We are officially over the one year mark living in our new home! With the beginning of the new year season I wanted to reflect back on all we’ve done and remember to be grateful for what we have by writing a love letter to our home.
New Years is known for it’s personal reflection and clean slate reputation. As someone who loves the idea of starting out fresh each year, I have to say this appeals to my inner type A personality traits in the same way organizing drawers and closets do. I just cannot help it.
A Love Letter To Our Home One Year Later
One of the things I want to work on more this year on both a personal and home project level is gratitude. When it comes to renovating a home, it can seem like things take forever. There can be a lot of back and forth with contractors, a lot of mistakes and misunderstandings, and a long, long list of DIY projects to get done.
When I’m in the thick of it sometimes I forget the gratitude part, especially when it seems like everything around me is going wrong. Actually this could probably be applied to just about any aspect of our lives, couldn’t it? The discipline to consciously be grateful even when things seem hard goes against our human nature. Just insert whatever it is into the blank – children, family life, friendships, work, spouse. You name it and I’m willing to bet we all struggle with it in some respect.
While I do need to work on all of the above (ha!) the main purpose of this post is the reflect back and be grateful for all of the house projects we got done this year. Not to be overly dramatic, but while we were in the midst of some of them, they seemed almost impossible. Looking back, it’s easy to grumble and wish we had gotten more done, but probably not very realistic. Instead, I’m choosing to look forward to all of the fun projects still awaiting us while being grateful for all we accomplished this past year!
Rather than recite every single project and DIY we did this past year, in the interest of brevity I picked out our top one to three projects from each category. Some were major projects that deserve to make the list because of the sheer amount of effort it took to complete them, some are here because while simple, they still made a major impact on our everyday lives. Enjoy!
First up is our kitchen renovation. This was by far the biggest project we completed this year. Aside from actually taking down and adding walls when we renovated the layout of the house, the kitchen renovation really stretched us to our limit. My husband deserves all the credit on this one. Piece by excruciating piece he made my vision of a simple open, scandinavian style kitchen come to life.
Just about everything in here from the board and batten backsplash to the floating shelves was a serious learning curve and something neither of us had done before. We’re so grateful to walk out into this space each morning and make coffee/tea and equally as gratefully for the hundreds of family meals we’ve already cooked here.
Dining Room Renovation
The dining room renovation was much less dramatic than the kitchen, but still an important one. We only have one dining space in our home and this is it. We do everything here; pay bills, work, read, eat meals together, there’s really nothing that doesn’t happen around this table.
This space has all the basic main parts finished; i.e table, chairs, curtains, but I still have a few things on my wish list to make it feel more complete. Trimming out the windows with moulding is still on the list as well as adding some sort of millwork to the wall behind the library hutch (which is also the main wall in our living room).
Master Bath Remodel
The master bath remodel was the second biggest project this year only to the kitchen. It made all of my double sink vanity dreams come true. 😉 I talked a little bit in this post about trendiness and why I think it’s still important to follow your heart and do what you love in your home, even if it’s something you feel like you’ve seen over and over on social media.
I’m happy to report that my life long love of marble and subway tile is still going strong! I’m so grateful we have a finished bath that is not only a pleasure to look at, but serves our family so well.
The second bedroom in our home, aka the toddler room, was a priority to finish for obvious reasons. There is only so long my sanity can last when it comes to disorganized kid clutter.
I started by painting the room a soft gray, adding in a bold rug, and completed it using most of the same furniture from the last nursery.
We also added some lidded baskets for toy storage and a new book cart to corral our ever expanding collection of children’s books.
Favorite DIY Projects
One of my favorite DIY projects this year was making over this not so high end TV cabinet into a pseudo vintage armoire. It wasn’t the biggest project completed this year by any means, but it’s such a good example of how something relatively inexpensive can make such a big difference in your everyday lives.
This $25 thrift store makeover houses a good chunk of our book collection. It also helps fill the gap in our closet poor home by adding some extra storage.
Every time I walk by it I’m reminded of how far some thrifting and a little elbow grease can go. 🙂
Vertical Shiplap Backsplash
Installing vertical shiplap, or board and batten, as a backsplash in our kitchen was one of those last minute decisions that turned out to be one of the best we’ve made. Our original plan to go with counter the ceiling subway tile was stretching our budget by the time we got to that part of the kitchen renovation. It was also feeling busier looking than I had imagined.
While flipping through a Schoolhouse Electric catalogue last Christmas I was draw to the vertical board and batten I kept seeing throughout the house they were featuring in that issue. I had one of those moments where I asked myself, why couldn’t we do that? Isn’t it weird that we feel like we need to have permission to do certain things in our own homes?
The visual simplicity that the backsplash brings to our kitchen is now one of my favorite design elements about it. And the cost effectiveness of it doesn’t hurt either.
Favorite Organization Project
Lastly, my favorite organization project this year was also the simplest one. Getting our kitchen junk drawer whipped into shape was another one of those small projects that made a big impact in our daily lives.
As someone who gets so frustrated when I cannot find something that I know I have, this project was balm to my little organizers heart. Since we don’t have a designated home office, having all of our everyday office supplies organized neatly in one spot has been sanity saving.
Plus, seeing that cute, colorfully organized drawer every time I open it up is a good reminder not to wait on the small stuff. Even when the rest of your house might be a complete disaster….
And those are my favorite home projects from 2019! I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to make this house our own and I hope you’ll stick around in 2020 to see what comes next. Thank you so much for being a part of our journey!
P.S. If you’re interested in seeing more of the renovation saga as well as before pictures check these posts out: