Late last year, we put a call out on Instagram to make sure that we continue to deliver posts, tutorials, photos and videos that are truly helpful – and hopefully entertaining? – for our incredible community of readers and viewers. We can’t thank you all enough for your feedback! We heard you and have already taken some big steps and made backend upgrades (with many more to come) that will keep the site loading as quickly as possible while looking and functioning exactly as we intend. We also appreciate the encouragement and input on the type of things you’d like to see from us moving forward. Again, thank you all for chiming in and making sure we deliver the best possible experience for you. We simply couldn’t do what we do without all of you here.
Of course, beyond making changes to our digital space, our heads are swirling with ideas for those physical spaces, too – and hopefully some more opportunities to help out our friends and family. 2019, we have big plans for you! In no particular order, here’s a Greatest Hits list of the things we’d like to complete this year:
1| Tackle a bathroom (or two?)
inspiration via Anna Bode
Want to know a somewhat embarrassing secret? We’ve lived in our Chicago home for 5 1/2 years and still haven’t even touched the bathroom on our first floor. Sure, it’s been scrubbed top to bottom to get it clean and usable, but folks – it’s rough. Everything works (mostly) as it should, but it’s in dire need of attention. We don’t speak of it much, but you can see it in this old house tour (starting at 2:38), and it looks exactly the same. That gaudy gold mirror you see? It’s covering up a patch of drywall that was ripped out when we tore down the old medicine cabinet!
2019 will be the year that all of that changes. The current floorpan is less than ideal, but now’s the time to make it right. Do we push the back wall a few feet into the workshop to open things up? Do we shoehorn a shower into the existing floor plan? This will likely end up as Lucy’s bathroom down the road, but it will remain the only bathroom on the first floor, so it needs to stay functional for guests and general use. Decisions, decisions. One thing we do know is that we cannot wait to break ground! It’s likely going to need to rebuilt from the studs.
Oh, and while we’re on the bathroom subject, 2019 just might be the year that we officially gut the only bathroom at Tree House… We’re going to have our hands full in the best way!
2| Spend more project-free time at Tree House
Speaking of Tree House, we’re finally to a point where we can truly enjoy the space as it is, and we intend to do a lot of that. The house is far from ‘done’ but the master bedroom, guest bedroom, and the sleeping loft are, for the most part, complete. The kitchen and mudroom are wrapped up and we’ve found the coziest couch of all time. What more do we need?
Whether we’re spending time in Lakeside by ourselves or with friends or family, we have a blast. We surround ourselves with people (and usually dogs) that we love, good food, and tasty libations and we can relax almost instantly. We plan to do more of this. Much more. And we can’t wait.
3| Help others realize their space’s potential
Remember when we mentioned that we’d like to find more opportunities to help out friends and family with projects this year? Well, we meant it! We’ve found ourselves in a unique position with some pretty amazing partners and lots of ways to help others realize the potential of their homes. We loved making over Catherine & Allen’s laundry room and helping with Joe & Kara’s living room in 2018! One of the things we like most about lending a hand in different spaces is that we get to adapt to various styles and spaces that are different from our own. We can push ourselves to create something that might be different that what we’d do in our own home, like the playful room above (we still love this makeover!). Plus, the reveals for our friends are incredibly fun for us! We’d be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to take things even further this year, maybe even with one or some of you?
4| Try something completely foreign to us
We have a handful of wishful ideas that fall pretty far outside the box for us (a book, product line or designing for retail?), but we’d love nothing more than to work on a project or two that really pushes us beyond what we’re used to. Whether this happens professionally or personally, we’re allowing ourselves to open up to the possibility. Any possibility. If we say this out loud, will it come? Let’s get uncomfortable!
5| Take our first proper family vacation with Lucy
We’d love for 2019 to be the year that we hit the road (or sky?) for our first week-ish-long family vacation as a trio. Lucy took her first few steps this past weekend (we had never seen her squeal with so much delight!), so she’ll be full-on walking soon, and out little nugget loves the sights and sounds of new adventures. Should we go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains where I spent countless vacations growing up? Should we fly to the beach and splash in the ocean together for the first time? Kim has never been to Maine. Or Austin. Or Colorado. I’ve never been to New Orleans. Neither of us have been to Charleston. Every one of these cities are on our long list of places we’d like to visit together. We’d love any and all feedback about traveling with a toddler! We realize that most of these options won’t result in much of a vacation for us, but we’re big fans of adventure around here. For those of you that have made these trips with a wobbly little one, are there places you swear by? We’d love your input!
6| Design & build a gathering space for meals. This one’s for you, Tree House!
The sad state of our Tree House dining room
Meals at Tree House have happened around a flimsy plastic folding table for as long as we’ve owned the home. We’ve had plans swirling in our brains for a simple, clean, built-in corner banquette since we first toured the house, and 2019 will be the year that we take things up a notch and stash the folding table in the shed for a looong while. One of our favorite Chicago restaurants has some beautiful built-in seating that we’ve been pulling strong inspiration from. And with any luck, the table will be built from a slab from the huge Silver Maple that inspired Tree House’s name, but sadly had to be removed and milled this year. We’re chomping at the bit for this one!
What About You?
What’s on your list of goals for 2019? More travel? More relaxation? A promotion? Renovations? Regardless of your goals, we’d love to hear about what gets you up in the morning and what keeps you going. How do you motivate yourself to stick to your plan for the year? We’re in this together!
Psssst: For our 2018 wrap-up post, have a look here!