Here’s The Problem With Taking So Long To Finish A Room…

I’d love to know what the longest time is that you’ve taken to finish a room. Y’all already know that the time I’ve been working on our master bathroom remodel is about 2.5 weeks shy of one year. And that’s only if you don’t count the time that our contractor spent doing the initial work to turn the bedroom into a bathroom. If we’re counting that time, then that project stands at around 14 months “in progress” right now.

The danger (at least for me) in taking a year or more to finish a room is that during that time, I often come across other ideas that I want to incorporate, or I become dissatisfied with decisions I’ve already made because I come across something that I like better. Or, quite frankly, I just get tired of looking at the design I came up with all of those months (or years) ago, and I dream of something completely different.

Fortunately, that hasn’t happened with the bathroom project. While I have had to make some changes along the way, the main changes were for purely practical reasons, like changing the design of the vanities to make things easier for a wheelchair user. But my overall vision and design haven’t changed, and I still love it as much today as I did in the beginning.

But as I’ve been looking forward to the very near future when I’ll return to working on my studio, I’m a little less satisfied. This room has been “in progress” since July 2017. That’s when the contractor and his guys took down the front wall of the garage that had two garage doors, poured a concrete footer along that wall, and built the front wall of the studio.

At that time, they did all of the framing to turn the garage, which had an 18 inch step down from the breakfast room, into a newly framed room with a floor that was level with the rest of the house. But after that framing, the room sat there with no progress for quite a while. And then during that time, we built the carport, which completely transformed the back of the studio, allowing the ceiling to go from a very low seven feet along the back wall to around 13 feet.

So it wasn’t until March 2019 that the room was finally insulated and drywalled, and actually started feeling like a real room.

All of that to say that this room has been “in progress” for a VERY long time. In that amount of time, I’ve considered countless ideas for every aspect of the room, from the floor, to the wall colors, to the cabinet design, and more.

And because it’s been “in progress” for so long now, and there’s been so much time that has passed since I finished the studio bathroom and the back entry to the room, and during that time my taste and style has continued to evolve, I’ve realized that 2022 Kristi isn’t so thrilled with some of the decisions that 2017-2019 Kristi made.

One thing I do still love is the wallpaper. It’s one that I designed myself specifically for this room, and I love how bright and colorful it is. So it will still be the jumping off point for everything else in the room.

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 18

But the things that I’m kind of over at this point are the green walls in the back entry, and the walls in the studio bathroom.

As far as the green goes, I’ve just grown tired of it. I’m so glad that I didn’t keep my kitchen cabinets green. Since it’s a room that I see and spend way more time in than this back entry, I would have grown tired of those green cabinets long ago. I never seem to grow tired of the teal, though. I’ve lived with teal cabinets for over a decade now, and I love them just as much today as I did in the very beginning. That’s just my color, and I can’t see myself ever growing tired of it.

But this green? It’s just too much. It’s too bold and in-your-face. I think the word I’m looking for is “harsh”. It’s not a soothing color by any means. I have no idea what color I want in this area, so I’ll have to give it some thought. I still want color, but I want something that’s a little more welcoming and cohesive with the rest of the house.

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 17

And if the green is going, then I think the design on the floor needs to go, too. Don’t ask me how. It’s painted onto the floor, so getting rid of it won’t be an easy thing. But right now, I’m not concerned with answering the “how” question. I’m just thinking through what I want this room to look like when it’s all finished.

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 16

And then there are the walls in the studio bathroom. That was a very fun project to do, and I don’t regret it one single bit.

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 14

It’s been a fun bathroom to live with for these last three years. (I finished it in October 2019.) But I’m ready to move on to something else. It’ll still be colorful, but probably a bit calmer.

finished studio half bathroom - 1

So there will be some changes coming. I don’t know exactly what those changes will look like just yet, but the wallpaper will be the starting point. What I do know is that I still want a very colorful studio, but I’d like things to be softer, not quite so harsh, and not quite so busy. And I’d like this area to be more cohesive with the rest of the house.

