The 2017 Master List of Home Goals

Happy 2017,  y’all! I had planned to return to the blog on Monday, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Quite honestly, my blogging break was awful. I mean, really awful. Let’s just say that when you take a wheelchair-bound person with M.S. who suffers from general muscle weakness and the inability to walk on a normal day, and you throw in a severe head and chest cold for a week that completely wipes out any remaining energy and muscle strength he generally has, rendering him completely bedridden for days on end, it makes for a very miserable and sleepless week both for him and for the caretaker (that would be me!).

So the week (and the year) ended with me feeling incredibly discouraged, frustrated, depressed and exhausted. And sick. While I was acting as caretaker for my sick and bedridden husband, I was also trying to fight off a cold. Then to add to the frustration, this past weekend I tried to get back into some home-related projects, and literally everything I touched went wrong, which only added to the frustration and depression I had been feeling all week. Anyway, it was just an awful week.

So on Monday morning, I picked up my laptop, opened up my blog, and stared at a blank “add new post” page for about an hour. I typed a few sentences, then deleted them. Typed again. Deleted again. I had zero excitement about the new year, which is so not me. The beginning of a new year generally makes me giddy with excitement. But Monday, my horrible and depressed attitude was hard to hide, and I hated the idea of starting off a new year like that. So I decided to put the laptop away and stay away from the blog until I could come back with a better attitude and a brighter outlook for this new year.

The last two days have actually been very good. I’ve been able to work on projects and get stuff done, so it has felt like things are finally getting back to normal around here. And I worked on a fun, artistic, relaxing project yesterday (more on that tomorrow, hopefully), which was exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of things.

So after a week of absolute misery, the clouds have finally parted and I’m starting to feel hope and excitement for the new year. I’m a few days late, but better late than never. 🙂

I’ve been thinking about my goals for this year. They’re actually pretty simple. I want to completely finish all of the rooms in the main areas of my house — entryway, living room, music room, hallway, kitchen, breakfast room, and pantry. There’s just one additional project outside of my own home that I’m going to tackle.

My Niece’s Bedroom:

Remember that room? My mom and I actually started working on it a year-and-a-half ago.

bedroom built-ins with bookshelves and daybed - 2

We made a lot of progress with a built-in daybed, trundle, bookcases, new headboard, wall mural, new draperies, pillows for the bed, and a painted dresser. By the end of the year, we just had a few things left (a couple of big projects and a few finishing details) to do to finish the room. But then last year, with my step-father getting sick and passing away, really derailed any plans to finish this room. So before I even start on my own home projects this year, my mom and I are going to finish this room together…finally. So here’s what needs to be done:

  • Make a decorative full-length mirror. Done! Click here to see it.
  • Make a bulletin big bulletin board. Done! Click here to see it.
  • Finish installing baseboards. Done!
  • Pretty up the plain, flat hollow core doors. Done! Click here for details.
  • Purchase and install sconces by the bed. Done!
  • Decorate and accessorize to finish. Done!

UPDATE: My niece’s bedroom is finished! Click here to see the complete before and after post.

Yaleana's Bedroom - after 14 - hand painted flower and vine mirror, built in bookcases and daybed

Once that’s done, it’s back to my house…

Whole House:

I have one project that includes all of the rooms except the bedrooms. I decided that since I have to rent the drum sander and edge sander to finish the new hardwood flooring in the pantry and breakfast room, and since I don’t like how orange my hardwood floors turn when they’re just finished with an oil-based clear sealer, I’m going to take the opportunity while I can (since I have virtually no furniture in those rooms right now) and refinish all of my floors. Once and for all.

  • Sand, stain, and polyurethane the floors in the breakfast room, pantry, kitchen, music room, living room, entryway, and hallway. Done! Click here for details.

