2 In Interiors/ Life

Reflecting on One Year in Our House

Our Home, Year One // A Reflection on #No2Project in 2017

We just wrapped up year one at our home in Madison, New Jersey that I affectionately call the #no2project. We mostly focused on making it ours and settling in over the past year. But we have some fun, bigger projects ahead of us this year.

Before we dive into too many new 2018 projects, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on the first year in our home. I always think a little reflection is helpful, but hopefully you enjoy coming along for the ride, too.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  

What We’ve Completed So Far

  1. Painting 2 of 3 bedrooms (the truly terrible teal & muted blue rooms had to go right away!)
  2. Painting the kitchen & front living room
  3. Removing roman shades from all windows (they were heavy, yellowed, and installed outside the window which I didn’t love) & replacing with custom blinds
  4. Removing the unsightly tree from the front yard
  5. Replacing boob lights in the front hall
  6. Replacing and raising the lights over the kitchen island
  7. Installing doors on laundry room cabinets
  8. Removing the glass from our master bath shower*
  9. Adding a door to our master bedroom closet*
  10. Ripping out built-ins from a closet we’re turning into a work space
  11. Installing a new sump-pump*
  12. Painting the front door
  13. Installing a garage door opener (how the previous owners lived without one?!)
  14. Repairing the back patio & fire pit area
  15. Switching 60% of the ivory outlets/plugs & mismatched covers

We certainly have been busy!


Our Home, Year One // A Reflection on #No2Project in 2017Our Home, Year One // A Reflection on #No2Project in 2017Our Home, Year One // A Reflection on #No2Project in 2017

As evidenced by this list, painting was one of the biggest tasks and yet we still have a few more spaces to go! Our last house was flipped and luckily we loved the color used throughout (Sherwin Williams, Big Chill). So it wasn’t until this year that I fully appreciated the value of a fresh coat of paint. Applying a color you select plus bright white trim goes so far to making the space feel like home.

The *starred projects are those we hired out or used a contractor to complete. We try to DIY a lot of things including the installation of a garage door opener {largely thanks to my dad!} and custom-ordered cabinet doors. However, there are certain things we’ll always be happy to pay for. These ended up being some of my favorite projects — likely because we put them off for so long!

I also feel that lighting makes a big difference and usually isn’t a massive investment especially if you have a handy hubby who can handle installation. Our kitchen lights are ridiculously affordable but we splurged on these for our front hallway to make more of a statement. For me, it’s all about finding the balance in these projects.


Projects for 2018

  • Paint all remaining rooms

I sort of want to paint every remaining space white — just to have it over with but also to create fresh, neutral spaces. It’s more likely we’ll land with some subtle tones in the baths, white in the final bedroom, and a nice neutral in the hallway. I’d love any suggestions on your favorite paint colors!

  • Landscaping the front yard

After ripping out the tree and overgrown bushes last summer, we traveled in August and again in September. By early fall, it felt like the wrong time to try growing grass or planting new bushes. Sadly this means the front yard looked a bit barren all winter. I affectionately call it our “trailer park” yard. So as soon as it’s reasonable to do so, I want to hire a landscaper to create a front yard with tons of curb appeal. I already adore our wrap-around porch and can’t wait to see it really shine.

  • Upstairs renovation

Hopefully I’m not a broken record on this one! I want to share a few posts dedicated to this process, so will leave out the details for now. We’re hiring a contractor to remake the space from the ground up, literally starting with leveling the floors. This will be a game changer and help make 400 square feet of our home more usable!

  • Create a back entry way

Our house is set up so we use both our front & back entries regularly. This year, we started to create a mini mudroom space in the back inspired by Monica’s laundry room. I lost steam on the project after investing in the bench. Plus, I realized we should paint before going much further; however, I really want the space to be more functional & finished in 2018.

  • Refinish or paint the porch

The paint on our wood porch is already starting to chip. I worry it will rot if we don’t do something this year, but we have zero experience with outdoor painting. Any tips? In my dreams, we would replace it with a Trex deck (which we had and loved in Denver) but that seems far-fetched. Whatever happens, it’ll be a learning experience.

  • So many miscellaneous wish-fors that we may or may not get to: install new french doors in back entryway, change all kitchen hardware, update kitchen faucet, add a runner to the stairs, center & update kitchen chandelier, add overhead light fixture in living room, refresh backyard landscaping… and the list goes on…

The Outlook

Phew! I’m a little tired just thinking about all that we want to accomplish this year. But I truly try to appreciate the process of creating a home that’s all ours. T-man and I agree that loving our home is a top priority and we dedicate a lot of our time, energy and budget to it.

Of course, I have my moments of frustration and can easily get impatient — not knowing the right way to handle something, feeling indecisive or incapable. But we will continue to set out our goals and top priorities plus reflect on how far we’ve come in creating a home we love. And that’s what makes it all worth it.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 14, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Creating a home takes time! It’s always fun to see before and afters of new home buyers and how they really make it their own! I especially love how you were able to mix two styles together and make it contemporary yet East Coast classic! Can’t wait to see whats up next!


    • Reply
      Jess at Bubbly Design Co.
      February 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks Sydney! I so appreciate you following along on the journey and I take that as such a compliment! Much more to come this year 🙂

    Leave a Reply