My fun house plans for 2017

January 06, 2017

I love looking forward to the projects I have in mind for our home for 2017! But first, let's look at my plan for last year and what I knocked off that list! 

I have to admit...I went back to look at that post and I was kind of impressed...with myself. I actually focused on the rooms I SAID I was going to focus on. I'm not usually that good. #squirrel 

I wanted to complete our loft space and I transformed it into an awesome, organized craft room slash office that we use nearly every day:
shiplap walls with giant chalkboard

This room is one I've been wanting to tackle forever so I'm thrilled it's done. 

I wanted to update our yellow bathroom from my son's baby days and was able to do it with some leftover paint and a few new accessories: 
light gray and blue bathroom

This room is one I want to redo on a bigger scale this year, more on that in a bit!

I really wanted to get our master bedroom done and I got close: 
dark wall behind bed

I finished painting the room, changed out some accessories and made some new pillows. I still have to paint the nightstands and work on the fireplace wall in there...and then I'm done! Our master bedroom is so bright, clean and pretty. I'm kind of obsessed with it lately and want to carry that feel throughout the rest of our house this year! 

The final big project I was hoping to do this year is one we decided to tackle very last minute -- it wasn't something we thought we would complete at all. After a LOT of hard work on my part tiling this beast, this stone fireplace wall has completely transformed our basement: 
DIY stacked stone fireplace

We sat down there last night and every once and awhile one of us will mention how much we love it. 💓 I'm so happy we were able to make this happen. 

Now onto some fun projects for 2017! I scored nearly four out of four last year and I'm not expecting that to happen again. Goals! ;) I sometimes get asked what I will do when I finish our house. The answer is I have no idea. Ha! I do think it will be awhile. And by the time I finish it will have been years and years since I've finished other rooms so I think I'll have blog content for a long time. We LOVE this house and I have loved making it ours. 

I'm super excited about my plan for our stairs: 
how to take carpet off steps

They have undergone quite the transformation over the years and I'm so happy with them. When I pulled the carpet off and stained them years ago we had carpet throughout the rest of this area so I went with a reddish stain. If you look close you'll notice it, but it hasn't bothered me enough over the years to make it a priority. 

I really want to have them sanded down (professionally because they can control the dust better than I can) so I can restain them the color of our hardwoods. 

I also have big plans for the walls on the staircase: 
decorating tall staircase

I plan to cover them with a paneled look like we have in our family room. Not all the way up because I value my life...but a good distance. I'm so excited about the crisp white walls against the dark floors! 

The walls will look similar to those I have on the wall behind our bed above, but here's some more inspiration: 
staircase with paneled walls

paneled wall on stairs

I'm also hoping to add at a couple sconces, but we'll see if I can make that work. I think it would be so lovely to have more direct lighting on the stairs. 

You'll see as I go through my plan that a lot of what I hope to accomplish this year is in the entry of our home. Contrary to most of rest of the finishes in our house, we didn't have many options for tile when we built. So in our foyer I went with a gray/purpley tile that went with our formerly pink walls. I didn't pick pink on purpose (say that three times fast), but it came out that way. 

Anyway, I've never loved it. I actually hate it, but in the scope of life it's not a big deal so we have kept it. OH and tearing it out is going to be a huge, massive pain in the butt, so there's that:
foyer decorating ideas

But this year I want it to happen. I already have a plan in place to extend the hardwoods throughout most of the foyer. I want to use a patterned tile in a smaller area for the entry. We just don't need that much tiled...something we've realized as we've lived here over the years. 

I'm STOKED about this but it won't happen until I get up the courage to take a hammer to that floor. I'll let you know when I do. ;) 

Another big project I want to tackle this year is doing something to the walls in our living room and foyer to make them not feel so...vast. It's hard to see here but our ceilings in this room are two and a half stories tall. I LOVE the open feeling:
living room with two stories

But it feels awkward to take art too high and awkward to have it down too low. You see wide open spaces like this and fall in love, but then you realize how hard they are to work with. I still wouldn't trade them and I have an idea in my head to make the main level walls feel like their own space but work with the tall ceilings. I just need to formulate it further before I make a move. :) 

And finally, one I'm not sure I'll complete this year but really want to start:
two room bathroom

I have disliked that wall separating the bathroom into two rooms since we moved in. It makes what is a decent sized bathroom feel super small and cramped. You can read more about my ultimate plan, but these pics give you a good idea: 
taking down separating wall in bathroom

separating wall in bathroom

The first step is to add a window over the tub -- I'll see from there if the natural light helps open up the room and decide my next steps. I've been planning this redo as long as I can remember but it may not be as big of a change as I anticipate. I have a feeling I'll still want to take down that wall. But we will see! 

I know many of you have our current layout and love it with multiple kids. Since we only have one using it I want to make it better for how we operate. I'm excited to see what happens in here! 

It's going to be a fun year my friends! Of course I have no idea if we'll be able to tackle all of these -- it will depend on our budget as we pay for all upgrades with cash. I'll be able to do a lot of the changes so it will be a lot of sweat equity like always. And as always, I'll take you along for the ride! 

