12 Projects We Knocked Out in 2017

December 29, 2017  —  Written by Julia 

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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1. The Guest Room. We finished our guest room first thing this year–and I love that we have been able to host so many guests this year. Whether for weeks at a time, or an overnight–it’s been nice to send our family and friends to their own space where it’s quiet.

While I love this room, and we have gotten such positive feedback from our guests–it feels like a cool boutique hotel!–I still, to this day, get overwhelmingly nauseated when I go in the room to change the sheets or prep it for guests. We worked on this room when I was pregnant with Polly and very sick and the visceral memory of that kicks in every time I enter. Luckily, our guests have no such association. Ps. Those antelope antlers are one of my favorite things in our entire house. Read more about the guest room and all the sources here!

2. Our Home Office. Ahh, our home office. It’s hard to believe we only completed this less than a year ago, because I don’t know what we did before we had this space. I’m down here nearly every day working on projects and posts. We also recently got an intern three days a week and she works in here with me, too. Those box panels on the wall have my heart, but if you listened to last week’s podcast you know that this room didn’t get a perfect report card. Chris rarely works down here and he was the one gunning for a standing desk, while I wanted a more traditional height desk. I’d love to re-work some things in here in 2018 to make it more suitable for the people using it, while still keeping a similar vibe. Read more about our home office, that standing desk we DIYed and all the details and sources here!

3. The Baltimore Kitchen. In perhaps one of our most challenging projects to date, we renovated this old kitchen in Baltimore in a weekend for this year’s Lowe’s Spring Makeover, and for less than $5000, including appliances! Although exhausting, it was also one of our most fun projects, because we got to pick our team–aka. some of our favorite people!–and the after was completely worth the all-nighter and swollen pregnancy ankles.

Right!? More about this kitchen right here.

4. The Nursery. We participated in the spring One Room Challenge and gave the nursery a facelift in anticipation of our third little girl’s arrival. This was one of my favorite projects this year, from the wainscoting, to the wallpaper and the blue accents–I still love spending so much time in here day after day. Read more about the nursery here.

5. An Indoor Playhouse. We always love paying projects forward when we can, and this year we were able to do a lot more of that. Like this indoor playhouse that started out like this:

And we transformed into this!:

Read more about that in this post.

6. A One-Day Master Bedroom Refresh. This is another project we had so much fun with that wasn’t in our own home–A master bedroom in dire need of feeling masterful. The before was stuck in a post-dorm room state and we were given the task of overhauling it in just one day!

The after is grown-up and serene and I’m happy to report the homeowners still gush over it on the daily. Love these kinds of projects! Read more about this bedroom makeover here. 

7. The Launch of our Sofa Line! Launching our own furniture line with Interior Define this summer has been a dream come true. We designed a a full line of pet-friendly, kid-friendly pieces that are sturdy, but comfortable and look real good. We called the collection “Charly” after our big, beloved dog. Sadly, we lost our big girl this fall. We miss her snuggles every day. See our whole completely customizable line, including chairs, sofas, sectionals and sleepers (in over 7o fabrics!) right here.

8. The Backyard Playground. Whipping our backyard into shape has been on our to-do list since we moved in and this year, we were fortunate enough to make it happen. It wasn’t cheap, but man, was it worth it. Our girls (and the entire neighborhood of kids) lovingly call our yard the “playground” now and I love peeking out the kitchen window to watch them play.

We still have plans to customize the playset we got from Wayfair (this one!) in the spring, but that’s stopping no one from fully enjoying this space now–snow and all. Read more about our backyard “playground” here, including the budget breakdown.

9. The Girls’ Bathroom. Lest you think all the projects we do are speedy, the girls’ bathroom took more than half of this year, but we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Having a tub downstairs and double sinks and better lighting–the game has been changed. The girls love their new bathroom and still want to show everyone that comes over. See more about the bathroom here. 

10. The Finally Functional Entry. Adding a plug socket to our entry changed everything! We could add lamps, at last! Which meant something for them to sit on–and why not make it a bunch of storage. The entry got whipped into shape this fall and it just feels good to have a space working for your family. More about the entry here!

