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Sprucing Things Up

February 9th, 2012

With the possibility of putting the cottage on the market, we’ve been doing a few projects around the house. I mentioned a few weeks ago that we’re going to be installing butcher block countertops. Those are waiting in the garage for an open day or two in our schedule. In the meantime other smaller projects that can be worked on in the evening are being checked off the list.

The closet in our bedroom in one such area. It’s been in need of some love for quite a while with it’s teetering shelf, hundreds of holes and lack of paint. I’m not quite sure what the previous owners did to this poor closet, but clearly they once had a ton of shelves in it which they must have taken when they left. I can’t believe I haven’t done anything to this space in 9 years.

Early this week, the shelf came down, the holes were filled in and a fresh coat of paint covered the walls. Luckily we still had leftover paint from the bedroom so we could match the walls. We considered building shelves ourselves, but decided we lacked the time at the moment to do that so we settled on this Wooden Closet Shelving System to install. We’re very pleased with the system, it looks great, is very sturdy and adds tons of space. More of these will be purchased when we need to finish the closets in the upstairs. I was hoping to have photos of the finished product, but we worked into the night and I was too tired to take photos. They’ll come later with photos of the other project I’m working on….

Painting the stairs to our basement is also in progress, it was another neglected area that was in need of a spruce up. I’m planning something fun for these since they lead to the basement, no need for formality here. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Any small spruce up projects going on in your home?

17 Comments to “Sprucing Things Up”
  1. Victoria on February 9, 2012 at 7:32 am

    My husband touched up a few baseboards yesterday, spring cleaning is nearly here! My mind is firmly set on seed starting…and the impending garage re-org!

    Reply to Victoria's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

      We need to get out and reorganize our garage too – quite a task!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Brandee on February 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I would love to have a home to spruce up. Am currently in a rented studio. I can’t complain; it serves me well enough. btw, I like seeing Olympic & Valspar paint as I work at Lowe’s. :)

    Reply to Brandee's comment

  3. daisy on February 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I am going to attempt to regrout our master bath. We want to get our home on the market before the snowbirds head back north.
    Can’t wait to see your new closet! Love those systems!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  4. Allison on February 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Too many to mention! LOL there is always a project going on and since we are outside most of the time once the weather breaks, it is a winter rat race to get things done INSIDE!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  5. t on February 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Oh I am sure you will do all this work and find you live in such a beautiful house you will want to stay…or at least wonder why you didn’t do all this earlier..
    Did I miss it?… why are you moving? more land?
    Either way be blessed.. I love reading your blog!

    Reply to t's comment

  6. Brittany P. on February 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Gotta redo the kitchen! Yikes! It needs it big time.

    Reply to Brittany P.'s comment

  7. tj on February 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    …Isn’t it funny how you can live with something such as your closet for so long, then you finally tackle it only to stand back when you’re done while admiring your work and say, “why did I wait so long to do this?”… :o)

    …I am getting ready to tackle painting trim in our hallway, laundry room and bathroom. I also need to repaint our kitchen and I had intended to do that this Winter yet but uh, maybe next Winter. *giggle*

    …Can’t wait to see what you do to the steps!

    …Enjoy your day!

    …Blessings :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  8. Rocky Top Farm on February 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I would love to see more pics of the various rooms in your house! i love your decorating style from what i have seen, if you don’t mind sharing them it would be a fun post! thank you!

    Reply to Rocky Top Farm's comment

    • Susy on February 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      I do need to do that, it’ll will be a good series I think. Perhaps a slideshow or something.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Justin on February 10, 2012 at 12:00 am

    A quick bit of (unsolicited) advice from someone who recently sold and bought a home…

    The so-called “main selling points” of a home like kitchens and baths no longer have the same weight they used to in the value of a home, thanks to these lousy market conditions. We spent a few thousand dollars “sprucing-up” the kitchen in our home, hoping that it’d help us maintain the value in a crappy economy. In the end, even though we were able to get a seller to offer a great price, their bank went and devalued our home with their mortgage appraisal and we lost not only the money we put into the kitchen but more on top of that. Unfortunately, it’s not about what a seller will pay anymore. It’s about what the bank says it’s worth–and they’re allowed to use comps like short sales in the calculation. :-( Also, sellers are looking for deals right now more than perfection. It’s amazing how much things have changed in just a couple of years.

    It’s actually a great idea to start talking with a Realtor and ask them to do a free market analysis of you home BEFORE you go crazy with renovations. Not only will you have a good idea of the selling price, but a good Realtor can tell you whether your planned renovation will really add value to your home or whether it’s just a waste of money. And the great part is that it’s no cost to you. If you find a Realtor that wants something out of you for doing an analysis, find another Realtor.

    As a general rule of thumb, you want to focus more on making your house look “clean and updated/new” rather than making it look fancy or adding “desirable finishes.” In other words, if Formica is half the price of the butcher block, it may not make much of a difference in the selling price, so why spend the extra out of your own pocket. Save it for the new house! :-)

    Good luck with the renovations and potential move. My wife and I live in Rhode Island and we vacation in Maine at least once a year. We even considered moving there while unemployed and we’ll probably buy a retirement home there some day. It’s a beautiful state with wonderful people.

    Reply to Justin's comment

    • Susy on February 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Very true. We’re not spending much on the spruce ups, a few hundred dollars on things we know will set our house apart from the rest on the market here. Our goal is mostly to make our house look better than the others on the market at the same price range without spending much on the updates. The few things we’re doing should go a long way in making it look new/updates. Our butcher block countertops are actually cheaper than formica because we’re installing ourselves and we found a great deal. We’ve done a lot along the way as far as updated so we actually don’t have much to do besides painting, cleaning, etc.

      We’re also finishing our upstairs, which is just stud walls at the moment. It will effectively double the size of square footage when it’s finished. We know adding 2 bedrooms and a bath will greatly increase the listing price of our home.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Maybelline on February 10, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Planting more pansies & building some tricked out supports for boysenberries.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  11. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on February 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    “Small spruce up projects”? not really – just big ones! We’re currently in the middle of renovations on our kitchen, living room and the hall/stairs down to our office.

    Our house is 115 years old and for just about half its existence, it’s been inhabited by people who do things as cheap as possible, nevermind quality – we’re having to put right a lot of wrongs, even before we get started on aesthetic stuff (which, by and large, hasn’t been changed for 20+ years). We bought the house for a low price knowing it needed a lot of work but it’s been even more work than that! I’ve learnt a lot of DIY skills but the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I can’t stand living through renovations!

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

    • Susy on February 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

      So sad when you see cheap renos on old homes. We walked through a few of these on our trip to Maine last week – very sad.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Sierra on February 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Well…last Friday I came home from a shopping trip with Isabella, to find a hole in my living-room wall–to the outside. Yep. The lady who lived in this house didn’t have central air put in until a few years ago, so she had an air unit installed in the living-room. My husband and I have been debating for the last year or so, about when to remove it. I guess he decided that day was the perfect time to do it. I would have appreciated some warning. :)

    Reply to Sierra's comment

  13. Jennifer N. on February 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Search for ‘bookstairs’ on Pinterest. They are perfect for the basement stairs of a book nerd. There are a few of us jumping on this bandwagon. They may not be perfect for every buyer, but, if you’re going for fun, that’s where it’s at!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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