Liza Greis

Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor

2019 Home Goals {And How I Did With Last Year’s Goals}

It is a new year which mean new home goals. I realized I was a bit lofty last year so I think I will be more realistic this time around. Although we did do a decent job of checking some of the items off the list. Let’s review last year before we jump into this year.

2018 goals…. Let’s see how we did!

Boy Bedroom #1 Makeover CHECK! 

We completed the modern music room for 2 of our boys at the beginning of the year. It was full of DIY projects including new flooring, a faux brick wall, leather tabbed curtains, a dresser makeover, and fun decor!

Boy Bedroom #2 Makeover – CHECK! 

This was completed shortly after the first boy bedroom only my other 2 boys wanted something different than their brothers and since they love the mountains we took inspiration from there to create a fun bedroom/playroom.

Hallway Makeover – CHECK! 

I re-textured the walls, patched holes, added baseboard and new flooring. I also put up a wire track system to hang the kids’ artwork. We added recessed lighting and of course added a plant :)

Stairway Makeover – 50% 

I got started and then it stalled because I couldn’t decide if I should add carpet before we do the flooring upstairs because it might affect the transition and then I keep going back and forth on how to hang the photos on the wall (which frames, how many is too many, etc). But I did re-texture the walls, paint, ripped out the old forest green carpet, add a new hand rail, and hang a light. So I guess the good news is I have a pretty easy makeover to finish and share!

Structural beam, windows, concrete work, & walls added to unfinished basement for the Master Bedroom – NOPE 

There are a couple of reasons this stalled. We ended up having to get a new roof which we did not budget for. It cost HALF of our basement budget. Ever since the economy tanked and Shane was laid off, I have been super paranoid about our savings getting low. The other reason we stalled was more complicated. Let’s just say the space was needed for other purpose this winter.  But fingers crossed, we can resume the concrete cutting, beam adding fun in the spring when we have beefed up the saving account and the basement is empty again.

New Exterior Concrete Stairs Poured – Yes….and NO

Our side entry stairs were sad. Big chunks were missing and the actual stairs, because they are not attached to the landing, have settled making it feel awkward to step up if you are not use to it. The bottom stair is shallow and the top stair is higher. The railing was also very wiggly because of the missing concrete. It was basically just there for looks. After getting bids for new stairs and railings (thousands you guys!!!) we decided to put our money into the basement and wait on the stairs. BUT I built forms on stilts and was able to fill in the missing chunks. Since the stairs were already painted, a new coat makes it so you can’t really tell they were patched. The new concrete make the railings super stable. All and all it was a good compromise.

New Flooring Upstairs – NOPE

We currently have 14 flooring samples from 3 different stores and we have no idea which we are going to choose. I have narrowed it down to laminate. I just can’t commit to real hardwood with 4 boys and a dog. Ugh. Baby steps.

Finish Upstairs Shower  – CHECK! 

Our awesome basement contractor found us a guy to do our tile in the shower/tub nook. It turns out the trick is to not tell him it is arched. Ha! Kidding, sort of. After years of trying to find someone willing to tackle this tough job, we are thrilled with the results and it finishes off the bathroom makeover I did the year before.

Painting Eaves and Trim on the Exterior  – CHECK! …95%

I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is one eave that is still red. Shane was in charge of the eaves since I can’t go above the third step on a ladder without having heart palpitations. Shane is not around much in the daylight hours. He’s a busy guy. But don’t you worry. Fist time the temps are above 55 degrees on a spare Saturday, I’ll start lovingly reminding him to pull the ladder out of the garage.

Shed added to Backyard OR Patio (I don’t know if we will have time or money for both) – CHECK! 

I was right. We didn’t have money or time for both. But we love our new patio and wished we would have done it a long time ago. It got used a lot this year and I look forward to the snow making an exit this spring so we can use it again.

Family Room Refresh – 50%

I had to buy new lights because I broke one and just my luck, they had been discontinued. The we got a new couch (YAY!) followed by a new rug since the old one smell like boy feet no matter how often I shampooed. I also recover ed the blue velvet bench right before Christmas. I will need to update the gallery wall since it still have holiday prints. So while you have seen a few little necessary changes, the finished refresh and reveal are still to come!

