January and February have historically been my least favorite months. I love defining resolutions and the vibe of a fresh, clean slate but for whatever reason I always find myself in a funk at the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s the holiday’s being over and the fact that in Minnesota the idea of spring is still so very, very far away….but the first two months of the year are always a struggle.
This year however, I have not felt that way. I think our Mexico trip over the new year probably had something to do with that, but I also just feel really good about our plans for 2018 and I am focused. If you are a long time reader of WTW then you know we purchased a home built in the late nineties, which means it’s old enough to be outdated but new enough for it to not have any real character. I say it all the time but it has good bones, which is why I was attracted to it, really pretty curb appeal and was very solidly built. At times I have been impatient with the progress we’ve made but after looking back at some old photos over Christmas, I realized we have made monumental strides and that I should really enjoy the process versus trying to rush to the finish.
We have made almost every cosmetic update we can at this point and it’s time to really sink our teeth into some of the larger renovation projects, i.e. the kitchen and bathrooms. I’m happy to say that one of those larger bucket list items was replacing our laminate and carpet floors on the main level with beautiful new hardwoods. Chris did this on his own and while it was a painstakingly process, that was probably poorly timed by us, they turned out beautiful.
It’s going to take us time to plan, save and execute on our largest project planned to-date, a kitchen remodel targeted for June 2019. Because of that, 2018 is the year for a ton of smaller little projects that I have been completely ignoring, but I think with some attention will really have some impact.
1. The Living Room
Let me tell you the struggle has been REAL with this room in our house. I don’t know why a living room is so hard for me to decorate but I know for sure there has been a few mistakes made. First off, I rushed the sofa purchase. I had been living with Chris’s bachelor, not-so-terrible, leather couches for ten plus years and was really excited to get a more feminine, upholstered furniture set. So excited that I did not take the appropriate time researching what it is that I really wanted and what would work best for the space. Enter the beige matching set, placed in the accessible beige painted living room and now it’s one washed out space where beige camouflage prohibits any one focal point from standing out. My plans for this space are to sell our current set that is in excellent condition, and purchase a new sectional from Interior Define, the Charly specifically, in the rain textured weave. Our house is filled with the cooler side of the color wheel and this blue sofa will pop against the wall color that has been painted throughout the majority of the common areas. We will sell the end tables, paint the fireplace, build a picture ledge shelf above the couch and redecorate slightly with accessories. All in all if we make good on our current furnishings, it will not be too expensive to enhance.
A few inspiration photos are below:
2. Art for the Dining Room
This room has also been seriously neglected. We painted when we first moved in, Chris made that beautiful dining table for us, we bought some chairs and then pretty much walked away. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to finish it, I literally can’t! I haven’t been able to come up with a way to decorate since there are two very strong competing walls. A gallery wall is the obvious choice for one. But what about the one right beside it? The space is pretty tight, so having a bar or buffet may be an option but it would have to be fairly narrow. I’m also contemplating repainting it. I was never high on the color to begin with but I knew Chris wasn’t going to let me redo it right off the bat. Ladies, you know how it is. Truth be told, I still don’t have the answer for this particular room, so PLEASE feel free to weigh in if you have any ideas. Otherwise, I’m just putting these walls on the hit list to pay more attention to in 2018.
Here are a few photos that are inspiring us for this space…
3. Fill those blank spaces!
The office has this great wall in it that is just begging for some art, along with our entry. We used to have an entryway table where we housed baskets for shoes and a drop zone for keys or mail and while it was functional, I just needed a change. We moved the entryway table into the aforementioned living room and bought this bench from Target. It serves as a place for the kids to put their shoes on and clears that hallway a bit more so it feels bigger and less cluttered. I like it, I don’t love it. It works for now but I think it could work harder with the right styling.
I love a curated look for the office, something similar to the photo below. For above the bench, I am still perusing ideas as I have not come across anything I feel would work as of yet.
4. Furnish the Loft
In our bedroom we have this great little loft attached which is begging for some love. It sits empty at the moment and for a while Chris contemplated making it his office but the office on the main floor seems to suit him just fine. I’m sure some people might think to purchase a nice chaise with a side table to sip their morning coffee in, but we just aren’t those people. I’m usually reheating a single cup two to three times before noon and lounging isn’t really in our vocabulary with two little kids. I think it would serve as a nice office space for me. A place to work on this blog and maybe edit some photography. Or at the very least a pretty place to pay bills. I purchased an amazing vintage rug from a second hand store last year (for only $100! They did not know what they had) and so I will be incorporating it into the decor.
5. A little Backyard Love
Last year I don’t think we ate on our back deck once. To all those that don’t live in Minnesota….that’s a legit travesty. When you live in Minneapolis you take summer very seriously and you spend as much time outside as you possibly can. People just can’t get enough, and I will concede that a Minnesota summer is unlike anything else. You just appreciate it so much more, for obvious reasons. Regardless, we embarked on putting down hardwood floors and that took up 8 months of our lives. Our weekends were spent in renovation hell and we did not properly enjoy our outdoor living space. We have a fairly large deck and so I’m going to make an effort to make it an extension of our living space for those few gorgeous but fleeting months. We’ll most likely re-stain it (as Minnesotan’s tend to have to do every year), purchase an outdoor rug, hang some lights and potentially build a few extra seating arrangements (I’m really excited about this tutorial!) Outside of that we’ll implement an herb garden or two and overall just warm the space up with some potted plants and flowers. I’d love to also create an outdoor entertainment bar cart of sorts for those weekends we have our neighbors over.