What a difference a year makes! We had just moved into our new (18year old) home.  Most people were still avoiding gatherings.  There were no Holiday Fairs, parades, or tree lighting.  And basically, I was overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done to turn this house into a home.  Between planning our renovation and having rooms painted, there wasn’t much enthusiasm for Christmas decorating.  And so began our adventures in renovating! 

I’m sure you’re wondering what is a morning room?  This was the description in the MLS listing for this 10×10 room off the kitchen.  We had never heard that term before.  Some people would call it a keeping room.  Other’s call it a sitting room.  We go back and forth.  And since it’s used all the time, it seems a little silly to call it a morning room.

Like the rest of the house, it needed a lot of updating.  But in the early planning stage, fresh paint and new lights were the only things on the plan.  Unpacking and settling in came first.  And then the interior designer in me took over!

The furnished room shown on the MLS listing.

Stage 1:  Make the room work with what you have.  Live in it a while and get a feel for how you’ll live in the space.  If you have plans for a full renovation in a few months, it’s wise to not make costly changes that will be taken apart later.


Filling the bookshelves with our own accessories and making it work…for now!

Stage 2: When you “can’t take it anymore” and need to do something. Discovering an unused can of paint from the last house.  Anything to get closer to our own colors!  It’s amazing how a little change of color can help you relax and feel happy.


First the back of the cabinets, and then the fireplace was calling out for new color.

Stage 3:  Finding inspiration.  Sometimes projects evolve and change.  What starts out as simple fixes that you can live with for a while, usually end up in major changes that add to your budget.  A girl can dream, right?  In the long run it adds value to your home by updating it.  Since we tend to move every 5-7 years,  re-sale is always top of mind.


This photo was found on the Rustica website and became part of the new vision for the space.

Stage 4:  Getting the dream out of your head and onto paper.  Sometimes those dreams change as you live in the space and see how it can work better for you.  And then you need to have patience while you wait for bids, demo, and construction.

Walls are cut to fit the new windows.

Let there be light!  What started out as a room with no view to the backyard, is now light-filled.

Stage 5:  The excitement of the reveal and seeing your vision become a reality!

We have windows!!!…and storage benches.

money,  be sure to grab a copy of the guide below.

Stage 6:  Highlighting imperfections.  We all love to have as much natural light as possible in our homes.  It brightens the room and lets us see nature all around us.  But sometimes it also shows us the flaws in the room that were never noticed before.  It’s hard to stay calm and take a deep cleansing breath when you’ve just had the room painted, and are now seeing new imperfections. 

There’s an old Amish saying that “only God is perfect”.  And I have to tell you that’s a VERY hard thing to deal with when you’re a perfectionist!  Over time, I’ve learned to let it go…for now.  It’s helped a lot to have a Brain Dump sheet that lists all the “not perfect” things I want to fix over time.  And the funny thing is, after a while you don’t see the “not perfect” things as much because there’s something more pressing to take care of.

Yes, my friend, renovating is an adventure in dreaming, planning, and seeing it through to the end.  It’s a lesson in patience, kindness, tolerance, and faith that it will all come together in the end.

Here’s to your own Adventure in Renovating, big or small, high or low budget, DIY or designer guided.  To help you get on track and avoid making some mistakes that might cost you time or money,  be sure to grab a copy of the guide below.