Plans & Dreams

This past weekend, I got my second chair reupholstered for the entryway, made some new pillows for those chairs, and did some painting. I think all that’s left is to paint my front door, and then the entryway will be finished. I’m pretty sure I can get that finished today, if life doesn’t get in the way. 🙂

As I’m working, I’m always asking myself, “What’s next?” Obviously,  still need to finish the dining room.

DIY Fluid acrylic abstract painting with easy-to-make modern frame - 4

I’ve got four Roman shades, eight dining chairs, and some accessorizing to go. At least. I’m sure there are more projects that I’m not remembering right now.

Then I’ll turn my attention to the music room and finish decorating in there.

Music room remodel progress with DIY sliding doors and built-in bookcases to create pocket doors

And after that, I want to work on the hallway. The hallway is small, but it still needs drywall in some areas, and then taping and mudding on the ceiling and walls. So I’ll be starting with the very basics in there, and then building a built-in hall tree. Right now, it pretty much still looks like this, multi-colored doors and all…

hallway 1


Once that’s done, that would finish up all of the main areas.

house floor plan - june 2016

Those projects will keep me busy for a while. I’d love to think I can get it all done by the end of the year, so we’ll see if I can actually make that happen.

But where I go from there, I have no idea. One thing I really struggle with on this house is knowing what temporary fixes to put time and money into, and where to just hold off until we can really do things right. And in the last few weeks, spending time and money on temporary fixes just seems really unappealing to me.

For example, as much as I’d love to have a beautiful bedroom, the idea of putting any time and money into any projects that we can’t take with us to our new bedroom (when the remodel is done) just seems so wasteful to me. Earlier this year, I had talked about removing a window, adding a door, building bedside closets, etc. None of that appeals to me right now. And putting any kind of money into the master bathroom, no matter how much I hate that room, just seems pointless.

And just a couple of months ago, I was testing out paint colors for the exterior of the house.

house exterior paint - yellow paint options - 1

But every time I walk in the front door, and walk past all of the vinyl siding on the porch, the more I cringe at the idea of wasting time, money, and good paint on ugly vinyl siding. I’d almost rather live with the ugly until we can get straight to the long-term goal, which will be a more traditional (in other words, not Craftsman) version of this…

Anyway, I could go on, but you get the point. I’m just ready to have things finished and finalized. I’m not interested in temporary and cheap fixes that I’ll just turn around and tear out when I’m ready to implement a long-term plan.

I really don’t know what has brought about my change of heart. I’ve always loved DIY just for the sake of DIY, and as long as I was creating something, I didn’t really care if it was just temporary. But now, I feel my attitude shifting a bit. Or a lot. Maybe it’s just beccause I just turned 43 a few days ago, and I don’t want to spend all of my 40’s in a construction zone. Or maybe over the last six weeks, as I’ve taken a step back from the blog and from projects, I’ve just kind of lost some of that fire and excitement that I had before. I really don’t know.

Whatever the reason, I’m just ready to speed this process along. I need to find a way to make a quick $60,000. Or perhaps it’s just time to get a loan and get the work done. I’m ready to have a nice bedroom with French doors to the back yard so that I don’t have to worry about how in the world I’d get Matt outside to safety in the event of a fire. I’m ready to have a nice, large master bathroom with a wheelchair accessible shower that Matt can actually use. I’m ready to have a much larger front porch so that Matt can go out the front door without me worrying that he’s just going to roll right off the edge, and a really nice wheelchair ramp on the side that isn’t so steep that it takes all my strength to get him up the ramp.

I’m ready to have a home, and I’m ready to start enjoying life and family in my home.

I think I’ll start interviewing contractors, getting bids, and we’ll just see where it leads.

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  1. This is maybe only the second time I’ve commented, but I think you are wise to consider your options! It will be great when you are able to DIY to your heart’s content, but from the comfort of a “finished” (using that word loosely) home, rather than a construction zone. It’s so hard to relax when you know things are temporary! I hope you get some great quotes and also maybe a cash infusion 😉

  2. Good! As much as I love reading and learning from your DIY adventures, I totally sympathize with you needing to wind down. It’d be nice for you and Matt to have a home to come back to and anchor you. You need to relax some. Lately my house is just project after project. I find myself just getting more exhausted coming home spotting a new thing here or there that needs to get done, or just something that I had forgotten was on my mental to-do list. It’s not the best feeling, and that also with me not having done a fraction of what you’ve taken on!

