Our House

July Progress & August Goals

Last Updated on January 14, 2019 by Kristi Linauer

Well, July was a strange month. It was the first month this year that I didn’t get one single thing checked off of my master to-do list for the year, and it was the first month of the year that almost everything that got done around here was accomplished by other people and not by me.

But the most important thing is that there was forward momentum, and quite a bit of it, even if it wasn’t on my list, and even if it wasn’t done by me.

It’s amazing to me that at the beginning of July, my garage looked like this…

7-1-17 - garage and storage room cleared out - 2

…and now it looks like this…

studio progress as of 8-1-2017

And the outside that looked like this…

garage conversion - before

…looks more like this (except that the siding on the studio is completely finished now)…

front exterior - siding and stone mix - new siding on studio

It was a fun month, and I have to admit that it was really nice standing back and watching other people do the work on my house for almost a whole month. In fact, the only project I actually did with my own hands (with my brother’s help, of course) was building this portico over the studio side door.

how to build a portico - 37 - finished shingled portico roof

You can click here to see details about that project.

The portico still isn’t finished, although my brother and I did get the custom brackets installed which you can see here. It’s still far from finished. I need to do quite a bit of wood filling, sanding, priming, and painting. Then I need to install the last few ceiling boards and install the pendant light. But it’s getting there!

So this month, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. My shoulder, back and arm are better (still not 100%, but much better), and I’m anxious to get refocused on my list of goals for the year. I’ve got five months left to get through that list, so it’s time to buckle down.

I do want to completely finish the portico, but after that, I’d like to focus on the living room. I still only have one drapery panel finished for the room, and I did that last year…


I still have five to finish, and two of them are double-width panels, which I hate making. But I need to just get in there and get them done.

My grasscloth accent wall in the entryway has just been sitting there, begging for artwork, for a month now…

grasscloth accent wall in entryway - Phillip Jeffries Juicy Jute Tantalizing Teal grasscloth on Benjamin Moore Classic Gray walls

…so I’d like to make something to go there.

And this dresser that I bought for the entryway needs some work…

new credenza for entryway - 1

The drippy, messy chalk paint finish isn’t what I want, and the top actually needs some repair.

And finally, I’d love to get the two chairs and the sofa for the living room completely stripped and ready for reupholstering, and possibly even make some headway on some of the upholstering. My sofa currently looks like this…


It looks pretty bad right now, but with some refinishing on the wood, and new foam, batting, and fabric, I think it’ll be very pretty. I also plan to replace the three seat cushions with one long cushion. A couple of months ago, I thought I might pay to have it upholstered, but any extra money for that has now been spent on extras for the studio. So now it’s definitely going to be a DIY project.

And as far as the two chairs go, they’re in even worse shape than the sofa. Much worse. I’ve been dragging those things all over, from one non-climate-controlled storage building to another, for probably ten years now just waiting for the opportunity to use them. So now I finally have a use for them, and I’m so excited to reupholster them and get them looking brand new. I still have no idea what fabric I want to use on them. But I can at least get them stripped and ready to go for next month.

So with the exception of the portico, the living room and entryway will be the main focus for the month. I’m really looking forward to leaving construction behind for a few weeks and turning my attention back to some pretty decorating projects. I can only take so much construction before I need some pretty in my life. 🙂

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 9:35 am

    You’ve gotten a ton done! I know how you feel about it, because I have too. Love how the portico turned out. Those brackets are amazing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    August 1, 2017 at 10:02 am

    It will be a good month to do inside work, help you heal a bit longer, and get those things that nag at you done! It will also help you to dream about what is to come outside and help you to form a solid plan. I’m so excited for you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 10:22 am

    You always make such massive progress. Inspiring as anticipated. Gives me courage to contemplate and tackle my projects.
    Every time I go to this pages is always another gem or tidbit.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Is the studio close enough to be able to use it for making your drapes? That big space must be calling you!!!

