Unfinished Projects: The Tipping Point

Living in a whole house restoration and renovation project has taught me a lot about letting go and living with things as-is. We move through our days dodging work zones and turning a blind eye to the unfinished projects. Lately, though, I have noticed that we are reaching a stage of this restoration and renovation where the unfinished projects are adding up in larger numbers. It feels like the tipping point. An incomplete job here and there is not a problem. We are an easy-going family who does not expect magazine perfection. However, if we keep leaving the last 10% of every project under construction, we will soon have so many of those little jobs left that it will be difficult to dive into larger plans with any peace of mind.

For the rest of this year, I plan to tuck the following little projects into our life wherever and whenever they fit best. The goal by the end of this year is to have a clean slate for the ideas that we have for BHH in 2018.

The List

1. Library Windows – I need to strip and paint the lower sashes of the windows in the library. Finishing the windows is a high-priority job because we need to put the window a/c in the library to keep our computers cool this summer.

Little known fact: For the One Room Challenge™ reveal, I duct-taped the lower sashes to the frames so I could photograph them without them tumbling to the floor.

2. Polyurethane the Library Table – Before the big reveal, I also ran out of time to protect the new library table with a layer or two of poly. Right now, it is too hot and humid to do it. I will probably wait until fall when the air is still warm, but the humidity drops.

3. Caulk the windows and doorframes in the kitchen as well as the apron under the window by the sink – This is a straightforward, easy job that I never did. Caulk adds a professional touch to painted woodwork.

4. Cabinet Doors in the Butler’s Pantry – I intended to get back to these doors right away, but…life. I need to figure out what to do with the hinges and just do it. Right now, they simply rest in the frame.

5. Paint the doorframe in the Kitchen Pantry – The kitchen pantry was our first One Room Challenge™ project. I primed the doorframe and never went back to paint it.

6. Paint the toe kick in the kitchen pantry – We refinished the pantry floor when we gutted the kitchen last summer. Now, I just need to go back and paint the toe kick. (The photo below was taken when the old vinyl floor was still there.)

7. Guest Room Art & Window Shades – This room is almost done. I just need to add some art, a mirror, and put some black-out shades on the windows to keep the room cooler in the summer. The morning sun gets that room cooking by midday. (Look at this before photo! The walls are still blue, and there is snow outside. Brrrr.)

8. Living Room Bookshelves – Ugh! I keep looking at these, and I have not been motivated to finish them. I hope that this list will light a fire under me to just move forward and finish the shelves already. We need to repair the plaster and paint them. It would also be nice to have some books on them too.

9. Cushion for the dance bench in the living room – Ever since we finished the first pass in the living room in 2015, I intended to make the bench (pictured above) comfortable by adding a thick cushion and some throw pillows. I have brought endless fabric samples home, and I even drew the design plan in my notebook. I just haven’t pulled the trigger.

Few things on this list are expensive, but they require time and commitment. It is not an exhaustive list, but it is a step in the right direction.

How do you tackle unfinished projects at your house?

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