For so long, I’ve thought of my studio as completely separate from the rest of the house, meaning that I could do anything in here and it didn’t need to flow with the rest of the rooms of the house. But I’ve kind of changed my thinking on that. For now, I have privacy film on the glass panes of the door that separates the breakfast room (currently being used as a sitting room) from my studio. I used that film because I didn’t want the unfinished studio showing through the door.

But when the studio is finished, I would like to remove that film. That means that the back entry will be visible from the breakfast room, kitchen, and even from the living room.

I still have a little bit of time to think through and formulate a plan. I’m not finished with the bathroom yet, and after I finish that room, I still need to finish the home gym before starting on the studio. But I’d love to have a plan in place so that I can jump right in without delay.

So what’s the longest you’ve taken to finish a room? And did your taste and style change during that time? Did you have to make changes, or did you just force yourself to stick with your original plan?

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    1. OH mine too! Sometimes, I ALMOST get to a point where I can actually work in there, and then some project comes along, or purging closets comes along, and stuff gets put in there until I can go through it, list it to sell…two years and stuff is still not posted….or company is coming so that room will hold anything that needs to be gone in the living area! Yes, a TOTAL dumping ground. I would hate to show you a photo! We should form a group to work on this together, and with the help, support and accountability perhaps we would get this all done, once and for all, and be able to do some crafts in these spaces…sounds like a dream right now! PS) I have a small bedroom for my craft room…would love to have Kristi’s but I’m afraid it still would be unusable! UGH.

  1. The floor is a great compliment to the wall paper that you love. If you soften things around it, I think you’ll be a lot happier. Either way, maybe leave the floor change to the last thing. Here’s a shocker, you might consider painting the studio walls white (and possibly the entry). I know. White. But colored walls reflect on whatever you are working on and changes the color and white casts a better light. Then maybe do something with the bathroom that incorporates the colors in the wall papers and possibly black and white.

  2. 5 years, and now we are moving so it won’t ever be what I wanted it to be. That’s ok—on to the next house (our last home!) so the decisions I make for this will be forever—maybe!

  3. In your beautiful wallpaper there are 2 green “pods”? maybe that stand out to me. One of them could be considered “teal” and the other a blue/green/greyish. They are not as saturated and in your face but softer and beautiful colors that incidentally look awesome with coral.

  4. I really admire people who have a style and a plan and never deviate or second-guess themselves.

    Yeah…that ain’t me. 😂

    Chevron floor: what if you just tone down the dark, instead of removing it altogether? I really like the look.

  5. I agree with changing the green wall. Painting is a quick fix. I do love that black and white floor. I was skeptical when you started that but it turned out so good. Maybe consider a soft yellow on wall. I love black and white with yellow. After repainting, maybe the floor would appeal to you better.

  6. Love your “colorful” ideals! You seem to really want to use green somewhere in your house–kitchen and entryway. Maybe go a few shades lighter, that compliments your studio wallpaper–if start with those walls, maybe the chevron “rug” and bathroom wall look/feel different without having to redo! But I bet you already have a design in mind for that bathroom!

  7. Your vision is always wonderful and I love how you use color.
    I’m excited to see how the baby blue walls will tie in with the wallpaper.

  8. A few times I’ve gone back through your pages looking for a “how to” I recall you doing, observed your evolution of color & pattern. I remember when you picked this green paint for your hall too. I lean into appreciating what you try even when it’s not my thing as I error being too cautious & practical. Yeah driven by many years of single person home ownership so conserving time & $ was a thing. I’m happy with steady improvement but still encourage myself to push with designs when I watch you.

