favorite home projects of 2018

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Favorite Things34 Comments

As I’ve been looking back over the past year and the projects we completed, I realized we have done a lot!  2017 was about getting settled, listening to our house, getting to know its style, and learning the way it functioned best.  It was also about tackling the immediate issues, like an aging water heater, broken garage doors, and turning the sunroom into a finished studio.

This year has been about making the homes ours…or at least parts of it!  Even working at a pretty good pace, we’re not going to get the entire house done in a year.  We focused primarily on the main floor since that’s where we spend most of our time.

Here are my favorite projects we completed in 2018…

Installing Hardwood Floors

I knew I wanted to do this before we even bought the house.  There was 13-year-old, beige wall-to-wall carpet in the dining room and home office and it really didn’t work for me.  While I’m always going to prefer hardwood over carpet, I don’t mind it in certain rooms.  I didn’t like it in the “formal” dining room or in my home office, though.  We had hardwood floors installed in both rooms to match the flooring already in the eating area and kitchen. It made a huge difference in the feel of those spaces and was a great foundation for some of the other projects we tackled.

Dining Room Mural

This one is one of my favorites because it was a gamble that paid off.

I was considering all sorts of ideas for the dining room, including wallpaper and an entire wall of built-ins to showcase my ironstone collection.  I also had the idea of a full-room landscape mural.  After looking into several options, I decided to try to paint a mural directly onto the walls using MMS Milk Paint.  I mean, I literally decided to try it out when I woke up one morning and put the brush to the wall while still in my jammies and I just kept going.  Over two or three days, I had a finished mural and it turned out better than I anticipated.  It turned a square, pokey dining room into a unique and memorable space.

Butler’s Patry Makeover

This project was another favorite, because it was so simple, yet so impactful.  It literally was just primer, paint, two packs of tongue-and-groove beadboard, corbels, some MDF shelves, and new pulls.  It was inexpensive, relatively easy and completely customized stock cabinetry.  And, best of all, my ironstone now looks at home there.

Kitchen Counters

I had the opportunity to partner with HanStone Quartz to have gorgeous counters installed in our kitchen.  Along with that, we had a marble subway tile backsplash installed and I repainted the walls and island.  I’ve shared before that my dream kitchen is one built from scratch around freestanding antique pieces.  So, I wouldn’t say this is my ultimate dream kitchen, but it is gorgeous and I absolutely love it.  It has the best layout of any kitchen I’ve cooked in and it makes me smile every time I walk into it.

I actually had a dream last night that Jeff and I had to move.  We were looking at buying this great old house wherever we were moving (the dream wasn’t specific about location), but it had a really ugly kitchen.  I told Jeff I was sad that I didn’t get to enjoy my pretty counters longer!

(Completely random, but as we continued to tour the house, it started to turn into a crazy mansion with a ping-pong tournament room, an elevator, and a professional salon off the master suite.  I told Jeff I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing such an elaborate home on my blog, even though it was cheaper than our last house.  Can you believe I’m dreaming about this stuff?!)

Laundry Room Makeover

I still have a few finishing details to do in the laundry room, but I made a big push this summer to give it some personality.  What I like so much about this makeover is that I didn’t make any changes to the bones of the room.  The cabinets, sink, flooring are all the same, but I used paint and beadboard to give it an entirely new look.

Front Garden

I’ve always wanted to surround my house with boxwoods and hydrangeas and this year, I started on that path!  Giving our landscaping a makeover isn’t as simple as just putting new plants in the ground, though.  We had loads of gravel and stone to haul away first!  We ended up hiring some kids from our youth group (who were doing odd jobs for people as a fundraiser) to come and help us with the physically demanding job.  We cleaned and cleared everything away and then I worked on planting and mulching throughout the summer.  I can’t wait to see how everything grows over the years.

Installing Slate Floors in the Foyer & Half Bath

The last big project of the year was having slate flooring installed in our foyer and half bath.  Both Jeff and I absolutely love how that turned out.  The huge builder-grade square tiles just didn’t do this two-story entrance justice.  Now, this space, that connects all of the other spaces and the one that all of our guests see when they first come over, represents our style.  Honestly, I think it represents this beautiful house better as well.

It’s been quite a year!  We’ve been intentional about making choices that are classic and accentuate the style of the home instead of competing with it.  So far, I’m very happy with the decisions we’ve made and the places we decided to spend our decorating dollars.

Here are the projects we have planned for 2019 so far…

  • Installing hardwood on the staircase (that’s happening next week)
  • Built-in closet and shelves in the studio
  • Landscaping one of the side gardens (maybe both)
  • DIY project on the living room fireplace surround
  • More painting! Our bathroom, both boy’s rooms specifically
  • Basement guest room makeover

And I have a few smaller projects on my list like sewing pillows, lots of organizing, and it’s finally time to get rid of some things I brought from my last house in the hopes of using here.  It’s just time to let them go and free up space in the garage, closet, etc.

Of course, I’ll share all of the projects along the way.

If you’d like to check out the progress we made in our home in 2017, you can find that HERE.

favorite home projects of 2018

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34 Comments on “favorite home projects of 2018”

  1. It is all beautiful. Not sure what my favorite is, because I love it all. The mural is breath taking. The Butlers pantry is a dream for most women. Love what you did with it. I am working on my laundry room, so it definitely is full of wonderful ideas for me. God has blessed you with a gift. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

    1. I agree, it is a great blessing to be able to be given the privilege of reading your blog and watching your house and other things transform, via simplicity and determination, into great beauty.

  2. This is totally unrelated but I have found a website selling those cute aprons Marian likes to wear, clearancing them at quite a discount! Minachic.com. They’re called dresses on the website. I’m off to order at least 3!

