All About Our Home Renovation (With Grit & Grace)

Last year at this time my husband and I were dead-set on moving.

He had just started a new job a few months before, and was also working on his master's degree.  We were thinking that it wold be nice to be a little closer to his work so that he could make it home earlier in the evening, and honestly, I was just ready for a change.  We have been in this house since we got married, and it just felt like it wasn't an ideal fit for our family anymore.  My wishlist was for a house closer to work, closer to our church, and that had a little more space for our family.

But as we started looking into different houses on the market, we realized that we would be pushing it financially to get the kind of house we wanted in the area we wanted.  What good does a nice house do if you are stuck in it all the time because you can't afford to go anywhere or do anything?  It started to seem like a better decision to hold off on moving, but we called the mortgage company to figure out what we would pre-qualify for anyway.

When the numbers came back we realized that we could refinance at a lower interest rate, take out enough to do some improvements to our house, upgrade to a 15 year mortgage, and still be paying less than what we had been paying per month!  That clenched it for us.  We were staying put, and at the beginning of March we started our house projects in earnest.

This is what is on our to-do list for this little renovation:

New Hardwood Floors

We are getting (vinyl) "hardwood" floors for our upstairs living room area.  This seemed like a better option than the carpet we currently have because of the layout of our house.  The living room flows right into the dining room, and carpet in dining rooms is not fun.

New Trim

Our trim is old, beat up wood, and it was time for a fresh, white upgrade.

New Paint

Mainly just to freshen everything up and change a few colors. I actually painted almost the entire house in March, which is what kept me so busy!  These are the colors we chose.

Armadillo, Behr Paint
Campfire Ash, Behr Paint
Adriatic Mist, Behr Paint
Mayfair White, Behr Paint
Wandering Wistful Beige, Walmart
Ice Cube, Behr Paint
Sweet Coconut Milk, Behr Paint

The Sweet Cocounut Milk color I have actually not used yet, because Derek is not a big fan of yellow - but I am thinking he might agree to it in our laundry room.  I'll tell you where we painted which colors once we are finished and I post a little home tour!

New Laundry Room

What we have now is more of a furnace room with a washing machine in it. We would love to wall off part of this area into a "real" laundry room space. We also need to install a new water filter and softener.


If we have enough left in the budget we are hoping to improve the fence around our property and potentially expand our porch, but we'll see.

The goal of this project is to make this house somewhere we are more comfortable for the long-term, since we have decided not to move and just pay down our mortgage at this time.  So in addition to updating everything, I have been working like crazy to clean and reorganize everything so we have more storage space and don't feel so crowded.

Whenever I mentioned this to someone (before we started), they would make a comment about how we were brave to attempt it with young children, and I totally understand what they are saying now.  It is tricky to try to get anything done with small children, much less a big house project.  I am very ready for my tasks in this project to be done so I can stop using Thomas the Train as a babysitter.  I have to remind myself that I am not a bad mom for having to do that, and this is only for a season.  But I am ready to wrap this season up.

So my goal for April is to finish all my house renovation projects.  Obviously I'm not doing some of the work, like cutting and installing new trim!  But I would like to finish my projects by the end of April.  This is what I have left to do:

-Help Derek paint all the doors in our house.

-Finish Clarice's nursery and move her out of the living room (poor child hasn't even had her own room yet and she's six months old).

-Get our closet organized.

-Buy a new dining room table.

-Buy a new rug for the living room.

-Clean out the coat closets.*

Our larger goal as a couple is to have all the cosmetic things done by the end of April and work on the laundry room project in May.  I would like to have everything inside the house finished by June so we can take a break and enjoy our summer!

*Coat closets may not actually get accomplished this month, depending on how long everything else takes.  I have to be realistic.

Have you ever done a home renovation with kids? 
Tips for things I can do to keep them busy would be appreciated!


Update on March: I did do many of The Husband Project tasks in March, but I didn't quite make it halfway through.  I underestimated how much time this project is sucking out of my days.  I'm hoping to continue and complete the project in April!


Welcome to With Grit & Grace  – a monthly goal link-up focused on supporting each other as we work towards our goals! Please join us on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 a.m. EST to share your goals and progress for the week, month, or year. We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment, and share the posts of others – and let them know you found them at With Grit & Grace!
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Jennifer Merwin Shackelford said...

That picture of you painting with the baby playing in the room...we've been there! Our little boy was 18 months old when we decided to tackle an entire house, down to the studs. It was difficult, fun, exhausting, exciting and everything in between! I'll enjoy checking back on your progress next month. Visiting from Grit and Grace.

