House Goals for 2016

When we bought our house in 2009, it needed so much work. It has been a long road, but the big renovations are mostly behind us. The biggest project of 2015 was installing a privacy fence on the street side of our backyard. It was a hard but satisfying project!

Looking forward to 2016, there are a few things I want to tackle around the house. In the spirit of goal setting, I'll lay them out now and perhaps revisit them at the end of the year to see how we did.

1. The basement.

Oh you guys. The basement is definitely a scary basement. Half of it is unfinished laundry/storage, and that side just needs a good cleaning and some organizing.

But the other half is causing me anguish. When the home was built, this was probably a nice space, but today, it isn't. There is a part that could function as a living room with carpet and a fireplace, but it is dark, cold, and generally yucky. Here it is.

Basement Living Room

The back half was finished at one point, but there was water damage so part of the ceiling and wall paneling is ripped out. The trouble is that the two spaces are open to each other.


The overhead lighting is poor and the daylight windows are tiny. I think we would just keep the back part as storage, and I was considering curtaining off the living room part to use it as a playroom, especially in the winter months when we are cooped up inside.

I was about to start painting everything white last week, but then I second guessed myself and stopped. Some people have nice basements, but ours is so cold, dark, and dirty feeling that I wonder if we would actually want to be down there. I don't think we would unless we spent some serious money to fix it up (new carpet, better lighting/electrical, maybe drywall to separate the spaces). I know how quickly that can add up! And at this point, I'd rather just save that money toward our next house, because I don't think we'll be in this house for the long haul. But then what about resale? What will potential buyers think when they come down here? Aaaah!

My friend's husband is an appraiser, and she suggested having him take a look to help us decide what to do in terms of resale. So I might visit that option. What do YOU guys think? For those of you who have basements, do you spend a lot of time down there? Any brilliant ideas for making our basement better for hardly any money? :) If we don't do much to fix it up down here, the whole thing needs to be organized and cleaned—and that might result in a yard sale come spring!

2. The backyard.

We have a good-sized lot with a nice, flat backyard. The very back of the lot was a wild jungle but my husband has made SO much progress. I'd love to transform the backyard into a really fun, beautiful hangout space where the girls can play and adults can comfortably hang out. (My Pinboard for this space is called Outdoor Dreaming for a reason.) The fence we added will make a big difference in giving us some privacy. This past summer, we had the river rocks dug out and added sod. I finished scraping the cement patio. (Want a real blast from the past? Read this post from 2011.) I debated whether to paint the patio—it looked a lot better after a good power washing, but I couldn't pull the trigger on paint and then it got too cold to do it.

We also have a big dirt rectangle where we dug out a bed of river rocks. Should we do a poured concrete patio? A paver patio? Sod it over? A pergola? Decisions, decisions, and dollars, dollars. Like the basement, I could be convinced so please chime in with your ideas and opinions!

3. The girls' room.

At some point this year, Kate will probably move from a crib to a big bed and we'll move the girls into the same room. That has always been the long-term plan, so when I went to buy a twin bed for Jane, I bought a matching pair (on Craigslist!) so Kate could have one, too. I just love the look of double twin beds!

For that reason, Jane's room is a bit of a hodgepodge because I knew it would change before too long. I mostly decorated her room with things I already had (including leftover party decorations).

Colorful Girl's Room (Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe)

I had been planning to move the girls into this blue room, but it is a tricky space because there are three doors (attic access is in this room) and two windows. That makes bed placement challenging. I'm flirting with the idea of putting them in the white room (currently the nursery) instead. The beds might fit better in there. We'll see what happens!

Girls Nursery Daybed Nook

This is the 2016 project I am most excited about, I think. I have been creating Pinboards for months (here and here). And just recently, I started a mood board to connect the things we already have with some of the things I am eyeing for the space. I am thinking pink and teal and black and white with wood and a little brass and graphic prints and florals and a whole corner devoted to dress-ups within reach. Ha! Wanna see it?

Shared Room for Girls Mood Board

Subject to change, of course, but it's where I'm starting from. Children's spaces are. the. best.

Are you still with me? Because while I am at it, I am going to share a goal I have for this blog. I've said it before on Instagram and in my Design Mom interview, but I'd love to make some money from this blog. At first that sounded weird and uncomfortable, but I have started to look into the idea of business from a Christian worldview because I have zero business training (I started with this book by Wayne Grudem and some podcasts based on it). God made our world in such a wonderful way that as we pursue making money (which is a good thing), we can actually bless and help other people. Greed is real, and it derails many, but it is possible to do business in a way that glorifies God and benefits me (and you!). Lots of food for thought, eh?

To be completely transparent, I've been looking into how to blog for profit, and my first move is to become an Amazon affiliate. If I link to something on Amazon and you buy from that link, I might make a small commission. That can help cover some of the costs of running this blog (domain name, etc.). But the long-term goal would be for me to offer some product or service to you that I charge for, whether it be e-design or design coaching or in-home consultations or Skype sessions or an ebook! I'm thinking, praying, working toward that goal. But we'll see what God has in store! (The exciting thing is that I am already doing some of those things for friends/people I've met through this blog and the opportunities that have come through online relationships! I hope to be able to share some of them with you when they are finished.)

Thank you for being here. Seriously. I mean it. And don't forget to comment with your ideas for our basement or backyard! I need your input! Here's to 2016! Happy New Year!