    1. Project after project…

      That’s how I’m feeling right now. I thought I’d really enjoy updating this house, but we’re not even half way yet and already I am over it. It’s exhausting having all those projects hanging over your head.

      I wish hiring a team of pros to whip it all into shape was an option, but sadly the budget is laughing at that notion.

  3. Oh Krisiti, you are grieving. What you are experiencing is normal after a loss of a loved one. When my mother passed away I found myself tired of saving saving saving — that is when my husband and I started taking trips, without kids and with friends. Something we wouldn’t have thought to do before.

    You can still do DIY, but doing something larger, and permanent to make your house move along faster may be what you need.

    1. Agree wholeheartedly with Susan B. I just lost my husband of 43 years…he was 81…. We too spent our 40’s DIY-ing it ad infinitum…. A death of a close friend made us realize it was time to “Make Some Memories”. We enjoyed traveling and decided to hang up our tools and leave it to the professionals. By the time he passed we had logged over 80 cruises… up & down the Amazon…. Around the Horn in So. America….. Gondola rides in Venice….. Wine tastings in France…. Feeding the monkeys on top of Gibraltar…. The markets in Morocco…. Crossing the Pacific & Atlantic oceans many, many times. Now that he is gone my sweetheart has left me with soooo many happy memories. So Kristi….. I guess I’m saying, Yes now is the time to perhaps rest your hammer for a while and “Make Some Happy Memories” with your sweetheart. BobsGal

        1. Thank you….but don’t be sorry…. They were the very best years of my life… I was blessed beyond deserving….!

    2. I completely agree. I think that losing your bonus Dad has brought to focus that you need to Live your life and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Get the big stuff done by the pros, en you can do the fun stuff.

      God bless,

    3. That’s what I was thinking. The recent loss of your Bonus Dad probably has a perspective that tomorrow is not promised and you have to enjoy life. The fact that all these projects that have yet to be done are not enabling Matt to fully enjoy his own home is probably a heavy weight on your shoulders. I think you are being wise. You have done so much and I know you will do more but let the pros take some of that weight off. Enjoy every precious moment this life offers.

    4. So true! Do all the research and playing you want but remember, no big decisions until at least 6 months after the death of a loved one.

  4. Not to psychoanalyze you, but maybe with the recent death of a loved one you’re feeling that life is short and there’s an urgency to get things done?
    Here’s to winning $60,000!

  5. IF you can afford loan payments, it sounds like a home equity loan is the way to go. It would allow you and Matt a chance to relax and enjoy each other a bit more. Love your work, design style and your blog.

  6. I think ALL the points you made about Matt’s comfort and safety are very valid reasons to seek a home loan ASAP. It’s h*ll living in a construction zone, I CANNOT imagine trying to maneuver in a wheelchair. Matt must be the most easy-going husband in the history of the world!

  7. Sounds like reflection and re-prioritizing, knowing how quickly life events can happen. Don’t stress…you’ll be awesome whatever you choose to do–and you WILL get your “spark” back. AND BTW…HAPPY [belated] BIRTHDAY!

  8. Very wise post. A reflection and reminder that we don’t have forever to get things done. Blessings and prayers.

  9. I certainly appreciate your thoughts. Bringing in some constructors to help you is very reasonable.

    Might I suggest a more measured approach than taking out a huge loan? Hire a contractor to do the breakfast room, and master suite/bath. In the mean time, you finish the hallway, your office, and Matt’s game room.

    Then reasses your finances, and if need be, you can take out a second loan to finish the back addition, and the exterior.

    Just a suggestion.

