Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Planning the Summer House Projects

Now that I FINALLY have a house to full on decorate, I'm stalling. I know we won't be moving again in any forseeable future so I don't want to jump into any rash decisions or doing things just to have it done. Most of our focus has been on organizing and finding homes for our belongings. No home is perfect and much as I love ours, there are quite a few projects I identified after moving in. Today I'll give a little run-down on my challenges I'm facing in each room and my large list of "summer" home fix-it projects.

Back deck - we get a lot more morning frost here and it makes the back deck dangerously slippery, even when you know there's that quarter inch of hoar frost and ice. Summer Project #1 - mix grit into the paint and repaint the deck to make it a little more non-skid. Maybe rebuild the stairs if we have time since both sets are uneven in height from stair to stair. Also, there's a path outlined from the deck to the garage that I want to finish by fitting with flagstones.

Back Entry - this area still needs a major organizational revamping. With three of us dumping our coats, shoes, and bags here when we come home and it also being the only convenient space to corral in-process laundry, it frequently becomes a nightmare of clutter and mess. We have a space to drop mail and a place to hang coats, but our shoes (boots mostly) keep overflowing our little shoe bench and there's no good place to put purses and bags. One help will be when I get additional hooks screwed to the top coat rack. The current little knobs aren't deep enough to hang anything on. I want to install a curtain rod above the back door and hang a curtain in front of the side that doesn't open. Some day, I'd like to install a removable grid to make the large glass insets look like a French door, but then you could clean one large glass instead of all those little panes.

3/4 Bath - this is A's space so while she lives with us, any decorating is up to her.

Kitchen - We're doing well on organizing this space. I can't find drawer dividers that I like, so on my project list is to custom make some for the utensil drawers (2) and the junk drawer. Summer Project #2 is to put up our pot rack above the island, which will clear up between one and two cabinets, allowing for better organization of those area. Summer Project #3 - change the microwave mounting and venting. Whoever installed the microwave left around 28" of space from the top of the stove to the bottom of the microwave. There's not enough clearance to use a stock pot on the back burners and stir the contents. Also, currently the microwave only sucks out steam from below and then spits it out above the microwave and provides little to no actual venting. We will be installing a venting duct to send that air outside and have three ideas on how to modify the cabinets to hide this ducting.

Dining Room - fix broken arm on new lighting fixture and install above table. Refinish dining room table. Repair broken pane of glass in display cabinet, add additional glass shelves.

Office - install cafe-style curtain rod on top and bottom of door with curtain across glass pane to provide a privacy filter. This room is J's domain so I leave any other planning of decor for it to him!

Front Room - this is the space that gives me FITS. It is long and the placement of the double-wide archway into the dining room, the front door, and the fireplace leave one whole end poorly utilized. In some world where cost wasn't an issue, I'd like to build stairs there to go down into the basement (which will someday be dug out a few additional feet and finished off). Sadly, the curtain rods I loved from our apartment are about three inches too short to go above the long windows in the front room. The difficulty will be in finding rods that will stretch those lengths (and be as beloved as my old ones that I plan to move to the kitchen). While I still like the curtains we used in the apartment, they are too dark now for the soft yellow walls and white trim everything. I will probably solve these energy and heat-saving issues when the cold weather is gone, since that's the way the world seems to work!

Front Porch - Summer Project #4 - rebuild the front steps. They are dangerously uneven in height and the first step up is way too tall, it's difficult for the average person to use. We have plenty of walk way so we will stretch the run out a little longer as well to allow for better rise. Summer Project #5 - I don't think we'll honestly get to this one, but we want to build a custom screen enclosure that will allow Ivan to come and go through a window out on to the porch for his summer air, smells, and sounds.

Moving upstairs....
Upper Stairs - I fell on these on Thanksgiving and gave myself an enormous bruise, a bruise so deep it took at least four days to completely come to the surface. Sadly, I wasn't the first person to fall on these, either! So, these instruments of danger need to be rebuilt to be perfectly even in the rise and run of each step (they aren't). We will probably have to take a little space away from the upper landing to make them safer. Summer Project #6 and possibly the most important.

Bathroom - Project #7 - install a venting fan to reduce moisture after showers. I would also love to build one of these little cubbies into the beadboard next to the toilet, but that will be some future year.


Craft Room - this will get it's own entire series of posts. However, no large "fix-it" projects. The first project is for the weather to warm up so I can finish spray painting my large bookcase! I was only able to get the primer coat on before the weather became too cold for spray painting. Without my bookcase, my poor room is a disaster with disorganized boxes and materials everywhere!

Master Bedroom - Nothing here regarding construction. At some point, I would like to upgrade the attic/crawl space access from just a hole in the ceiling with cover to one of those nice pull-down stair contraptions. However, that's definitely a "someday" project and not a concern for the near future.

Goodness, looking at all this, it's going to be a BUSY summer, and that's not even including our designs for our yard!

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