Yearly Report Card: 2015

December 29, 2015  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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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We have made it a tradition around here to make a post in the first week of the year about what projects we’d like to get done over the course of the year–2016’s is coming up next week! They are our very favorite to look back on (and sometimes laugh about) because although we have a general plan and timeline of things to do, it rarely happens that way. The second part of that tradition is to look back at that post and the projects we had planned and see how we did and report back at the end of the year. Here we go! (I’ve put the text from January 5, 2015′s post in italics for reference sake.)

1. Laundry Room/Mudroom–Instead of the long laundry room and small half bath that is currently there, we’ll be moving our laundry to the wall where the 4th bathroom was and put a wall of lockers, mudroom style, opposite that. We’ll tear the wall down that is currently enclosing the bathroom keeping that area more open. 

And here’s what that area looked like at the beginning of this year…



And now…



Cha-check!!!! The 4th bathroom and wall got demo’d and we made it a laundry space in the spring. Opposite that, we ditched the original idea of a “wall of lockers” and implemented a coat closet in the fall. You can read about the laundry room here. And the coat closet finishes here.

2. A Walk-in Pantry! The plan is to make a doorway to the new pantry (where the washer and dryer are currently) to the left of the current standing pantry. It will provide easy kitchen access to our pantry staples, but also some small appliances and a chest freezer we’re planning on putting on the back wall. The plan now is to recess a full refrigerator (no freezer) with some surrounding cabinetry where the standing pantry is right now. 

Here’s what that area looked like at the beginning of this year and now:



You can see that we ditched the original idea chest freezer idea for a matching upright to the all refrigerator in the kitchen. The pantry was our last major project of the year in late fall and it makes so much sense for our lives. I can’t believe a year ago, it didn’t exist! Read more about the pantry and see a lot more photos right here.

3. Kitchen remodel! As of now, we have planned an extra wide gas range going where our current electric is with a big enclosed hood above it. A new window to the right of the range to reflect the one on the left. The sink will move to the center of the left hand side with the smaller window to the left centered above it and glass-front cabinets surrounding it. A recessed all refrigerator where the standing pantry currently is with cabinetry surrounding it. Lots of large pull out drawers for base cabinets. An expanded island with a couple stools on the end, instead of the side. For colors and finishes, we’re thinking black cabinets with gold hardware, white stone countertops around the perimeter and a chunky butcher block top for the island.

Here’s what the kitchen looked like at the beginning of this year and now:



While our ideas changed a little bit over the course of the renovation (mostly just ditching the glass-front cabinets), we get a big A+ for this goal. The kitchen renovation took us 7 weeks over the course of our late summer/early fall after planning every detail for a year and a half. We still feel like we’re settling in to our new kitchen (is this real life!?) and recently shared a video tour of how we organized all the cabinets. To read more about the kitchen reno, click here.

4. Tackle the Master Closet. Um, F. F-. I thought I would have time to squeeze this one in, but it’s still as disorganized as ever. We don’t have a ton of clothes (we purge and donate every season), but there are no drawers or places for underwear, or socks or even pants. This is high on our list for next year. It’s gotta be!

5. Master Bedroom. Our bedroom did get some attention this year! We’re not completely done with it (spoiler: the ugly ceiling fan is still there!), but we made some intentional furniture purchases and added some art and painted. Here’s how it looked at the beginning of this year and now.



You can read more about our bedroom here.

6. Finish the stairwell. Including tearing up the carpet, laying new flooring, hanging a new light and some art, too. We didn’t get around to tearing up the carpet and laying new flooring, but we did swap out the light and add some family photos.



I actually had to go back and check the archives because I didn’t remember that happened this year. What a year! This area will get more attention in 2016. I’m not 100% on the photos here anymore (maybe some paneling a la our last living room?) but I’m going to let it evolve in the new year.

Those were our predictions for 2015 and for the most part, we stuck to the plan. I’m updating our house tour this week (yikes, so outdated!) and working on a house tour so you can see how everything else has progressed and I’ll be back next week with 2016’s plans! It’s going to be another great big year around here.

What do you think?

  1. Kim A says:

    Do you mind sharing why you’re not 100% about the photo wall on your staircase? I love it- I know I read where you plan to add pictures. Are you bailing? Why or why not?

    • Julia says:

      I still love the photos and the idea, but as the entry progressed (with the wallpaper and large art and mirror, etc) I feel like a full blown plastered photo wall in the adjacent stairwell would make the area feel busy. I’m planning on moving the whole thing to a wall downstairs where it can be the star. (In short, my eyes need breathing room.)

  2. I’d say you guys get an A+! Just came across your blog and I love it!

  3. Tara H says:

    Love the rugs in the laundry room and kitchen. If you can share where you purchased them, that would be awesome. Thanks. Love your blog.

    • Julia says:

      I have a post coming up about all of our rugs since I’ve been getting so many questions on them! The kitchen one is from Ebay and the laundry room one is from

  4. Kim B. says:

    You really have a vision and the talents to execute! And I was thinking — the “before” picture from your kitchen (showing the island and everything) was even *after* you’d improved it from how it looked from when you first moved in!! I can’t even think of that diagonal island thing that was there first!

    You all really do amazing work. Congratulations on all you did this year to make your home more beautiful and functional. I’m along for the ride again for 2016!

  5. Cindy says:

    I would love to see your house tour (no p.scope here :( Is there anywhere I could view it dear or a link? I’ve faithfully followed all your lovely projects and would be tickled to see this. Thank you Julia xo

  6. Your kitchen remodel was one of my favorite blog happenings of 2015! It came together so well. And bravo on actually accomplishing so much of your intended list; somehow mine always seem to evolve in a weird direction halfway through the year!

  7. Bethany says:

    What a FUN tradition! It must be so satisfying to look back over your hard work. Thanks for sharing your home with us on the interwebs. I’ve been reading your blog since this summer and have had so much fun reading about your projects!!

  8. Karen H. says:

    I think you aced your report card this year. Great job!

  9. Stacey W. says:

    Love all the befores and afters, you guys are always such an inspiration. In fact, my birthday was this past Sunday (hooray for Christmas babies!), and my family gave me a new range just like yours! I’ve been obsessing about it since your post on the Frigidaire Professional appliances, and now I have my own to cook on. Thank you!

  10. Jeanna says:

    You guys take a space, and always make it so much better :) I love your choices!

  11. I’m still loving your kitchen reno, it’s a #lifegoal for me now!

  12. Amy says:

    You guys! I am loving this post for so many reasons! First, I bet it is so exciting for you to pull up the before and afters and feel that sense of accomplishment for all you did this year. Truly, your home is lovely and it is easy to see that a lot of love and hard work has gone into it! (I’m especially loving that kitchen!) But second, this post is awesome for those of us who are relatively new around here—I feel like it gives me a quick intro to your home and your style by showing us what you’ve done recently. And then finally, it is really refreshing to see that even awesome DIY bloggers don’t always get to everything on their lists! :)

    Thanks for this post! I am thinking I might also write a “goals” post to start out 2016. If nothing else, it would be fun for me to see how things turn out differently than I plan—because isn’t that always the case? :)

  13. A job well done indeed! I absolutely love your blog, it’s one of the few I still visit as work and kids consume most of my free time and that leaves little time for perusing fun websites these days. You guys are so real and I love how your design is both moody, tasteful, chic and family functional. Keep up the GREAT work. Can’t wait to see what you tackle in 2016!

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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. 

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