  10. First, I wholeheartedly acknowledge that this is absolutely none of my business and a very personal decision. But, that said, I can’t help but hope that you might consider the loan (I think rates are still low? but there seems to be talk of those rising with time). You have lived very frugally and have reaped the benefits of that by not having the typical load of debt. Even if you borrowed the whole 60K, that seems like a relatively small amount when you consider the debt:asset ratio. (Disclaimer: A banker I am not!) You and Matt and your comfort are worth investing in, particularly when you consider how much “sweat equity” you have in this home (not to mention the improvements you made to your condo). I am not putting this into words very well, but a CPA on our church’s board of trustees once reminded us all that debt, in and of itself, is not always a negative thing. Sometimes it is necessary, and, when used wisely, can be a smart choice to a achieve a worthwhile goal. But again, I get it. It’s very personal!

  11. Maybe it is time for you to step back and take a much needed break for yourself. Afterwards, you can decide how you wish to tackle your remaining home projects. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  12. Hi, I love all the things you do and I admire the energy and commitment you put into each project. I have mentioned this once before, at present your front door is hung on the left, so door opens from the right, first sight everyone gets is of the dining room, if the door was hung on the other side it would open onto the entryway wall and all would see that, they will then turn to see an other room. I’m sorry to mention it again, it’s just if I had worked that hard I would want all to see it first and not after they have walked in. I agree with getting a loan to move it along.

  13. Kristi, I read your blog regularly. I am always interested in seeing what you do next. I admire your honesty, integrity, creativity, DIY skills and your sheer determination. This feeling you have could be temporary due to grief & dealing with all the issues you undergo after the loss of a loved one and the toll that must have taken. Be good to yourself & rest. I also like the idea of getting quotes and exploring your options. It must be exhausting living in a house that needs a complete makeover. I am a strong believer in obtaining all the information and then making a decision. God may provide in ways that you cannot imagine. God bless and good luck.

  14. As much as I love reading your DIY adventures, I think the healthy thing to do is get a loan and get the important stuff done pronto. I’m just in my early thirties, but after our third child (6.5 months ago) I’ve had to take a step back from my DIY’ing and decorating. I have to remember (and you do too) that this is just a season of life. I’ve been reading your blog since your condo, and feel like I kind of know you (I’m currently living in GA, but hail from Corsicana, TX, so I totally GET Texans 😀) and I believe that you will always find joy in DIY’ing. I also believe that you could handle the exterior remodel all by yourself, but Time is the issue. Whatever you decide to do, I’m cheering you on from my cell phone where I read your blog!! Best of luck!!

  15. I’m over twenty years older than you, so maybe my perspective can help you. First, Kristi, don’t feel as though you are giving up on yourself by hiring out these projects instead of doing it all yourself. As I read your post I kept thinking to myself, “yep, yep and yep” because I recall these same emotions throughout the years. Your attitude turn-a round is merely a progression of wisdom and has been noticeable for most of us who can look back. What’s the worst that can happen if you take out that $60,000 loan? The fact that you and Matt will have more time to enjoy your finished home together will more than make up for it. Hiring out these projects won’t leave you with nothing to do, but give you more quality (instead of the quantity) DIY projects you’ll always want to do. As you have been made painfully aware, life can be fleeting, so go ahead and interview those contractors and get on with the enjoyment of home ownership and make those dreams a reality. Onward and upward, girlfriend!

  16. I understand exactly what you are saying, we have one room left to complete and we are done except for upkeep. If you can do it, by all means hire someone. You are so talented and creative that I know you will stilll have projects and blogging when you want and it will be fun for you and not so stressful. I can imagine you having the major work done but you adding your touches throughout the project. Good luck with whatever decision you make, but I feel you are moving in the right direction!