    Have a couple thoughts….
    o I’m with others in that your studio is the canvas & vehicle to your creating. In my mind the hall is not a primary feature to be accented but a passing chamber to happy, git ‘r dun space & focus. It felt distracting, even diminishing to the main area & wall paper. Green does reflect light oddly, the black chevron is powerful & pretty large. Whatever you come up with could be complementary, subtle supporting cast feature.
    o. I know that many old decorating rules have given way to more eclectic styles, that’s great. Still I would love if you’d do a more analytical post some time about colors. I think personality plays so heavily into our choices, plus end desired feeling of a room/it’s use. I adore your paper, bathroom, they are really high energy. They pick me up. For me too many colors, patterns, objects, even when happy, can be energy draining, even pull away from intended purpose of a room. While I’m not a blogger, or quick to make changes, I have to choose “less”…….. or acknowledge after a work day of high energy need to come home to decompress. Space really plays into that. Are you needing your work space to be a touch more low key, contemplative while still perky?
    o. Your house seems to express your peppy, playful, artistic self. Wondering if color is also a way you bring the outside world in since you have discussed how housebound life has been? Your colors feel like fresh, sunny spring & summer days robust with nature, bursts of blooms.

    I may be mucking about here. Whatever makes you happy. I’ll keep pushing to be braver while I watch your decor. You’ll find your sweet spot.

  9. Oh goodness…my whole adult life? For some homes never change, for some of us they’re always in a state of flux.

    An idea on the floor–Do you think you might like it if you softened the design? The black and white pattern always seemed harsh to me, like something that belonged in a fun house. I’d be tempted to sand it down so it is more worn and softer and then see how you feel about it. The worn look isn’t generally your vibe, but I think *I’d* like the floor better that way! 🙂 Bolder choices like the green, the bathroom, and the floors are those choices we tend to tire of a bit quicker. that’s why you do them in small tucked away spaces, or at least why I do. I get to enjoy them a bit longer that way.

  10. Front Room was 5+ years to finish! We ripped up the old floor and the day after we purchased all the new hardwood to install we had a BIG, unexpected expense come up. Had to return all the flooring and it took 3 years to save up and re-purchase the supplies. Lived with plywood subfloor only in the room (a main area of the house!) for those years. But the room is finally finished with custom fireplace built ins, new hardwood floors in that room and throughout the first floor, paint, furniture and décor. It is the perfect place to sit and drink your coffee in the morning and relax in the evening!

  11. Everything is beautiful! What if you swapped out the green walls for that beautiful pink shade you wanted in the water closet? It would look fabulous with that black and white floor and would tie in wonderfully with your beautiful wall paper. You might have to change up the colors in the bathroom that is there, but I think that pink shade would be so pretty!

  12. I love the coral color in the bathroom – maybe bring a paler shade of that into the entry way and repaint the black stripes with teal or coral? There are a lot of colors from the wallpaper to work with.

  13. I have been living in a remodel with no room finished for 10 years, we are on the home stretch now of finishing, so we can list it and move. However, the wallpaper you have chosen for your studio has that eggplant color, which looks so similar to the color on your buffet in your dining/sitting room. Have you considered that for the green walls?

  14. Since I tend to overanalyze colors, my whole house is a work in progress for the last 11 years! LOL! I finally got so fed up with old dingy builder beige that downstairs is white…just white. I’ve found I like the white and accessorizing with color. I’ve realized I like classic surfaces (like white subway tile) that I can use to work with any colors when I want. The one thing I currently want to have though is a rich teal or turquoise velvet couch! Of course, not going to happen anytime soon so that may change, lol!

  15. My issue isn’t so much that my taste changes but that by the time I get the last room finished, the first rooms are showing wear and need attention. So its a constant state of always needing work somewhere. Never to a point where one can say “done!” and sit and enjoy.

  16. I redid my sewing room in my house in Clarksville, TN. I painted it Peppermint Tea which is a lovely soft green. I got the paint at Walmart. It was relaxing which is what I wanted. We sold that house and move to Waco, TX. My sewing room is sort of pink. My entire house is sort of pink but it was supposed to be light tan. It doesn’t look tan. I can’t dare ask my husband to repaint it as I have about 3400 sq feet with raised ceiling in the livingroom. Pink everywhere.

  17. I love the two-tone floor in your guest bedroom (or your bedroom until the addition). Maybe the floor in the entry you could leave the white and change the black to the floor color in the studio or a shade darker. That would compliment any color you decide on the entry walls. I would paint the French doors and trim white to coordinate. I can see colorful artwork of yours on the walls painted your favorite shade of paint you have in the hall and music room. You always have such a good eye for that.

