February Progress & March Goals

It’s already the last day of February! The month flew by, and for a while there, I was afraid that I wouldn’t get my goals accomplished for the month. But I still have one more day, and one more project to finish. I’m pretty sure I can eek it out just in time.

So my goals for February, selected from my 2017 Master List of Home Goals, were to:

  1. Finish installing all of the trim in the breakfast room and get the room painted. Done!
  2. Get the back of the peninsula trimmed out. Done!
  3. Get the woven shades for the windows ordered. Done!
  4. Paint and reupholster the dining chairs. Done!
  5. Paint the door that leads to the garage. Done!
  6. Refinish the dining table. In progress! Done!

Trimming out the breakfast room and getting everything painted was by far my biggest accomplishment of the month. At the beginning of the month, the room looked like this…

And now it looks like this

breakfast room - back to front - 11 - painted trim and walls

…with everything trimmed and painted. The peninsula is also all trimmed out and ready for paint, which I’ll do when I paint the kitchen cabinet.

The walls are Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, and the trim is Behr Polar Bear. I installed all of the trim myself with the exception of the crown moulding. I finally decided that I’ve paid my dues when it comes to installing crown moulding, so I hired that out.

breakfast room - front to back - 9 - painted walls and trim

I also got the door to the garage painted using Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal.

breakfast room - garage door - afterClick here to see more pics of the breakfast room remodel, along with before pictures.

I did get my woven shades ordered for the windows. I chose the one in the one on the bottom right.

refinished red oak hardwood floors - woven shade options

I ordered them around the second week of February, and was told it would take about four weeks. So they should be here in about a week. I’m excited to get those and get them installed!

I showed you yesterday that my dining chairs are now finished after about four days of sanding, priming, painting, and upholstering. I started off with these Rustic Java Greyson Side Chairs from World Market…

breakfast room dining chair makeover - before - Rustic Java Greyson Side Chair from World Market

…and transformed them into chairs that are much more my style…

breakfast room dining chair makeover - after - side view front upholstered backrest and seat

You can click here to see more about the process, as well as how all four chairs turned out.

And the final item on my list is to get my dining table refinished. It started out looking like this, with a very dark stain on it…

And as of 8:00pm last night, it looks like this…

breakfast room dining table - taken apart and sanded

The table top is the same, but it’s still in the sunroom where I rolled it last night after sanding it on the patio.

So now I’ve got a table that’s completely stripped and ready to be finished. I had actually planned on cutting the chunky feet down a bit, which is why I removed them in the first place. My plan was to use a band saw and cut them so that they were still wide where they attached to the pedestal, but curve in and get much narrower as they extend out. I wanted them to get about 1/3rd the width that they are now. My neighbors down the street were going to let me use their bandsaw to cut them down. The problem is that these feet are so thick that they wouldn’t fit into the bandsaw. I even thought about just buying a bandsaw (I’ve wanted one for a very long time), but I couldn’t even find one in stock in my area that would cut through the thickness of these chunky feet. So for now, I’ll live with them.

I’m still unsure about exactly how to refinish the table. This is the first table I’ve had that is the same wood from top to feet, and that isn’t either pine or oak, so I don’t want any paint on it anywhere. I think the top is actually solid wood, but the rest of it is covered in veneer to match. I was actually pretty disappointed about the veneer on two of the feet being damaged, but I’ve decided to embrace the imperfection.

If I can get the finish on my table to look something like this, I’ll be perfectly happy.

restoration hardware tablevia Restoration Hardware

If I can get that table finished up today, I will have met all of my goals for February. I’m pretty sure I can do it!

UPDATE: I did it! My table is finished. You can click here to see it.

breakfast room dining table makeover - finish toned down with stain

So what about my March goals? Well, here goes…

First, I want to get my kitchen cabinets painted. I finally decided on a color…

new kitchen paint color - similar to condo kitchen paint color

…after several of you urged me to stick with what I know I love. I know I love teal, so I’m going for it. I already have the paint, and I’m ready to go.

I also want to finally get my concrete counteretops refinished. I’m ready to be rid of the dingy color and the stains…


Whiter, brighter countertops will go a long way towards helping me achieve the look I want in my kitchen.

Also in my kitchen, I need to repaint the ceiling. When I remodeled the kitchen, I used my go-to trim color (Behr Polar Bear) for the ceiling, and since then I’ve decided that I want all of my ceilings bright white using Behr Ultra Pure White Ceiling Paint. I love how bright it makes a room feel, and my kitchen ceiling looks dingy in comparison. So I need to get that repainted.

I also need to get all of the trim in the kitchen repaired, caulked, and painted. When I removed the jambs on the opening between the kitchen and breakfast room in order to cut those down and reinstall them, it damaged some of the trim on the kitchen side. I’ve also never painted the trim on the opening going from the kitchen to the living room. So all of that needs to be finished.

I’m also going to build the new vent hood cover to cover up the stainless steel vent hood that I have.

nine things - stainless steel range hood

At this point, I’m not quite sure what I want the vent hood cover to look like, but I’ve been searching on Pinterest for the perfect inspiration.

And finally, I want to get the doors to the pantry made and installed. I want double glass doors on the pantry that look something like this…

San Francisco MediterraneanPhoto by Lorin Hill, Architect

Except that on mine, I just want it to look like one pane of glass on each door rather than three. I’ve saved all of the solid wood interior doors that I’ve removed from my house, and I plan to use those to create the new doors.