Emily said...

This is a huge project. I am impressed! It was also such a wise decision to take a look at how you could make your current home work. I agree that it doesn't make sense to live in a bigger, better house if it causes financial stress. So smart!

I love the colors that you picked. Just looking at the colors got me thinking about rooms in our home we could pain. :)

I never understood carpet a dining room...

Emily Powell said...

This is my entire season of life! Our house is old and needs a lot of reno. I swear up and down once we are done with this house I will never do it again :(

Mary said...

I love the paint colors you picked! The yellow is lovely; I painted our master bath a similar color and even the hubby likes it! We are currently renovating our basement, and even though we have a teenager, it is still hard when you have work and sports going on too. Good luck on finishing up this month!

Bethany Lammott said...

Loving this Linkup! Thanks for sharing, Callie. Love your colors so much for the house!!

Becky @ bybmg said...

Such pretty colors! You've accomplished so much. We had to re-do/re-paint a lot of our old home before we moved, and it was a chore, but was worth it and helped it sell! Good luck with all the adventures this month!

Bonnie Dani said...

I love the colours you choose especially Adriatic Mist. Reno's with kids are hard. I remember when I wanted to paint my daughter's room it was hard, I basically got most of it done when my husband took the kids out of the house for a couple of hours. This spring its time to update my son's room he is 9 and we have never painted his room before. Poor boy still has pink walls which was from the original owners, actually all the walls were pink. It has been a long painting process. This month organize the master closet or linen closet is on my list. Good Luck with your goals.

Whitney @ Journey Mercies said...

It sounds like we are in exactly the same position, house-wise! We love our neighborhood but our house is tiny. Upgrading to a larger home would be a huge new mortgage we don't want to deal with - we're also thinking about building on in the next few years. It's a lesson in contentment, right?

Natalie @ She Builds Her Home said...

That's awesome you guys took time to figure out what would work out for your family, life and budget. Updating is so much fun, but SO much work!! Even though our house is new, it needed painted SO badly last year (builders use FLAT white paint....flat, white paint doesn't work with kids!) so I went ahead and painted all the trim white in the main areas since I was painting the walls, too. Holy cow! It took forever. I think I would still say it is worth it now that it's done, but I need to do the bedrooms sometime this year and I'm dreading it! I can't wait to see your house when you get it all finished soon! I love the colors you have chosen!

Danielle Siero said...

I love the paint colors you picked out! Good luck with all the renovations. We re-did our kitchen before we had our kids, but haven't done anything major since. I'm sure it will go well though. :)

Callie Nicole said...

It is a big project for sure, but so far so good! Thank you! :-)

Callie Nicole said...

You know, I think Plugged in does review some books. I've read reviews for YA fiction on there before. But I do wish there was more for elementary-aged books. I probably will read everything myself or stick with recommendations from friends I trust! Maybe we should start a site like that for kids' books! ;-)

Callie Nicole said...

Thanks Natalie! Ugh, yes, flat paint is not a good idea with kids!

Callie Nicole said...

Yes, absolutely! Staying isn't my ideal situation, but I'm learning to just be happy where we are. And there is something freeing about not having moving as an option. It forces you to be content and make what you have work!

Keri Snyder said...

Beautiful colors!! Ahh all of our home projects have been with kids- an adventure!

Callie Nicole said...

Yes, "adventure" is a good way to put it! ;-)

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you Danielle! Yes, I am hoping to make all the projects as short and painless as possible, but the big, messy parts are still coming!

Callie Nicole said...

Yes, I think I am going to ask my mom to take the kids for me so I can finish up painting our doors! It's hard to do with little kids running around.

Callie Nicole said...

Thank you Becky! I think it will be worth all the work when it's done!

Callie Nicole said...

Thanks Bethany! Sometimes I think i should have lived near the beach - I definitely like beauty colors. :-)

Callie Nicole said...

I'm thinking my hubby would like ti too if he's give it a chance! We shall see. :-)

Callie Nicole said...

Ugh, renovations are so hard! I always say, if we ever move, we are buying a house that needs no work. Or at least we will do all the work before we move in, because it's so hard to live in a mess all the time.

Callie Nicole said...

I know, right? Carpets and dining rooms do not mix, especially with young kids that spill things pretty much every meal!

Callie Nicole said...

Wow, that sounds even crazier than what we are attempting! Definitely hard to do house projects with young kids, but I'm thinking it will be worth it in the end!

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