A Sprint To The Finish Line

Well, hey there! Last week was pretty sparse as far as posts and pantry progress went, but y’all! There are only five more weeks in this year! And I woke up this morning feeling energized, excited and ready to sprint to the finish line and see just how much I can get done before we say goodbye to 2018.

I spent the weekend doing more work on the pantry. Ugh…that stupid pantry. I’m so over it and ready to move on to something else, but I’m going to make myself finish before I move on. I promise.

So in the last two days, I got the open shelves caulked where they meet the walls and cabinets, I got the ceiling painted around the edges where it meets the walls, I got the second coat of paint on the base cabinets (although the two tall side cabinets still need a second coat), and I got all four side drawers completely finished.

I also tested out the idea of painting the window casing a color other than white. I tried both green and teal, but I didn’t like either one, so white it is. That added a bit of extra work, but it was just one of those things I had to try out before I could be fully satisfied with the white.

Anyway, I’m at that point where I’ve completely lost interest in the pantry, and it’s taking all of my willpower and self-control to stick with it and not get sidetracked with a new project. That’s actually the motivation I’m using to keep myself focused — the promise of a new, exciting project as soon as I’m done with this one. It’s like a carrot dangling in front of my face all day every day that keeps me going.

So what is that next project? I honestly have no idea. I still have two front porch projects that are very close to finished, and I’d love to get those done by the end of the year. Remember the stone skirting I started adding to the concrete on the front porch?

Yep, my front porch still looks pretty much exactly like that, headboard and all. Except that now, my sweet potato vine is dead. (FYI, in case you missed it, that headboard belonged to my grandmother, and I’m considering turning it into a bench or a one-person swing for the front porch.) That’s a project I could finish up fairly quickly.

The second porch project is the rope lighting that I want to install along the front of the porch roof, hidden just behind the fascia board. The wiring is already there, so that would be quick and easy as well.

I’m also feeling pretty motivated to get things moving on my studio.

The guys I always hire for drywall texted me yesterday and asked if I was about ready to get the studio drywalled. This is usually a slow time of year for them since people are more focused on the holidays and not on home improvement, so it would be a perfect time to get the studio drywall going. I really want to get it insulated and drywalled before our winter weather gets here. So when I saw that text from him, I wished so badly that I could say, “Yes! Come on over tomorrow!”

But…ugh. I’m just not there yet. I still have electrical wiring that needs to be run before I can even think about insulation and drywall. I also need to re-run the HVAC ductwork now that I have a much more efficient way to do it since the new carport roof was added.

So really, those four things — front porch stone, front porch rope lighting, studio electrical work, and studio duct work — will probably be my main goals for the rest of the year. On my 2018 home goals list, I realized that the studio (with attached half bath and storage closet) were the only rooms where I have accomplished absolutely nothing during 2018. I’d like to change that before the end of the year. It would be so nice to begin 2019 with an insulated and drywalled studio that’s ready for flooring, cabinets and trim.

In the meantime, Matt told me yesterday that he’s ready to start on the big addition on the back of the house. As in, the big addition that will require tearing down the existing master bathroom (it’s hard for me to call it that with a straight face) and sunroom…

…and then turn the existing master bedroom into a master bathroom, while adding on a brand new master bedroom, laundry/utility room and family room on the back of the house.

Yep. That one. Right now. He’s ready to start.

I was like, “What the….?? Right now? As we approach the last month of the year? Before I’ve even finished the pantry? Before I’ve even started on the studio? Before the carport is even finished?”

Yep. Now. 😀 I think we still need to do some negotiating on that. The idea of starting that right now, or even spending any time or energy focused on that huge project right now, stresses me out. Of course, it’s not like we’d hire a contractor today, and they’d start tearing down the sunroom tomorrow. By the time we get plans finalized and submitted, permits pulled, all preliminary work done (like removing a chain link fence, brick planters, and outdoor fireplace that are all currently in the way), the work probably wouldn’t actually start until spring.

He still shocked the heck out of me by even bringing it up right now and announcing that he’s ready to get started on it. I’m excited to know that he’s thinking it will happen very soon and not two years from now, so 2019 is looking to be a very busy year already.

But for now, the pantry. Ugh…that stupid pantry. I might need to reward myself with a full week of playing with resin and acrylic paint after this pantry is finished.



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  1. Don’t say “Ugh…that stupid pantry”, it’s beautiful. I am so jealous of that space, it’s perfection. Practical and beautiful, win/win.

  2. Wow, things are moving right along! You WILL make it to the end of the pantry. That last little bit always seems to expand the closer one gets to a finish line. Stay focused with fun and play mixed in.

