Interior Design

The Once-a-Year Way to Keep Up With Your Home Design Goals

March 14, 2017

Each October, we celebrate our “house-iversary” by tackling a home improvement project. It serves two purposes: to acknowledge the big leap to homeownership we made a few years ago, and to keep up with our long-term design goals for our home.

Stringing patio lights = a great way to celebrate. Photo by Liz Johnson

We usually pair the planning or renovating with some local beer or fancy cocktails, because booze makes anything into a celebration. We take some time to appreciate how far we’ve come (I usually look at the ridiculous original MLS listing photos of our house, which I keep for this sole purpose), then get down to doing whatever it is we’re doing that year.

Photo by Liz Johnson

Here are some ways we’ve celebrated and updated so far:

  • Strung up globe lights around our enclosed patio
  • Bought a new couch (that we had decided to save up for at our previous house-iversary)
  • Renovated our master bathroom

Afterwards, we enjoy the improvement for awhile—a week, a month, whatever feels right—until inspiration strikes again (or something breaks). And then we start planning for the next one!

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Celebrating a house-iversary has been a much more feasible approach to renovating than doing it all at once, right away, or always wanting to do things but never getting around to them because they weren’t planned for properly.

Making it into an annual celebration of sorts is how we keep ourselves and our home on track. We’ve also found ourselves inspired to tackle more projects in between house-iversaries; there’s something about setting a low bar (“we’ll do one thing once a year”) that’s strangely motivating.

There’s something about setting a low bar (“we’ll do one thing once a year”) that’s strangely motivating.
Photo by Liz Johnson

Here are some other ideas for celebrating your own house-iversary (or apartment-iversary, condo-iversary, etc.):

  • Landscaping (investing in perennial bushes or trees, clearing out awkward areas, or creating an outdoor hang-out area);
  • Getting a new mailbox (we need one so, so badly);
  • Repairing or refinishing furniture that has seen better days;
  • Or even buying a new appliance (dishwasher, washer and dryer, or some other terribly grown-up yet useful thing);
  • And if you're a renter, celebrate your signing of the lease date with a big-impact, non-investment upgrade like painting a room or DIY-ing a new, removable kitchen backsplash.

How would you celebrate the anniversary of your home? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • ktr
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    Liz Johnson
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ktr March 14, 2017
We also have the goal of one house project per year. It helps keep things manageable and spreads the cost out. We have also discovered that oftentimes what initially drives you crazy, doesn't bother you as much after you live with it for a while. This summer we are adding rock to the outside of our house and doing some roofing work. Landscaping, new sidewalk, and residing the garage and shop will wait for another year or two.
Liz J. March 15, 2017
Agreed! And by the time you get one or two years down the road, maybe your idea/needs around, let's say landscaping, have completely shifted. So it allows for this nice organic unfolding of your vision & your home's evolution. Good luck with roofing this summer!