2017 House Goals – How Did I Do?

We are finally past January (was that just the longest month ever, or was that just me?) and before we get too deep into 2018 and new goals I wanted to take a few minutes to recap how I did against our 2017 house goals. If you haven’t noticed by now, I get super motivated by lists and goals in general so this is a very fun exercise for me.

2017 House Goal #1 – Master Bedroom Refresh – ALMOST THERE!

We are getting to a great place in this space… it has felt so chaotic for so long that even simple changes like adding a rug and hanging curtains (you guys, these drapes from Amazon have been the best combination of luxury, affordability and complete light blocking) have made a big difference.

Here is what the space looked like at the start of 2017…

And here is what it looks like now…

The biggest leap in improvements came in the fall when we added our new Spoon Sleep mattress and painted the walls white (Pure White by Sherwin Williams). I put up a quick review of the mattress last week, you can check it out here.

Here’s the list I shared at the beginning of the year, which will continue to flex as we work on this space:

  • Buy a new mattress
  • Hang light-blocking curtains (and possibly blinds)
  • Figure out a new furniture layout
  • Get rid of our MALM dresser (I’ve read enough of those toddler tipping articles to be totally spooked even with tethering to the wall, plus IKEA is offering full refunds on MALMs and other tippable models purchased between 2002 and June 2016.)
  • Buy a new rug
  • Change out the fan (thanks to my super amazing sister who sent me one in the mail!)
  • Add nightstands with great storage (well, the storage thing is yet to be determined, but nightstands are in!) 
  • Hang art/object/something above bed
  • Find a new bed frame maybe (but it will have to be a steal of a deal!)

2018 will hopefully bring a new bedframe, some wall art and/or wallpaper, and maybe if I’m really lucky—a new dresser!

2017 House Goal #2 – Semi-Finish the BasementUHM, NO WE DID NOTHING.

Well, I shouldn’t say nothing. We did a lot of purging, organizing and yard sale-ing, but otherwise this space is the same. And dare I say a little worse off. The original idea was to turn this into a play space for the kids, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It still isn’t in it. We still need a lot of storage space for outdoor toys, lawnmowers, bikes, etc. (we don’t have a garage) so this is that space. My fear would be we are making a space nice to just store non-kid friendly stuff in, which isn’t the funnest way to spend money. (And honestly, after paying almost $30K in childcare last year, we’re not itching to spend even more money on them… am I terrible for saying that?).

2017 House Goal #3 – Finish the New Deck Space – COMPLETE! (At least for now.) 

In 2017, we brought this space to life! We stained the boards in a cedar-like color and painted the floors a dark gray (not shown in above photo). We still need the final layer of furniture, rugs, etc., but it doesn’t feel like a huge priority. Space to run and ride bikes is a bigger need right now! And for consistency’s sake, here’s the list I shared last year with some 2017 progress noted:

  • Stain and seal the deck boards
  • Add a rug (possibly of the painted variety?)
  • Add plants to column planters
  • Add additional landscaping around perimeter, plus more planters
  • Explore adding some sort of sun shade, canopy or giant umbrella—it gets hot out there in the summer
  • Find a super deal on outdoor furniture and a fire pit—or at least build savings for a 2018 purchase
  • Add lighting
  • DIY an ottoman/portable seating of some kind
  • Paint floor

2017 House Goal #4 – Give the Upstairs Hallway Some Attention – COMPLETE!

Yessssss, this is done! Here is where we were for most of 2017…

It’s funny what a little paint, rug, books and shelving can do to completely transform the space! And for under $100! The rug was $35 and the shelving was $50. My kids love it!

  • Add a runner
  • Hang art/objects of some kind
  • Replace the overhead light (it’s currently a boob light)
  • Paint the walls

2017 House Goal #5 – Random Things to Tackle – COMPLETE!

I had a random list of bits of bobs that I wanted to tackle, and we got it done!

  • Upgrade all doorknobs and hinges

We changed the entire house’s door hardware over to these Schlage Addison Andover knobs and backplates. The new knobs are so heavy and pretty… such a huge improvement over the builder-grade, lightweight stuff we had in here before.

  • Find a new living room rug

We are still in love (us and the rest of the Internet… everyone has this rug!) with this rug. Even though it’s so light in color, which was so needed due to the dark floors, it cleans up like a dream.

And we can’t forget about Otto’s room! This technically wasn’t even a goal for last year (I decided to do it after I published the post), but we finished Otto’s nursery just a few days before his arrival. He still has the best room in the house!

And last but not least, and maybe even the biggest project of them all, we did a quick renovation and staging of our old house and got it sold! We went back and forth on whether or not to put it on the market, but when we finally bit the bullet and got it sold (with the help of staging and more), it was the biggest sigh of relief EVER! Such a great decision. I haven’t missed it AT ALL. Buh BYE.

Some other blog highlights from 2017:

  • My favorite post was this one about outgrowing IKEA but still not wanting to spend a fortune (and you guys liked it too—my most popular post!)
  • Brand collaborations are a big part of keeping this site running and hands down I loved the partnerships with Spoon Sleep and Sydney Harbour Paper Co./Porter Paints Australia (they are responsible for that amazing beetle wallpaper!)
  • Speaking of that beetle wallpaper, it caused quite a fuss on the Internet. Bugs gross people out. 🙂 Thankfully, people were more accepting on its feature on Design*Sponge

You guys, I’m tired just typing this. It’s been such a productive year on the home front. And y’all know I love to be productive (it’s 100% my therapy). I also need to talk a little bit more about my design work and how that is all going. All of that was also happening in the background in 2017, more so than ever before, and I need to do a better job at recapping it here. More on that in 2018!




Affiliate links are used.



Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • cassie says:

    you did great! i am loving your bedroom!

  • Vanessa says:

    I think that a lot of people want to finish basements so that the toys aren’t strewn all over the house, but truly, littles never want to play in the basement (unless they are not allowed to, or the only tv is down there, then it’s much more enticing). Little kids generally want to be near people, with their toys. It’s often a waste to spend that money so it’s good that you haven’t. The rest of the projects look great.

    • Emily May says:

      I love hearing that! And I think so too! As much as I would love our main level to be less messy, I also don’t want my kids playing on a level of the house away from me! We also have a finished third floor that we don’t use, but that’s more for a future teen brothers room than anything. And I’ve got a bit of time for that!

  • Kim says:

    Holy smokes! You had a seriously productive year! With three small kiddos and two full time jobs … I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

    I love all these projects and you always inspire me. The book shelves are something you have made me want in our House. And your bedroom gives me all the heart eyes!!!

    • Emily May says:

      You are so sweet Kim! Exhausted is a great description… ha. Don’t let me fool you. This two-jobs-with-three-kids lifestyle is not at all sustainable. Hoping to fix some of that in 2018. First up: hiring a friggin’ cleaning lady.

Leave a Reply