Sharing the projects that we’re planning to tackle this Summer as well as a few that are on our wish list too!
Summers are so short here in Northern Alberta. If we’re lucky, we’ve got just 5 months of warm weather to enjoy before another cold and snowy Winter rolls through. Our Summers may be short around here, but we definitely know how to make the most of them, with a very intentional balance of taking on a few outdoor projects while still leaving a whole lot of time for Summer fun.
With a couple weeks worth of Summer adventure under our belt already (you can catch up with our Summer vacation fun here if you missed it), it’s time to start thinking about which projects we might want to take on around here this Summer too. While we’ve already started on a couple of them, there are definitely several more that we’d love to make our way through before the Summer passes us by. I’m sure it’s no surprise that our to-do list around here is miles long, but in the interest of maintaining some semblance of balance through it all, we’ve been trying our best to prioritize the projects that are the most important to us right now (whether that be because they really should be done to help the house function better for us, or because we just REALLY want them). Today, I thought it would be fun to share some of the ideas we’ve settled on for our Summer project list, as well as few extras if we happen to have some extra time. While this list is likely still a little long for our short Summer season, several of these ideas are ones that I can chip away at well beyond Summer if I need to. I’ve split our list into “outdoor projects”, which would have to be finished up before Winter rolls in, and “indoor projects”, which are a priority for me in terms of helping our home to function better for us, but can be worked on no matter the season.
ONE: Get our in-ground sprinkler system up and running.
When this house was originally built, there was a sprinkler system installed with all of the landscaping that covered the entire yard, including all of the garden beds; however, we figure it’s been at least 15 years since it’s been used. Brady’s already been hard at work with this one though – he’s tested each of the lines, dug out all of the heads that have been long overgrown with grass, redesigned the entire system using the existing water lines and ordered up all of the parts he’ll need to bring it back to life. Now, it’s just a matter of carving out the time to get it all installed and running. After several weeks away from this project, he’s eager to get back to it – he’s hoping we’ll be using our sprinkler system to water all the things within the next few weeks.
TWO: Add mulch to our flower beds.
I spent hours and hours digging out our gardens from under all of the weeds and overgrown plants that had taken over them all. And then hours more replenishing them with loads of new soil and replanting them with healthy new trees and shrubs. I’ve been doing my best to maintain all that hard work, keeping up with the weeds and watering, but taking care of all of these gardens is A LOT of work. Once Brady’s done digging up the flower beds to add the sprinkler lines back in, not only will we be able to water everything automatically, but we’ll also be able to cover all that dirt with mulch, which will help cut down on all that weeding. Plus, it’ll look much more finished too.
THREE: Paint the garage doors.
It drives me bonkers that our garage doors are a different colour than literally every other thing on this already very busy exterior. I’ve already tackled the rest of our exterior doors, stripping our front door back to it’s original oak colour (can you believe it used to be bright purple?!) and painting out the rest of our doors to match the Tudor boards (you can see our back doors all painted out in the photo below) – I’d love to paint out our garage doors to match as well.
FOUR: Swap out our exterior lights.
You may not have noticed, but our current exterior lights have definitely seen better days. Original to the house, they’re not only old and rusted, but on many of the lights, the metal is actually splitting around the light bulbs (you can see what I mean in the photos above). Honestly, aside from that, the lights aren’t so bad, but I do think our current lights are a missed opportunity to make a statement – we could definitely go with something much more bold here to make them more of a feature I think.
FIVE: Paint the living room built-ins.
I’ve had this idea for ages now and I just can’t wait to see it come to life – I’d love to paint these built-in shelves in our living room black to match the black doors we have scattered throughout the connected kitchen, dining and hallway spaces. I think black cabinets and unlacquered brass hardware would bring some much needed contrast to this corner of our living room and it would give me a chance to test out the look before we bring a more permanent change into this space with the bigger renovations we have planned down the line. If only those awful floors were as easy to change! Ha!
SIX: Paint the study (again).
You’re going to think I’m crazy (this won’t be my first time changing the paint in this study), but hear me out. I’ve got a plan for this space and it involves some super fun tile and carpet and furniture, all of which needs a lighter, more forgiving background I think (you can read more about my plans for this space here). Plus, if I’m being honest, I’m missing the white and oak that we used to have through the rest of our main floor. I wasn’t ever going to keep it anywhere else (besides our entryway and the fireplace in our main living room), but knowing we won’t be changing any of the oak in this study, this really feels like a perfect opportunity to bring back the warmth of that oak and white that I’ve been missing everywhere else. So, as much as I wish it didn’t mean painting this room again (it was by far the hardest room to paint in our home with all that shelving to cut-in around), in the end, I do really think the walls in here need to be white.
SEVEN: Furnish the study.
Of all the rooms in this house, the study is my absolute favourite. And, while I have plans to change out the tile and carpet in the near(ish) future, I’d really like to make the space more useful for our family in the mean time. Right now, it’s really just an empty space with a desk and a couple of arm chairs, but I’d love for it to be a cozy little nook for our family, one that we can curl up in for a visit or just some alone time with a good book. I’d really love to get the furniture and window coverings for this space ordered up soon so that we can start enjoying this space the way we should (you can see my top contenders here).
Honestly, with just three(ish) months left of Summer, that’s a pretty ambitious list to work through, but I’m hopeful we can make a good dent at the very least. And of course, just in case we find ourselves with some extra time through the Summer ahead, we do have a few other projects on our mind too:
- Build a new shed. We’d love to replace our old shed with something bigger and more functional for our family, and in a better spot in our yard to boot.
- Refinish the tennis court. This is actually really high on our list, but it’s been really hard to find a company that will even return our calls. Why is hiring out work SO hard?! This is how we end up having to do everything ourselves, we can never seem to find contractors that will do good work, when they say they’re going to do it, let alone return a call. Ugh.
- Start on rebuilding our deck. Our poor deck is in such rough shape, but taking on an entire rebuild of it all feels like a daunting task at the moment. This will likely be a project for next year, but we have talked about maybe taking on one little section this year if we can carve out the time.
Do you have any house projects planned for the Summer ahead? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.