Since paying off our home last year, we have been (little by little) making much-needed improvements & upgrades. Actually, it started when I first moved into this house with my ex (we moved here February of 2000 with a three-month old baby).
He decided to use his (I'll admit, limited) knowledge of areas of construction to tile our kitchen (such a crappy job was done that it needed to be REdone within a year). We also painted (well, mostly I painted) Princess' room in pastel green, blue, yellow, and (a minor wall) pink with accents in bright green, blue, yellow, and red.
After we split, mom offered to replace the ugly green carpet in the house with nice, low-maintenance Berber. She also helped me completely turn Princess's "baby" room into a "big girl" room when she turned two (butter yellow, light blue, stars & moon themed).
When Ace moved in (February of 2002), we almost-fully gutted the bathroom and redid it. I built the under sink cabinet and the over-toilet cabinet; he soldered new plumbing, and we both ripped out the old (and reinstalled a new) tub insert then painted the whole bathroom. New sink, new lighting, new towels & rugs; we were good to go!
From then until about a year ago, we've slowly replaced things as they've worn out &/or we had the money. We've replaced some stuff (furniture, appliances, heat pump, roofing, etc), but not others... yet. It was usually a matter of money. No longer.
We've also started to paint. It started with Princess's room (again), which turned into Gamerboy's room about three years ago (the girls now share a room, and it will be painted, too; as will ours). He, of course, "couldn't stand" the "toddler room decor" so we updated it to his tastes. New-to-us bed (painted), dresser, bookshelf (painted), hardware, desk, curtains, and framed prints to tie it all together, along with newly-painted walls, trim, and the back of his door, and he was set.
So far, my garage has been painted (both the main garage area, as well as the laundry section), and Ace has built some serious work benches, shelves, and cabinets. Three walls in the main living area have been painted, as well. However, before I can proceed with painting more walls, I'd like to do the ceiling. Before I do the ceiling, I want to replace all of our lighting (both inside and outside).
This weekend, we start the hunt for new lighting. I have some ideas for kitchen, dining, living room, and our bedroom lighting. We really need better (and, in some cases, brighter). Not sure about the hall light (my cousin called it "the pineapple"), but I'm pretty sure the specialist I'm going to see can help me with that. I also figured that I can start looking for new outside lighting, too, since we're going to do away with the ugly brass fixtures we currently have.
One of the biggest current projects -- next month, our home is going to be painted! In all the years I've lived here, I've never been able to afford to have someone do it professionally, and painting the house was just one of a thousand things my ex said he was "going to get around to" doing, which just never happened. (He, apparently, preferred to hang out with his friends and his girlfriend instead of working to support our family & make our home the best place it could be.)
We also have plans for landscaping (both the front and the back yards, as well as fencing for the side yards), redoing the paint, flooring, & trim in the bathroom, installing new flooring all over the house (to be done after all the painting is done), and the other big project -- our kitchen redo. That will have to wait 'til next spring or summer, but it WILL be done.
All in all, I am happy with what's been accomplished so far, happy my husband & I are able to work together to get this stuff done, and happy the rest is no longer just a dream; it's becoming reality.