  17. As someone who is in the exact moment you are in, I so get where your emotions are. The only difference is that it is ME who is facing the medical nightmare of cancer/ life/decisions. We are in our 50’s, and DIY-ing 2 homes at once.
    Things are no longer “in our control”. Truth be told, I’m tired. Physically, mentally, and mostly emotionally. I just can’t get it together long enough to accomplish much these days. All this hurry up and wait is exhausting! We too are checking out avenues if refi, equity line, etc.
    All of our goals, hopes, dreams, nothing is the same. Everything looks and feels different. I don’t really have any great advice or quick quips to help. But I am sure if this; right now, this very moment is all we have. Time, precious time, is not a given, it is the gift!
    Do what is best for Kristi and Matt. Talk, and enjoy right now. The rest, “stuff”, will happen when it’s supposed to happen. Y’all figure out what feels best for the two of you and work hard to make it happen.
    Cause I can tell you right now, the only thing I really want right now, is time. And that my friend, is never on our side. Blessings!🙏🏻

    1. Prayers for peace and contentment to you Hope Williams. Life is so uncertain and it goes by so fast. Everyone should do their best and what works for their lives. Peace.

  18. I know this doesn’t fit in the long term bedroom plans but there is nothing like a new set of bedding to brighten the room up and make you more excited to be in there. I got a new set last week and I feel like it turned my room around.

  19. Kristi,

    We are right in the middle of prepping our home to sell. I am the painter, my husband does the carpentry and we share outdoor work.
    I know that the work we are putting in will make the house sell quicker and (hopefully) for a nicer price, but I am beginning to resent the time we are putting in to this house.
    We plan to drastically downsize so that our time is our own and we aren’t constantly doing something for the house. I no longer want to spend every summer weekend cutting a huge lawn and every evening watering and weeding a large garden.
    I want to travel while we can. My husband is 55 and I’m almost 50. We are both beginning to have some health issues that might curtail our plans in 10-15 years. Now that the kids are all out of the house it is our turn.
    If we could afford it I’d hire all the remaining “big” tasks out and just be done! that’s not an option, unfortunately. So instead of doing the fun things this area has to offer in the summer one last time before we move south, we’re held captive by a house that no longer brings us joy.
    I know this isn’t the season of life you and Matt are living in, but I encourage you to get some of the big stuff hired out. Don’t wait until you resent the time spent on your home like we now do.

    1. Not even five minutes after posting this I found out that a dear, life-long friend died today. I am crushed, grieving and at loose ends.
      I know now is not the time to make big decisions, just as I don’t think that you in your current state of grief should make really big decisions, but I just want to be done with the house. Walk away and start living because tomorrow isn’t assured.

  20. If your finances allow, I vote for the loan to get everything done that is essential to your comfort.

    Life is VERY SHORT – as are financial opportunities. My financial situation has changed drastically in the last year for the worst. And while I’m glad we had savings to live off of, I’m happier that before this situation we delayed our saving and took two wonderful trips. We have memories that we are most grateful for. Sure that money would extend our comfort now, but not by much so in retrospect I think we did the right thing.

    Take a trip. Give your mind and body a rest. Enjoy your hubby. Life is so very short & memories are more important than you realize.

    Peace to you Kristi & Happy Birthday!

  21. Krisiti – If I had the $60,000 – I would give it to you! You are the most creative and helpful blogger, and I have learned so much from you. I see all the dust and construction in the background from the photos you post and I know that it must weigh on you every time you walk in a room and wonder “will this house ever be finished? What is the most important project I should do next? etc.” My husband and I had a similar situation with a rental property we owned and wanted to sell. For months I did all the work myself, and it was a complete gut job. Working on this rental left our own home, which still needed work, to fall behind. I was a superstar, because doing the work saved money. But…I was miserable. Exhausted, budgeting the books at night and shopping on line for supplies… my creative side had become lost. I had become robotic in the construction, and finally took my husbands advice and hired a contractor to assist me. I continued to work alongside the contractor, but the stress it took off of me was monumental. Bottom line, I don’t know anyone, even in blog land, that can say they have single handed done what you have done. You are so creative, that even without the big projects, you will still have plenty of creative content and DIY to share with us. Call the contractors, and please hire at least one of them. I think you will find your energy renewed and be able to focus on some of the best years of your life without wearing a dust mask and a tool belt 🙂

    1. How about starting a crowdfunding action? I would gladly give some money to you as repayment for all the things I’ve learned through you and guess a lot of your other readers would, too. so that even if nobody can give you 60,000$ singlehandedly, we might be there to help you a bit?!!

