Thursday, December 30, 2010

The top ten of ‘10

Well, the end is near. The end of the year that is. :)

I had a great time recapping my top ten posts last year, and this year my friend Rhoda is having a whole linky party dedicated to the biggest and best projects of 2010.

So, without further adieu, here’s my top ten of this year, based on your comments! FUN!

First up was the start of our master bedroom redo. It was all about the bedding and I splurged big time on it. Cause we really like to sleep. Like, a lot.

The previous $25 Ebay bedding:

Was replaced with new duds from Pottery Barn and Target:

Target bedding

We did like the old set just fine – it just didn’t fit the bed. Huh. To say we love the change is a HUGE understatement. We quite literally melt into bed every night.

There’s been quite a few more changes to the room since that post, like new lighting, drapes and accessories. You can see all of that here.

And if you want to see how I used to make our bed, click here. (It still makes me giggle to read that. And want to cry just a little bit.)

Next up was our mini family room redo:

warm family room

A new HomeGoods rug made ALL the difference in the world in there! LURVE.

Next up, a project that was FREE and made such a huge difference in our dining room. I showed you how I removed this hutch:

And found the beautiful buffet underneath:

dining room buffet

I framed out the mirror myself, and because everything else was so cheap, I splurged on those GORG lamps. (From HomeGoods. Shock.)

You and I both loved my incredible Craigslist find in the family room – it completely updated a wall from this:

To this:

craigslist dresser

My new-to-me Drexel dresser was only $100, and it is one of my very favorite pieces in our house now. And it holds a bunch of toys. All the more reason to love it. :)

I finished a long, long, LONG process of taking our builder-grade kitchen island:

To a beadboard-wrapped, cabinet-painted, Ikea butcher-blocked one:

beadboard island

You can see the details of the transformation here, and the updates I’ve made to our kitchen this year here.

Speaking of the kitchen, you all loved when I took our basic, white pantry door and replaced it with a glass-paneled beauty:

glass pantry door

The (awful) night shot above shows it with the contact paper installed for privacy, and the light inside (which we wired up and I’ll show you soon!)

We have an unfinished basement that we treat as if it’s finished. We USE it. A lot. I showed you how my craft “room” looked before:

And then with some organization, fabric, and more lighting:

basement craft room

LOVE it! :) You can see more here.

The next one really isn’t a particular project, but it resonated with many of you (and me!). It was a post about STUFF:


My father-in-law’s passing (and the week’s after) changed me. I’ve learned a lot about the STUFF and my emotional responses to it since then, and I’ll tell you more about that soon too.

The final two projects of the year were the ones you loved the most! First, the transformation of the Bub’s nursery to a big boy (airplane) room:

airplane room 

It is so clean and classic and crisp – I fall in love with it again every day. You can see the process to redo that room here.

And finally, my biggest DIY project to date, that was also my cheapest. :) I love when that happens!! I took our stairs from this before:

To this, with just about $30:

ripping carpet off stairs

Well, the stairs were $30 – the molding on the wall was a bit more later, but the whole project was still under $60. It helped that I had the paint, stain, and beautiful curved treads under that carpet. ;)

BUT…all the hard work kind of evened out the money saved. :) It took some major sweat and TIME.

I’d do it all over again though – it’s still my very favorite project I’ve tackled in our home. SO WORTH IT. You can see the whole slew of posts about the stairs here.

Well, there. you. go. The top ten projects here at TDC, determined by your comments. It’s been a GREAT year! Did you have a favorite? What did you tackle that made the biggest impact in your home/life?

Check out Rhoda’s party for inspiration for NEXT year! :) If I don’t talk to you before then, have a very, very happy, fun and SAFE New Year!!


Thank you to my sponsor!:


  1. I'm pretty new to your blog and seeing this post was the highlight of my night. It's late, but in the morning I'm getting up and starting with #1 and working my way through each post you've listed. Inspiration overload!!! Happy New Year!