  3. You are a detail-oriented person. You have more ideas to disregard than most of us have ever dreamed of! Small wonder you’re feeling stalled in your pantry project! It’s beautiful; don’t let it kill you!

  4. Stupid pantry? No, no, no, a thousand times no. Please do not give up. You are SO close!!! Your sense of accomplishment when it is completed and beautiful should far outweigh your ‘getting tired of the little details’ at this moment.

  5. So, not to demotivate you, but I would get the studio wired and HVAC’d. I would want to take advantage of your drywall guys ASAP! Once the drywall is in, you have so much more flexibility in how you move forward in your studio. You don’t want to be waiting around on them at some future date. And, crazy that you’re starting to think about the big remodel of the back of the house! What?!?!? I thought that was several years off.

    Anyway, I say get demotivated! Do what you need to do to get those other projects moving forward. You could get some of your building done in the sunroom and then do the Spring ORC with a focus on just the decorating of your studio. AND, You’ll have to get the pantry finished in order to clear out the sunroom for demo, anyway! So, work on those other projects and then when you set a demo date for the sunroom you’ll have all the motivation you need to finish the pantry! LOL!

    1. I’m with you. I know that last push to get it (whatever project), finished. But then I start making mistakes, not taking time to do it as perfectly as I know I can. Turn aside, get your studio dry walling ready and then….return to your pantry!

  6. …”Ugh…that stupid pantry.” LOL
    There’s a thin line between love and hate…and I’m here for every minute of it.
    Keep up the good work, Kristi!

    1. Right?! 😀 They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I’ve spent almost every day of the last seven weeks working on this pantry. I think we need a break from each other so I can miss it and love it again. 😀

  7. I’m positive that you will love having a functional pantry and storage in addition to your kitchen, particularly when so many areas of your house will be a new work space in 2019 🙂 But I would definitely go with getting a bit more done in the studio before starting that huge project in the rear part of your house – that way you can use the studio in order to build more stuff for the new rooms and it won’t be an interim space (such as it was with all the building for the pantry) but functional, too.
    It’s great that you get your guys to do the drywalling for you again, because that is such a big area and you really want to hire the tedious work out – cannot you have them do the electrical stuff as well so that they can work on it while you’re finishing up the pantry? That would be win-win, surely 🙂

  8. Oh don’t say stupid pantry!! That’s creating negative energy towards it!! I would love to have even a small space for a pantry!! It will be great when you can get it stocked and start using it. It is absolutely marvelous dawlin!!! Keep on keepin on. You’re just about there!! It’s beautiful

  9. Perhaps you could get the studio ready for the drywall dudes right now, and then while they’re drywalling, go back to the pantry so that you can finish it up and then get the misc. stuff moved out of the sunroom and into the pantry.

  10. I know exactly what you mean with the feeling of being “so over it” on a project that is so close to being finished. Sometimes you just need the diversion of another small project for a “mental health” break (I know I do) and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
    Will it get done? Of course it will. And it will be beautiful and everything you wanted it to be.

  11. If you could bring yourself to put everything on pause for a little bit and go full steam ahead on what you need to do to allow the drywalling to get done during this slow time, I think you may be really glad you did!

  12. I know how you feel when you’re almost done and sick of it. There’s a fine line between failure and success! You’re almost there. I love the idea of rewarding yourself with something fun to do. I like to get a good audiobook or new music playlist going to help motivate me while I work. I think listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack got me through some winter slumps earlier this year. ha. Good luck!

    1. I love listening to audiobooks when I’m crafting or doing needlework. I think I’ve listened to 17-20 hour books before. There’s nothing better than starting a new series where all the books are on Audible!!

  13. I’m really impressed by your commitment to getting the pantry finished, and to not let yourself be sidetracked now that you’ve got such a long stretch of tedium to get through. You’re doing amazing, and I can’t wait to see the end results!

    If you remember a few weeks back, I suggested that you might want to take the software engineer approach of going with MPV (minimal viable product) to tackle this pantry.
    Under that approach, you figure out that the minimum work is you could do, to end up with something that functions as a partial approximation to what you want in the end, and finish that, before you start to add new ‘features’.

    So, on this pantry, you could, for example, have built the cabinets, and painted them, and installed the countertops leaving the painting of the fridge, the shelves, and the tiles for a later iteration. (Or do it any other order you want, the same point stands.)

    That way you would have ended up with finished cabinets, but the rest left undone, while you took some time off to ‘miss’ your pantry again, doing other fun stuff. (For example, that would have been a great time to reward yourself with doing the tile resin project, after you just did the tedium of finishing those cabinets.)

