We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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A Lot of Half-Done Projects: The Rush to Finish Before The Holidays

We're still in the middle of about fifteen different projects (or, at least, it feels like that's how many we have). And because we've been go-go-go since moving in, we've decided we want to really enjoy our first holiday season in the house and not have a lot of distractions. Or, at the very least, get the downstairs as good as it's going to get for now to have one space in the house that's not completely torn apart, and that feels like home for the holidays. The upstairs is still a bit of a chaotic mess, so it'll be nice to have the downstairs as our little sanctuary for the winter.

That means, I started a few projects all at once in a mad dash to get them all done before Thanksgiving. Here's what we have going on:

Oh yeah, and I took down trim in the mudroom, too. 
I started to update our mudroom a little. I slapped a coat of paint on the upper walls (the same color we used in the entryway), hung a picture my mom sent us, made a new coat rack, and put drywall over the exposed studs in the closet. I started to take down the wallpaper on the lower half of the walls, but that stuff is sealed on there good. It doesn't come off. I'm about ready to paint over it since it's just the mudroom. But for now, it stays because Operation Home For The Holidays needs to wrap up soon.

I also took down the wallpaper upstairs in our master hallway and upstairs landing. That stuff came off without me even doing anything to it. It was great! I just peeled back a corner, and off it came in huge pieces. The two spaces took maybe an hour. I'll probably be painting our hallway and master closet during the holiday season, but painting is second nature to me, and not really that stressful, so I'm down with it. And it's upstairs, so our downstairs will stay in tact and organized.

We also started to put up new trim around our kitchen window. We used the same technique as the doorway trim and also built out a new sill. The interior trim is done and up, and so is the sill, but the actual trim around the window has yet to go up because of ... er ... complications. We think we've figured it out and the rest should go up soon, but for now, I'm very much enjoying the window with the new, rustic sill.

I woke up one morning and decided that our front room needed to be painted before the holidays, too. I thought this project would be a quick, simple weekend task, but it ended up being so much more complicated than I thought. Why? Because I'm crazy, and because the paint color I chose for the room looked totally pink once I had it up on two of the walls. Long story short, I started to paint about five other samples all over that room, and also, our TV room. I decided on a color called Wood Ash by Benjamin Moore, and we used the same trim as our entryway (Bavarian Cream) and I'm kind of obsessed with it. It's totally different than what I had originally thought, but I love it, and I'm kind of thinking the other room is going to get the same treatment.

Right around the time I was knee-deep in all these projects, Josh finished reconfiguring our built-ins on the other side of our TV room fireplace. Yay! But also, boo, because I wanted to paint them right away before it got too cold to keep our windows open (the paint we use on bookcases and cabinets is stinky). Thankfully, I just finished that today (yay again!), and after it fully cures, I can set it up as our kind-of-downstairs-desk-but-not-really and put some random things away that are currently cluttering our living room.

Shortly after it started to really get cold this month, Josh decided to rip out all the paneling in our dining room (which we planned on doing anyway) to hook up a baseboard heater. We (obviously) plan to use our dining room during the holidays and there's currently no heat source in there (there's the wood stove, but the chimney is cracked, rendering it useless for the time being). So, we needed heat. And we knew there had been a baseboard in there at one point. True to form with us, though, what we thought would be a simple project turned into a big project. Once the paneling was off, we saw that that whole area wasn't insulated, with big holes leading right to the outside. Fun! So, we had to re-insulate and drywall the whole thing before we could even put the baseboard in. But, Josh finished that today, and once our thermostat arrives in a few days, we'll have heat. Yessssssssss. My fingers have been like icicles while I eat my peanut butter and chia seed toast in the mornings, so I'm rather excited about heat in there. Also, I'm really impressed that Josh did this all himself.

And finally, Josh starting to drywall joint our master closet. We're really, really hoping to get that closet done before Christmas, but I'm not sure if we will. It's going to be close, and will depend a lot on our motivation once Thanksgiving rolls around. We still have to joint the drywall, sand down the adhesive from the paneling (which, thank you Jesus, isn't that bad), prime, paint, install the new floors, and buy the shelving for the actual closet. Oh, and hang a light. We had a contractor out last week to hardwire the room for electricity and I felt very adult saying, "We have a contractor." I don't have a photo of it because it's boring and there's not much to look at anyway.

So, that's what we have going on right now. As overwhelming as it is sometimes, it's still way too much fun. I look forward to coming home from work and diving into another project until it's time to go to bed (or, watch American Horror Story - either way). Our front room is coming together very quickly, though, and soon, it should be done and ready to decorate for Christmas. Stay tuned.


  1. I see what you mean by the paint color being pinkish. I would have changed the color also. Are you planning on having company over for the holidays and that's why your rushing?

    1. Right?! It was really pink. Oy. We don't really have anyone over for the holidays, but because it's our first Thanksgiving/Christmas in the house, we really wanted to actually enjoy it and have fun decorating. Not so much fun to decorate with a bunch of tools laying around, sawdust everywhere and half finished projects at ever corner. So, whatever we can do to make it feel like home!