2018 Master List of Home Goals

Happy 2018, y’all! I hope the new year is off to a very good start for you!

I took full advantage of my blogging and DIY break over the last week or so. I didn’t even so much as think about working on any projects. Instead, I made it my life mission (just for a week) to do absolutely nothing, to binge watch every cheesy Hallmark movie I could find online, and to relax. It was awesome.

But once the calendar switched over to January 1st, I was ready to go. I’ve spent the last two days cleaning and organizing, and now I’m ready to jump into my projects with both feet. I’m very excited about what this year holds as far as my house goes. I’m hoping to end the year with a finished and fully functional studio, new half bathroom, mudroom, and pantry.

At the beginning of last year, I made a pretty thorough “to do” list, which broke down my project goals room-by-room. I loved having that list. I felt like it kept me focused for most of the year, and kept me moving forward rather than spinning my wheels with busy work but never getting things done. So because it worked so well for me last year, I’m going to do it again.

So what’s in store for this year? Let’s take a look at each room/area…

House Exterior:

The exterior of our house got quite a bit of attention last year, with the garage doors removed and replaced with windows, a side entry with portico added, and all new siding installed. But even with all of the progress, things were left in such an unfinished/halfway finished state that it’s kind of hard to fully appreciate the changes. So this year, during those pretty days in the spring and fall, I’d like to focus on some exterior projects. I’d like to…


I made a pretty big dent in the entryway last year, with the grasscloth, artwork, credenza and greenery. It just needs a bit more decorating to be finished. So my “to do” list for the entryway is basically to…

Living Room:

I also made some headway on the living room last year. At least now it’s actually usable, and I have a place to sit down and relax. But there’s still quite a bit to do before this room can be called “finished.” I need to…

  • Touch up paint on baseboards, fireplace, and crown moulding
  • Reupholster two chairs
  • Make draperies
  • Install chandelier closer to the ceiling
  • Make throw pillows
  • Decorate and accessorize to finish
  • Repaint fireplace Done! (January) Click here to see.

Music Room:

The music room is well on its way to being finished, but I do have a couple of really big projects in here. I want to…


This hallway was supposed to be an easy project last year, but it has become such a thorn in my side. It’s so close to being finished, but at the rate I’ve been going on it, I’ll be lucky if I finish it this year. (Hopefully that’s a joke. I hope.) The issue is the big built-in cabinet.

I built the cabinet from scratch, and pretty much got it completely finished. Then I realized that I made a big design mistake, so I undid much of what I did to make the necessary changes. But getting it finished (again) has been quite the challenge.

When I moved the cabinet away from the wall, added the spacer, and then shoved the cabinet back against the wall, the drawer never worked properly after that. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit fiddling with that drawer, and it still won’t work properly. So I’m starting over. I don’t mean that I’m starting over on the cabinet, but I’m starting over on the drawer. So in the hallway, I still need to…

Hallway Bathroom:

The bathroom was finished a while back, but with the new hallway door color, the bathroom vanity now needs a new paint color. You can see that I’ve tested out a few, but have yet to find one that I like. The list for this room is a short one, but I need to…


My kitchen got a huge makeover last year, from green to teal, so it’s pretty much finished. But there are still a couple of things that need to be done before I’ll call it finished…

  • replace glass in upper cabinet doors Done! (Kind of.)(August) Click here to see.
  • get new appliances

Breakfast Room:

My breakfast room was completely finished. And now it’s not. That’s just how things go when remodeling an old house. To get it back to its finished state, I need to…

  • paint the new pocket door Done! (January) Click here to see.
  • install trim around the door Done! (January)
  • repair drywall where switches were removed Done! (January)


The pantry has actually come a long way from where it started, but unless you actually see the before pictures, you’d never know it. Right now, it just looks like a big, unorganized closet. I need to…

  • wire outlet for freezer Done! (December) Click here to see.
  • build cabinets for storage Done! (November/December) Reveal coming soon!
  • make a wood countertop Done! (October) Click here to see.
  • make or buy a shade for the window Done!
  • build floating shelves Done! (November) Click here to see.


Here’s where things start to get real. Unlike the other rooms of the house, where the hard parts (like drywall, installing flooring, running new electrical wiring, etc.) are already done and the rooms just need some decorative touches to be finished, these last three rooms/areas are way back at the beginning stages. They’re just shells. Blank slates. And these will be the biggest projects of the year.