    Meanwhile, because those cabinets were fully done, you would have a functional (if not perfect yet) pantry to live with while you did some other more interesting stuff. To then come back and tackle an entirely new project from start to finish (the shelves, OR the tiles, OR the fridge, etc). And instead of ending up with all of this annoying detail finishing work all at the same time, you have it spaced out with the excitement of starting something new, and then the period where you finish the tedium of that new, to then get to start a new thing yet again.

    If at any point you just totally walk away for a while to go work on something else, you have a semi-completed project to leave behind you in the meantime, instead of tons of details everywhere.

    I have a feeling that you frequently set yourself up for these boring home stretches, because when you tackle a project like this, you have a tendency to start ALL of the new and exciting things about it all at once, and usually as soon as possible (oh lets see if the tiles work, and if painting the fridge works, and if this bleaching of the oak works!), to then stack all of your boring finishing work together in one pile as well.

    I do get that this time because of the deadline you had, it kinda forced you into doing that in an attempt to try to finish in such a short time span. But maybe keep it in mind for future projects and try to space stuff out more by starting and finishing 1 small aspect of the whole before moving on to the next detail, instead of starting all the details at the same time, doing all the fun stuff first, and then ending up with all the boring stuff together?

    It would give you built-in rewards to your work, because you’d constantly have a push of “if you finish the boring finishing stuff of this detail, then I can start on the next detail where I’m wondering if it’ll work out”.

    Just a thought…

  14. You’re so close! Personally I would hire out the electric, Hvac and drywall while finishing the pantry. Then play with resin till ready to move on. Btw, where is the laundry now? Did I miss a previous post mentioning that?

  15. This is all so exciting! We can see the finish line for the pantry and it looks perfect!
    I have been following you since you moved into the house and to hear Matt wants to move forward on the addition is awesome! He is right to start the planning now, so you are not a stand still come Spring waiting for projects to do after finishing/working on the studio.
    Like others said, maybe hire someone to do the electrical wires and move the ducts in the studio so the drywall can be hung?
    Keep up the good work!

  16. The amount of cut-in you have to do to paint the walls is making me panicky 🙂 Am I the only one who thinks that’s the worst?

    The pantry looks great! Can’t wait to see it finished!

  17. Kristi, while I agree with you to sprint to the finish line with your pantry, as you are so very close to finishing, however, the call from your drywall guys that they are ready for your studio, is definitely a sign, that you should finish the electrical work and the duct work in the studio ASAP so you can accept their offer to do the drywalling now. While they are drywalling, you can finish up some final things in the pantry and the couple of items on your front porch. Now, that to me is motivation. What a fantastic way to end the year, if you could get your studio drywalled, it would be an amazing way to start off the new year!

  18. I so agree with the posters who said “hid” that is “hire it done” to the HVAC and the drywall etc. He who hesitates is lost remember? In the end you will be soooo glad you did.

    BTW: the pantry is to die for! What a wonder woman you are!
    Happy belated Thanksgiving! We passed by your way last week going to and from Austin see our ganddaughter in “A Christmas Carol” …now if you want an early Christmas present…do take time …and go! It is fantastic ..I know, I know …this is Nana speaking but really it is fantastic! Trust me!

  19. I love the drawer fronts you made matching the countertop. I agree the white trim works better. It is light and bright and close to perfect.

  20. As much as I want the pantry finished for you, I think you need to put the time into your studio. It will take you away from the pantry and give you a break. But take your drywallers while you can. Then take time to finish your two little projects. You can finish the pantry quickly if you walk away now and come back with renewed energy! Spend this winter cuddled up with Matt in the evenings planning the addition! So excited to see what the new year brings!

  21. Oh my, such news! I vote for getting the stuff done now, to allow the dry wall guys in to finish out the studio for you, before yrs end. It’s finishing to a usable state and pantry details can be done in bad/cold weather. Once your drywall is up you have the area to work from! Rest from the pantry till then and don’t sweat the small stuff, you’ll get it done! Mean while the planning stages can begin on your big reno. The small stuff will fall in place, when there is time and good weather.

    Love it all so far! And you have come SOOOOO far!

    Thanks for bringing us all along on this journey!

  22. This is turning into such another gorgeous room! I know that dreaded “OVER IT!” as I’m feeling it on our 3rd floor right now. It’s punch list time and I’m beyond spent on this floor!
    Just out of curiosity, could/would you do one of those mock up thingies with purple on the cabinets?
    I’m going to do the basement kitchenette and I LOVE yours, but that purple, it’s just yummy to me!
    Reward yourself big for this one! You deserve it!

  23. I like the window frame painted the same teal as the cabinets! I think that it ties the window into the rest of the room, lol. So many decisions to make all at once, wow. Your situation reminds me of the William James quote: “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” Get that pantry done and THEN reward yourself with something delightful!

  24. Kristi,

    What a remarkable job you have done on your pantry in such a short period of time. Your results are staggering.

