At The Halfway Point (A Mid-Year House Goals Progress Report)

Sometimes at the beginning of the month, I post a progress report of how I did on the previous month’s house goals, and what I hope to accomplish in the new month. Well, I’m 11 days late on that this month, but since the beginning of July marks the halfway point of the year, I thought now would be a good time for a complete evaluation of how I’m doing on this year’s goals.

Let’s start outside:

So far this year, I had the exterior of the house painted Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray and Extra White.

I built shutters for the studio, finished the little portico, and painted the studio door Benjamin Moore Bird of Paradise.

On the front porch, I had the concrete ramp removed, and then my brother and I built a new wood porch over the concrete porch. Then I turned the plain posts into pretty columns, installed and painted a new ceiling on the porch, installed new porch lights, and painted the front door.

The biggest exterior project of the year, and one we hadn’t planned on tackling this year at all, is the carport. I didn’t DIY this, but it did require my involvement quite a bit along the way. The contractor’s part is finished, and now it’s up to me to finish the rest. Right now, it looks like this…

Excuse my shutters. 🙂 But as you can see, I almost have the shutters for the other two windows ready to install. That would have gotten done yesterday but my table saw didn’t cooperate (it sputtered out on me as I was ripping the trim for the windows), and then the weather didn’t cooperate. I’ll get a new saw today, and if the weather cooperates, those shutters should be finished and installed either today or tomorrow.

So that’s the exterior progress so far this year. The items left on my house goals list from the beginning of the year are:

  • Build and install shutters (I’m halfway there and will be finished this week.)
  • Built and install flower boxes on five windows.
  • Built new front porch steps and hand railings. (Can’t do that until the new sidewalk is poured.)
  • Build steps and handrail to the side studio door. (That concrete has been poured and is ready for the steps.)

And now with the addition of the carport, a few items have been added to my “to do” list.

  • Trim out the two carport columns to make them look like the front porch columns.
  • Caulk and paint the carport and back wall of the house.
  • Install the lights and ceiling fan(s).
  • Install and paint the beadboard ceiling and trim.

The exterior has been the big project so far this year. It doesn’t seem like much has gone on in the inside of my house…yet.

I did get the baseboards touched up in the entryway, and I repainted and re-tiled the fireplace in the living room.

I got my stenciled walls finished in the music room. Then I made a scalloped mirror to go over the piano…

…and a big pixel art piece to go on the other side of the music room (which I coated in four layers of resin here).

The things left on my list for the living room are:

  • Reupholster two chairs
  • Finish making the draperies (I have one panel done, three to go.)
  • Install chandelier closer to the ceiling.
  • Decorate and accessorize the room.

In the music room, I still need to:

  • Reupholster two chairs
  • Build cabinet doors for the lower sections of the bookcases
  • Repair and refinish the piano bench.
  • Touch up the doors.
  • Paint the round side table.
  • Decorate and accessorize.

The one area of my house that I actually finished this year is the hallway.

Quite a bit of that hallway was done last year, but this year I built the drawers and finished the cabinets, painted the console table, and framed and hung the artwork. I do still have one doorknob to install on one of the bathroom doors, but I won’t stress about that. The doors are usable without it, and I’ll get to it eventually.

The changes in the hallway made it necessary to change the vanity color in the bathroom. I got that painted at the beginning of this year.

I’m still not thrilled with the color, but so far I’ve resisted the urge to put another coat of paint on it. 🙂 I can’t promise that my self-control will hold out, but as far as an actual list of things to do in there, I don’t have one.

I haven’t done anything in the kitchen this year…

…although I did have two things on my list that still need to get done.

  • Replace the glass in the four cabinet doors. (They’re still completely open — no glass, no nothin’.)
  • Get new appliances.

In the breakfast room, I started the year out with the door leading to the studio looking pretty torn apart and unfinished since the exterior door was removed (during the garage-to-studio conversion) and replaced with a 15-lite pocket door. So I got the pocket door painted, the drywall repaired (where a two-gang switch box was removed), and the trim installed and painted.

The other four rooms on my original house goals list for the year — the pantry, studio, half bathroom, and back studio entry/closet area (which was referred to as the mudroom until plans changed) — haven’t had much done at all.

The pantry still looks like this…

And the studio still looks like this…

There have been some significant changes in the back entry area and the half bath, but only because those changes were the natural result of the carport being added on. The back entry area now looks like this…

And now a large closet has been framed in for me to store my big power tools, and the half bathroom actually has standard-height (8-foot) ceiling joists.

But these areas have so far to go that it gets overwhelming actually writing down an exhaustive list of things that need to get done. It includes all of the basics (insulation, drywall, electrical), flooring installation, trim, tons of caulking and painting, cabinet building, and on, and on.

So I have made quite a bit of progress in the last six months. I’m quite proud of how things are looking on the exterior of my house, and I’ve gotten a few things done inside as well. But Matt is definitely chomping at the bit for me to get focused on the studio and carport and get those things done now that the contractor’s part is finished. I do agree with him that those need to be my priority, but I’ll also need to take breaks for some fun projects here and there. 🙂

There’s still so much to do! But the point of my list isn’t to beat myself up for what I haven’t accomplished. In fact, this has actually been a very encouraging exercise in looking back and seeing just how much I’ve done this year. I’ve been busy! 🙂 And I know that realistically, it’s not humanly possible for me to finish everything on my list this year. But it does keep me motivated to challenge myself and see just how much I can get done. I like a good challenge. 🙂



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. The carport looks so good! I know how it is to have so much done but still so much to do. We’ve been working on our 1100 sq ft cabin for three years now; getting close to the end. Well, as finished as a house can really be!
    Do you have a new table saw picked out yet? I got the Kobalt folding table saw this year after my old wood burning Craftsman burned out. I’ve been happy with it so far, especially the ability to fold it up and move it out of my carport.

