The impetus to finally do this is that I want the deck built off of my living room before my brother and his family come to visit in August. And, I'll have some money for such projects once the van is sold. However, thinking about the deck has started sort of a cascade of home improvement wonderings that I've been thinking about lately.
I am fortunate to live in a part of town where it is not uncommon at all to see people adding on to their houses because they don't want to leave the area. It's also getting more common to see a little old house for sale, then demolished to make way for a new (often ostentatiously larger, but not always) house. So I think it's safe to say that almost any improvements I make will increase the value of the house and I'll "get my money back".
So I've started to think about updating my kitchen. It's one of those spaces where things could be arranged better (doesn't everyone store their crockpots on the floor? It's temporary). You can see how the stove (without a hood, which I would like to have) sits at an angle to prevent the user from burning the cupboards above. Good design? I put that little table next to it when I rearranged my living room, and it is really nice to have a flat space next to the stove. It does tend to accumulate things, though.
Anyway, if you look at the door to the bathroom, you can see there is nothing along the wall so that the door can fully open. I'm thinking of having someone make it into a pocket door, even if it has to be built a little bit away from the wall. Then I could have some more counter space and cabinets.
That's one idea. I met someone through a friend who does kitchen design, and I'd like to have her come over and give me some ideas. I admire the ability to see the possibilities this way. The other thing that really does need to be done is to get new windows for the place. I've counted, there's only seven, so it shouldn't be too expensive.
I've got my stack of This Old House magazines close by to get some ideas for the kitchen. I like simple styles and neutral colors for the cabinets, floor and countertops, but I've got a thing for those sheets of glass tile, so I'm pretty sure I'll have to do a backsplash with those.
And that's as far as I've gotten. I'll have to get some kind of a home improvement loan, but the credit union can help with that. I think I've talked myself into feeling that it's a good investment.