When we bought this house, it was pretty much a blank slate. It was only two years old, and the original owners hadn’t done much in the way of upgrades. The lawn had no landscaping, and there was a tiny deck on the back with no stairs to access the backyard. The basement was unfinished, the appliances were bare bones, and most of the interior wasn’t even painted.
While we loved the fact that we could do what we wanted to with it, we knew that we would need to be patient and budget carefully in order to accomplish all the renovations and additions we were hoping to make. We painted the interior of the house during the first few months of living here and hired a landscaper to plant some foundation shrubbery and lay down mulch out front. But for the first several years, we lived with that dinky little deck and the unfinished basement and a long list of smaller projects that we hoped to get around to eventually. Over the years, we gradually replaced appliances, put in closet shelving and organization systems, and finished the basement.
As it often does, it took us much longer than we originally hoped to get around to a few of the larger projects on our agenda — like the deck. I will never forget the summer we finally had the deck put on. We hired a team of Amish builders, and one steamy-hot week in July, they came out and built it within a week. While I had been pining for a nice outdoor living space in which to entertain our family and friends, I had no idea what a huge difference it was going to make in our family’s life.
We have made some wonderful memories on that deck over the past few years that probably wouldn’t have happened without it. It provides a pleasant space to congregate with neighbors and friends, a change of scenery for family dinners, and a sunny spot to curl up with a good book on a lazy summer afternoon.
A home improvement project is so much more than added property value; it can actually provide a canvas for making memories and strengthening bonds with friends and family. I love our deck. It’s probably my favorite part of our house.
If there is anything about our house that I’d still like to change, it would be the kitchen. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that’s true here. When it’s too cold to spill out onto the deck, most of our socializing happens in the kitchen. When we have friends over, which is often, we usually congregate around our kitchen island or hunker down around the kitchen table.
Our kitchen is located in the back of our house, and opens into our family room. The dining room is on the other side of the kitchen, on the back of the house, behind a load-bearing wall that is shared with my stove and kitchen cabinets. My husband and I often day dream about knocking out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and expanding the kitchen to encompass that entire area. How awesome would it be to totally overhaul the area and start from scratch and design it exactly the way I want it???
I’m probably just dreaming about knocking out the wall and redesigning the space, but we are hoping to eventually replace the floor and cabinets. We replaced the counter and backsplash a few years ago, but the floor and cabinets are starting to show wear and tear, and we would love to freshen up the space. Now that we have finished the deck, and as of last summer, the front walk, we plan to start saving towards our kitchen.
Crossing my fingers we can start moving on this project very soon!!!