I’ve actually been using my studio, but I’ve been using it as a workshop, which is why the floor is covered with sawdust. That’s not quite what this room was intended for, so I need to get all of this mess cleaned up, and then…

  • run all new electrical wiring
  • insulate the ceiling and walls
  • install drywall
  • install hardwood flooring
  • stain and polyurethane flooring
  • paint the walls and ceiling
  • install door casings and baseboards
  • build office cabinets
  • build project area cabinets and desk
  • build huge workroom table
  • make window treatments
  • build or buy a new desk
  • decorate and accessorize to finish

Half Bathroom:

The new half bathroom needs basically everything that the studio needs, just on a much smaller scale…

  • run all new electrical wiring
  • insulate the ceiling and walls
  • install drywall
  • install tile flooring
  • paint the walls and ceiling
  • install door casings and baseboards
  • build a vanity
  • make a shade for the window
  • decorate and accessorize to finish

Mudroom Back Entry and Closet:

The tiny mudroom (it’s probably pretty generous to call this a mudroom) is currently being used to store random furniture. So I need to clear that out, and then…

UPDATE: In July, I decided that this area would be of much more use to me as a large storage closet where I can store my large power tools on rolling carts. This came about because of the addition of the carport, which we didn’t expect to be doing this year. Click here to see the changes to this back area of the studio.

  • run all new electrical wiring
  • insulate the ceiling and walls
  • install drywall
  • install tile flooring
  • paint the walls and ceiling
  • install door casings and baseboards
  • build a closet around the HVAC
  • paint the French doors
  • buy and install new door knobs and deadbolt
  • decorate and accessorize to finish


Wow. That list seems way longer than last year’s, and I didn’t finish my list last year. So we’ll see just how far I get on this one in the next 12 months. I’m way less concerned about finishing the list than I am about just having clear goals that are written down and that will keep me focused. Even if I only get halfway through the list, I’ll be fine with it as long as I’ve maintained forward momentum throughout the year.

And I’m sure, just like last year’s list, this list will change as the year progresses. But it should be a very fun year in the home and DIY department!

In addition to this “to do” list, I’ve also decided that this year, I want to do two other things.

First, I want to make more artwork. I thrive on creativity, and sometimes my need for creativity isn’t met when I’m working on building projects for days (or weeks) on end. So this year, one of my resolutions is to make more time for fun, creative projects that serve no purpose other than to keep me feeling renewed and energized.

And second, I want to make more videos. Many of you have asked for a video tour of my home, and I’m actually planning on having that ready either this week or the beginning of next week. And I want to make videos regularly to share with you, whether it’s a tour, a room update, a DIY project, an artwork project, or something else.

So I’m ready to get this year’s projects started! Here’s to a fun, productive, and rewarding 2018! 🙂



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  1. Wow, this will be fun, looking forward to it!! Hey, fyi, we just had new flooring installed. Vinyl planks that look like hard wood in our basement rec room/man cave/studio and it is SOoooo awesome!! You could do this in your whole mudroom/bathroom/studio area-maybe think about it. Happy New Year!

  2. I love everything you do and we share a love of the same color palette. On it’s own, I really like the fireplace, but whenever I see it with a picture of the entire room, it seems to weigh the room down and distract from all the other pretty things. I don’t dislike it, but it just doesn’t seem to fit with your new direction. Food for thought, it’s your house and if you love it, that’s fine too.

  3. What happened to the bolt cover on the commode? I was on favor of leaving the fireplace dark until I saw the recent pic. I am thinking white now.

  4. I don’t post much but enjoy your blog. I always look forward to reading it. I am so excited about the year to come. Maybe I will get something done in my own home.

  5. I’m not sure how I stumbled on to your blog, but I love it! It’s given me so many ideas for my own fixer upper home. I’m definitely interested to see how you build the floating wood porch over the concrete porch. I would love to do that for our home!

  6. I hope you will hire out some of the stuff that you really don’t like to do, like the dry walling for the rooms in the back. That sucks up a lot of time that you could be working on other things that you enjoy more. Great lists. Looking forward to what you do in 2018.

  7. I have so missed your blog while you were taking a break. So excited for you to be back. Still so in love with your living room rug.

  8. Happy New Year! Good that the list of goals worked for you last year. I am the opposite, every time I make big plans, something happens and deviates me in another direction.

    Two questions – 1) why do you want the chandelier in the living room closer to the ceiling? It looks OK on the picture. 2) are you going to have another switch by the pocket door in the breakfast room? The location of the old switch seems just right but I suppose it was in the way of the pocket door.

    Good luck with all the new projects! Looking forward for your posts.

  9. So glad you had a good break, but so happy to have you back! I am looking forward to all of your projects this year!

  10. Just reading your list tires me out but i’m sure you’ll get loads accomplished. I’m amazed at how multi-talented you are!

    Have a happy and productive new year!

  11. You are my hero! I’m literally cannot do one thing you accomplished last year, but look forward every day to see what you are tackling next. Can’t wait for the new list you have decided to work on this year.

