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looking back: my favorite projects from the first year

Its been ONE YEAR since we moved into our first home (forever), and its pretty crazy to look back on all we've accomplished in just a year of living here. One of the benefits about documenting your life online is that you can look back and see all the progress you've made. So I've rounded up my top 5 projects from the past year to share with you.

Here we go!

1) The mudroom

All I did in here was paint, and it made a HUGE impact.

The previous owner had gone with some bright green and blue colors, which just didn’t really fit our style. I chose to paint the walls Revere Pewter, and for the ceiling, I chose Hamilton Blue.

You guys know I love to paint, but this room was SO. HARD. I purchased a high-nap roller thinking that would work great for the stucco walls, but boy was I wrong. Even with the high nap roller, I had to go back in and brush the majority of the wall – stippling with a small stencil brush to get in all the nooks and crevices of the stucco.

If was going to do this again I definitely would have invested in a paint sprayer, but I do love the final product. I just recently also decided to paint the door. I used Fusion Mineral Paint for the first time and I am definitely HOOKED. I didn't use a primer, and it only took 2 coats to cover the red and completely transform the door.

2) The stenciled tile floor in our downstairs bathroom

This tile was one of my least favorite things in the house. It was also paired with a peach color wall paint, which made the whole room feel very warm and southwestern. With no natural light in this bathroom, I wanted to tone down the warmth and give it a more equally balanced vibe.

Thankfully the countertops also have some gray graining in them – so I knew I could play off that and pull in more cooler tones. I started by painting the walls – which certainly helped a ton – but knew I still had to do something to the floors.

Since the long term plan for this space is a true renovation of this bathroom, I felt fine about putting painting the tiles even knowing that it may not hold up forever. I did a lot of research of others who have done this – some say it’s been 5+ years and it’s still holding up great, while others have had the paint chip or peel in some areas. I was willing to take the risk.

I have a full blog post on how I stenciled these floors. I absolutely LOVE how they turned out – and after 6ish months of use – they still look brand new.

3) Our live edge coffee table

I absolutely LOVE our live edge coffee table. I originally went into this house thinking I was going to go with a “French country” style for all of our furnishings, but when we got our existing furniture (that we weren’t ready to part with yet!) into the space, I know that just wasn’t going to work. This table pushed us into a more rustic/industrial vibe, which I think I love even more than what I had originally planned.

Although there were definitely some learning along the way (you mean painters tape doesn’t hold up when you pour 2 cups of epoxy on it?!), we still talk about this as one of our favorite projects and would love to do another someday.

4) The laundry room

The laundry room was kinda a spur of the moment update. There was nothing necessarily wrong with the previous laundry room – the paint was fine and it was perfectly functional – I just didn’t love it. I made super simple updates in here like adding contact paper to the existing counter top, adding peel and stick wallpaper to the back wall, and re-painting the whole space.

I have an entire blog post dedicated to this project, so you can learn more about this one here.

5) The man cave/studio

The man cave was definitely our most ambitious project. When we toured the house, Ryan was disappointment by the low-ceilinged and relatively small basement space because he had dreams of having a studio space that was fit for both jamming with the band and recording. It was only when I agreed that we could finish the space over the garage within the first year that he was really sold on the house – so we knew this would be one of the early projects we had to tackle. It took about 3 months and lots of physical labor, but he loves his new space. Especially with COVID hitting this year and us both having the work from home – we’re happy we finished it when we did so we could both have separate & far away spaces to work from.

If you want to know the top 5 things we learned from finishing this space, you can read more about it here.

So what’s next on the horizon for the second year? Well I don’t know about Ryan, but I definitely have some ideas up my sleeve. Stay tuned to see what project we come up with next.

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