We were home a lot last year. I’m a homebody, so it suited me to some extent even though it wasn’t under ideal circumstances. As many of you did, we made the best of it and used the time to get some projects done around the house that have been hanging out on the to-do list for a while. I had the extra incentive of working on projects for my upcoming book. Looking back over 2020, we got a ton of home projects done and completely transformed a few rooms in our house including the living room, sewing room, and ensuite bathroom.
Here are a few of my favorite DIY home projects we finished last year…
This is one of the easiest projects I did in 2020 and it’s one of my favorites! I have disliked that shiny granite since we first moved in, but I felt a little stuck as to what to do with it. It seemed excessive and unnecessary to remove the mantle and rip the tile and hearth out and replace them. I knew that paint was going to be the best option, but I was hesitant to paint perfectly nice granite that simply wasn’t my taste.
AS a flurry of other projects were happening in the house, I finally just went for it, priming and painting the fireplace surround and hearth to look similar to slate. And, man, it looks so convincing! It doesn’t look like a painted surround at all, which was my concern. It looks like a natural stone and now it’s perfect for my style.
You can find the tutorial and materials I used in THIS POST.
And, it’s only been about six months, but it’s held up very well.
installing paneling & wallpaper in the office
This was a project that I added to my list when my parents were visiting to help with projects. We already had enough on the list to keep us busy, but I wanted to make the office a little more interesting. I spotted this beaded paneling while making a trip to buy lumber and made a decision that day to install it in my office. The decision to hang wallpaper above it came just a few days later and I just love how it turned out. It looks fresh, bright, and clean, but it’s still interesting. You can see the full transformation HERE.
sewing room makeover
I know that you haven’t seen this full room (I’m saving that for the book), but the sewing room turned out so good! It was a little gutsy to starch toile fabric to all of the walls, but it is fitting for the room and frames the antique pine pieces beautifully. You can find progress posts and resources HERE.
ensuite bathroom makeover
This is another full reveal that I’m saving for the book, but I shared a lot of the process along with the materials used HERE. Our bathroom was such a typical suburban master bathroom (of about the past 15 years or so.) They are big but are mostly finished with cheap, build-grade finishes and fixtures. I had been wanting to give this room a makeover for years, but it was like a row of dominoes. You couldn’t work on one thing without working on the rest. So, we saved up and finally went for it.
And I love it! I don’t regret one decision. What I like most about this makeover is that we didn’t do any major construction. We didn’t move or rearrange and we used most of the existing pieces, like the cabinetry and bathtub. The big splurge was all of the tile work and ordering a custom glass door for the new shower. Without moving any walls, though, we gained several inches in the shower and it looks and feels like a more luxurious master bathroom. We also did a hybrid of DIY and hiring out to keep the costs down.
checkerboard floors in the studio
I did this project in February, so I almost forgot I did it in 2020! This project was a killer on the back and knees, but I am so glad I took the time to do it. I absolutely love how it turned out. You can find a tutorial HERE.
master bedroom textiles
My mom and I did a massive amount of sewing when my parents were visiting, including new pillows and a bed crown for the master bedroom. This room had me stumped for a while and the mix of textiles really brought it all together. This room now feels like a properly finished room. You can see the progression of the master bedroom makeover HERE.
And, for those asking for them, there will be wide room shots in the book!
This was a project I envisioned for this room when we first saw the house. This room already had some nice detail with the fireplace, built-ins, and arched doorways, but I felt like it needed more. We added picture frame molding in 2019 (you can find that tutorial HERE.) But, I knew boxed beams and trimming out the ceiling would be a perfect way to add even more architectural interest to the room.
The beams aren’t painted or trimmed out in this picture, but you get the idea!
This was a DIY project and Jeff and I thought we might be in over our heads with the precision and math involved, but we worked slowly and carefully and it turned out better than we even expected. A tutorial will be included in the book and I will be making a video tutorial companion as well.
I know that I don’t do anywhere near the number of furniture projects that I used to, but I did give a few pieces a makeover last year. I make slipcovers for several chairs including two desk chairs, the chaise in our bedroom, and the end chairs in the eating area.
I also made a “make-do” cushion for an antique daybed I bought off of Facebook marketplace…
…painted a sweet little antique chair in MMS Milk Paint for the sewing room…
…refinished and waxed and antique pine chest that had some water damage…
…and gave an old dresser a makeover to use as Jeff’s nightstand…
When I start thinking back over projects I worked on during the previous year, I initially feel like I didn’t do very much but listing them out always proves me wrong! We got a ton of projects done this year!
And, believe it or not, there is still more I’d like to do in this house and I’ll share some of my plans in another post…