  12. Wow! Reading your post and hearing about all your 2018 projects is overwhelming to me, but I know you will accomplish all of them!
    We just sold our home and will be starting to either build or purchase. Either way,a lot of work and I’m twice your age!
    I’ll be watching you for inspiration and motivation. Happy 2018!

  13. WOW Kristi!

    That’s quite the list! Thank you for inspiring me to make my own list. I don’t have your talent but sometimes I can see the potential in our place. My big mission this year is to declutter and organize. Our office is out of control!

    Best of luck and Happy New Year to you and Matt!

  14. Greetings from the Amazon area of Ecuador, Kristi (and fellow followers of your endeavors)

    I think you have a good perspective on your need to sandwich in your creative projects as ideas occur to you. I wish you well on those projects. I well know it’s an itch you have to scratch. I well know. Did the masterful three-panel art piece do that for you?

    Your fireplace is a nice color. Seems that repeating its color at least one other place in the room would be good. (I see it is the area rug.) Perhaps it is in the pillow fabric you chose? I can’t remember. The blinds are a dominant component to my eye. They blend, yes, but they add a stark element because the hues in your rug are so subtle.

    The music room chairs: hmmm? So, are they worn so that you feel you have to recover them? I rather like them, as is. A blending pillow for each for comfort and interest?

    I will look forward to videos you will produce. How about a peek at you? It would be a treat to see more views of YOU besides your picture on your home page. Just be you in your work duds and your readers will be able to visualize you doing your tasks.

    An ambitious list, indeed. I am anxious to see your studio all finished. How fun to have a place to work to your heart’s content!

    You inspire many of us to undertake projects in our own homes. Here in Macas, Ecuador I am enjoying my own efforts of decorating my apartment. I can’t find some of the products I would like to use, but when I travel to the larger cities I will be on the scout.

    Best wishes,


  15. Save something for 2019! Just kidding – Happy New Year, and savor the feeling each time you are able to check something on your list!

  16. I think the best part about your 2018 list is the variety. I remember that while you were knee deep in the kitchen make over you felt that you needed something creative to do. With this list you can work on the studio and when you need to take a break you can knock off some of the smaller, more creative jobs in the other rooms.

  17. I’m glad you recuperated, but I’m glad you’re back, too! Your list is very interesting as it is so diverse, and I’m looking forward to following you through another year! I hope that several items on the list (such as painting your house exterior) is going to be hired out instead of you doing it, as I remember how glad you’ve always been when you could do that with tasks that are either too boring or too exhausting for you. Anyway, cannot wait to see the next projects – and that house video! I hope you and Matt have a great new year!

  18. I always love reading your blog. You’ve come along way on your house. I have one suggestion, in your hall bath, why not take a neutral color out of the tile to paint the vanity? You have such rich colors on the doors and your kitchen cabinets. Use a neutral on that so you won’t have to compete with so much color. You can use the door color with accents in there.

  19. Thanks so much for sharing…here’s to a fun and productive New Year! I have no doubt you will make a huge, beautiful dent in your list. One thought, and I think someone else mentioned, would you consider a different flooring in the studio? I’m thinking with all the projects, a more durable option might be a better choice. I’ve got wood look tile in my sewing/craft room. It’s so easy to sweep/vacuum and slide around in my castered chair and I don’t worry about scratches or damage when I inevitably drop the scissors/tsquare;etc. Also helps with having my cutting table on wheels. I don’t worry about damage, yet it still looks great. Just food for thought.

  20. You accomplished so much in 2017 Kristi, and I for one am looking forward to following your progress in 2018. You have lots of little finishing tasks and some very big tasks ahead, and it’s exciting following your journey of transforming your home into an stylish and elegant home! Love your blog and wishing you and Matt a very Happy New Year!

  21. Have missed your posts. Can’t wait to see all the progress in 2018. Really looking forward to your pantry and studio! Have fun and know we are all jealous to see how great your home looks!

  22. I love a list too! I am so happy that you are not giving yourself a goal to finish but just to do! And VIDEOS! So excited!

  23. I’m so happy to see a nice long list, because I actually dread the day you finish, if there is such a thing, this house. I look forward to your posts and am in awe of all you do. If I were you, I would walk around the rooms daily and pat myself on the back for the huge amount of things that have been accomplished.

  24. You are flat out AMAZING. Can I be your apprentice because this 45 year-old single (and sole parent) mom is struggling to keep my head above water in my falling-down-house : ( Youtube makes all diy house goals look so easy :/ Thanks for inspiring me : )

  25. I’m a Canadian reader and have been reading your posts for a while now. My husband and I have renovated three old homes (and their gardens) in the past 33 years and know all too well the amount of labour that goes into each project. I am in awe of your skills. Re: existing concrete porch – have you considered stone? We had a similar front porch in our last home and adhered India stone (slate tiles) to it with thinset about ten years ago. It weathered amazingly well considering that we have frost to contend with. Temperatures in our region can be as low as minus 13 F (as it’s been the last couple of weeks), and as high as 90 F in mid-summer.