    1. Oh, and I have been working and reworking my living room for the last 20 years. I am so very close to getting it just right.

  18. I don’t ‘build’/paint things….and at my age won’t start 🙂 I agree with you that it now seems a bit harsh. I have a color that might work that came to mind — but I won’t start that thread b/c you didn’t ask for it (yet). 🙂
    Love your work, Kristi and your openess….keep on keeping on.

  19. 3 1/2 years is our record for finishing a room. It was small but “life” interfered and we had two other baths so we found it hard to push through. Thankfully I still liked my tile that was tucked away all that time.
    For your bathroom in the studio, I’d go with the yellow tile color all the way to the ceiling. Somehow the proportions seem off to me with the bottom white, the tile and the pattern on top. A lot can be accomplished with art to finish it off. Good luck!

  20. Since the painted part of the floor would be difficult to blend in and since you are still in love with the wallpaper, maybe paint the rug to reflect the wallpaper to bring that to the back of the room.

  21. I really don’t like green, just not my color, but I do like the green legs on your work table. Would that be an option? Blue is my color, I love what you did in the master bathroom, but I also love the color of the studio walls. What about that for the dark green walls?

  22. Your home is beautiful and I greatly admire your skills in making it yours. My renovation projects have been done by professionals so they never took long at all. (I don’t have your skills!) However, sometimes in retrospect I would think that perhaps I should have done something more classic and less personalized to my tastes.
    My 3 cents:
    1. When I see the photos of your half bath in the studio, I light up in a smile. It is such a “happy” room.
    2. There is a nice soft shade of green in the Greek Key design that would look lovely in the hall instead of that deep emerald green. It would soften the contrast in the floor chevrons, blend with the half bath and work with the wallpaper in the studio.
    3. It may help to lower the temperature of the bulbs in the hall light fixture as well. In the photos those bulbs appear to be bright daylight bulbs, which may be adding to the sharpness and harshness. Perhaps a soft white bulb with a softer paint shade and the chevron “rug” can remain as-is.
    I have no doubt whatever you choose to do will be just as amazing as the rest of your house.

  23. Please leave the painted part of the floor until everything else is done. It will look great with so many different colors! The idea of lightening it up a bit by sanding lightly sounds good.

  24. Personally I was never fond of the green so will be happy to see it go. But I love that painted rug and will hate to see it go. I think the bathroom walls are fun and again hate to see them go. They follow the same “theme” to me as the gym walls so I am surprised you are tired of them. But the vanity color and tile didn’t work for me. The vanity color was is vibrant and the tile a little on the pastel side, at least in the photos so I hope you change them. All and all it’s your house and you should love it. Whatever you decide will fun to watch unfold. I do love how your brain works.

  25. Kristi, have you ever looked at colour psychology and worked out which two are your dominant and secondary seasons?
    It’s fascinating and also shows what textures and patterns we are drawn too.
    If you haven’t then it might be worth looking at.

  26. I’m with you on repainting the green walls and floor, but I love your bathroom walls! Maybe you’ll like them better once you’ve settled on what to do with the hallway? Maybe not, but either way I would take care of the green first and then reassess how I feel about the bathroom.

    I second guess myself on design decisions ALL the time. Unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe?) I have 5 children, I’m extremely time-strapped, I have a million things on my to-do list, and a very limited budget, so I can’t redo all I would want to. I am determined to repaint my apple green kitchen cupboards that I’ve hated almost from the day I painted them 6 years ago, though. I wanted to do them this summer, but this summer is pretty much gone. Probably I’ll have to wait another 2 years.

  27. LOL! hows never. Did not get mine finish before having to move!
    Looking at your chevron “rug”, why not try a grayed purple on the black stripes and see if that could work. [Like your wall paper color] Not sure if bright white would work, maybe the light blueberry…. Brick red/salmon… Teal/light teal.
    As for the Green/Green, I was fairly certain that would not last, but what will work? Maybe the grayed lime green in the leaves of the wall paper? What ever you deside it will be stunning, I’m sure!