        1. Yes, me too! I had to comment after tonight I found yet another post that shows me exactly how to do something I’ve wanted to do but am uncertain how it will look if I wing it. Thank you for taking the “wing it” out of so many of my projects I can’t count them all. I’d love to give back a little bit!

  22. Kristi, I think you will be relieved when you can hire out all the dire work that is exhausting and then can “just” do the decorating – we all know that there is no “just” with you and that you’ll find enough projects (and complicated ones, too) even if you don’t have to do all the construction work.
    I’m in the middle of doing a DIY project I would probably not have started if I had never read your blog and realised that I can do things myself. It’s fun but exhausting as well and makes me realise which future projects are going to be hired out to the pros!
    So get all the info on how much you really need to spend and then think about all the time and energy it gives you to do what you really love (like upholstering or painting beautiful “wallpapers” rather than building or tearing down walls :))
    Happy belated birthday to you!!

  23. If it is the idea of $60,000 that is stopping you, I just want to say that over the years I have worried about $$, but when I finally committed to getting a loan/buying something/paying for a trip, I have been amazed at how little I missed the money. This is true from making decisions about whether our children could go to camp or afford the fees and uniforms to play on a “travel team,” to buying a house that was 1 1/2 times our budget, to spending money on a trip to New Zealand that seemed an astronomical amount at the time.

    My mother is very frugal and has seldom borrowed money for anything. But when I bought my first house and was struggling with a damp basement on meager finances, she ordered me to go to Sears and purchase a dehumidifier on a payment plan. I almost fell over. She told me that the value I would get from it would far overshadow the monthly payments I would have to make, and that my household budget would adjust. She was right. I have applied that principle to getting central air conditioning in our house, to sending a daughter to a university she really wanted to go to vs. a cheaper one, and many other carefully-thought-out purchases. So far, my budget has amazingly always been able to absorb the increase, and the benefits have far outweighed not doing whatever it was.

    If this feels right to you, don’t hesitate, Kristi. Do what will reap the most benefits for your current life.

  24. Kristie,
    You have gone through an emotional roller coaster recently. Losing a parent/step parent is difficult. Just take some time, real time, to let the dust settle. Staying busy doesn’t make things easier. Catch your breath and your fire will come back……with a vengeance! You always make good decisions when you are at your best.

  25. If you can afford it, get the rest of the major stuff done for you. You can still tackle plenty of adventures with decorating and more of the minor upgrades, once the major remodeling has been completed. Time is a priceless commodity that you can’t get back. The older you get the more apparent this becomes. Birthdays can be times of reflection and reevaluation, let alone a birthday at such a pivotal point as you have just experienced. Hopefully, you had an enjoyable birthday in spite of such a painful month.

  26. One thing I’ve noticed, Kristi, is your style has seemed to evolve and change over time. When you first did the living room, it seemed just a little drab and I thought you were going in a played down vive. But now, WOW, I love the beautiful bright colors, the shift to a more sophisticated and youthful design. You have now set the bar for yourself as to style, I think you should get those estimates for the hardest part of the work and then let yourself finish up with the decorative touches. You are good with both, but after awhile, a renovation of many years can get exhausting. That way you would still have plenty of projects and get to spend time doing the more creative part of the job. Then you and Matt can relax. BTW, the double doors opening to the outside is a real safety issue, not a luxury. Get it done!

  27. Focus on all you’ve done Girlie!!! You have just been amazing. Take three deep breaths and pat yourself on the back, you rock!

