Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Home Goals for 2014 { + Thoughts on My Own Expectations}

So, I know I started the week dedicating the posts to progress made in our finished basement, but there's been a change in plans. The über-cold temps have kept me away from that cold, underground space. Can you blame me?

Instead, I wanted to share my home goals for 2014...and to talk a little about handling my [often overblown] expectations with projects around the house. Let's chat.

I should start by explaining that I have a tendency--and my husband can confirm this--to try to squeeze a ridiculous number of projects into a small period of time, like a weekend. In my head, I'm thinking that project X, Y and Z are all feasible in a few short hours, even minutes, causing a build-up of expectations that are almost never met.

This happens again and again. My poor husband is always in charge of talking me down from my disappointments when, say, we didn't manage to plant all 1,200 bulbs in the garden AND replace all of the old electrical outlets around the house AND change each doorknob in the house in a single weekend. [Seriously. I'm not even exaggerating for effect.]

That's why this year I am giving myself 2, somewhat vague goals for our house: making improvements to the living room and to the master bedroom. If I get too specific, I get disappointed. See how that works? Do you ever feel the same about the expectations for your home projects?

That said, here's our formal living room today: 
...and here's how I'd like to improve the space over the coming year:

-install crown molding (calling upon, once again, our fabulous carpenter Rich);
-rework the built-in cabinet to the left of the fireplace (again, we'd hire Rich for this);
-re-paint walls and trim in white;
-replace existing can lights near bay window with white versions;
-replace the existing fireplace screen with a spark guard like the one in our den;
-have the pair of open-arm club chairs reupholstered (fabric TBD); and
-have our tufted sofa reupholstered.

Doesn't that seem like a lot? That's my limited list, I swear. Notice very little mention of decorating, just a focus on the bones of the space.

Onto the master bedroom, which you may recall is right off the foyer on the main floor. I also had a revelation about this space recently. 

I have realized that, when I buy something in haste (even at a thrift store), I tend to regret my purchase. That's why my 2014 plans for our master bedroom include addressing permanent repairs and enhancements rather than decor. But first, here's what the space looks like today, large and mostly-empty:
We hired Rich to install crown molding in our bedroom way back in August (and we love it!) but we haven't done anything more to the space. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that we haven't even painted the primed molding. So, here's the plan:

-paint crown molding, ceiling, doors and trim in white;
-paint walls in "Iced Cube Silver" by Benjamin Moore (I've had a sample on the wall for months);
-replace existing closet doors with classic 6-panel doors on Adam's closet;
-trim out Adam's closet to match other doors in the room;
-replace slatted bedroom door with classic 6-panel door;
-replace all bisque electrical outlets and black light switches with white versions;
-replace missing section of radiator cover;
-replace old brass door knobs with oil rubbed bronze versions.
(all via Meet Me in Philadelphia)
I used 'replace' quite a bit, didn't I? Yeah, that's because I'd like to tackle these improvements before dedicating a moment's energy to the actual decor of the space. I'd like my thoughts on bedroom design to simmer for awhile.

That way, when I do dive headfirst into decorating decisions, I know they are the right choices.

Whew....I realized I gabbed a lot here, but I hope it was an interesting chat. I'm doing a lot of reflecting lately and, as I said before, I'd like to live by the "buy once, buy right" motto. With a foundation of new crown molding, new outlets and a fresh coat of paint, I'm convinced the rest will fall into place at some point.


  1. Your rooms are so pretty already. The natural light is gorgeous!

  2. I think you are very smart my friend. Because if you went ahead and 'decorated' the space before doing those foundation issues, no matter how pretty the room, you would only see those little things staring you in the face. You are in a fab house that you will love on for many years, so I am a huge fan of taking your time. :)

  3. Good for you! It's so hard to put your time and money into the "boring stuff" like switchplates, but it will give you a clean backdrop, all the while letting you simmer, like you said. If I have any regret in my house it is making plans too quickly. If I had known I would still be working on it 3 years later, maybe I wouldn't have felt so rushed....!

    1. And what's worse is the "boring stuff" like switchplates and new outlets add up quickly, huh?

  4. i love your focus on the little details and the behind the scenes stuff that really makes a room feel complete...that's my plan this year too!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad I'm not the only one who believes the "behind the scenes stuff" matter--here I thought I was just really particular about details...

  5. One of the frustrating things about decorating is that the best results happen when you take your time. I guess it's like they say....good things come to those who wait.

  6. Love your plans to tackle the "bones" of your space. Your decorating is already lovely so when you decide it's time to move forward with that, it can only be amazing!

  7. Ashley - Your light flooded living room is huge! Great space - love the bay windows!! I agree: focusing on the bones makes sense. Good luck on these projects. I look forward to following along.

    1. It IS a big space, isn't it? The light in the house was one of the first things we fell in love with, so we're not in a rush to get curtains up in most common spaces in the house! :)

  8. Yup. And your rooms look nice now - full of light and space.

  9. I hear you on all of this. We moved into our new house a month before I had Allison, so we haven't really had a lot of time to do much of anything. Establishing very general goals for the house this year is a great way to go about it and hopefully end up accomplishing a lot more. We didn't have a ton of furniture in our old house and most of it was second hand or purchased in our bachelor days, so I have been trying to focus on buying quality pieces that will transition into our home nicely and be around for a while. Setting the foundation with the big picture pieces is a great start. You've got me thinking now.

    1. Thanks, Holly. I appreciate your 2¢. I'm sure life changes like a new baby and a new house really put into priority the things that matter--and decorating a house isn't always a priority.

  10. It all looks so beautiful! took me 5/6 years to get our home settled. So by my time track you are way ahead!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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