  3. Dreams! You must have a BIG project on your mind. I was going through a difficult period in my career many years ago and I had a dream that I was running an obstacle course. I woke up and thought ok you need to fix this! And I did.

    Your house just gets lovelier and lovelier. I’m still working on and dreading the clutter but every time I look at my “neat” bookcase which is 12 feet wide and floor to ceiling I just feel good.

  4. One tip on hardwood stairs–paint the risers white. If the treads and the risers are both hardwood, it is difficult to see the steps as clearly as you can when the risers are white. I used bamboo treads and melamine risers to get the look and it is really nice. Also, the treads are a bit wider than they were and the stairs are much more comfortable and safer, too.

    1. Great tip! I am painting the risers white simply because I like the look, but that’s a great point about the safety aspect.

  5. Such loveliness through out your home. I particularly love the way your extraordinary dining room mural becomes increasingly visible as you approach through the butler’s pantry.

    Your 2018 favorites expressed your contentment.

    Diney on Camano

  6. Hi Marion,
    I’ve enjoyed each of your projects and the new look it’s brought to your home. Thanks for sharing your adventures with the new house and in turn encouraging all of your readers to try new ideas!
    I’m looking at replacing my countertops. How has your Hanstone held up to every day life?

  7. The review was fun. I’d forgotten some of the projects. It’s harf to believe you completed all of them in a year, as well as a DIY retreat and a devorators’ jaunt to Europe.

    All of the 2018 projects are impressive, but the dining room mural was the most amazing. It’s also the best illustration of the things you can do when inspiration plus and talent combine me with hard work.

    PS My 2nd fave was the studio. It’s the most transformative.

  8. Favorites for me were the kitchen and muriel in dining room, which is stunning. Don’t know how you do it but,gifted you are and sharing is generous, thanks.

  9. I’ve been wondering when you would take a step back and recognize all you have accomplished is such a short amount of time!!

    ‘This girl is a workhorse” I often ponder when I view your latest post!

    You’ve done an awesome job ridding your home of “builders beige” and putting your own thumbprint on it! I always look forward to your blog.

  10. Have to agree with all the above nice comments. Whew!!! It is ALL amazing and I can’t even pick a favorite….
    I LOVE them all!!!!
    Thank you for taking us on your journey…..can’t wait to see those steps!!!

  11. Most of us go through our career with little or no positive reinforcement. You are so very lucky to have all these positive, wonderful people praising you daily!!!! Cheering you on and complimenting all that you do.

  12. It’s been so much fun watching you transform your home! I love all the choices you’ve made, especially the dining room mural. It just makes that room come alive! I was SO inspired, I went in search of chairs like yours for my dining table! Did you paint your chairs, and if so what color did you use? I just love them so much! Thanks for taking us on this journey with you!
    Shelia P.

  13. Ping-pong tournament room, not so much. A professional salon, sounds great. Would love to have someone “doing” my hair for me every day!
    Your house looks great with all your changes. Love this- “making choices that are classic and accentuate the style of the home instead of competing with it”

  14. Such inspiration! You have done a beautiful job at making your house a home! Thanks for sharing and encouraging all of us to love our space in our own way! You are truly motivating!

  15. just one other word of caution on the stairs. I removed the carpeting from the treads on my stairs and put in wood treads…. they became instantly slick! Just a word of caution… The risers were white and treads stained. But the handrail was a must have when going up and especially down. Stocking feet on the boys…. beware.

  16. Marian,
    Another wonderful post, as usual. One question for you regarding your kitchen pot rack: HOW DO YOU REACH THOSE POTS? Now, I am only 5 ft. tall and I know you are taller but, it just looks like it would be really difficult to keep reaching up there for what you want!
    Thanks so much for your endless decorating inspiration.

  17. Marian, your home is just so beautiful. You — and Jeff — have done a fabulous job with adding all your personal touches! I just love the mural in your Dining Room! It is so beautiful! You are so gifted! God has truly blessed you and you are such a blessing to all of us!

  18. Hi. All beautiful. I love seeing you put your heart into each project. You inspire me to get going on an area at a time as the list seems so long. Thank you. PS. I think you meant 2018 in the beginning not 2017 🙂

  19. I dream about houses all the time! And some of them repeatedly! I have also dreamed that we moved & I was regretting it. Guess it shows what house people we are! You’ve made wonderful progress this year. God definitely placed you in the perfect spot for this stage of your family’s life! He knows us so well:)

  20. Love your style. I see 2 crystal chandeliers…one in DR and one on your sunroom. Are they antiques if not where did you purchase them.

  21. I’m SO glad “my” slate floors made your fave list! They are gorgeous without being fancy. They’re much lighter than I expected. Of course they were YOUR floors till I saw the results I don’t have a place for them, but I love them!

  22. I have been wanting to replace my countertops for a couple years now but I just couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted. I researched all my options and just couldn’t make up my mind, besides I wasn’t sure how any of these materials would hold up. We live in our house and I needed something that was stain resistant and a good solid hard surface, and beautiful. When I saw what you were replacing your countertops with I immediately knew what I needed, I figured if it was good enough for you it would be good enough for me! We went with the HanStone Montauk pattern and I love it! If I hadn’t seen your post on your counter top choice I’d probably still be trying to figure out what to get to get , so Thank you!!

  23. Your butler’s pantry is spectacular. I am playing hooky today to copy a version of it 🙂

  24. I am wanting to redo my master walk in closet and not sure where to start. Has anyone been through this project and can give me some pointers on how to proceed? I saw where Marian will be working on a closet this year and I thought I would ask to get ideas.

  25. What do you use to clean/shine your beautiful wood floors? We have similar floors, but I can never get them shiny.

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