I'll admit that a large part of the choice to use this lead photo was to share the cuteness of our dog Minna (and not the cuteness of that dust — thank goodness a living room refresh day is ahead). But it's also to give a sneak peek at my major project for the month, on which we've already gotten a head start.

As I mentioned last time, there will be many home projects in our future. Removing carpet, refinishing wood floors, changing tile, changing out sinks, and adding some of the historical charm back to the house are only a few of the things on our radar for the long term. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will our house be, so for this month, our major project is painting.

(Image credit: Redfin)

I don't want to be offensive to anyone whose tastes might align with those of the contractor, so let's just say that the color palette when we moved in was disjointed and didn't fit our style very well. Ed's office was a searing shade of periwinkle (and yes, for those of you who may have thought of periwinkle as a somewhat soothing shade, it does have a searing variety). The living room was two-tone cream and red, the kitchen, which is open to the living room, was mustard gold, the entryway was pale yellow, and the first floor bath was peach. None of our current furnishings would fit with these colors, so before anything else is accomplished, we're going to get the rollers and brushes out.

(Image credit: Redfin)

For now, I'll confine myself to the first floor, because realistically, that's all the painting I'm going to have time for this month on top of some of the smaller projects that I want to tackle. I'm still relatively new to painting, so having the chance to select a lot of colors is both exciting and kind of terrifying. Yes, I know that it can always be painted over, but given that Ed loathes painting and this is a lot of square footage to cover by myself, I know that realistically, once that color is up, it will be there for a little while. Many samples have been purchased, and my walls now look like bizarre candy canes thanks to all the tester stripes I've painted, but I think the color decisions are mostly made, and soon we'll be on to the major stuff.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

As Minna so elegantly showed you above, and as the above photo also shows, we got a head start on the painting, and we've conquered the living room, which is now painted Benjamin Moore's Brushed Aluminum (BM 1485) and Herbal Escape (BM 1487). (The above was immediately post-painting, with most of our furniture missing, although I'm tempted to tell you that we're just extreme minimalists. But somehow, I think my sofa would betray my true decor tendencies.)

But there's plenty more painting to be done, so I know where I'll be during this bout of crazy, cold Chicago weather.