In my last post, I mentioned how our family is going on a big trip this year. Spoiler alert: We are going to Disney World!
Why do I share this in a post about decorating? Because The Mouse is killing my decorating budget. (OK, maybe killing is a little melodramatic. It’s tearing off a limb [or two] off my decorating budget.) Dan and I knew that Disney World was costly, but we didn’t realize exactly how costly it is. You know my trepidation about traveling with our young children (see this post and this post), so you’ll understand why we’re choosing convenience over cost savings as we plan our trip. We figured we’d still be OK because we really haven’t gone anywhere to speak of since Theo was born, so we had a decent amount of money in our travel budget. We thought we’d be able to supplement the rest of the money needed
Dan’s year-end bonus. Dan did get a very nice bonus, but it disappeared quicker than you can say “property taxes and extra mortgage payment and homeschool expenses and…” You get the picture, right? So, not only did my decorating budget take a hit, but we’re going to have to wait another year to get a water softener, and we’re going to have to funnel all of our extra pennies into our Disney fund. At one point, I asked Dan, “Is it even worth it? Our kids do not travel well, and they catch every germ in a 50-mile radius. What if we invest all this money, and it ends up being a horrible trip?” My hubby is much more optimistic than me, though, so we’re still planning to buddy-up with Mickey and the gang.
Anyhoo… With my now significantly decreased decorating budget, I really had to think about priorities and what we could accomplish inexpensively. Here are my goals:
#1 – Replace the faucet in the powder room.
Have you ever heard of the concept of “phase 1” projects? (Young House Love has a good post about it here.) It’s basically making temporary improvements before you do a full overhaul in a room. I’d eventually like to gut and completely redo our powder room, but we won’t be able to afford that for at least a couple of years. I can’t wait (OK, I prefer not to wait) to replace our icky faucet that has been ruined by calcium deposits. It would also have been my preference to have a water softener installed before we replace the faucet, so the new one doesn’t meet the same calcified fate as our current one, but to get the system we want (including a reverse osmosis drinking system), we were quoted around $3,000, so that project will have to be tabled for at least a year.
I ordered this faucet from Amazon (I’m hoping Dan might attempt the install) and will just have to be really on top of the boys to wipe the sink after they wash their hands. Does anyone else’s kids leave a moat around the sink every time they use it?
#2 – Upgrade/add window treatments on the lower level.
One of the first things we did when we moved into our house was remove some dark-green hard plastic vertical blinds that covered our patio doors. I love all the light that comes in during the day, but the uncovered doors can get a bit spooky at night. Now that Dan is away from home more often for “guys’ nights” and occasionally for work, I think it’s a safety/privacy issue as well. I’d like to add some simple white curtains.
I’m also thinking of adding white curtains and a bamboo shade to our dining room window. I like the curtains that currently dress the window, but I think it would be nice to have white curtains that would complement the ones on the opposite side of the space (in the living room). The blinds on this window are dated, and we just never got a chance to update them.
Finally, I’d like to add some bamboo blinds to the large windows in our school room, again for safety and privacy.
I haven’t picked out curtains for the patio doors yet (or rod, for that matter), but the curtains for the dining room will come from IKEA (i.e., inexpensive), and the bamboo shades will be these reasonable beauties from The Home Depot.
#3 – Finally paint and reupholster chairs in kitchen. For. The. Love.
This has been on my to-do list FOREVER, and I’m not sure what embarrasses me about our home more: our calcified powder room faucet or our orangey-colored chairs upholstered in white fabric. (It honestly blows my mind that there was ever a time in our lives in which we thought white upholstery was a good idea.) I have the new fabric, a beautiful print from Rifle Paper Co., and I purchased a paint sprayer for this exact purpose. The problem is that we don’t have time (or anyone willing to watch all four of our children at the same time) to actually get ‘er done. I’m hoping 2018 will finally be the year. If not, I’ve vowed to Dan that I’m just going to sell the chairs for CHEAP and buy these from Target and call it good.
#4 – Paint the mantle and the built-ins around the fireplace.
My hope is that Dan will get comfortable with the paint sprayer when he refinishes our kitchen chairs and that he’ll be willing to tackle the built-ins surrounding our fireplace. I’d love to brighten them up with a fresh coat of white, with a subtle and pretty gold color on the backs. (I would paint the gold on with a brush.)
#5 – Paint the ceiling in the schoolroom.
And as long as we’ve got paintbrushes in the schoolroom, we might as well brighten up the ceilings as well! There is a wood-burning fireplace in the room, which the previous owners probably put to good use. Unfortunately, the use of the fireplace caused the ceilings to get a bit dingy. I’d love to give them a fresh coat of white.
#6 – Replace the last of the boob lights.
Ever since I’ve heard of them described as “boob lights,” I’ve been able to think of them no other way! I’ve almost replaced all of the boob lights in our home, but I’ve got three left: one lighting up the entrance from the garage and two in the upstairs hallway. I’d like to replace them with a classic drum fixture like this one, but I’m hoping to find a similar one for a better price.
As you can see, most of our decorating projects require paint (cheap!) or inexpensive pieces from IKEA, The Home Depot, and/or Target. Unfortunately, it also means that a good amount of elbow grease will be required. Do you have any decorating goals for the year? Hopefully, The Mouse isn’t eating into your budget too!