Blue House | Organization | Renovation

Updating a GIANT To-Do List

January 4, 2016

Back in 2013, I shared a GIANT to-do list for our blue house. I thought it might be fun to see just how much we’ve accomplished since then by crossing off the items we’ve completed.


The Blue House at

Our exterior needs a lot of work. And, like the interior of our home, there are many “it’s nice to dream” about projects. The above picture is a little dated; it doesn’t show off our pretty, red door.

  • The fence needs some major repairs
  • The fence needs to be painted… badly. Update: After making some major repairs in fall 2015, we decided the fence looked much better and didn’t actually need a coat of paint.
  • The landscaping needs major, major work. I plan to call the pros in the help. Update: We’ve made major strides, but there’s still much to do.
  • We need to add some exterior lighting to the walkway to the front door
  • Add a brick foundation (to match the house) to the storage building. Update: We added skirting to the side of the storage building facing in our back yard, and now we’re considering the options for the other three.
  • Organize the storage building
  • Add a ramp to the storage building
  • Call in the pros to remove a dying tree in the front yard. Update: we did it ourselves.
  • Patch a few window screens
  • Add furniture to the front porch
  • Add furniture to the deck

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Extend the fence. Update: This may be something we consider in 2016.
  • Add a pool
  • Add a stone patio off our deck for a fire pit
  • Replace the wooden fence with a maintenance-free material

The Garage

  • We’ve been on the hunt for a fridge for quite awhile
  • Move the lawnmower to the storage building
  • Repair the garage door Update: We actually replaced the door, and we love it!
  • Add decorative hardware to the garage door
  • Add an access panel

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Add storage above the car. Update: We actually just received this as a Christmas gift.
  • Find a way to store all of my seasonal decor without taking up much floor space Update: purging combined with some clever storage solutions made this happen.
  • Add a pergola above the door outside
  • Replace the door with a carriage style

The Laundry Room

  • Add a counter
  • Make it prettier
  • Add storage (cabinets? shelves?) above the washer and dryer
  • Remove the storage cabinet that’s in there now to clear up floor space
  • Paint the door Update: We removed the door altogether!

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Add pedestal bases to the washer and dryer

The Kitchen

  • Finish painting the cabinets. I’m halfway there!
  • Finish replacing the hardware
  • Add crown moulding to the tops of the cabinets. Update: I enjoy the functionality of being able to store things above the cabinets, so I do not think I will add crown moulding. However, if we ever decide to sell this house, I would consider adding the moulding then.

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Replace the fridge and stove. Update: I really hope this is the year of the new oven.
  • Add a backsplash. Update: I’ve made a tentative selection, and we hope to add tile this year.

The Dining Room

New Dining Room Art at

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • I really want a bigger table in a different finish Update: We’ve ordered a custom dining set!
  • Maybe add a rug? Update: Not necessary.

The Foyer

  • Paint the trim around the front door
  • Add shutters to the sidelight windows. Update: Maybe something like this?
  • Paint the closet doors and add crystal door knobs
  • Organize the closets
  • Add wallpaper or a stencil above the chair rail

The Living Room

Living Room at

  • Find wall Art! Every time I think I find just the right thing, I change my mind. 
  • Find a bigger rug in a neutral color
  • Complete the fireplace surround
  • Replace the thermostat with something “smarter”

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Replace the ceiling fan. It’s off center, so I really don’t know how to fix it just yet.
  • Add sconces above the fireplace

The Office

  • Add curtains. Update: Not necessary.
  • Paint the exterior door

The Guest Bedrooms

Front Guest Bedroom at

  • Replace the ceiling fan in the front guest bedroom
  • Add a television to both rooms?
  • Paint the doors and add new hardware

The Guest Bathroom

  • Paint the vanity
  • Refinish the vanity top.

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Reglaze the shower stall to make it white
  • Replace the toilet with a white one
  • Add a tile floor
  • Frame out the mirror
  • Replace the vanity top. Update: We’re leaning towards granite, but we’re also considering laminate.

The Master Bedroom

  • Add more lighting
  • Add more wall art
  • Paint the doors and add new hardware

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Add a chandelier over the bed with smaller chandeliers hanging over the nightstands
  • Add can lights to corners of room. Update: With our new chandelier, we do not need the additional lighting.
  • Have slip covers made for the chairs

The Master Bathroom

This room needs to be completely gutted. We know what we want, so we’re just saving up our pennies to make it happen! Update: Done!

The Master Closet

  • Replace carpet with carpet tiles. Update: Carpet tiles have been purchased!
  • Move clothes rods up
  • Add better lighting

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Demo the closet as it is now and give the space to the bathroom. Then, add built-in wardrobes in the bedroom. Oh, how I wish we could do this. Update: I’m glad we didn’t go with this option and chose to keep our bathroom’s size the same.

The Attic

We actually have an efficiency suite upstairs along with an unfinished storage space. Crazy, right?

  • Turn the upstairs living room into the man cave
  • Gain access to both dormer windows; right now we can only get to one of them
  • Replace the flooring; right now it’s a mix of nasty carpet and leftover hardwood floors
  • Add a sleeker air conditioner. Update: We removed the unsightly window air conditioner.
  • Paint the walls/trim/doors

“It’s Nice to Dream:”

  • Turn the unfinished attic space over the garage into a bonus room. Update: This is something we’re seriously considering this year.
  • Rotate the staircase, so we don’t have to enter through the rear side of the garage.
  • Run HVAC upstairs, so we can add the entire space upstairs to the square footage of our house.

We’ve accomplished more that what was originally on the list, but it’s always fun to cross items off a list. We just celebrated our third anniversary here, and I’m excited to see what 2016 holds. We made the decision to sell our first house after living there for four years, so I’m anxious to see what our future looks like.

Stay tuned for a post later this week with some of my goals for the year.

All comments are encouraged and appreciated!