Whenever I first get a project idea, my mind first goes to the BIG DREAM VISION I create from mixing all the ideas in my head with the things I love from Pinterest and with the space available for the project. Then I work backwards from there.
I have always had a knack for envisioning a completed project. I might not be able to plan the exact steps to get there or how it will play out in real life, but the end result is always what I first pictured. Take this farm for example. I have always been able to write down everything I wanted my dream farm to have, and always had the hope that we would be able to buy my family’s farm which has ALL of those things and more. Now look where we are, and right on schedule. I couldn’t always see how the bumps in the road were getting us to where we are when we were in the middle of it, but now that we’re here I can look back and understand that everything happened exactly like it was supposed to happen.
My husband, Clayton, is able to see the steps to get to the end result, but he can’t always envision the end result itself until it’s done and right in front of him. We balance each out perfectly in this sense; I set the destination and he gets us there. I’ve always thought your perception relates directly to your actual vision. I’m farsighted and can see best farther away. Clayton is extremely nearsighted (like can’t see unless something is an inch away from his face). Our vision is directly related to how we envision goals. Is that true for you? This is something I ask people in conversations any chance I can as my own curious study.
Now that the blur of moving has passed and we’re settling into this farmhouse, the creativity is starting to stir for projects to really make this house our own. I painted our master bedroom and my office before we moved in so those two spaces were ready to go, but we can’t start on any other projects in the rest of the house until spring. As much as I want to dive right in, it’s a good thing I have to wait! It makes me take the time to get that much more clear on exactly WHAT I want that end result to look like, and also gives me time to appreciate what we already have which helps to scale the project way down from my original big dream vision ideas when I first think of a project.
When we finalized our plans to buy the farm, the only thing we really needed to do right away to be move in ready was build a coop for our chickens even if just temporary until we built a permanent one. As much as we would have loved to take our coop with us from our first house, we didn’t exactly build it to be taken down and it would have been just too much work to tear it down, move it, and rebuild it. So instead we built a coop in an unused back corner of the feed room in our barn and built a small fenced run right off the side of the barn. We planned on letting the chickens free range around the farm anyway so they really only needed some nesting boxes and roost space for nighttime. Even though it was intended to be a relatively temporary coop, it has been working out perfectly! I still want to eventually build a new bigger coop (because chicken math is REAL!) and in my true fashion of course I have a BIG DREAM VISION for what that looks like and sketched it out the other day. That night when I was locking up the coop, I realized that this temporary coop already has so many of the features I was sketching out on my dream coop! Sure there are plenty of things it still doesn’t have and just can’t based on the size and area, but is it worth the hundreds of dollars and many hours of precious time to build the new one next summer like I originally planned? HELL NO! I so much rather spend that time and money allocated between MANY other projects than dumped all into one that will literally just get pooped on. Plus at the end of the day, I want to still have time left over to just ENJOY all the things we have worked so hard for instead of just plugging away at more more more projects.
Our kitchen will be the biggest project to tackle in this house but I’m so glad I can’t dive in yet because I’ve already changed my mind a million times on what I want to do. Pinterest and Instagram have had a huge part in helping me get inspired for ideas, but what has had the biggest impact is just standing in the kitchen late at night after the house is all quiet and just observing what is right in front of me. I brainstormed a list of everything I wanted to do in the kitchen and what order to do it in to make the most sense and not do things twice. As much as I would love new hardware on the cabinets, there are 38 handles between all the uppers, lowers, and drawers. THIRTY EIGHT. Times that by $5 or $6 a handle and there goes the entire budget for what I could probably update the entire kitchen for! What I’ll do instead is buy a can or two of black matte spray paint and give all the handles a face lift which not only saves my budget by a mile but also preserves original pieces of the kitchen. I’ve always wanted open shelving in my kitchen, but I also want to preserve the beautiful oak cabinets even if they may be dated. My compromise is taking off the doors of the 3 centered cabinets and using those as my open shelving. I would also love to move the stove so it’s not right up against the wall. It’s so snug in there that I can’t even get the baseboard trim against the wall, let alone try to get backsplash tile on the wall which it really needs to protect the drywall from the heat and grease. I would cut the cabinet to the left of the stove in half and move it to the other side of the stove. But, that would also require moving an outlet and light switch to the other side of the window ($$ to electrician), building a new side wall for the cabinet that got cut in half, adding finish trim to the cut edge of the countertop, and removing the upper cabinets (losing original cabinets and storage space). All completely doable things, but is it really worth it? As I was scrolling Instagram I came across a beautiful farmhouse kitchen with an antique stove, scooched right up against the wall with the same spacing to the sink and window as my kitchen, and it made me wonder if I needed to bother moving my stove at all. If it’s good enough for this beautiful antique stove, surely it’s good enough for mine. Then on Pinterest I found a DIY tutorial on how to make a range hood cover for a ventless hood using the upper cabinet it’s attached to. BRILLIANT! Now I can keep all the original kitchen cabinets, and all my storage space, and get my wooden range hood, AND get my beautiful kitchen! Even Clayton is excited about this new development and is like WHEN CAN WE START!? My original kitchen update plan that would have taken months worth of three different phases of work and hundreds of dollars, just got shortened into only a few hours of projects and the amount of money I would have spent buying new cabinet hardware will cover the whole kitchen. Could I still do all those things I mentioned for my original dream kitchen idea later down the road? Absolutely! But in the meantime I can also enjoy a freshly updated kitchen instead of waiting to save up the time and money to tackle the big project.
If there is any one thing I need to improve in my life, it’s my ability to appreciate what is right smack dab in front of me. As good as I am at envisioning the BIG DREAMS, I HAVE to get better at being more present in the moment. I will say the opposite is true for Clayton; he needs to get better at seeing the worth in the individual steps by better envisioning the big dream end results. We have a lifetime to work on it and what a better goal than that. I’ll keep staring at my house in the quiet, dark hours late at night, and I’ll get Clayton his own Pinterest account so he can practice envisioning beautiful completed projects.