  28. Well I have ya’ll beat. 40 years. We never wanted to mess with taking down a wall from the formal dining room to the formal living room. Put up cabinets in the formal dining room and moved it to the living room space, I also have a den which is where we hang out. Sure wish I had your skills. I guess I will live with this area forever. LOL Oh the cabinets were put in to hold all my Christmas stuff since we have no basements and my attic is useless.

  29. Wait – – I’m supposed to actually FINISH a room? That.. is a new concept, for me.

    Sadly, I am not really joking! : ) But I enjoy the process, so it’s all good.

  30. I love the green wall as it goes well with the bright coral vanity ! i think the chevron rug is throwing the whole room off. i would cover it with some of your wallpaper in your studio or use a rug to cover it. then see if you like the green wall after that is done. Jewel tones in a rug would pull those three rooms together .

  31. Okay, I had a go at all the good comments and smiled at a lot of the stories.

    Here in Ecuador, I don’t own a house but my apartment is finished and full of color and art on the wall. It brings me joy because I chose each piece for a reason besides to look like a decoration that has to match something.

    The green wall: I never liked it from the beginning. It didn’t seem to be “you” so I will be glad to see it go. I have never been a fan of black and white floors because that is where the eye goes instead of higher up. I see many would disagree with my opinion. Isn’t diversity of thought great? I mean that.

    I do love the bathroom near your studio. It doesn’t seem like a high priority to me at this point. In time, perhaps to tweak?

    As for your studio walls, why not take your trusty paint fan, and sit at your desk and stare at the wall and at the fan. Contemplate and cerebrate and relax. The right color is going to pop into your consciousness and be obvious. But maybe there is another idea: build the whole shebang of cabinets, install them and then wait until then to see what you really see and feel. You are intuitive about color. You have to feel it is right. You are right, the color has to hold its own with that wallpaper. And it needs to at least blend with all the colors that are visible at the same time. The coral family seems in the running to my eye.

    Enjoy the process!

  32. Oh…. I am so glad to see this post today as I was thinking the exact same thing. I like everything that you did in the house but these rooms felt too harsh for me, especially the green and black. I thought they did not go well with the fabulous wallpaper.

  33. I agree with the idea of painting the studio and entryway walls white – give yourself a blank slate – the wallpaper has plenty of colour in it and I’ve always felt that the soft blue walls clash with it – that blue is in the wallpaper but the background of the paper is white. I think the blue actually mutes the natural light in that space too, making it appear rather cold.

    I think if the walls are kept blue they will fight with whatever colours that you may want to incorporate into the shelving and banks of counters you want to install.

    As for the painted carpet on the floor – you could cover it with another, entirely different pattern and colours once everything else is done.

    None of that has anything to do with how long I’ve left rooms hanging – I’ve got three right now that have been progressing at a snail’s pace over the last two years. And once I’ve got those done I’ll be redoing my living room – I’m just tired of it.

  34. Just finished a bathroom yesterday that was gutted in January. Time is not your friend when remodeling and life always gets in the way!

  35. This isn’t going to make anyone else in the comments happy….but I am not the procrastinating sort. Once I start on a project, I pretty much work on it every second of free time I have until it’s done. Then, I move to the next thing. If we count my entire house, I’ve been here approximately 3-4 years, and have yet to complete the kitchen. That’s the last major room to redo. I’ve really struggled with my vision for the kitchen, but I think I’ve finally got that dialed in….

  36. I started my she shed in June 2021 and hit a wall this summer. I am SO close. Just need to finish wiring, the interior walls, and some trim, and I’m mentally exhausted. I’m hoping to get back on it this weekend.

  37. Over 2 years for our master bath. Still in progress. I hate to admit it, but even in that time my style has changed some. It’s a black/white design, so I can incorporate some natural greens and browns too. I totally relate to “2017-19” version of me is a little bolder and brighter than 2022 version of me. I painted another bathroom vanity that same bright green like your walls, and now I’m so over it in our bathroom. Maybe a more muted green for me. But I think we’ve finally decided on overall house colors for our entire house—if we can only stick with it and update it all before we change our minds again.😬