  2. I remember all of those! I have to say I think the kitchen island redo was my favorite. But then I really liked the stairs too.. and that entry way table... ok fine.. I like them all! Can't wait to see what next year brings! I am planning on making a new couch for my family room out of coffee filters.....

  3. I love your blog and my favorite was your son's room moving to a big boy room. I had a question about home goods, I love that store but several of the larger items I purchased I returned because they were damaged. How do you manage to find lamps and such that are in pristine condition? Thanks. Can't wait to see what 2011 will bring. happy new year's

  4. Love, love, love all your projects. But I love your little boys room the best. Makes me want to have a little boy. But I'm too old. I'll have to settle for a grandson.

  5. You are so awesome. Everything you do is well, just awesome. :) My favorite though would have to be your stairs. You are SO lucky of what was underneath them! I need those wood steps to complete my stairs now. :)

    Happy new year, and see you soon! Yippee!!

  6. I am reading your post facing my staircase which needs some major TLC.

    Luckily, I have no carpeting and delicious wood, but I need me some molding and white paint.

    And a new paint color.

    Thanks for kicking me to write a 2011 to-do list.

    Should those be the next series of parties???

    Thanks for this post. It's been fun watching your blog grow this year...

    nicolette @

  7. Great projects all!!! My hands down favorite is the Bubs room,I have always loved childrens bedrooms.I hope to have many projects of my own to share in 2011.

  8. and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!!!!! because you inspired me to do this here on this link:)

    thank you:) I adore your ideas! and yes. I too can not wait to see what 2011 will bring to us 'thrifties' ;)

  9. love love love your bedding! its soo cute!! :) read your How to make a bed post" he he he he! cute! maybe you can do a new one with your new bedding?

  10. I have been blogging for a short while and yours was one of the first I saw and fell in love with. I absolutely love all your projects but your son's room is beautiful and I am trying to finish my boys room. Also I so want to do my stairs but am nervous about what is under the builder carpet. My downstairs is already wood and the carpet starts at my stairs. Please check out my blog for some pics on those two spaces. They are the first two on my list for 2011 as I try to turn my builder grade house into a home. Any tips and suggestions on decor will help.

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  12. I can not believe you did all of this in 2010! I can't wait to see what you have in store for 2011! Happy New Year!

  13. I know it's none of my business...but....I love seeing all your redo's and I will continue to follow even if you don't tell me...ha ha...but I'd love to know how much you spent $$$$ to do all these redo's.

  14. It's amazing that you did all of that in one year. Bravo to you girl! Here's hoping that 2011 is just as productive! :-) Happy new year.

  15. I love all your projects, they all turned out great! I plan on redoing our stairs in the new year and will look to yours for inspiration. Love the nursery to big boy room! I also did one of those this year. So much fun to decorate, but also a little sad boxing up the baby decor.

  16. Wow! Love all that you did, but your basement redo should win some kind of Nobel prize award for all the peace and harmony in there now! lol...Hopefully by the end of this year I can get my garage in that kind of condition too. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  17. I feel like such a slacker when I look at your list, Sarah! ;) You had a great year with some really fab projects. I can't even choose a favorite!

  18. Everything looks so beautiful! Still can't find the target comforter. Looked online and don't see it there. Do you still have a link for it?

    Thanks! Happy New Year!

  19. All of your projects are just wonderful. So hard to pick a favorite, but the stairs are just fabulous. Can't wait to see all the projects in 2011. Hugs, Marty

  20. WOW..OMGOODNESS...I am so excited I found your blog..I am right now as I type rearranging my mantel...I too am getting ready to redo our bedroom..we need a new comforter..I love your blog...I am your newest follower..thank you. Sherry

  21. Oh one more thing....Can I move into your new craft room...this is my dream..

  22. Sarah, what a fun year it's been! Love all your projects. Our stair projects are my fave too. Looking forward to more fun in 2011. xoxo See you soon!

  23. Your blog was the very first design blog I ever read, and I am still amazed at what you come up with. My favorite is your craigslist cabinet, I love that whole space!