  26. Wow, that is a big list. I am just trying to get my kitchen remodel started, Curtains, and rods for my for the living room, and repair the walls in my sons room, earthquake damage, repaint, decorate and furnish.

  27. Kristi, this will start my third year following your journey, but I have never commented. I want you to know that I look forward to every single thing you post. While I have no talent, I have learned so many things from you that have helped me do a few things in my home. Your thought process is wonderful and I absolutely love that you go a different direction when things don’t feel right. You are an inspiration and a joy! Thank you for teaching!!! I am excited to follow your progress this year. Your work is just amazing!!

  28. Thank you for sharing. Your ideas, color schemes, and tutorials are very encouraging and inspirational. Keep up the good work. Hopefully I can incorporate the same concept and be as productive with our home as well.
    Again, thank you.

  29. There is nothing like a written list to focus one’s thoughts. Your accomplishments are amazing and I look forward to this year’s progress.

  30. You are doing awesome work and it is a lot! I also am remodeling my home (I also flip homes) and since my X was a contractor I do quite a bit myself. Do you do your own electric (I can install new light fixtures) and plumbing (I can install toilets) plus woodworking? Plumb & elec intimidate me. I feel we are kindred spirits, my dining room is the exact shade of plum/purple and my cabinets will be teal also. Love watching your transformations, they are so motivating plus I pick up on great ideas I can use. What COLOR are your WALLS & your White Trim colors, I already have darker tile in the kitchen and baths and don’t want to go through the expense & Mess of jackhammering them up if I can incorporate the color into my design plan. Keep up the good work and I’m stealing as many of Your ideas as I can, that’s a compliment! I too am from Oregon and have moved to San Antonio. Go Girl!

  31. So happy to see what we’re looking forward to this next year. Especially making the exterior one color and making shutters. I may have jumped ahead on shutters. Should have waited to see yours. I’ve been waiting for 45 years to get white shutters on our house to brighten up the dark brick. Just bought the door shutters for the front door and put them up, and painting the front door yellow. Now to measure and order the rest of the shutters. If I had only waited, we wouldn’t have had to buy such cheap shutters. But at ages 68 and 70, we’re ready to take the cheap and easy way out.

  32. Maybe you use Dave Ramsey’s snowball method for paying off debt but change it to completing tasks and complete the rooms with the smallest list of tasks first until you work your way to the largest room to complete. I look forward to all the transformations!!

    1. I was thinking that too (well, not the Dave Ramsey part, but I love the analogy!). The breakfast room list is so short, for example, that getting it done and crossed off might be a huge motivator!

  33. If you finish up the entry, hallway, kitchen and music room, you will have the 4 areas with the smallest lists completed. Somewhere along the way, the inspiration for the bathroom vanity color will hit you and you can finish that and be done with the 5th area. By Marchish you will be hitting some of the bigger projects and rolling towards your goals. Remember that none of us ever complete our whole ‘to do’ list and we all take breaks from those lists for a little thing called ‘life’. Do what you can do/afford and the rest will come at another time.

    I’m very excited to see what you accomplish in this next year. You’ve done so much in the last couple of years. Your home is being transformed so much and your journey is exciting for me to watch.

    Happy, healthy and energetic 2018 to you and Matt!

  34. A happy and healthy new year to you and Matt. I read your list and now I need a nap. You are my inspiration, for sure.

  35. I can’t wait to see all the projects happen this year. I love “watching” you work. It gives me the courage to try things new things.

    I do have a question regarding the crown moulding you have used throughout your house. It looks like you have 8 foot ceilings like I do and I want to know the exact crown moulding you use.

    Thank you!

  36. As I look through these photos all I can say is “Your home is BEAUTIFUL” – there are very few things that I don’t just love. Keep up the good work – it’s been an awesome journey.

  37. Happy New Year to you and looking forward to what 2018 brings to both of us. Though our styles are a slightly different, you truly have been a great inspiration to me in 2017 and I look forward to following you in 2018.

  38. I have really enjoyed reading about your decorating journey. Your house is so beautiful and I absolutely love the colors. Your kitchen is amazing!!! I think the teal would be a great new look to incorporate into my kitchen. Thanks for giving me many great ideas!

  39. I would love to see a video of how to do the artwork in your entry way. Just love that. I really enjoy all of your posts Kristi. Thank you!!