If you've worked on similar projects I welcome your advice! Taken down 1a wall in the bathroom? Worked with super tall walls? Torn up tile on the floor? (Is it as messy as I'm thinking it will be?) Do tell! Thanks again for joining me on my DIY adventures in this home we love! 

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  1. I love the molding idea for your staircase! We've been trying to formulate a similar plan, but it may involve taking out some molding that we put in, in order to revamp it. We'll see. As for the tile, at least it's not EVERYWHERE, right? I would love to have hardwoods throughout most of the main level, but alas, we have a ton of tile that, while not what I would have chosen, would be pretty pricey (and a big pain in the butt) to take out and replace. Lottery maybe? ;-) Looking forward to seeing what you do this year!

  2. Like you I wanted to tear down that bathroom wall for years. After your initial post about it I gave it tons of thought and last year we did it. I could not be happier. It's such a nice big bathroom now with room to move by the shower. And I have multiple children sharing it. And for all the negative voices. I have four daughters. Mirror and sink people. The most common demand was for the shower and the toilet at the same time. The one thing you wouldn't do in tandem.

  3. We recently removed tile from our kitchen that we inherited from the previous owners. To summarize: n.i.g.h.t.m.a.r.e. Removing the tile wasn't too bad. We rented a demo hammer with a chisel bit (don't bother with anything else). Holy dust. We blew black gunk for weeks afterwards. They also had a ditra underlayment that was applied directly to our subfloor with thinset. I think I had a break down at that point. We finally found a 30 second YouTube video that saved our sanity. Grinder with a diamond wheel with a dust shroud! All purchased on Amazon or Home Depot. Good luck!

  4. Love the paneled wall idea for your stairway. Would love something like that as ours is so open and hard to decorate.

  5. We tore up tile in our entire kitchen and it was actually quite easy! We were dreading it, but they came up fast and didn't cause much of a mess. Now, that could be because they were 18 years old and already coming up in some places, but just thought it was worth mentioning that sometimes you get lucky! :) Can't wait to follow allow with your 2017 projects!!

  6. Love following along with all your posts! I also love that you all cash-flow these projects, unlike many other bloggers out there. That is why I keep up with you. You inspire me!

  7. So much inspiration looking through your posts! I love all that you tackled last year and can't wait to see you take on your new projects in 2017!

  8. Great ideas! I will tell you, we have a window in our shower/tub area-I.HATE.IT. It is horrible. We have had a ton of trouble with moisture with it. We even had the whole bathroom ripped down to the studs, new window installed, and a completely reworked it. We still have issues. It isn't anything I would recommend to others. Just my experience! :)

  9. Two words when it comes to removing your tile: Hammer Chisel. We started tearing up some of our approximately 275 sq. ft. of tile using regular hammers, crowbars, and chisels. It was the slowest, back breaking work ever. Then we found out my husband's dad owned a Hammer Chisel and the work went quickly. Knowing what I know now, I would easily spend money to rent one if necessary. Sounds like a great year planned. Can't wait to continue to follow your progress. Keep up the great work, Sarah!

  10. Lots of plans! I like stairs without carpet!

  11. Love your ideas! We have super tall ceilings, too, so I'm really interested in your ideas. We have one of those huge pictures from Ikea on one part and it helps.

    I like the look of the paneled walls, but do you find it tedious to dust? That is what stops me.

  12. I am also looking forward to following your plans for 2017. You deserve to be very proud of yourself for your accomplishments in 2016. One thought during the thinking, planning stage. Please reconsider the new window in that bathroom. Instead, do some investigation into a light tunnel, (not a sky light). I had one installed this past year in my kitchen, and absolutely love it. You can have a light fixture installed on the interior of the tube for night time lighting. I would recommend professional installation, well worth the $$, but you will see it can be a do it yourself.

  13. I have two upstairs bathrooms (with 4 daughters, this is a huge blessing!) one has the window above the shower (higher and more narrow than your sample). It's great - I love that it's high enough for light to pour in over the shower curtain. Your sample would be too low I think. But I want to add a window above my other upstairs shower but it's at the front of my house and I sorry how it will mess with my front elevation! Maybe a solar tube or something?

    And the stairs - I'm loving your ideas! But I have two of your problem areas rolled into one - My stairs go up (split at a landing like yours) right next to my 21 ft high living room. So whatever i do in the stairs has to flow into the living room wall. It's killing me. That's a lot of wall....

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  15. I have the same bathroom layout and I have been wavering back and forth on taking that wall down. Did you take your door off in the toilet/tub room? My door swing in and that makes the tiny room feel smaller. I thought about adding a pocket door but then I'd have to move the light/fan switches. I'm now considering a barn style door, just not a rustic one. Thanks for the inspiration photos. Look forward to seeing what you decide.

  16. For your tall walls, Emily Henderson featured this artist on her blog awhile back: who made a really pretty hanging from thread. I would imagine something like that might work for a very tall space.


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