Entryway and Living Room:


After floundering around most of last year, I finally got my bearings with this room — removal of the busy moulding, new drapery fabric, new wall color, new fireplace color, and new chandelier. I have vision for it now, but there are some pretty big projects involved in getting this room finished, like…

Music Room:

This room is so close to being finished. The big building/remodeling projects in here have been done for a year now.

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

Other than general decorating and accessorizing, there are only three big projects that I can think of that need to be addressed in here…

  • Install quarter round on baseboards and touch up baseboards
  • Paint the walls (the black no longer fits my plans) Done! Click here to see the stenciled walls.
  • Make cabinet doors to cover the bottom two shelves on the bookcases (I decided I’d like some closed storage in there.)
  • Refinish the piano (hopefully my smaller piano from storage)
  • Reupholster two blue chairs
  • Make or buy artwork/wall decor
  • Decorate and accessorize to finish


The hallway is small, and yet it’s going to be a pretty major project. I had new drywall installed just a few weeks ago, so it’s ready for me to get started. I don’t even think I have a recent picture, so I’ll have to take one and add it here later. But the projects needed to finish up the hallway are…

  • Install new doors on the bedrooms Done! 
  • Install trim (door casings, crown moulding, baseboards) Done! Click here to see the trimmed out hallway.
  • Build cabinets
  • Install new light fixture Done!
  • Decorate and accessorize to finish


I completely changed directions last year on my kitchen, got part of it done, and then the project stalled while I was waiting for more TimberMate (wood grain filler) and got sidetracked with other projects.


So I need to get these things done…

UPDATE! My kitchen is finished! Click here for the before and after post.

teal kitchen - view from living room doorway towards back of breakfast room

Breakfast Room:

This room was my biggest accomplishment of last year, but there’s still so much to be done.


I did finally get the walls painted and the front windows trimmed out. So in addition to basic decorating and accessorizing, I still need to…

UPDATE: My breakfast room is finished! Click here to see the before and after post.

breakfast room after - 14

The Pantry

I’m pretty sure this will be the single biggest project of the year.


I did finally get my lighting installed last month, and that’s about where the progress stopped. So to finish this out, I need to…

  • Trim out the window and doorway
  • Build, install, and finish the cabinets and shelves
  • Build a countertop (wood, of course)
  • Make and install the double glass doors Done! Click here to see them.
  • Make a window treatment for the window

And finally…

Master Bedroom:

I don’t plan on doing any decorating in the bedroom at all, and even the door isn’t for aesthetic purposes. I’d like to install it for safety purposes, but it will also come in handy for taking my dog while I’m refinishing the floors. So I need this done sooner than later.

And that’s it. That’s my master “to do” list for this year, and I’m really going to try my hardest to resist the urge to get sidetracked and veer off into projects that don’t support my overall goal of getting the main areas of my house completely finished this year. Of course, there will be other projects added to the list as the year goes on. These are just the biggest projects that I need to do in each room. But these projects alone won’t make those rooms completely finished. I’ll still need some decorating, accessorizing, and smaller projects to finish out each room.

So here’s to a new year, a fresh start, and clear goals. It took me a few days longer than usual, but I finally have a good feeling and a positive attitude about this year.



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  1. You GO GIRL!!! I love, love, love your blog! That’s coming from a 65- yr old wanna be (and am to a degree) DIY’r.

  2. I’m so sorry the year ended on such a down note – that kind of sums up what 2016 was all about for me. I’m glad to hear the pendulum has swung into a more positive position for you. Although your list is daunting, it’s one that you can chunk off into doable portions. Here’s to a better new year for everyone!

  3. Being ill is hard an that whole family. I was sick over the holidays also. I am glad you and Matt are doing better. Looking forward to seeing what you accomplish this year!

  4. Happy New Year to you and your family! Glad to hear that your “back on track” Looking forward to all the delightful decorating adventures you are going to take us on in 2017!!!