So those are my March goals. Do you kind of see a pattern here? If not, and you’re thinking, “Why don’t you just finish the breakfast room?!” then let me explain. I’m trying to get all of the projects done that require construction/indoor sanding before I start bringing in all of my draperies, upholstered furniture, etc. into the house. I should get a big chunk of those projects finished in March, and then in April, I’ll tackle the rest, which includes building and installing the pantry cabinets, and building the cabinets (no longer a hall tree) in the hallway.

Once I get all of the projects finished that require construction, sanding, etc. inside the house, then I’ll have the house thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, and start bringing in those upholstered items, draperies, and finishing touches into the rooms.

But after today, we’ll at least have a a place to eat and enjoy our meals. That’s enough for now. 🙂



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  1. Excited to see you continue on this journey! Great job! Since I’m your money girl that asks all the money questions, I have an idea. If you continue with these monthly goals and monthly recap emails, maybe you can include an expected budget vs. actual expense summary? Just a thought being the CPA that I am. 🙂 It might also be a good reminder for the folks that continually question your spending decisions.

  2. You go girl! It’s looking fabulous. I bet you’ll be happy when all the messy jobs (sanding, etc) are done so you can get your house back in order. I hate it when I have messy construction zones going on in my house. I love the teals (I am a big blue, aqua, and teal fan).

  3. I’m curious to see what the table will look like – it was much too dark for my liking but I can imagine that it’ll look good when you’ve given it that finish. I’m still a bit envious of your pantry and thus cannot wait to see that come into existence (I can then at least relish it via reading your blog :)) Other than that I find that your plans make a lot of sense as well as the amount of goals you set for a month – well done!

  4. Congratulations on meeting your February goals. You got a lot done in 28 short days! I’m loving your breakfast room and that first meal you and Matt share in there should be special! Enjoy!

    As for March you have 31 days – I’m sure you’ll accomplish all the things you have on your list so I’ll have much to look forward to. You go girl!

  5. Thanks for reminding us to list and enjoy our accomplishments, not just on what didn’t get finished. Your blog always inspired me!! Thank you, Devra

  6. You are a POWERHOUSE Kristi!! I’m always amazed at all that you accomplish. If your table turns out like your inspiration (which knowing how you work it most likely will) it will be awesome. I actually used the same photo you show of the pantry sliding doors as inspiration for my new laundry room. I actually turned my entire laundry room around just so I could incorporate double sliding glass doors. I used rain glass on my doors so they you can’t see in for the most part but the light still streams through. The room is a beautiful buttery yellow and I tend to keep them open but those days I do laundry I kind of like something to block the view of the mess.

  7. That would take me a year-good for you! So fresh looking! (please don’t throw off the architectural beauty of that pretty table by thinning out those masculine feet-you have a really pretty complement to those chairs going on!)

  8. So proud of you! You’ve inspired and challenged me to think outside my box and finish our home projects. I’ve brought up your projects to share with my hubby…..poor guy 😉
    The cherry on the top in our new bedroom is a faux fireplace. He’s a builder but sometimes struggles with seeing the finished project. I see it and explaining it to him can be frustrating…..so I just show him your finished projects 👍🏻. I found a vintage fireplace fascia and he’s got the box and side book shelves done. Got the marble ready to install. So THANK YOU Kristi for your dedication to blogging colors, ideas and workmanship for your humble followers to enjoy and learn from 😍🤣

  9. Looking Great!

    I’m wondering about the table feet… What if you found the longest finishing jigsaw blade you can find, saw through one side, then turn the leg over and try to follow the exact same contour from the other side? This technique is often used with circular saws to slice through thick 4×4’s and 8×8’s.

    Another option that would take a lot of elbow grease might be to find a coping saw (which is essentially a hand band saw) and do it old-school.

    1. If you had a vise or something to really hold the leg steady (or literally bolt to a workbench), you might be able to actually cut through it with a long fine-tooth saws-all blade. You’d have to be really careful to stay outside your cut line and then do a whole lot of hand-sanding/planing to get it down to the line afterwards.

      I’m also wondering if you could cheat it by making dozens of plunges with a plunge-cut saw on your multimax. Depends how hard the wood is.

  10. Kristi, that breakfast room and pantry are gorgeous! I love the direction you are going with that table. The wood will add so much interest and warmth and give an edge to all the paint in the room. Love it. Great job.

  11. Your monthly goal is certainly on track…..kudos to you Kristi. I can fully understand getting all the ‘construction’ stuff done before final decorating. Construction dust certainly gets into every nook and cranny! But I have a feeling with your monthly goals it won’t be long before we see you furnishing and decorating your main rooms.

  12. Wow. And I looked at all the link to the before/after progress in the breakfast room – DOUBLE WOW. Just gorgeous! You are a machine!!

  13. Wow Congratulations on achieving your goals! I can’t wait to see the work you are doing in March on the pantry and in the kitchen! I just recent saw some zinc range hoods that were really pretty and looked on pinterest. Some were doing a faux zinc on wood hood and they had a lot of interest and contrast. Not sure how that would look with your new color, but might be interesting to so something like that. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/483433341222376475/