Ok, you can t stand that horrendous carpet in the living room or the nasty vinyl linoleum in the kitchen. Come to think of it, both rooms could use some sprucing up and maybe you ll finally be able to install that beautiful bay window so you can look out over the garden. Perhaps the garden could also stand a little refreshing too. And just like that, you find yourself planning a remodeling project (or three).
While you might think you ll never forget (or miss) all the annoying little irritations that will be addressed in the remodeling, those are precisely the idiosyncrasies that inhabit many of the good memories of times spent in and around your home. Document the before, during and after of each new project or remodel you undertake and create a scrapbook showcasing your home and yard. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
This Old House
While this seems rather predictable, be sure you take photos of the before, during and after of your home s remodel. Create pages showing each room s progress and include the paint chips, sketches, clippings and material samples. If you re creating an all-digital scrapbook, simply scan in these additional items to add to your pages. This type of scrapbook is a record of the project from start to finish. Recording the details of the project such as costs and contractors, hiccups and disasters as well as the happy surprises can be a big help down the road if you need to contact that plumber or buy more red paint to touch up some scuffed areas.
Brand New and Beautiful
Chronicle the building process of your new home from architectural renderings to move-in day. The entire undertaking of building a new home is an emotionally draining and exhilarating experience and much like having a baby, you ll forget many of the details but emerge on the other side of the adventure with a brand new addition to your life.
Track the Growth
This is an ongoing project but one that will be a favorite for many years. Plant a tree in your yard to celebrate a momentous occasion such as the birth of a child (or grandchild) or a milestone birthday like your child s first day of school. Take a picture of the person being commemorated next to the tree. Every year after that on or around the same day, take another picture next to the tree to show the growth and changes of both the plant and the person. Collect the photos in a scrapbook in chronological order. A rather romantic idea would be to plant a tree on your first wedding anniversary or when you move into your home. The pictures would show the growth of your relationship and tree. As children and pets came along, they should be added to the photo op for a touching record of your home, family and spouse as they grow and change.
Green Thumbs Shangri-La
Whether you re an accomplished horticulturist or a novice playing in the dirt for the first time, record the progress (and setbacks) of your garden. Be sure to feature the bounties of your hard work with photos of plump red tomatoes, juicy melons, golden squashes and tall cornstalks. Show off the produce in their natural state as well as how they are ultimately used in tomato sauce, at a cookout or carved and sitting on your front step at Halloween. If you ve gone the floral route capture your blossoms both in the yard and in the bouquet that graces your home. Show the whole process from seed packet or nursery to ground prep and planting. Scan in the seed packets or plant markers to record the type of plant and all of its important information. Be sure you get both sides of the packet or marker. Arrange your plants in a variety of groupings on the ground where they ll be planted before you take them out of their containers. Snap a picture of each arrangement and use the photos to help you decide how you want to plant them. Be sure to include all of the photos in the scrapbook so that you tell a complete story.
If you plan to add a new feature to your back yard, say a patio, pool or fire pit, scrapbook the process from conception to reality and round off the story with the first cookout held to initiate it into your entertaining schedule.
Year in Review
Take a picture of your home from the same spot (or spots) on the same day every month to show a year in the life of your house and yard. If you have a hard time remembering to take the pictures, schedule a reminder on your calendars, both electronic and paper.
Home remodels and landscape redesigns are big changes in your home, no matter the size of the projects themselves. The redo affects how you relate to your home and while the changes are usually positive, there will always be some nostalgia associated with the earlier design. Even if that horrendous green vinyl flooring makes you shudder now, in a few years you ll chuckle when you look back on what used to be.