitely sparking joy for us. It’s an adorable waffle maker, so I will link to it.

Emma: Thanks so much for listening. We are really, really grateful for your support. We’re also currently taking requests for future episodes. So if you have any suggestions, please email us and you can email us at podcast@abeautifulmess.com. Hope you have a great week.

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  • I would love a favorite cocktail/ liquor episode – I noticed when Elsie did her wine cellar reveal that we had a lot of the same taste in liquor! I know this was touched on in the food episode, but I definitely think it could be another whole episode! Thanks !

  • Dear Emma and Elsie
    I love your podcast so much that I have started relistening to all your back episodes while I marble marble marble, which can be a little bit repetitive! Your sisterly support and humour is so wonderful and I really admire how true to yourselves you are in your work and lives and how generous you are with your wisdom and kindness. Anyway – on to the question!….. My partner and I are currently building a home together from scratch. We have never lived together before so it is rather a large project to navigate. I have spent my career in the design world and it is my absolute passion. My partner is not interested in design beyond practicality and yet he does have some very strong opinions – usually the opposite to mine! We are currently half way through the build and anticipate moving in together later this year. I would love your advice or even a whole podcast on how to negotiate / navigate design projects with partners to make them feel included, but ultimately to help me get my own way whilst still making him happy!!! Thank you so so much. Florence xxx

    • Hi Florence! This is definitely a subject we will tackle soon. We get these questions all the time! It’s tricky to answer since every relationship dynamic is different, but I’m adding this to our list of listener questions right now!

      Thank you for listening and have fun marbleing!

  • Emma, I am just so happy for you! I could tell that 2020 was a very stressful year for you, with all the changes and not all as you love… But, suddenly everything appears to be coming together and I feel that you’re so much motivated! I loved to hear about your “a day in the life” dreams for this new period and all of it seems perfectly doable! Go for it!!! ❤️
    Also Elsie: I am building my new home and I am starting to create a schedule for “bits and bobs” for each room, new purchases, etc. I would love to hear more about planning the timmings, the rooms I should focus in first and the stuff You tribo I should buy first and so on. Plus, I will love to know your tips and hacks for a smooth and organized moving! ??

  • Love hearing about your projects and living vicariously through all your home renovations. Also Elsie has kind of broken my brain by suggesting waffle breakfast sandwiches. ?? I think I need this mini waffle maker haha

  • You guys inspire me so much! I’m super nervous today because we’re about to put an offer on a house later this afternoon. The market here in Canada’s capital city (Ottawa) is awful! In the area we’re looking into, there’s just so much demand and little inventory there’s bidding wars especially on townhomes (now this is lucky as we’re set to make a ton of money on our current townhouse but detached houses are now so overpriced and they often end up selling for a 100-150K over asking O_O). So were looking to offer 120K over asking for the house we want and we’re not even sure it’s going to work 🙁 But if it does work, then we won’t have much money left over for renos (luckily this house has been tastefully renovated already and I can totally live with it for a few years while we save up). So you’re DYI and low cost options are always welcomed 🙂 Wish me luck and I look forward to seeing your own home improvements this year!

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