2016 is here!

We have big plans for this house; each of us having ideas and areas we want to tackle. Most of Schenny’s plans revolve around beer; focusing on the bar downstairs, the brew room, or how we can make this house better for entertaining. I sporadically focus on everything else: storage, lighting, aesthetics, function and how many days longer I can stand looking at all the beige carpet in this house. Barring winning the lottery and getting everything we want done in the next year, (and begrudgingly being honest here, would that actually be fun? probably not.) here are the areas we would like to tackle in the next year.

A shed: after living with our first attached garage (SOOOO nice! we can see why the idea is so popular;) we quickly realized how full it gets without even noticing. Once the snow hit and we had to get both cars in, we knew we needed the space to put things we weren’t using out of the way. No sensing in having bikes, potting mix, lawn care, outdoor games, and the lawn mower all crammed in the garage when really all we need is a spot for two cars and a lit shrine for the snow blower, complete with rotating platform and spotlights. I bet if we had the room, Mike just might surprise me….

Every single one of our neighbors have a shed, because no one has a 3rd stall. We’d like to tuck it back into the back corner of our property between the two pines (the back corner seems to be a popular spot). We aren’t entirely sure the specifics yet- Build our own or buy one premade? Block base or cement pad? Try to match our house or purposefully different in looks? But we definitely want to get this one done before next winter.


The brew room: having a room that can  be dedicated to just brewing and not a guest room/brew room means that I (Mike) can now have something permanent where we didn’t have to worry moving stuff around so guests could sleep in there when visiting. Although, once I’m done with that room it’ll be so amazing that they may want to sleep in there anyway. The first quarter of 2016 I will have a sink installed, electric system set up for brewing, and a vent to draw the moisture out of that room and blow it outside. For Christmas, Amanda gifted me a sink and one of those cool cafeteria faucets that have the long neck that’s supported with a big spring. Having a sink in there means I don’t have to lug around heavy fermenters and I can clean & sanitize in one location (plus it’ll prevent me from wrecking all the inks in the house). Step two is to put a small kitchen-worthy hood and corresponding vent fan to draw the moisture out of that room to prevent any sort of adverse damage. With this, I may put up a moisture barrier or some sort of plastic film so no water condenses on the rafters above. Step three, which happens to be what I’m most excited about, will be the electric brewing system! Currently, I’m using gas and when brewing inside; the most unsafe thing I can do is continue to use propane gas as my heat source. The end game of all of this is to have everything in one room and not have to run around the house every time I make a batch of beer. I have some really neat plans tying the brew room into the adjacent bar but I’ll leave that as a surprise 🙂

brew room

The craft room: this room has been a storage collection facility for our house, anything we aren’t sure what to do with goes into this room. If I am going to be working on some hobbies (that aren’t related to working on the house) I need a space that will actually function. The only thing I have done in this room so far is added a giant storage shelving unit, which was good in theory, but is stuffed so full with random items that it is visually adding to the chaos. There isn’t even a light in the room, so I can’t be in there after 4:30pm until February. I have helped or will be helping a few friends with their craft rooms, so I might need to call in the troops after those are done for a blitz clear-out/paint/organize weekend, since Schenny looooooves helping with painting and general fussing about in a room.


Lighting: Even through rooms will be redesigned, painted, flooring replaced and decorated over the next few years, nothing updates a space quite like lighting. Even if a room hasn’t had anything done to it, having a new light fixture makes it feel new(er). I have a general idea of what I want this house to look like in the next 5-10 years, and the lighting that is pulling my heartstrings will be able to be chosen without the final details of rooms decided. I am lucky in the fact my husband completely trusts my judgment on just about anything design-wise, and I research endlessly for the perfect light in each space. This house has a plethora of bad lighting, and every update we have made so far is life-changing. (the below images do not reflect life-changing light decisions, how anyone can live with these light fixtures for 20+ years is beyond me)


Character: This house is a classic 1970’s beige box. Square rooms, builder-basic finishes, bland bland bland. I was going through some photos of our old house and realized I truly missed it and couldn’t describe why. I’ve been thinking about what in that house I wanted to try to incorporate here, and besides those GORGEOUS maple floors, what I truly miss is the character of that old house. What does that mean? I loved the chunky baseboards, crown molding in every room, nooks for things long in the past, built-ins, paneled doors, thick window casing, and general non-builder-basic stuff. In this house, ways I can achieve the same feel is add crown molding and baseboards of each room I redo, I’ve been adding trim to the flat doors, I’d like to try some wall molding ideas I’ve seen floating around, and maybe some ceiling medallions. When the time comes to redo the main floor (tearing out walls and such) I would like to be intentional with adding in some small ‘moments’ of character. Maybe have an angled wall instead of just square, have a built in reading nook or window seat, adding a transom window or making some art niches. Anything I can do to add some interest to this house would make it feel more like a home with personality.

Boring room twoBoring room one


The rest: There are so many things that will change this year that I can’t possibly predict. Will I go crazy and rip out the cabinet in the bathroom? When we get a new mattress, will I obsessively look for nightstands, which rolls into bedding, headboards, artwork, and on and on and on? Will the downstairs living room get an overhaul (goodbye wallpaper!), snowballing into a fireplace redo and building an entertainment center? All of these things could happen this year, and will eventually happen at some point, but having some clear goals for 2016 will help us decide what to save for and what we can let slide until next year. At the end of the year, I am looking forward to seeing how much of this list gets accomplished!



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