  28. Kristie, I agree with all of the above, we have been in the middle of a redo, our finished basement flooded, and we did not have enough insurance to cover the labor, so my Husband and myself have been trying to do it all, We both have health issues , my back/ his heart. we are now at the point after doing this for 4 months we are burned out, we have decided that at our age 69, we will hire the big stuff to be done, I still have furniture to do , but that will be the fun stuff, so take a loan if you need to, enjoy someone else doing the major things, then you and Matt can enjoy each other, I have learned a lot from your blog, I tell my husband all the time if Kristie can do it , so can I, I forget that I’m not 40 anymore, so go for it, always remember we are never promised tomorrow , we only have today,

  29. Dear Kristi, I have enjoyed your DIY projects beyond measure. I also feel we have gotten to know you a little bit in your private life.
    I do see myself in you, after I had the loss of a loved one. I used to say “it took the wind out of
    my sails”. I fell into a bit of a funk and much of what I once was passionate about slipped away.
    When we lose that passion it is time to reach out for help so we can get some of the joy back. I did have someone come help me with my some of the projects that I had started because it stressed me out to think of doing them. I couldn’t stay focused and my ability to press forward lost its excitement and enthusiasm. It overwhelmed me as I looked around. It made all the difference when I saw it completed and I could enjoy my vision done. I was slow to start anything else but trust me in time I have started doing little projects again and guess what I love it. It will come back. I do suggest you get help and then let your mind and soul heal for a while. I know you will have sound advice on where to get the money be it a refi, a construction loan, or what ever else is
    available it will be worth it. Just know that we are all rooting for you.

  30. Kristi, you’re in mourning, and I’m sure you are beyond tired…physically, mentally, and emotionally. Give yourself some time, and don’t make any major decisions right now. It’ll all be there when your body and spirit have had time to heal.

  31. You sound kind of burned out. I’m sure after losing your step dad that is to be expected. You do sound full of grief. Also after following you almost 2 years, you seem to go through spurts where you have boundless energy and then wear yourself out. Ah, the life of a full time DIY blogger …..

  32. Why not ask the guys there in Waco with the TV show. They are good, and have connections to get you names of contractors that are trust-worthy. [Maybe even use your house for a show?]
    Either way, you have come to realize, that life can be short. You need Matt to be in a comfortable and safe spot, so I say do what it takes to get the help you need, at least in your master.
    Love your kitty rug and Happy Birthday, late!
    Cant wait to see how you do the hall tree!

    1. Sorry, I did not put their names in! Chip and Johanna Gains, on the HGTV show Fixer Upper.

  33. Kristi, three of the things you mentioned (french doors, accessible shower and wheelchair ramp) aren’t ordinary remodel items. They’re for the safety of your beloved husband. I think you get a pass on taking care of those things first. If you were to get prices on what it would cost for a builder to rough out each of them, I know you could do the rest of the work yourself. Think of it that way. And if you had to split them into separate tasks to make it happen, prioritize them in terms of what would impact him (and you) most. And if you have to take out a loan, think of it as an investment in your family’s well-being. Please don’t feel bad about this.

  34. So very honored that you are even sharing your thoughts with us. Hiring the rough-in might be an option, and then you build every door casing, crown molding, etc. Have the contractor to price without painting anything, leaving you to make choices, and remake them when you want. You are superwoman at this, but that doesn’t mean you have to do every single bit. You do the custom stuff to suit yourself. Love that you are looking at your options. Good luck getting bids. It may take several to find what you’re looking for. You new windows are a prime example of getting more bids.

  35. So many good comments have been made. Go for the loan, at least get the “bones” constructed leaving you a few DIY projects IF you so desire. Or get the whole thing done and just decorate the space. You will figure it out.

    As a side note: if you have to get Matt out of the house in a hurry, lay him on a blanket and pull it/him along. Good news is, you have wood floors that will make it relatively easy. It will be bumpy over the threshold at the doorway and down any steps, but a small price to pay for speed. I wondered how I would manage my husband who has advanced Parkinson’s and a friend made the suggestion. There is always a need to think ahead when you have a spouse/loved one with health issues.

  36. Sometimes it doesn’t cost as much as we think it will to let someone else do it. You have accomplished so much by yourself. And where you get your ideas and your energy I will never know. I had more of it when I was your age, but by the time I finished my 40s I was ready to pay someone else to do it too. Just go with what feels right and feel DAMN PROUD of all you’ve done. The projects you show us on the blog are so beautiful.