11. The A-frame! We ended the year with a major foreshadow into our 2018–we bought an A-frame nestled in the mountains on the Palisades Reservoir in Idaho with a spectacular view. We have already made so many memories here in the few short months we’ve owned it. We can’t wait to renovate it over the next year or so, and eventually Airbnb it, too. Read more about our cabin, and see before photos, here!

12. Our Family. On a personal note, 2017 was the year our family finally feels complete. After nearly 8 years of combined infertility, Polly’s arrival in August, rounding out our daughter count to three, is literally a dream come true. Seeing all of our girls together tops any and all projects we tackle from day to day. They what make our house a home, are our favorite creations and what we work the hardest at, truly.

We also added Willow to our family this year and she has mended our hearts after Charly’s passing in ways that we didn’t know possible. She belongs in our home and we’re so grateful for the love she so freely gives and spunk she brings, day after day.

Lastly, 2017 was a wonderful year, in large part to you–our loyal readers who cheer us on and check in with us day in and day out. Whether you’ve joined the ride this year, or have been following along for all 9 (!!!)–thank you. Thank you x a million. Can’t wait to unlock 2018’s potential and share more projects with you!

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What do you think?

  1. Joanna says:

    With your Formica desk top did you need to special order? I’ve looked around at different stores and most offer the traditional counter width and I would love something wider for our island.

    • Chris says:

      Yes, it was a custom order. If you go through a place like Lowe’s they usually have their own fabricators they use and they can get it to whatever size you need.

  2. Sandra Pace says:

    Great accomplishments! Congratulations! Keep up the amazing work because I loooove you blog!

  3. franki says:

    WOW-O-WOW!!! The entire place is a show house knockout!! franki

  4. Sarah McBean says:

    Love your blog and all of your home Reno projects!! We want to add a trampoline in our backyard next summer and we are wondering, do you leave it in the ground all winter?? My husband and I are from Canada and it gets quite cold. Perhaps the freezing ground could damage it? What have you guys done over winter as I know it gets cold down your way!
    Thanks so much!!

  5. Vicki says:

    I have been following you all year and have enjoyed all of these projects and your Instagram postings very much. I cried with you when you lost Charly and rejoiced with the arrival of Willow. I oohed and awed over the remake of the girls bath and the beautiful nursery and your beautiful addition to your now complete family! You have provided many ideas for my own home. Thank you and many blessings for the New Year.

  6. Nora Vassar says:

    Can’t wait to see what you do in 2018. 2017 was a year for the record books. Love, love, love everything you do!

  7. AmandaKB says:

    So much awesomeness accomplished in 2017!!! Looking forward to your 2018 projects. :)

  8. Julie S says:

    Although I’ve been reading DIY blogs for 5+ years I somehow never knew about you guys until maybe six months ago, and you have quickly become one of my top three excited to read every post bloggers!! So looking forward to the coming year, and going to go back and read a few of these projects too.

  9. Steph says:

    There’s a picture of your guestroom with different lights beside the bed. Where are the lamps sitting on the nightstands from? I love both, but I don’t have wall space.

  10. Sara says:

    Question from a new home owner of a 109 year old full of projects. We are about to start our first round of renos but that itself will take up our entire budget. We will have to start saving up for the next round once the first round is over. How did you manage budgeting in a whole years worth of projects? TIA! Congrats on a great year!! I’ve been a super long time follower. :)

  11. Thalia says:

    So fun to see a summary of your projects from over the past year! Have been following your blog for a few years and am looking forward to seeing what awaits in 2018. Happy New Year!!

  12. Lu says:

    Amazing makeover… Happy 2018!

  13. Phoebe says:

    I can totally relate to what you said about your guest room making you nauseated! I’m almost 5 months pregnant, and the beautiful Interior Define sofa that I’d ordered over the summer arrived right when I was at the peak of puking in the fall. Now whenever I go into my living room I feel sick! I’m seriously hoping the association fades over time, because Lord knows it took me long enough to decide on a sofa style and fabric and I don’t think my husband can handle me going through that process again…

  14. km says:

    You guys rock, plain and simple. Looking forward to 2018!!!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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