What A Difference A Year Makes!

Happy anniversary to us! It has been one year since we moved back into our house after returning from Germany. In the past year we’ve been lazy at times, but we also worked our butts off at other times. Here’s a look at what we accomplished.

Front Yard

We replaced the worn out wicker bench with a new wood bench and added planters to the patio and garden bed. We also replaced the light fixtures on the sides of the garage door. If you look at the roof line, you’ll see where there are three trees missing since we had to cut them down this summer. Otherwise, the curb appeal isn’t too different. In the future I hope to change-up the garden bed (in between the garage and patio) a bit and maybe paint the front door a different color.


The backyard was a mess last summer. We had to cut back what was over-grown and luckily, as time has passed, the dead areas of grass have actually filled in with nice green grass! We also had a new fence built and cut down three dying trees. We planted two citrus trees that you can’t see in this picture. Jeromy recently put in a rain barrel to collect water for gardening and our new compost tumbler just arrived this week! Hopefully the 2014 picture will include a beautiful vegetable garden.


The north side of the house was over-grown too. We practiced how Josh should escape from his bedroom in the event of a fire and he was really worried about getting out the window and through those bushes. That isn’t a problem anymore. We still have some work to do on this side, but the summer heat arrived and it will have to wait until fall now. I also see another honey-do project in the 2013 picture. Those drainage pipes need to be fixed!

Dining Room

The first room we worked on was the dining room. We replaced the light fixtures, hung the curtain rod higher on the wall, sewed new curtains, scraped the popcorn off the ceiling, painted the ceiling, painted the trim, painted the walls, and purchased a new dining table and chairs. I really love my new dining room. In the future I’d like to get a buffet or sideboard and a console table for next to the front door, which is just to the left of the window in these pictures.

master bathroom

The room in the house that I consider to be the most “done” and what I consider to be the most improved is the master bathroom. It was a dark pit of a room and now it is light and bright. We added two recessed lights above the shower/tub so we can finally see when we take a shower. We replaced the light fixture above the vanity, replaced the exhaust fan with a more powerful one, framed the mirror, replaced the cabinet handles, added baskets to the cubby/shelves, replaced the toilet paper holder, replaced the toilet, scraped the popcorn off the ceiling, painted the ceiling and walls, and painted the trim. This little room was a lot of work.

guest bathroom

Once we finished the master bathroom, well the guest bathroom looked so sad it had to be next. It was the same story as the master bathroom, but we also replaced the sink faucet, bathtub faucet and shower head.


The hallway is not “done” because I’d love to find a beautiful runner and also hang some family pictures here, but it is a major improvement. We scraped the popcorn from the ceiling, painted the ceiling, painted the walls, painted the trim and replaced the junky light fixtures with recessed lights. We even moved one of the lights to a more logical position, centered on the main closet in front of the guest bathroom. You might also notice in the above pictures that we worked on the kitchen too. I think this is the only picture where you can see that we replaced the kitchen’s fluorescent tube lighting with dimmable LED recessed lights!


Lastly, we recently finished what I call “Phase 1” of our kitchen remodel. This is the we’re broke, but have to make the kitchen more tolerable until we win the lottery and gut the place. As mentioned before, we got rid of the fluorescent tube lighting and replaced it with four recessed dimmable LED lights. This was such a big improvement. Thanks to the placement of the lights, I’m no longer doing dishes in the dark! It’s fantastic! We scraped the popcorn off the ceiling, painted the ceiling, painted the walls, painted the trim, and changed out the cabinet hardware. I’m hoping I’ll get a nice, new faucet soon too. With those upgrades, I think we’ll last until we either sell the house or win the lottery.

There were some other improvements we made too like the new heat pump we had installed in the spring. That was a major expense and one of the reasons I don’t have new floors yet. Oh well, gotta have air conditioning in South Carolina! We also have cleaned up some other parts of the yard and had to repair and paint some trim on the outside of the house.

So, looking back, I think we’ve accomplished a lot. In the next year I hope we get the laundry room, office and bedrooms done. You’ll see how that goes!

This entry was posted in Home Improvement & Maintenance and tagged , by Jennifer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jennifer

I'm an interior designer at my core and a big fan of simple pleasures and Mother Nature. Originally from Iowa, I've lived up and down the East Coast, plus Alaska and Germany (thanks to my husband, who must have nomadic blood in his veins). Currently I'm a Yankee in South Carolina, trying to keep up with my son and constantly adjusting to life in the South.

2 thoughts on “What A Difference A Year Makes!

  1. Pingback: A Pleasing Pattern – Kitchen Update | rememberwren

  2. Pingback: Year Two In Review | rememberwren

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