Alicia & Ben » Blog

Done, Not Done!

We had so much motivation when we first moved in the house.  I think I was nearly completely unpacked in 5 days.  Then I realized I had a few big items coming up: my birthday trip, Utah trip, McKay’s birthday, and girls camp.  So, shortly after moving in we had to pause from house projects and get through those other commitments.  Now that girls camp is over I thought it best to take inventory of where we are and what we have left to do.

Disclaimer: I took these pictures today and the house is far from clean and tidy so please do overlook clutter and messes.  I straightened up a little but it’s still far from perfect.  Also, I did minimal editing to the pictures.

Note: If you have ideas or suggestions – please share!

Big things we’ve already had done: new AC, new drywall in the ceiling of the garage because Ben slipped while putting stuff in attic, painted the whole house inside and outside including ceilings, new flooring in the whole house, and new baseboards.

So, shall we start with the biggest items yet to be done?

The stairs still look like this:


Not so pretty! Our plan is for Ben to DIY the stairs and do white risers and wood treads. Can’t wait to get that done.

Before we do that, though, Ben is going to tackle the “living room”. Right now it looks like this:

DSC_0015 DSC_0070
Most of that is girls camp stuff that needs to be organized and taken to the church.  The sofa needs to be sold.  Haven’t found a buyer yet:(  The big project in this room is we plan to build a long built-in desk with drawers and then bookshelves up above.  Perhaps, something like this:

Right now we’re using our old TV console table as our computer desk.  It’s quite rough on the back to type stooped over as I am right now.

After the built-ins we then need to do molding in the front two rooms.  Something like this but not as tall:


Once the molding is in, we should be able to finish the base boards.  We still have to finish a few rooms and do a lot of the detail work filling the nail holes and touch up paint.

So, let me start over again.

When you drive up to the house you see this:


Getting that pink gone did a world of good for the house, but we still need to get the trees trimmed and do some landscaping.  We also have a quote from a guy to install gutters; just need to call him and get on his schedule.  We’ve already cut down 8ish trees but there’s still loads of yard work to do!

When you enter the house you see this:

DSC_0019The Master is to the right; the kids bedrooms are to the left.

Let’s start with the Master bedroom. I’m not so much in love with it, to be honest.  I wanted a darker grey but the color looks brown in most light.  Also, I’m a little tired of our bedroom set because I feel like it’s dark and heavy and I’d like something lighter and happier but I keep it for sentimental reasons and because I don’t want to spend the money to change things. So, our room is like this:


DSC_9938 DSC_9939

The Master bathroom is in dismal shape.  We don’t even have running water from the faucets!  We had one of the four knobs working and we bought all the parts to replace the hardware but it turns out one small piece was the wrong size.  We brush our teeth in the other bathroom and wash our hands in the bathtub.  We still haven’t painted and there’s no mirror.  Things we HAVE done include: ripped out the wallpaper (took hours and hours and hours!), bought and installed a new shower head, scrubbed every inch, and installed a new toilet.


Now, for the kids’ rooms.

Sadie’s room currently looks like this:


It’s a little blah. I painted the chest and her bed – they were cheap things I found off of craigslist. My dad did her whole closet system and we LOVE it!

The boys room is even more blah.:)


I think I’m going to paint it a dark blue. I like the beds because they are convertible and it’s great that they don’t consume the room. They’re a little feminine, though?  One wagon was a freebie from my parent’s garage. The other I bought for $15 off craiglist. The kids put their books, night time toys, and blankies in them.

The kids bathroom looks like this:


We installed new hardware and a new toilet and painted. We plan to redo the bathtub and tile so it’s a perfect white instead of a dirty looking yellow-brown.

Coming back downstairs:


Do you like my huge ‘J’?



We need a new rug but poor Shadow is about to die and I’m worried he’s going to have accidents on it so we’re holding off on buying a few things until he passes to the next life:(Sad but true. We also need two new chairs, a stand for the TV, and décor on the walls.

The kitchen isn’t transformed too much. We bought a new dishwasher, a new garbage disposal, and oven racks.  We planned to do a new backsplash, under cabinet lighting, and have the countertops professional cleaned/polished.  We need to buy chairs for the table. I think I may try to paint the current table white. The bookshelf was hideous until I painted it turquois.  It was part of Sadie’s bedroom set, but I’m using it in the kitchen to hold cookbooks.


I wonder if I should keep this “Wash” sign in the kids bathroom for a gentle reminder to wash their hands after they use the potty.


The downstairs bathroom still needs a new shower put in. It was leaking badly and needed a new shower pan. The plumber has put that in and replaced the shower hardware; now we just need to pick out tile. We are struggling to decide on tile.


Downstairs playroom:


I really want to buy a kids table set for that room and get rid of the futon. I’ve found my perfect table but it comes with a hefty price tag. (


I love it. It’s brilliant. It’s expensive. Oh well.

The backyard is still crazy. We have put a lot of money into the pool. $300 for the kiddie fence, $500 to repair cracks and paint the decking, and $250 for a creepie crawly. That was why I didn’t want a pool. We do go in it a lot so it makes it a little easier to deal with the cost of upkeep.


Playing with tadpools.



That’s where we’re at now. It’s been a lot of work! Still a lot to do, too! We’re very ready to get going again and get this stuff finished up in the coming months!

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  • August 12, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Desiree - It’s looking GREAT! You’re really making it a cozy home. I have to keep going back to look at old pictures for the before. Fabulous job really! I especially love the sleepy pictures of MckayReplyCancel

  • August 13, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    Niki Kemple - I love it! Even uncompleted and in the middle of projects, I’m still having house envy! The staircase is my favorite detail of the house, and the little wagons at the ends of your boys beds are genious! I love the giant “J”, and Sadie’s repurposed bookshelf for your cookbooks is perfect! One day I’ll have to come see it in person!ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2014 - 7:52 pm

    Shannon - Wow! You have done so much to your house. It’s probably overwhelming to see how much left you want to get done, but you really have accomplished a lot. I love your ideas for the shelving and molding in your house too. I would love to do that some day too. I’m not great at suggesting home decorating. I usually need someone to offer me suggestions, but I really like the changes you have made. Everything looks so bright and cheery too!ReplyCancel

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