  5. Is Matthew doing better? So sorry to hear y’all were sick, but really happy to hear you’re doing better. I can relate to your lack of enthusiasm at the end of the year, especially when you’re tired and not feeling well. We’ve worked so hard the past few months getting our house back to ‘normal’ after the flood that I’ve reached a point where I’m almost burned out too. But, it’s a new year with new goals to reach, so let’s ‘get ‘er done’! I get inspired reading your blog to get back in there and finish the projects needed on my own home. Onward and Upward!

    1. Yes, Matt is much better now. We’re still not 100%. I have a nagging cough that won’t go away, and his strength still isn’t what it should be, but we’re getting there! I know you’ve got to be exhausted after all of the work y’all have done on your house after the flood, but I’m so glad you’re making progress! I can’t even imagine the discouragement you must have felt after the flood, so your motivation and “get ‘er done” attitude really motivates me as well.

      1. My family has been passing that nasty cold and cough around. I had it over Christmas break as well as a torn rotator cuff, so I haven’t slept well and am still fighting it. I can empathize. I’m so sorry Matt’s been sick. He must have been miserable. You too, I am so sorry. Even when you are behind, you are way ahead of me, I haven’t done anything I wanted to in ages.

  6. I’m so sorry you and hubby ended the year so sick. How wise of you to step away from blogging while in the dumps!

  7. Having just found your site while looking for decorating ideas for my home I was amazed at your projects and how you do most of the work yourself. Your decorating style is so clean and inviting – I have really enjoyed reading your blogs and DIY information. Thanks for your clear and photoed instructions – it makes it so much easier for us “Visual Learners”. I am sorry to hear that with all this amazing work you do you also care for a chronically-ill husband. MS is no joke and can be extremely exhausting for a caretaker. With all that you deal with – you are still able to blog and turn out these amazing projects – you are a inspirational, strong woman. Thank you – I’m so glad I found you on pintrest and I look forward to following your work. Best to You! Chris from PA.

  8. There seems to be an excessive amount of viruses going around the whole country this/last year! And if there is a caregiver, what a toll it can take. I feel badly for you, Kristi, and hope you are getting your energy and mojo back. And Matt too, of course. I’m glad you are back. addicted2decorating withdrawal is not pretty. 😉

  9. Oh I know how you feel. My dear husband is very sick with a paralyzed diaphragm, collapsed lung, and a collapsing airway, so he is on oxygen 24/7. My 89 year old mom is living with us now, so I have take care of both of them. Then my mother in law ended up in ICU for a few days, Her husband got sick meanwhile, so I spent all day yesterday picking her up from the hospital, filling her Rx and getting her home (leaving 2 servings of my homemade lasagna for them). So yes, I am exhausted, depressed or and did I mention broke.

    1. Oh my goodness. Hearing about your situation makes me feel guilty for even complaining at all about my own! I’m so sorry your year is staring off with such difficulties. I pray things get better for you and your family members.

  10. Kristi – Happy, blessed and prosperous new year to you and Matt! Very much looking forward to sharing in your journey in completing these projects in your beautiful home!

  11. So glad that you and Matt are on your way to a full recovery. My mother-in law had MS also, so I am aware of some of the issues that you face on a daily basis. It truly amazes me how much you can pack into your days. Being that yous were ill over your break from blogging, maybe you could take some time just for yourselves once you are at 100%. I enjoy reading your blog and can’t wait to see what the new year brings. By the way, I love your new color choices.

  12. I truly love all your color changes and back to living room in lieu of dining room. Kitchen color change is so classic. Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger in health issues. My hubby came down with pneumonia and I have been suffering from horrid head cold. Feel better soon…

  13. Glad to hear you’re both on the mend, Kristi. Here’s to moving into a very good 2017, for you, Matt, and all your followers here. Happy New Year to everyone.

  14. Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you health, wealth, happiness, no obstacles and more energy than you need to tackle your to-do list!