  24. I still can't believe you had beautiful treads under the carpet! Your stairs turned out great...looking forward to seeing what you have in 2011!

  25. I love love love this all. I love how you put things together so nicely yet modern and chic. haha future house: get prepared to be modernized!

  26. Wow, you've been busy! I especially loved your stairway transformation. Still trying to get up the nerve to lift up the carpet on my stairs to see what my treads look like under there! I think that project will have to wait until after this baby comes!!

  27. You are one of my favorite DIY posters! I loved your basement organizing and your butcher block kitchen island posts. and i also LURVE how you say LURVE...

    merry 2011!

  28. What fantastic projects you have done this year. I absolutley love your new bedding and the butcher block topped island turnes out just perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Hi, I recently found your blog and Love, Love, Love it!!

    Thanks for this post, its wonderful.

    FYI, the link to your basement craft-room redo is broken. I would love to see how that room came together.

    Happy 2011!!!

  30. Hi - I'm pretty new to your site but I really liked seeing your before/afters from the year. Cozy!

  31. some seriously lovely projects this year!

  32. You continue to inspire creativity my dear! I cannot believe how many fantastic projects you all have completed this year. We are new homeowners, and I can only hope be as motivated as you are :0)

  33. I can't tell you how many times I've studied and studied your kitchen! I have the same layout and I get alot of my inspiration from your pics! The basement blows me away! The after pic is encouraging to me that there may be hope for my garage afterall. Loved the post!

  34. Gah, I LOVE your dining room makeover! And I would have to say the impact the staircase makeover made is definitely worth it. It takes that corner of your home from looking nice to fabulous.

    happy new year!


  35. I LOVE your blog! It's the first thing I look at with my coffee, to start and inspire my day. We're moving into a new place soon and I've gotten all sorts of wonderful ideas from you. It's hard to pick a favourite transformation - well, impossible really - so I've picked two. The dining room, which looks absolutely brilliant after the transformation of the buffet, and the stairs. Love both!

    Happy New Year!!!

  36. Oooh I love your top 10! I think my favorites of these are the kitchen island and the stairs ~ beautiful transformations!

  37. A wonderful top 10! I hope you had a lovely Christmas! Happy New Years! Here’s to a fabulous new year!

  38. Oh wow...I just discovered your blog...LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I can't wait to read more this coming year....HAPPY NEW YEAR, Daphne

  39. I am a new blogger and really like your blog. My Daughter from House of Grace told me about it and I really enjoy reading about all your projects.

  40. It was wonderful meeting you this last year! Wishing you much happiness in 2011!


  41. Wow, not a bad one among them all. I wish I had your talent. I really like your buffet--I need a second buffet and it looks like it would blend well with my vintage one.

    Happy New Year to you.

  42. I stumbled upon your blog, and I'm so glad I did. I live in a 150 year old farm house that needs renovating. I'm reading through your blog posts and I am inspired by your ideas and suggestions. Since my budget is tight I will have to do a lot of the work myself. I'll keep reading. Thanks.

  43. Oh YEAH! I loved looking at your recap because it reminded me how inspired I am by you. 2011 is MY year to tackle several projects. The first will be my master bedroom - which strangely has a bed VERY similar to yours (that I got at a fave thrifty store for CHEAP). I'll blog it up in the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for the great stuff in 2010! If you're ever in NW Arkansas I'll take you thrifting!

  44. Just recently found your blog, so it's fun going back and seeing all your projects.

    Could you tell me some about your son's white bookshelves? Curious as to what they are made from - painted wood, melamine? Am getting ready to build some and want the white look to it.


  45. I loved all of these projects!! I read on my phone alot, so I don't always comments...but I'm here, lurking and stalking!! :) Can't wait to follow along in 2011!!

  46. The link for your basement post isn't working :o( Found a picture of it through another blog and it's exactly what I'm looking to do in my garage/basement.


I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!