Playing House: 2010 To Do List

January 27, 2010

On my quest to ultra domesticity, I must eventually have a perfectly decorated house. Right? Right. Although I wish that could have happened the week after we moved in, it is going to be a long process for us. Mainly because we didn’t have any furniture to start out with, and we’re not rolling in money. But at this point only a couple of rooms are actually presentable, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves.

So! I’ve come up with a realistic list of things I think we can accomplish on the house this year. Here they are.

1. Fix the back door lock.

Remember this?


Well, it’s still there. I’m ready to use our back door again, and I have an idea for a super cheap way to fix this. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

2. Speaking of locks, cut down on the number of keys we have.

There are four doors to our house, and each one has a separate key. Not only is that quite annoying, but I think it might be a fire hazard. I want them to all open with one key, and I don’t want to have to use a key to open the doors from the inside.

3. Finish up the living room.


I want to get a rug to pull this space together. Who knew rugs could be so expensive?


I want to add a couple of cute, comfortable, and functional bar stools to this space.

4. Set up an actual dining room.

This needs to be the next room we work on, because right now we can only have a few people over for meals. We have a lot to do here, as it looks like this right now:


Really terrible. I kind of block this room out of my memory for the most part. Fixing up this room will mean procuring some sort of table and chairs (for cheap – I can just use a table cloth until we can afford something nice), changing up that chandelier, getting rid of those awful window treatments, possibly hanging some shelving, and of course painting. I can’t handle the red.

5. Finish painting all the rooms in the house.

While we’re on the subject of painting, it’s a fairly cheap way to make a big difference in appearance. I’d like to finish painting the entire house this year. In the front part of our house, the trim has all been converted to white, which I love. But in the back, it is all a creamy off-white, which I think looks dirty.


This is our back hall. Yes we left one of our dresser drawers open, and I didn’t close it before taking this picture. Yes it is bothering me. Yes I am too lazy to retake the picture. But isn’t Cleo cute poking her head out like that? Let’s focus on that.

6. Start on the “office.”

One of my 101 goals is to build a pretty and well-organized home office. This goal probably won’t get completed in 2010, but I need to at least start. I am embarrassed to show you what that room looks like right now, but I’m going to anyway.


There’s a pile of balled up newspaper on the ground because I unpacked a box of breakables about a month ago. Eddie likes to use it as a doggy bed, so I haven’t picked it up yet. Actually, it just isn’t a priority and that makes a convenient excuse.

7. Get the carpet cleaned.

We’ve only been here a year and already the dogs have ruined our carpet, at least in a few places. Why is it that when they feel the need to puke, they can’t do it on the tile or the hardwood? But before we jump to getting new carpet, we want to at least give cleaning it a shot.

So that’s my list for the year. If you are willing to lend me some time and muscle strength we have a LOT of painting to do, and in exchange I will feed you. Isn’t that a tempting offer? I thought so.

Tips? Thoughts? Suggestions? Love notes? Send them my way!

Posted in: home

Comments on Playing House: 2010 To Do List

  1. 1

    From Ashley:

    I am not domestic at all, but I just wanted to say that I love your house, especially the hard wood floors and white trim. I hope you’ll show us progress pictures and the rooms come along.

  2. 2

    From Megan:

    IKEA can cover a multitude if sins on the cheap– at least temporarily. And, I’ll be happy to help paint… once I get off this island.

  3. 3

    From Lauren:

    Rugs are killing me. I need some so bad but it’s crazy! They’re either too ugly, too expensive, or too small. IKEA is probably the best bet. JC Penny’s seems to have some nice ones for decent prices. Also check Overstock.

    I’d consider selling my dining table for cheap… but I’m using the chairs with my new round table you helped me procure. I have very mixed emotions on the whole thing. I know it’s a great table and chair set, but it’s not my style. BUT it’s from a great aunt and I have a thing about getting rid of gifts. So let’s both think on that- would you even WANT it?

    Have you thought about hardwoods throughout the house instead of new carpet? Or is that too expensive?

  4. 4

    From Scott:

    Will paint for food.

  5. 5

    From Nikki:

    TJ Maxx Home Goods!

  6. 6

    From Mom:

    Of course I’m in on helping fix things up–what fun! I know of an absolutely fabulous carpet cleaning person! I actually got his name from Alice, and he has worked miracles at our house. Remember when Molly jumped out of the dining room window and bled all over the landing? He cleaned that up without a trace. I’ll give you his card the next time you’re here, if you remind me. The antique show at Round Top is a good place to shop for furniture, chandeliers, etc. Some is expensive, some is quite cheap, depending on how motivated the seller is, particularly at the end of the show; they don’t want to cart it home again. Garden Ridge has rugs and bar stools. I’ve had some bad experiences with them, so make sure you know their return policy on the items you buy before you buy them. Hardwood floors are more expensive than carpet, unless you run into a deal. They are beautiful, however. Lauren, you might consider lending your table, maybe until Kathleen finds exactly what she wants or until you need yours back.

  7. 7

    From Julienne:

    If I wasn’t in Canada I would definitely be there painting! I love painting!

  8. 8

    From Stephany:

    Oh, my gosh! I would so love to help you…if I didn’t live in Florida. Boo! I love home improvement projects, especially painting. I can’t wait to see how your house turns out when you start fixing it up!

  9. 9

    From Sara:

    From what I can see, your house looks very nice and cozy. I’m definitely looking forward to the “after photos”!

    I totally laughed when you mentioned the open drawer because I didn’t even notice that until you said it. And then I had to look a third time when you mentioned Cleo. Yes, it’s very cute how she’s poking her head out. :)

    And rugs! I love rugs now. I never owned one until I moved into my all hardwood floor. It’s crazy how ridiculously expensive but I think it’s worth it in the long run. Especially if it’s one that your dogs one ruin. I got a nice simple blue (6×8?) one for cheap at an outlet store. I would rather get something a lot more modern, but seeing that this is just a temporary place, I’m okay with it. And it’s comfty too.

  10. 10

    From Nora:

    LOVE the colors in your house. I want to come and stay there. it looks so warm and cozy! Target has some great rugs for not super crazy prices and they can be modern and have a lot of colors/designs/varieties that might work. i also recommend World Market for stools or Home Depot/Lowe’s. They usually have decent prices too. Or if you like it, garage sales/estate sales can be fun and then you can have a mix and match kind of thing going on.

    Can’t wait to see how it all turns out :)

  11. 11

    From jessica (struble):

    oo i like having ur 2-do list with pics and explanations..i think i might go around the house today..and make my list up. good thinking!
    as for carpet..if u dont have the $$>.like we didnt for 5 yrs…def try cleaning it. the ppl before us had dogs and it was horrible and we never had the $$ to put new carpet in. target is expensive for rugs..but i always loved what they had. when we moved in…w/i 2 yrs jeff put in hardwood floors in the room.we had allergies and could never breathe in the rooms until he put the wood floors in!
    this month we finally were able to get rid of the horrible carpet in our hall way and living room and i feel i can breathe easier (we have a shedding dog too). i went and bought a rug…250$$ later..right? ridiculous..i was like.why dont we buy a 8×10 piece of carpet, ha
    anyways good luck
    it will all come together eventually

  12. 12

    From Hannah Katy:

    I admire your domestic endeavors! Your blog is great, so chic and simple but great content.

    I will definitely be returning back soon.


    Hannah Katy

  13. 13

    From Emily Jane:

    Oh gosh your house is BEAUTIFUL!! I’d be there in a heartbeat to help if I weren’t so bloody far away :(

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