    PS: If you find that way to make a quick $60,000, please share it on the blog, too, okay? ;->

  37. “Addicted to Decorating” does not have to equal addicted to doing all the construction yourself. I love what you do, and agree with what everyone is saying. I hope you can find a way to balance your goals, enjoy your home and rediscover the joy in the creative decorating process. Blessings to you and your family as you balance grief and life.

  38. Love the calico cat with the calico doors. I have to agree with many of the other commenters; if you can afford to take out a construction loan/2nd mortgage, you should have a contractor do the major construction work now. That would free you up to focus on spending time with Matt, doing the decorating projects in the dining room and music room, and some finding some fun, creative projects that you can eventually place in the unfinished rooms. I realize the blog is your income source but we’ll continue to follow you whether you’re doing major reno work or just sewing curtains and making stylish accessories.

  39. Kristi,

    I just discovered your blog recently and I think I have read through every post. What I love most about it is your authenticity and ability to inspire confidence. That said, I also understand how loss evokes a strong desire to take stock of what really matters, how precious our loved ones are and how fleeting time can be. Give yourself the time you need to figure out what’s most important to you right now and allow yourself time to grieve. Whatever you decide will be the right choice for you, right now.

  40. Kristi
    From reading your blog I feel that so far in life you have no regrets and that is has been great so far.
    And it will be great when you come back to your house; after all they do not fix themselves, right? haha
    But basically I do not think you are making a rash decision to take our a loan, etc., but rather are doing something that will continue to make your life happy and satisfied……just keep your eye on the critical path and truly put things to do at the top of your list that really excite you.
    Love your blog! Doing it yourself is sooo empowering. Go for it.
    And 40 ain’t old. You are really just getting started.

  41. Happy Belated Birthday Kristi! Maybe the combination of losing your step-dad and your birthday are making you rethink the temporary vs final remodel models? You do so many great and creative things as your almost completed areas in the home show all of us. I totally understand you wanting to get your Master Bedroom/Bathroom completed for both of your sakes. It sounds like a good place to start your priority list, for sure. Good luck with the decisions and I hope you can get contract work done for a fair price that will allow you to enjoy that bedroom/bathroom for many, many years in the future.

  42. You need a restful place to grieve…. and your house right now is not restful. You can’t rest in a war zone. I’m not into all the zen-y feng-shui-y stuff, but there’s something to a tidy area that lets you take a big sigh of relief. Beauty and rest are closely related. I think a loan or partial loan is a good idea.

  43. Firstly Happy belated Birthday wishes Kristi. I agree with many of the other comments and also feel that especially the safety jobs (French doors, accessible shower and ramp for Matt) should be a priority for you and Matt and by getting a loan and hiring contractors to make those items happen, is a great decision that I’m sure you will not regret doing. You could perhaps get the contracting jobs done to a certain level and then use your creative and amazing designs to finish them off. You have done an absolutely outstanding job on your own and I think you deserve some ‘help’ in the big jobs and it will take a lot of stress of your shoulders! Whatever you decide, I know will be the right decision for you and Matt.

  44. Reading your exhaustion and grief and sending lots of Aussie love to you. Take it easy Kristi.

    Go for the loan, get the reno. done, then enjoy doing the best bits yourself. You have to live happily in the house, not just make it your work zone – even though it’s obviously a great source of enjoyment for you.

    Take care, Kristi. xx

  45. Kristi! You are awesome. I hate hearing you doubt or question yourself. While I agree with the “you’re grieving” and dealing with feelings of impermanency, I don’t want this to be too monotonous. Personally I always think it helps to weigh the pros and cons. If you are thinking you’ve already done that, well, I agree. I think when you expressed this as a desire you felt necessary for Matt’s safety, again personally, I believe you decided. I would probably be less inclined to insist you hire a contractor and get some bids on the “heavy lifting” if it didn’t mean safety for him and piece of mind for you. Now before you get carried away don’t take that to mean that they need to do all the work because your blog hasn’t made me an expert yet so, I need you to keep going (go for the bones and weather proofing bids! kidding, sort of). I think that it would help decrease your list a tad and relive it of some necessary items. Plus it gives you a starting line for the rest of your projects.

