Revisiting last year’s renovation wish list – what we managed to accomplish, what we didn’t and what we might be carrying forward into 2022.
Goal setting is always a bit of a struggle for me. Or, maybe a more accurate way to put that might be that setting realistic goals can be challenging. It’s actually pretty easy to come up with a long list of things I’d love to accomplish, but the problem is, it tends to be an impossibly long list. Whether it’s work related, personal or projects around the house, I am notorious for underestimating how much time a task will take which, not surprisingly, makes me often overestimate how much I can actually accomplish. Brady is often my voice of reason and I am slowly learning to lean into his advice when it comes to just how much I can actually handle on my plate at any given time. Case-in-point: the total master bathroom overhaul I thought I wanted to take on 5 weeks before Christmas. Another prime example: the renovation wish list I put together for 2021. Eight home renovation projects I’d hoped we could tackle last year. Sure, eight doesn’t sound like a very lofty number, but considering the sheer magnitude of many of those projects and the big projects we managed to tackle through 2020 (6 months finishing our basement for a start), it’s no surprise we didn’t make it very far through that list.
I promised Brady that I’d make every effort to be at least slightly more realistic in my goal setting for the year ahead. And so, before I get too far ahead of myself with project ideas for 2022, I thought it might be helpful to revisit our renovation list from 2021, reflecting on what we managed to accomplish and what we might still have left to do. My plan from there is to prioritize all of the projects leftover from 2021 (along with the zillion new ideas I’ve had since) to come up with a realistic list of project goals for the year ahead. So, let’s take a peek back at our 2021 renovation wish list…
Revisiting our 2021 Renovation Wish List
Carson’s Room – Finished Enough
While not technically done, Carson’s room is at a point that I would consider done for now at least. It’s beautiful, functional and very cozy feeling and while it could still use some art on the walls and maybe a little desk tucked into the corner beside the closet, those are elements I’d love to collect over time. I don’t want to rush things just for the sake of being finished – instead, I plan to let those perfect pieces find us when the time is right.
The Study – Not Even Close
Our old family room, current work from home office space for hubby – this space has been driving me mad since the day we emptied it out, moving all of our cozy furniture down to our newly finished basement. I had to reuse this photo from last year’s renovation wish list because Brady’s totally taken over the space working from home, but trust me when I say it’s a disorganized, haphazardly thrown together, very dysfunctional office space that really doesn’t seem to be making anybody very happy at the moment. Did I mention that our piano is also trapped in there, which makes piano practice for Carson extra tricky with Brady trying to work. Honestly, nothing about this space is working for us right now.
Though I know I’d love to create a cozy lounge/ study in here, I’ve felt a little stuck with trying to figure out just how I’d like to do that. Even one whole year later, I still don’t really have much of a plan for this space, but you better believe this disaster of a space will be at the very top of my renovation wish list for 2022.
The Bunk Bed Room – Almost There
Well, the only thing that we actually managed to accomplish in this space is moving it to a new space. Hahaha! Technically, I painted the tongue and groove wall in here before moving the bunk beds in, but that’s about as far as we’ve managed to get. It’s definitely a functioning space and has served us well through the past year hosting lots of sleepovers, but I’ve still got some ideas I’d love to work into this space (I’m thinking wall mounted lamps at the head of each bed, some side tables, especially for the top bunks, maybe even some wainscotting and wallpaper?). Because this space works just the way it is for now, it’s likely one I’ll just chip away at over time, but without there being too much to do in here, I may just tack it onto our 2022 wish list and cross my fingers that we find the time to finish it up this year.
The Office/ Guest Room – Nope
Last year, we were unsure about what this space should be. With our old family room moving down to our newly finished basement, it seemed like a good idea to move our home office down to our old family room space. Since then, we’ve learned that just doesn’t work for our family – not only is the new office space not really set up functionally for someone working from home full time (tiny little antique desk, not really much storage space), but it’s taking up prime real estate that our family needs access to both during and outside of work hours. Right now, this space is set up as a guest bedroom, the third guest bedroom in our house no less. Honestly, I can’t imagine a time when we’ll ever need three guest bedrooms (especially when one of them can sleep 4 in bunk beds), so I’m thinking it’s time to re-think this space. Currently, I’m thinking a proper home office would work well in here and, with Brady working from home full time, it would definitely be something we would use, though I also know that he won’t necessarily be working from home forever, which has me questioning whether there might be a better way to put this space to work for our family. Regardless of where we land, it’s pretty clear that this project is yet another that will be coming with us into 2022.
Build a Garage – Haven’t Even Started
We dug up half our yard in the Summer of 2020 to run utilities from the house and lay the ground work to build a second garage out back. And it’s stayed that way ever since. To be fair, we did manage to build a hot tub shelter as well as a brand new deck (which was the whole reason we wanted to run the utilities out to the new garage site, before covering the connections up under the deck) – these were both very time consuming and labour intensive projects that required SO much prep work including tearing out our old concrete patio, driving piles for the new deck structure as well as packing and prepping for the hot tub slab before we could even start construction on the roof overtop. Honestly, it’s another prime example of biting off more than could chew, but I’m super hopeful we’ll manage to get a new garage up back here this Summer.
Landscaping the Backyard – Yet Another Project that we Haven’t Even Started
This backyard has been my nemesis since the day we started to dig it up in the Summer of 2020. It is definitely high on my priority list for 2022, though in an effort to be realistic, I’d be absolutely thrilled to even just have all of the dirt around this hot tub shelter and the new garage that we’re planning to build covered in some way (grass seed and mulch would be just fine with me) – as far as I’m concerned, the real landscaping can wait just as long as this field of dirt is gone by the end of the Summer!
Adding Moulding Around our Main Floor – Haven’t Even Started
This project never did make it onto our to-do list this past year. While I still have dreams of tackling this one day, I think it’s going to be a while before we actually get around to this one.
Finish up our Finished Basement – Not Yet
While I had high hopes of making it through the last few pieces left to actually call our basement finished, we never did make it back around to this one either. Honestly, it’s super functional as is at the moment and, while I really hate the idea of leaving a project unfinished, I think we’ve had bigger fish to fry this year.
Two out of eight. We managed to make it through just two out of our eight wish list renovation projects last year. And you know what – that’s a-okay with me. After spending five years plowing through nearly every inch of our home, gutting and refinishing almost every space through the house and even finishing an entire basement on top of it all, honestly, we needed the break. Of course, we also added in a few more that weren’t even on our reno wish list at the beginning of the year such as finishing the roof and fascia around our hot tub shelter and refinishing the little dresser at our front door. Sure, we don’t really have any big or exciting changes to our home to share for 2021, but we sure did have a wonderful break from it all and I think we’re both feeling more ready to hit the ground running in 2022. I’m hoping to put together our reno wish list for 2022 next week for you all, but in the mean time, I think this look back at 2021 was a good reminder of what renovating a house really looks like – it’s truly a marathon and definitely requires some breaks along the way.
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!