I realize the to-do-list here will always be a pretty fluid list. There will be things that get added because of emergencies, things that we add as we notice them and projects that time and budget allow us to complete. Parts of it will really be more of a “wish list.” After the Christmas decorations came down, I walked through the first floor and made a list. I decided to focus just on the first floor for now since that is what people see. Or at least that is what we want people to see! Some of these are things that we can handle ourselves. It is nice to finally be in a position where many of the projects are things we can do ourselves. It was part of the appeal in owning an older home.
Here is what I hope to get finished. I haven’t put a time frame on it but none of them appears to be overwhelming or too costly. Time will tell.
Find new wallpaper for the study. I hate this wallpaper but haven’t been able to find one that I really like. I thought about painting the walls but the ceiling has the oak bema’s and is painted red, which I don’t think would look right with painted walls. I have been looking at using fabric but the installation seems challenging.
Finally decide what to do with the carpet on the staircase. I am still considering leaving the stairs bare. It is so much easier to clean them. If I do that, I need to varnish them. The last time they were refinished the center of the stairs were left unvarnished. That is just another thing that makes me shake my head and ask “why?”
Refinish the kitchen cabinets. I am really happy with the new (temporary) counter tops and the lay out with the island turned into a peninsula. I know a total kitchen remodel is somewhere in our future but not in the immediate future. I can live with it as it is now but think refinishing the cabinets will make the kitchen look and feel new. The doors are solid oak and in good shape. The hardware is rusted or missing. I would like to paint the doors and add new hardware. I know this is something I can do myself. Maybe I will tackle this next. The hard part is weather to paint the cabinets a fun bright color, stain them a darker color or paint them white. It is not my forever kitchen so I am leaning towards doing something fun with them. Plus it is just paint and I can always change it if I hate it!
Find some fun things and actually decorate some of this house. I know the house needs some “stuff.” All the design books, magazines, shows have beautifully arranged furniture and accessories in their rooms. I have always been clutter adverse. I don’t want to move stuff to dust. I have kids and pets and I don’t want to worry stuff will get broken. But this house seems to need stuff to fill up the spaces and make the rooms feel more complete. I know we need more furniture too but I don’t have the budget to bring in all new furniture pieces. So I need some “stuff” and some smaller furniture pieces. The problem is I don’t know what I am really looking for. I don’t want stuff just to have stuff. I don’t necessarily want all old or antique pieces. It is time to start figuring out what I want/need. I think it could be fun but worry it will be frustrating. If anyone has any ideas on how to do that I am open to suggestions.
Call the plumber. We need to have the toilet in the powder room replaced. We have tried repairing it and it still runs all the time. We also need to get water to the hand sink in the powder room. I hope these will be two inexpensive fixes but having the plumber in never ends without a shockingly high bill. Besides, George is probably wondering what happened to his buddy.
Patch and paint the butlers pantry. The butlers pantry has some weird things going on right now. There is a spot on the ceiling that has been patched many times before and is currently falling off the ceiling. It doesn’t appear to be wet and we can’t tell what is going on exactly but it needs to be repaired. The paint in this room also is a problem. It seems the paint that was used before was not good paint or maybe they applied it badly but it is pulling off the wall. the kids are having trouble not picking at it which isn’t helping. Fortunately it seems to be a problem with the paint and not caused by an underlying problem. Like water. Then there is the giant crack over the cabinets. This is more of a mystery. If you follow this wall up, it is the stairwell wall. There does not appear to be any plumbing behind it and it is an inside wall so probably not a leak somewhere above that is causing the plaster to crack. Matt found a plaster repair technique he has wanted to try and this might be just the place.
None of these are overwhelming and hopefully nothing too costly. They will help make the house more functional, look nicer and feel more like ours. Maybe we can get most of these things done before summer when will need to do some serious work on the landscaping/exterior of the house.