  15. Happy New Year! Hope you both are feeling better! Your house has made so much progress!! You should be so proud of all of your hard work! When you mentioned you needed some large artwork, I thought of a project I just saw Mr. Kate do on her website. Several shades of gray paint and some silver leaf. So cool! I want to get my graphic designer son to help me make one! Looks easy and cheap! Have a great week, Kristi!

  16. Sorry to hear you both were so ill, and glad you are on the other side of it now. I got a nasty cold and cough over Thanksgiving, and still have a tickle of a cough. Not bad, just annoying! Take care to get back to things slowly. ( This advice from a 62 yr. old! )
    Sorry too to hear the black walls are going away. I SO want to paint at least ONE wall somewhere in a charcoal, very saturated gray.
    You have a lot of goals on your list! Will you be having any help with any of it? I hope so!
    Here’s to a New Year of new challenges and a so long to a not so great 2016!

  17. In the music room, are you just painting the black walls? Or are you painting the filigree doors also? I love the doors and the pulls! I am putting energy into Matt and your new 2017 year to be calming and peaceful for your life and for your projects to proceed with great joy! Blessings for you both.

    When you make the cabinet doors for the bottom two music room shelves, will you please do it very descriptively and slowly so I can make mine also? And will you paint anything with your little mason jar sprayer? Thank you Kristi for all your information and love that you send out with your blogs. Barbs.

    1. Right now, I’m just planning on painting the walls, but I might also paint the doors. I’ll decide that once everything starts coming together. I’m getting rid of almost all of the black in my house, and my interior doors will be a gray/greige color that’s just a bit lighter than the fireplace, so I’m wondering if black might look out of place on those doors. If so, I’ll paint them. But since that is a much bigger job than painting regular doors, I’m going to wait and see.
      If I make the cabinet doors myself, I’ll definitely do a step-by-step tutorial. But since it’s right next to my kitchen, and I don’t have the ability (the knowledge, the tools) to make doors like the ones on my kitchen cabinets, I’m thinking I might just order some doors online. But I do already have a tutorial on how to make cabinet doors without any fancy cabinet making tools. I made them for the condo bathroom, and they turned out great. You can see that tutorial here –>

  18. So glad Matt and you are on the mend! This Fall after battling horrible cough and sinus drainage for 8 weeks, my grandson and I are finally feeling better!, but definitely low key holidays. Hoping you keep the sliding doors black. Such an amazing impact when you look straight through!

  19. Even in your darkest times, remember you are such motivation to so many of us DIY wanna be’s! Or sort of ares! My motto for 2017 is “Just start”. Whatever it is, however much gets done is more than if I had done nothing. And somehow once I get my ball rolling it’s easier to keep at it! So, here’s to getting it started and getting things done!

  20. Wishing you great mojo to take on the new year. I know it is easy to get down when things when things aren’t going well or at all. You are your own worst critic tbough , none of us that read your blog expect near what you actually do much less what you predict to do. PRETTy things are what fuel you so be sure to take time to do those more often. . YOU are A contractor by need, a diyer by choice, but a decorator by heart. Take time to fill up your heart with the decorator type things even though that is not the order a contractor would do it. I have determined that 2017 Is going to be a glorious year!!!!

  21. Happy New Year to you and Matt. Sorry though that 2016 ended with frustrations and health issues. So pleased the clouds have parted and you’re set to go again! Excited to see your nieces room full transformation! I honestly cannot believe it was that long when you started building the furniture for her room. What happens to time? Also excited to see your main living areas being finalized this year….it’ll be a walk in the park for you Kristi and having them finished is going to make a huge difference to your lives!

  22. I am happy to hear that you and Matt are feeling better. I’m sorry you both suffered with that awful cold and cough. Best wishes for full recovery this week.

  23. I’m sorry to hear you had such a rough start to the new year. I am SO SO excited that you are going to be reupholstering the sofa this year. I’m 3/4 of the way through my own sofa reupholstering and I can’t wait to nod sagely when I read your posts or possibly just say, “Aw, I wish I had done that!” 🙂
    Happy New Year!