The. List. You know, the one I showed you two weeks ago when I confessed about my freak out over preparing to be on Alexandria's Designer Tour of Homes this Christmas? With just one day until the big event, we wanted to give you a glimpse inside the walls of our home, and how and if our frantic efforts are paying off.
Therefore, we'll circle back on the items we knew we needed to accomplish, how we're doing with the "nice to haves," and how our seasonal decorating/specific tour preparations are shaping up. We've also added a fair number of new items since last week. Ugh. So here it is, in all its glory:
What We Were Able to Complete
1. Purchase chairs for the sun porch.
Woo to the hoo, this one is done. As we shared with you two weeks ago, we scored two great chairs for a rock bottom price from the Restoration Hardware Outlet.
2. Locate two additional frames for the sun porch, frame art in four frames, hang frames.
Our late night Target treks paid off. We secured the two additional frames we needed, and hung them on either side of the white hutch in the sun porch. As for the art for the frames, we have a little something special up our sleeves specifically for the Christmas season and home tour that will be put into place later today. We'll be sure to share photos of this art project soon.
3. Buy pillows for the new chairs.
Thanks to my lucky find at TJMaxx, we're the proud new owners of these tulle and metallic buttoned throw pillows.
4. Hang and hem new curtains in sun porch.
Done and done! My ever-so-patient husband tackled this project when I nearly had a nervous breakdown pinning them to the correct length. Here's to stepping in for your partner when the going gets tough.
5. Build shoe storage for white hutch.
After we donated our old wicker bench, we were left with unsightly piles of shoes in our sun porch. Thanks to Alex's mad woodworking skills, he whipped up this quick and inexpensive storage solution.
6. Paint outlet cover in the sun porch. Embarrassingly enough, it still retains the yellow of sun porches past.
This was one of those "why didn't we do this sooner?" projects. We ran out of steam when we were painting the room this summer, and all it took was the impending deadline of the home tour to get us to check this item off the list. I'm happy to say though, it's finally done. Alex even took it to the wire wheel to get all of the old lumpy and bumpy paint off.
7. Strip, sand, and paint door jamb in dining room.
Calling this one done gives me more pleasure than you can imagine. The old, peeling and chipped eyesore is finally gone, thanks to the diligent work of my better half.
8. Strip, sand, and paint transom in the kitchen.
Done...sort of. We took a short cut on this one and borrowed a tip from movie set designers. After covering the exposed wood with two pieces of tape, we painted over the area to disguise our previous "investigative stripping." That way, once we return to truly restore this transom window, we won't have an extra layer of paint to remove. Cheating? Yep. But in this case, we felt it was better to do a temporary fix rather than leave the exposed section of wood for the tour.
9. Install new switch and switch plate in kitchen. Nothing says "We just finished this project last night!" like missing switch plates.
Late one night this week, Alex made time for the few minutes needed to check this one off the list.
10. Change burned out front light bulb.
While nothing says, "We just finished this project last night!" like a missing switch plate cover, nothing says "Attention robbers: no one is home!" quite like a burned out front light. Thirty seconds and one new bulb later, we have this one checked of the list.
11. Clean downstairs hallway light fixture to remove the scum.
Another relatively simple task on the list that was overdue for some attention. We're happy to say we once again have a gleaming light fixture.
12. Buy and install door stops for french doors and front door. Can you picture Alex's face if we come home and there's a hole in one of our replastered walls? Yikes.
In terms of importance, this one was up on there on our priority list. The last thing we want is to have to correct any damage caused by our negligence. We now have two magnetic door stops installed in the vestibule, and an antique door stop installed in our front hallway.
13. Have windows in the house cleaned inside and out. Finally, one item we will hire out!
I'm happy to report that our windows are currently being cleaned, inside and out. If you're looking for a local source for window cleaning, Kirk Perry's your man.
14. Scrub off vacuum marks from baseboards in downstairs. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, please come through for me, man. This chic doesn't want to repaint trim before the tour.
Done and done! They don't call it a Magic Eraser for nothing! Just look at the clean shoe molding to the right, and the scuffs to the left.
15. Oil kitchen counter tops.
Done, I checked this one off the list last night. It's important to do this ahead of time so the counters have a chance to absorb the oil before people arrive tomorrow.
16. Clean the crap off of every surface downstairs.
Done! We stayed up until midnight making sure everything is dusted, vacuumed, Mr. Cleaned, and is looking mighty good.
17. Get the fire marshal's all clear.
Done! We met with the fire marshal this morning for a walk through of the home. All clear!
Currently In Progress and Will Be Completed Before Tomorrow
18. Scrub spider poop off the outside eaves.
19. Clean rancid pond so we can pretend we keep it clean 365 days a year.
20. Mount shutters in front window rather than having them just propped into place (the way they've been for 10 years).
21. Pick up all leaves in the back yard so dead plants and vegetables are on full display.
22. Trim the ivy so it doesn't resemble Medusa. Girlfriend needs a haircut.
23. Rake the alley to remove leaves, sticks, trash, and irresponsible pet owner gifts. It may not be our property, but nothing says "thanks for coming" like getting poop on your shoe.
24. Replant urns out front to remove the dead boxwood sky pencil. Replace with more "Christmas-y plants."
25. Polish the family room coffee table to disguise the new scratch marks from Lulu.
26. Finish restoring Great Grandpa's chair. Buy fabric. Have chair upholstered.
Well, we're keeping our fingers crossed on this one. The fabric has been purchased, but hasn't yet arrived. Therefore if all goes well, we'll temporarily use a pillow as a seat for the chair so we can have it out for the tour.
House Projects: When Miracles Didn't Happen, Nor Did I Locate a Time Machine
Sadly, the following wish list never materialized. But even without them, the house will still look great. We'll just have to keep these items on our ongoing project list.
27. Fix grandfather clock in the dining room.
28. Paint back gate.
29. Locate, purchase, and install new copper downspout.
30. Fix french doors from swelling left from Hurricane Sandy. Repaint french doors.
31. Trim bamboo blinds in the sun porch for better aesthetic appeal.
32. Apply top coat to kitchen floor to mask pet scratches.
33. Address floor/threshold in dining room. Another case of a WTF that we've been living with for years.
34. Re-mulch the flower bed out front so it looks less ghetto.
Holiday Decorating: All the Bells and Whistles
I'm also happy to say that the decorating is nearly complete! The items on the list below have been checked off the list, and we're in the process of putting on the final touches.
35. Buy plaid ribbon for exterior wreaths.
36. Buy command strips to hang various decorations.
37. Purchase live Christmas tree for living/dining room. Decorate it to the nines.
38. Purchase a live or artificial pencil tree for the kitchen.
39. Pull all of our junk out of the attic so we can determine what will and will not be put out this year.
40. New - Make exterior decor: swags for french doors and decorate wreaths.
Thanks so much to designer Sarah Bohl and florist Helen Olivia for all their hard work in helping us pull together a gorgeous holiday home. We'll be sharing a wrap up of the tour on Monday, including photos of the floral arrangements, exterior decor, both Christmas trees (yep, you read that right), some of Sarah's amazing calligraphy, and more. We'll be kicking up our heels tonight at the Taste of Scotland event, so we hope to see some of you there.
Give us your two cents: did you think we'd be able to get through The. List.? Are there items you're surprised we completed, or others you thought for sure would be done by now? Have you ever had to get your home "show ready" either for a move, a party, or a home tour, and it nearly killed you in the process? We'd love to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.