Dining Room Refresh – 50%

It is small and there are not a lot of things I can do but I did make a new tabletop. I have not made a new door for the broom closet nor have I decided on what to hang on that same wall. So I always shoot the room from one angle so you don’t see the ugly unfinished side.


Whew! Thanks for those of you still reading. That was kind of long.

This year I have decided that these 5 things will be my main goals and if anything else gets done, great. Since the basement will take most of our house budget, the others are not as lofty.

2019 Home Goals

The basement. I really, really want an actual bedroom. We have been sleeping in the office upstairs and since it is already a multi-use room, it is a bit tight.

Re-landscape the front of the house. Confession: I really want my house to look like a quaint English cottage. I pin lots of cute homes to my cottage pin board that have colorful flowers filling the front flowerbeds. I have forced it and it isn’t working. My house has terracotta colored bricks which is a nice way of saying it looks orange. No matter which color combo I do, the colorful flowers seem to clash with the house color. So since I created two big flower beds in the back that are currently empty (in front of the planter box walls) I am going to transplant the colorful flowers to the back of my yard and grow new plants for the front. I would have had to buy new flowers for the back anyway so it is no added expense. I am hoping that after 13 years, I will finally like the flower beds in the front.

Finish the unfinished projects. Stairs, living room refresh, and dining room. I’ll go ahead and throw in an office refresh too for when we eventually move out of it. Little things that take virtually no time or money but I seem to still put off for some reason.

Downstairs Shower. Since the day we moved in I have loathed the down shower. It is a rounded acrylic shower surround that was orange when we moved in and I could never fully get it clean. The base has concrete splatter on the outside and it makes it look dingy all the time. The surround constantly comes apart from the base. I think I have caulked it 837 times. We finally quit using it when we finished the up bath. I want a new base and I want to tile the shower.

Upstairs flooring. I think I have the 14 samples narrowed down to 3 choices. I am considering buying a box of each so I can have a better idea of what they will look like over a large area. I can make quick decisions on most things but when it is going to be a permanent thing that I can’t just change out on a whim when the trends change or my tastes change, then I tend to over analyze.

Do more projects for other people.  I love doing room makeovers and my house only has so many rooms. I’d love to do more work for others that are close to me :)


I am curious, what are your main house goals for this year? I would love to hear what you have in the works!!!

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  1. Moriah says

    You’ve accomplished so much and did such a great job!! Way to go! We are hoping to finishing tiling the floors and remodeling our master bedroom. Of course, I’d like to add updating the exterior. But I don’t see that happening this year. Progress is the name of the game, eh?

  2. Camille says

    My goals involve buying and moving into a house – closing is 2 weeks away! So – everything that goes with that (painting, unpacking, organizing, some repurposed projects) Im incredibly excited to begin a new chapter…

    I very much love your blog. Its encouraging and “lived in” Thank you for providing inspiration!

  3. Kay says

    Found you from the 2018 Top 10 posts from Tidbits and have been clicking around enjoying your website. Not to add stress to your upstairs flooring options, but have you looked at or considered luxury vinyl planks? I love my hardwoods and am glad to have them, but we put LVP in our family lake house and are really pleased with it. We have a toddler and loads of dogs and its held up well. It has a better “feel” than vinyl without that clicky sound laminate sometimes has. Just a thought. :o)

    • Liza Greis says

      Hi Kay!

      I’m so glad you found my blog! Cami is the best :)
      Funny you should mention vinyl plank flooring. We just installed it in the basement last year. Two bedrooms and the hallway. And as soon as we finish the other bedroom, it will get the same flooring. While I love it, I don’t feel like it is quite as realistic as some laminates can be. It’s not completely out of the running, but I found some laminate that looks pretty darn realistic. It’s tough because I really want hardwood but I just think at this stage of life, I’d stress over the upkeep.
      Thanks for your comment!