Ever heard that old saying “the cobbler’s kids have no shoes or the shoemaker’s children always go barefoot”? I am guilty of this. I’m always busy working on other peoples homes. I never have time to work on ours lately. For a few years there has been a mental note and a sticky note on the fridge of things we still needed to do around here after we added our covered patio and updated the kitchen and bathrooms. Once the home quarantine order hit we were all sitting around staring at each other. I thought to myself I don’t know how long this is going to last but I better jump on this list before it’s too late. Most of you that know me know I can not sit around. But the biggest question was “geez what to do first”?
The first thing I decided to tackle was the recessed light project we had started. Although I am pretty handy I always recommend everyone hire a professional. I was tired (or I should say Brian was) of replacing bulbs in our recessed light bulbs.. So, I looked into ordering the retro-fit LED recessed lights and they seemed super simple to change out. I did the LED Adjustable Head Downlights over the fireplace too. Once that was done it felt good to check that off the list. Then it was time to get rid of those half circle ceiling lights throughout the house. You know the “boob lights”. These lights are nothing but an eye sore for me so there was only one decision to make. Do we want to order 4” or 6”? After you remove the light fixture and the junction box you are left with a 4” hole which makes this project REALLY easy. Or, do I want to use the 6” circle template to cut the holes with a drywall saw (it’s so messy) and hope the drywall isn’t brittle in some areas where drywall repair might be on my horizon (which I am horrible at). Ugg! Of course I have to have 6” Flush Mount LED lights and make this REALLY complicated and messy. When it came to the lumens (the light it puts out)I wanted bright but not blue so 3500 was my happy lumen. Very happy with how this all turned out. Here’s the lights I got and a handy chart to help you find your happy lumen. Oh and one last tip: if you’re going to add a dimmer make sure it’s compatible before you install. Some dimmers cause flickering if it’s not compatible.
The next project was changing out the rest of the light fixtures. The kitchen island was first. I got some really pretty pendants from Pottery Barn for my island. This was a job for the professional because I only had one light fixture, I wanted to add 2 and there were beams on either side of the existing light. Then I went on a hunt for cute light over my sink and one over my kitchen table. Out with the old and in with the new. Right! You can view the light I selected for over my table here and over my sink here.
Spring was here and it was time to get the garden going. This is only our 3rd year figuring this out on my own. Through trial and error it does get a little better year after year. This year we planted 2 different tomatoes, a few different peppers, herbs and cucumbers. The peppers got eaten by something. I am happy to say we have another great year of lots of tomatoes and cucumbers. I’m hoping to pickle and can some of the tomatoes again this summer. Next year the boxes will need to be rebuilt and I will be incorporating arches because geez the tomato plant got so big they were growing through the deck floor.
Next on the list was landscaping. I’ve been wanting to add hydrangeas, lugustrums, blueberry bush and more hostas for a while in the backyard. The weather was great so why not. We all worked together as a family and I loved how this turned out. Sadly, once summer came something ate my hydrangeas and all my hostas. I tried the shaved soap and some egg concoction and it still got eaten. Ugg. Then I figured since we were all having so much fun (Ha! Not really) why not spring on everyone it was time to replace the old plants in the front yard while it was still pretty cool out. That’s now 2 more things checked off the list.
It was time to get back into the house. I started with an old cabinet Brian and I got as an engagement gift from his parents. It was great back in the day in AZ but I wanted to give it a fresh new look. I had run across this photo of my inspiration.
Thought it would be fun too. WRONG!!! This I learned is not my thing. It might have been back in the day but not anymore. I’m not sure if I don’t have the patience anymore or too old. Either way it’s done, checked off the list and it’s cute. I will say the sander and paint sprayer I got really helped move things along. But before I went into the next thing on the list which was inside I had to clean out the garage. That took a few days. But wow it was so pretty too. I had to add it to the list and then check it off of course. LOL!
Next up was the last ornate light fixture and to create something super pretty on my huge stairwell wall. I was excited for this. I had been incorporating picture ledges in several design projects and decided to incorporate it into my house. I knew one was not gonna cut it so I went with three. I had Emily whip up 3 and I decided to have them painted the same as my trim. Why complicate things. I send my clients to Amazon for framing all the time. I’m a huge fan of buying packs of frames and Amazon has them.
Then I picked up some bigger ones from Home Goods to incorporate in the middle. Wow! I think this turned out better than I expected. My favorite part is coming down every morning and seeing all the wonderful memories we’ve created together.
It was nice to get some of these projects done and several little odds and ends around the house. I still have things on my list and added more (of course) but the phone has been ringing off the hook with clients needing me back to work. What I really enjoyed most, was doing all of this together with Brian, Andrew and Madison. It felt so good to connect with each other. We really enjoyed showing our kids how to do some things around the house and to be assertive to try to do things for themselves.