It’s that time of year again – time to plan out this year’s house projects! And with January behind us, we seem to have a better grasp of which projects we can reasonably tackle in 2023.
I am not big on making new year resolutions (why set myself up for failure…) but, every year, I do like to take inventory of all my home to-do’s and try to plan out where we will focus our energy. I made my first to-do list for our current home last year (here) and I think we did a pretty good job at sticking to it (you can find our final review of the year here).
Having now lived here for a full year, I can honestly say my wish list has grown exponentially. Not because there is anything wrong per se with our current space but, rather, because I am always looking at how to better a space (be it aesthetically, functionally, etc.) and since our current home is a new build, it has so much potential. But, alas, while the ideas are endless, the budget is not… So here is what I think we can realistically expect to tackle in 2023…
There’s something about a lot of blank walls that makes a space feel unfinished; that’s how I feel about our hallways. I am not a fan of displaying family photos in our home – a few photos strategically placed here and there is fine but I don’t want our walls to be a shrine to us. Instead, I am hoping to breathe some dimension into our space by adding wall moldings throughout the home (to create a cohesive look) and will likely hang art in the main areas. I’m hoping to snap some fun photos of the boys this year and will hang those in their hallway.
This hallway is nice but it’s missing a little something on the walls to make the space more lived in and to tie in the other hallways in our home…
We may have been a little too ambitious to think we could tackle both of our unfinished spaces (playroom and gym) in our first year of living here but I think we have our priorities straight this time around. We use the gym everyday and the potential in there is amazing (I have a long wish list for that space) but we are adults and we can live with the exposed wires and nails for a few more years.
The kids’ playroom is another story… They have a lot of toys in there but, for safety reasons, we don’t want them to be in there unsupervised. So this will be one of the first spaces we tackle in 2023. We already ordered the framing wood and drywall in 2022 and have our electrician lined up but it will still likely be a year-long project before it is truly complete. Next on the budget is ordering flooring, baseboards and trim.
The one item that is at the very top of my wish list is the mudroom.
We currently have a dedicated space which I call our “mudroom” right off of the garage. It is in the same space as our laundry room. It has a bench and coat hooks, so it is fine… just fine… It has no storage so in the winter the hats, gloves, etc. are sprawled all over the place and the mess is just repeated in the summer but with beach bags, towels, sun hats and flip flops.
Our mudroom is small – it was supposed to be a walk-in coat closet but we removed the coat closet from the plans and kept the same layout. It’ll be comprised of two walls (since it is open to our laundry area and is too narrow to build out on all three sides). So I will have to be creative but I really think that, when done, it will change the way we come in to our home.
If 2022 taught me anything it was that our outside space will never be “done”. The hope is that each year it will be better than the previous but, with a 2 acre lot and way too many Pinterest ideas, I would be setting myself up for failure if I tried to make this one big project. Instead, we’ll tackle it in numerous very small stages.
The goal for 2023 is to work on the front and side of the house. We are hoping to add an interlock path leading to our front door, add some plants and boxwoods below the windows, plant some cedars along the one side where we have a neighbor and seed the entire lot in hopes that we start getting some grass. Sounds ambitious when I write it all out so I’ll try not to be too hard on myself if we don’t do it all but the desire is there and I think both Paolo and I are committed to make it happen.
5) Luca’s Room (maybe…)
This is a bittersweet “maybe”…
Luca was one when we moved into this home. I decided at the time that I would keep his room simple – I felt that there was no point in creating a nursery but also it was too soon for a big boy room… While I haven’t touched his space, I have a lot of ideas for it. The driving force to design this room will be when he is ready to transition from a crib to a bed. Theo had just turned 3 years old when he started showing signs of being ready to sleep in a bed. Luca is turning three in October 2023 so if he follows in his brother’s footsteps then we may be looking at tackling this space towards the end of this year. But I won’t be rushing him – Luca’s my last little baby and I’m not sure I’m ready to let that stage of life go just yet… (plus, he’s totally the type of kid who will get out of his room at 4am and wreak havoc in our home)…
6) Guest Bedroom
I wasn’t planning on having the guest bedroom on this year’s project list but sometimes unexpected events help shift your priorities… Luckily, this one is a good shift.
When we built the house, I opted to remove the closet in our guest room and just leave the nook (where the closet would have gone) as empty space. I did this because the closet area was pretty wide (for a small guest room) and I preferred to have a smaller built-in closet and a desk area combined.
Up until now, our guest room has only ever been used by my parents who live about 2.5 hours away. They usually come down for only 2 days at a time, so there’s no need for a dedicated closet. But this year, in August, Paolo’s mom will be visiting from Italy! The last time we saw her, Theo was only 10 weeks old, so it will be 6 years since we’ve been together. While she will be splitting her time between ours and Paolo’s sister’s house, I still want to make sure that she has enough storage in her room here to be comfortable.
And as if the above was not already a lot to tackle, I am forever hoping, dreaming, planning of little things I can do around the house, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I sneak in a few un-planned projects onto the list along the way…
But, in a nutshell, this is what we have planned for 2023. Stay tuned to see what we actually get done!