    My two cents worth on your work schedule going forward:

    Firstly, the thing you will find the hardest to do, which is not listening to others who give you ideas about the order of your projects.

    The dry wall guys will still be in business after the first of the year. They will come do your job whenever you are ready. That is the operative phrase – when you are ready.

    If I were in your shoes, I would proceed to finish the pantry and get it really done. If you are so sick of this project, perhaps give yourself a Christmas gift and have the rest of the painting done by a pro. You are so very close to completion! You will really be relieved to actually get that finished.

    If you have good enough weather, maybe finish the stone skirting on your porch bottom, but you may or may not have good enough weather to paint it now. I would put your headboard/future bench or swing inside for the winter, as you don’t want it to get exposed. You can work on that at a future time. Likewise, I’d save the porch rope lights project for the early spring.

    Now, after the pantry, I would do the wiring, HVAC, and insulation in the studio, then hire those nice sheetrock guys to drywall it. You do not even need to mud and tape it now, because if you get it closed up, you can use it as it is intended – as a big indoor workshop. My notion is that it will be so much easier for you to do any of your projects once you have that wonderful space in which to do them.

    I would suggest that once you have your studio space at least functional – not done, mind you, but functional, with heating and air and electricity for your tools, you can proceed with the big master bedroom/bathroom remodel.

    One last suggestion: Because you are likely going to do spray painting and other work that needs ventilation, have you considered wiring in for a big ventilation fan for the studio?

    Whatever you decide, just watching you do it is an inspiration to all of us.

    1. I so agree with everything you just posted. However, it’s my sense that she’s just tired right now and trying to over think 😋🤷

  25. It’s so beautiful – it’s going to be an amazing room. Those tiles, those cabinets, that freezer – just incredible.


  26. Lol I don’t remember you asking for a vote from us on what to start on next, but you certainly got it didn’t you? 😉

  27. The carrot method ALWAYS works for me, too! Just wish I used it more. LOL
    You’ve got this… stay focused on that carrot, er, resin project. 😉

  28. Pause the “stupid pantry” (it isn’t!) and prep the studio for drywall guys!!! Because you know they won’t be available when *you* need them! Finish up the pantry when they are drywalling.

  29. You can do it! Finish it up – most of us on this blog can only dream of a pantry like this so we vicariously live through yours. We all can’t wait to see if finished!!

  30. I so understand you! I have “a stupid project” to finish too and I can’t stand it anymore. (Give myself a kick to go back to work.) Keep going, sister, we’ll do it! 🙂

  31. That pantry is the envy of most of us who follow you! It will be amazing when you complete it and can use it the way you intend.

    As for your other projects, I bet you could complete those porch items in a week’s time and then my fav project could be on the board – the studio! The lust and envy of my life!!! LOL

    Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Kristi!

  32. What great readers you have and what fabulous ideas! I tend to agree to get the dry wall/hvac done while you’re finishing up the pantry, then you can start the new year with a clean slate in your studio and it will be ready to go. In the meantime, I’d finish up (if I were even 1/10th as motivated as you) those pesky detail projects, like the porch siding, swing and lighting. My goodness! Between finishing the pantry and those things, that should keep you busy until the end of the year, when I do hope you’ll take a much-need break!

    I just have to say that you are a wonder and an inspiration!

  33. Curious, on your new plan you don’t have a master closet?

    ps. The best decision I ever made was to have laundry machines in my master closet.

  34. Kristi – where, oh, where is your laundry room right now? I have been following your projects for a long time and only just now thought to ask that question!

    1. I don’t have an actual laundry room. My washer and dryer are in the sunroom against the wall that the sunroom shares with the hallway bathroom.

  35. I am wondering what kind of door you are putting on the Pantry? Since you have a nice window in there, will there be some sort of glass on the door to let light come through? Frosted, maybe, to hide what is in the pantry, yet make that side entrance feel lighter? I wonder sometimes – do you realize how gifted you are??

    1. Your question confused me, but then I realized that it’s been quite some time since I’ve shown a wider angle view of the pantry from the breakfast room. But the pantry already has doors on it. I used bi-fold 10-lite doors and installed them as French doors. As of now, I don’t have any plans to frost the glass because I don’t want to obscure the view of the teal cabinets and colorful tiles. As soon as I get it finished and post the final before/in process/after pics, I’ll be sure to show a wider angle view of the whole thing from the breakfast room. And possible even from the front door since it’s visible from there also.

  36. You need a clone – she would do the finishing work you hate! I love your pantry as the idea for my dream craft room. Instead of enclosing the bottom with cabinets, I would have a long, open shelf set back far enough that I could pull stools up to the base. I’ve been dreaming about this craft room for years!