  46. I can definitely understand the frustration. Of course a change of heart and attitude could be because of grieving, as others have pointed – so not permanent.

    I do notice that all the things you said you want “right now” were about Matt though – could it be that your main motivation is that you want to make sure he’s well cared for, rather than living comfortable?

    At any rate, I seem to recall the subject of living comfortably while working mentioned a good while back, and at the time you said neither of you cared, I think. Maybe changing how you work could help? As in, having a workplace (garage) and a portable cart/bench/tool carrier? So in this instance, you would have a clean, tidy house, and work on the chairs in your garage – and if working on the actual house you could put all the tools in your cart and out of the way for the weekend so you can relax. Or something like that, whatever routine works for you.

    And also, people have been telling me lately I need to go on holidays – maybe that’s a good advice for you too? Take Matt and go somewhere far from everything to relax for a bit?

    I wish you peace and comfort, and soon 🙂

  47. Girl, in the years I have been reading your blog you have not given yourself a break for half a minute. You are long passed due. Hire contractors for the stuff you can live with and save yourself for the gorgeous details that you are so exceptional at. You know you’ll have your eye on them and make sure they will do it right! Give yourself a break! Enjoy your life a little. Believe me, it goes by faster than you can imagine!

  48. I know here in Tennessee there are grants to get things done that you need for handicap accessibility . I think all you have to do is agree to live in the house for so many years . I’m not exactly sure , but it doesn’t hurt to check ! I love everything you do !!

  49. Maybe I’ve misinterpreted some of your post, as I didn’t think it was about wether or not you would do the house extension yourself, but more about wether you save for it or get a loan to get the big stuff done. Of course it makes sense to get all the structural changes done before moving on to decorate those areas, and no doubt you’ll post about wether it’s financially viable when you’ve made a decision. Good luck with the interviews, quotes and research.

  50. I in no way mean this derogatorily but as a wife of a disabled person I know how physically and emotionally draining it can be to be a caregiver. It is a full time job in itself. Add the full time job of remodeling, even though you love both jobs, and life can get overwhelming in a hurry. Don’t rush the decision but don’t beat yourself up for wanting to make life a little less stressful for yourself.

  51. Kristi, I already commented on this subject, but I just had a thought, Is Matt a Veteran? if so u may be able to get help from the veterans association, my nephew has MS and they put a bathroom in for him, and even has a track that takes him from his bed to the bathroom, just a thought. Prayers for you.

  52. Kristi, a difficult time for you and Matt. Sounds like a rethink would help put some time together for you both. Sure you can still do the decorating pretty things. But the strain of the major jobs would certainly loosen up considerably. So wishing you all the best in your next lot of projects. Life is far to short,so enjoy and make the most of what you have.

  53. kristy, the collective “WE” have learned so much from you from your blog. I have learned to think big, to imagine, to experiment, to try. I still wonder if I could attempt projects as large as yours, but your work makes me at least consider it. THUS, I would donate in a heartbeat should such a crowdfunding effort arise. You deserve the tangible love and admiration of your followers. You are a rockstar…’s time for some roadies to get you to your destination. 🙂

  54. I am in the final stages of redoing a 1920’s craftsman. I remember when I reached this same point. This is not defeat. It is just time to get the things done that require help. I have enjoyed working with the sub-contractors that have helped me love my home. Some have made suggestions that I would never have thought up. As for siding….do some research. I found a company that kept the integrity of the original siding. I have people who stop all of the time to comment on the pretty paint that I chose for my home. I am divorced and don’t have anyone to physically help me. The siding allowed me to add insulation and has given me peace of mind. Totally happy with it.

  55. Kristi, you do such beautiful work and have so many good ideas. Have you ever thought about offering an ebook to your loyal readers? I bet, with the right marketing, you could raise that $60,000 in the next month!!! If you need help with anything, let me know. I would love to see your dream become a reality!

  56. I discovered your blog today because I am in a similar place. We also own an old home in Waco and I am tired of putting on band-aids as window dressing. I am in the process of getting bids to transform this place into a home that gives me joy instead of stress!
    Prayers for quick turn-a-round for you.