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I know I'm late to the game on this whole "looking back" thing... but better late than never, right? I also can't believe I am saying this... but we are already half way through the first month of 2019! (how?!) With the start of a new year we are not only looking ahead and planning projects for this year, but we're also taking a step back to reminisce on what we accomplished in 2018!

Can I just say... I am SO glad that I took a moment to look back through my photos from last year because we honestly accomplished more than I remembered!

2018 was the first FULL year we lived in our home. We purchased our {first} home in the summer of 2017 and in all honesty, we didn't do much in those first six months. We took that time to settle in and live in our new space. OH! We also got Boone during that 6 month period... so maybe he was our priority at the time? (hah!)

When 2018 came along, we started discussing what we wanted to change in the house; and at that point, we could really tell what was working for us and what wasn't. So, we decided to make some changes!


Funny story about this makeover... I painted our room green without Nathan's approval (whoops!) I painted it while he was out of town... we weren't agreeing on a paint color and I REALLY wanted a deep green -- so I took matters into my own hands! (he wasn't thrilled).

We came to find that we had A LOT of beige furniture pieces... (yikes) so we bought a bunch of new pieces for the room. New headboard, new rug, new dresser, new bench, basically new everything! And we hung up a killer gallery wall that showcases photos from our one and only international trip! BOOM. Master Bedroom complete.



Drum roll please.... my FAVORITE project from 2018! I truly wish I had taken better "before" photos of this space because it was SO BAD. Here is the only before photo that I have.


Let me preface this by saying we purchased a "flipped" home -- if you're not familiar with that term, it means the home was renovated by someone with the intent to sell it as soon as the renovations were complete. It was like buying a brand new home - most of the finishes were completely new.

You would think that would make me very happy... but it was kind of the opposite. I'm a designer, which means I like to design things (go figure) and my dream was to buy an older home and renovate it to our liking. But when we started looking for a first home, we just didn't have the means to purchase a home and then renovate it right away. We're actually quite lucky that we stumbled upon this home {and got it!} -- but there were definitely areas where the contractor cut corners or didn't renovate. One of those areas was the Mud Room/Laundry Room.

I also need to preface this by saying we had to replace all the windows in our home early in 2018... and that is what kick started the Mud Room project. We ended up removing an exterior door in the Mud Room and replacing it with a window. I know, I know... most of you are probably thinking, "why on earth would you remove a door?" -- it's basically a big no-no for resale -- but we still have four other exterior doors... we had four exterior doors going out to our backyard, so we felt it was okay to remove one (now we only have three... which is still overkill in my opinion).


Long story short -- this was the biggest project we took on in 2018 and Nathan completely blew me away with how much of this he did on his own! ...seriously BLEW. ME. AWAY. He did everything except install the window and some drywall work, everything else he did! I drew up floorplans and elevations for him and he created it! I think this made me love him a little more than I already did (if that was possible!)


Replacing the door snowballed into Nathan replacing some of our exterior siding and since we had to remove walls from the closet, that snowballed into us replacing the floor. We removed the laminate tile flooring and replaced it with a beautiful black, hexagon tile! Removing the closet is what really opened up the room, we replaced it with a bench, cabinet storage and a shiplap wall. Since we removed the exterior door, we utilized our new wall space and created a counter height tabletop; made out of a butcher block. We decided not to put anything under that tabletop because I wanted to utilize that empty space for Boone's crate -- which worked out perfectly!! Nathan also had to recess the connections for our washer/dryer because they stuck out past the doorway and not only did it look stupid, but it really cut into the room. The finishing touches were some floating shelves and wall mounted drying racks!


I swear this is my favorite room in our house -- and who would have ever thought I would say that about our Laundry Room?!



We searched high and low for an island to put in our kitchen -- after finding ones we liked that were upwards of $500-$800, we ended up having a small business custom build one for us and Nathan painted and stained it! It ended up being the best decision for us, and much less expensive than any of the options we were seeing online.

If you've followed me on Instagram for awhile, you'll know that I struggled with whether to paint or stain the entire island. Ultimately, we decided to paint it and I'm very happy with our decision. We painted it Graystone by Benjamin Moore and stained the top the same color we used in our Mud Room - basically the same color as our floors.

I was shocked at how much it transformed our kitchen -- some people may think that it reduced the amount of space we have in front of our appliances, but we'll take the extra counter space over walking space any day (haha!) Here's a little before and after for you --


Everyone does it... buys a piece of furniture before you move into a new house and then once you get into the house, you realize that you may not love it as much as you thought you did. Am I right? Don't lie. You've done it.

Well, I did it. I was so excited to have an "entry" that I immediately went out and bought a console table that I could put by our front door. Don't get me wrong, the table was beautiful and fit in the space perfectly -- but there was something about it that didn't fit with the rest of our home's aesthetic. I said it was too coastal (clearly not my style). None the less, I kept it there for awhile until I knew what I really wanted for that space.

Fast-forward one year and I finally figured it out! I saw a picture on Pinterest that was essentially a wooden box that held vinyl records and the record player sat on top. Well.... I just so happened to buy Nathan a record player for his birthday the year before and we didn't have anywhere to showcase it -- problem solved! I showed Nathan my idea and he said "easy enough!"


Also, I will say that Nathan "upgraded" my idea and made a false back for the box so that he could install an outlet on top of the table.... which was amazing because we could plug everything in right there -- hidden cords? You're speaking my language! I am still in the process of styling it, it changes daily... but I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Everyone that comes over compliments the design and functionality of it -- that's a win in my book!



Small changes can sometimes create the biggest impact -- literally something I live by. We made two small changes to our home that made a huge difference (in my opinion).


(left) Changing our cabinet hardware from brushed nickel to matte black. THE easiest thing to change but WOW did it make a difference. Now if we could only switch our faucet out for a black one... but who knew faucets were so expensive?!

(below) The acrylic frame gallery wall in the dining area of our kitchen. Next to the Mud Room project, this was my second favorite addition to our home. It brings me so much joy every time I walk past it!


That's a wrap! 2018 was WAY more productive than I thought it was!! It may be a hard year to top... but stay tuned for an upcoming post about our project plans for 2019.



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