    What a great month! Huge progress, I think–and a good time for others to be working while you heal. Here’s to a great August!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lisa E
      August 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

      That’s what I waa thinking, too bad you couldn’t wait to use it for the extra wide panels but you do you! Live being along for the ride.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 10:37 am

    It’s really quite unbelievable, all that you have accomplished. Pages of kudos to you! Always look forward to the next adventure around the corner.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa P
    August 1, 2017 at 10:41 am

    LOL! You set such high goals for yourself! You’re the only person who could have 1/3 of their house gutted and reframed and heating/cooled and sided and feel like not a lot got done! I think you got a lot done. You had to make a done of decisions re: the toilet, the portico, the heating/cooling, the siding/stone. I’m not even sure how you had enough brain space to make the decisions that you did make! I’m excited to see the living room and music room come together, but also I’m excited to see more progress in the studio! So much is going on! Yay!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 11:02 am

    You gave your shoulder, arm and back the time to heal….most important thing on your list!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sally Gates
    August 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

    The portico is looking amazing! I do have one question about where did you find the rings that slide over the drapery rod on your living room rod? I have been looking and can’t find any. Thanks, Sally

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Would this be a good time to encourage you with a verse from the Bible? “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”……that’s all that comes to mind when I think of your project goals. You are AMAZING! (Nothing scares me more than upholstering and curtains 😳😩).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    August 1, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    It will be nice and creative for you to do some ‘pretty’ stuff this month. Looking forward to seeing all the pretty progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    August 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I love that sofa. I can see what a jewel it will be.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda Kemp Adney
    August 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I absolutely Loooooove the sofa…I want one just like it…so excited about your progress..good job…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I think the changes in the month of July are amazing! By letting the contractor and his crew get the garage turned to your studio you’ve let your back have time to heal, or mostly heal. That is probably the most important thing if you are to move forward with your goals for the year. I’m very excited to see what kind of artwork you will make for your entry wall. Your creativity is amazing! The draperies are kind of a pain but once you get them complete the room will be much warmer and almost complete. I like the idea of making the 3 cushions into 1 long one. Go August Goals Kristi!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    August 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I want to make a suggestion about your sofa when you reupholster it.

    Get rid of the three seat cushions and just do one long single one.

    A decorator told me to do this about 20 years ago, and I have done it ever since. It is so much nicer to sit on a single cushion, and nothing falls through! It also has a cleaner look, and is less work and less costly than making three smaller ones.

    A bonus: If ever needed, one large bottom sofa cushion makes a great emergency bed for someone sleeping over, even an adult. Just move it to the floor or the carpet. Twin fitted sheets work great on them!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Those brackets are gorgeous! So glad your body had time to heal – whether you wanted to be sidelined or not! Amazing progress, Kristi. I keep staring at my curtains that need to be “tweaked” before I hang them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca Neustel
    August 2, 2017 at 1:28 am

    I hope you’ll be doing all that work in the air conditioned studio. I know it won’t be finished, but it should be a good place to break down the sofa and chairs and to make the drapes with plastic over the floor. I’m wondering, did you get any injections in your neck? I’m getting a cortisone injection next week and wondering if they helped you.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      August 2, 2017 at 7:47 am

      No, I didn’t get any injections. I have to be in extreme pain and on the verge of tears to even take an aspirin. 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    August 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I think that using a contractor and subs IS real work. When I have accomplished something around the home by 1) finding and vetting the right subcontractor, 2) considering bids, 3) watching work in progress and catching errors or misunderstanding before it gets too far, 4) sort of tactfully bringing up variances from my expectations, 5) watching the price go up and getting ready to pay (move cash to the account you want to use), I count it as “my” accomplishment and it is real work, you just did it with your brain.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Kristi, I know you’ve done double-width drapes before. Have you ever done a tutorial on joining 2 patterned pieces of fabric? I could have sworn you did, but when I looked through your tutorials, I couldn’t seem to find it. If you could please point me in the right direction, that’d be wonderful, as I’m facing the same dilemma at the moment (i.e., how to join 2 pieces of patterned fabric so that “break” between the 2 pieces isn’t noticeable). Thanks so much!