  2. Reading your lists always amaze me! You do so much! I’m also more and more appreciative of the fact that your house is your job. You must be pretty good and switching your brain on and off. I worked from home for a couple of years and found it hard to concentrate on work when I knew there were “home” things that needed attention. Great job!

  3. Love seeing how you are putting that back door deadbolt hole to such good use for cord control! LOL

    Looking good, Kristi!

  4. That’s a mighty big list that you’ve been able to check off. And, you can add to that removing the frame and grass paper in the entry, along with painting the credenza and accessories. Well done!

  5. You have really accomplished a lot! You have inspired me to start and finish several projects in my own home. I wonder if you have ever considered a temporary shed or storage unit for the backyard. You could temporarily store your tools and supplies in there in order to keep your finished rooms and in-process rooms clutter free. It might save you a lot of time since you wouldn’t have to empty out the pantry (for example) in order to work on your pantry projects. I personally grumble and try to avoid doing certain projects when I have to I know that I have to clear the clutter out first.

    1. I actually do have a little shed in my back yard. I don’t really use it because I just find it so inconvenient to walk out there to get stuff. I’m sure eventually I’ll need to come up with a solution, but right now, I have all of my tools, paint, etc. in the sunroom. I installed shelves and bought a big tool chest, and it works for now. The only two things I have issue with are my two big saws, but those will soon live in the big closet that was just framed in the back of the studio. I’m hoping to build two rolling carts to put those on for convenience.

  6. Just out of curiosity…was your last post about the concrete sidewalk and the comments afterwards your biggest “comments” response ever? This is totally off the wall for me to ask I know…but it’s just interesting to me the things people get passionate enough to take the time to respond about. I read a number of blogs but yours is pretty much the only one I ever comment on, or bother reading the comments even… I love the style of your home and getting to see step-by-step projects you do. You really are AMAZING!!! I’m just waiting for you to get a tv show…

  7. I continue to be totally amazed at your talent and stamina! All of your work is done to perfection and I can hardly wait to see what you have done each day! Carport is fabulous! Park in the stree and bring out the lounge chairs! Haha!

  8. Yay! You have done so much this year and the house is looking great! I was glad you were flexible on getting the opportunity to get the carport done when you did. It fixed issues and I think when you get to working on the studio you’ll be glad you did! You go, girl!

  9. As far as creating to-do lists goes, perhaps break the studio down a bit? Instead of listing ALL THE THINGS start with a list of just the basic structural stuff, then once that’s done make a list of the cabinet and other similar work, then when *that’s* done make a list for the decoration? Less overwhelming, and since you already made your overall plan it shouldn’t force errors about socket positions etc.

    1. I was actually out on my front porch just this morning looking, measuring, thinking, and pondering the furniture I want to use out there. At this very moment, I do want a swing. It’ll only be big enough to seat one person, but I think it’ll be so cute. And then I can add two more chairs in front of the windows. So that’s the plan right now. Ask me again tomorrow and you might get a different answer. 😀

  10. I am always amazed at the finished product! You are so talented and you HAVE accomplished a great deal in this year! Go Kristi!

  11. I honestly don’t know how you do it to find time to finish and manage all these great projects!! Every time I leave your blog is give me like a boost of adrenaline and pushes me to get something or a little bit of something done everyday when I get home after work.

    We are all rooting for you on this journey!

  12. This was impressive to review with you. I can see why the diversionary projects are both fun to do and helpful. They are the spice that adds to the overall feeling of accomplishment, I’m sure. I think I have the most anticipation for the studio.

  13. I am so happy when you make these updates on your lists! Not for us but for you! You need this to see how far you have come! Sort of your mid year “Work Evaluation ” Lol. Great job! I am in love with the carport. I would personally find it hard to park my car there! Lol

  14. You are amazing, Kristi! You have accomplished more in less than six months than most of us would have done in two years! I always look forward to seeing what creative idea you have next!

  15. I can tell you firsthand, that while the photos are good, they don’t do Kristi’s work and creativeness justice until you see it in person.

    Having been in construction for over 30 years, the quality and design of her projects are superior to any homeowner/professional I have had the pleasure to work with.

    Every room just looks fantastic.

    As far as driveway/sidewalk design goes Kristi, soak in the suggestions and then do what you want to do…It’s yours and you are the one that looks at it everyday.

    You need a TV show! Why, because what happens when you run out of projects? What happens is you need more, lol.

  16. You honestly wear me out! LOL! When I think of the fact that most of your projects are done entirely by you, it is astounding! And having to clear space (sometimes) and drag out tools and equipment would just make me sit and pout. That’s one reason I don’t sew anymore, because I used to have a great sewing space that I could just leave as is, and now that we’ve moved, I don’t have that anymore. If I were you, I would postpone the flower boxes until early spring or after January at least. By the time you do get them done, the weather will be heading towards chilly. One less thing to do this year then! And what decision was made on the walkways?

  17. I don’t know if you’ll even see this since this post is from yesterday. I was just wondering why you’re getting new appliances in the kitchen. Aren’t those just a few years old?

    I love, love, love the carport! It looks like a place that I’d spend hours just reading and relaxing.