Friday, December 27, 2013

It was a good one

Hey. Remember me? My name is Sarah and I write a blog. You may have heard of it.

I didn’t mean to take so much time away but it was nice! I am now ITCHING to get going on something other than holiday decor, let me tell you. I have a list a mile long (I’ll share soon) that I want to tackle. I’m ready to get my hands dirty again (with something other than Christmas glitter)!

I’m also excited about organizing again. Since I purged most of the house earlier this year I feel more in control of our STUFF than I ever have. Now I just want to keep it going in 2014 by making the most of each space.

But today I’m looking back at 2013 at my biggest projects, according to your responses. I have to start with one I’m most proud of -- mostly because I love it, but also because I’m so dang happy to have it DONE:

wood planked walls

The downstairs powder room was a work in progress for about three years. Or more. I lost track a couple years back. I’m SO happy with it now, it was truly worth the wait.

I’m slowly but surely (I’m the tortoise of DIY if you couldn't tell) working on redoing our master bedroom. I sold our old bed and so far haven’t even come close to using the money I made from that to redo the space. There were a few popular posts from that room this year, including the new DIY king-sized headboard for less than $100:

diy headboard

And then the 80’s nightstand redo that didn’t cost me anything:

painting over cherry woodAnd finally those brass thrift store lamps that were made over into glossy navy blue goodness:

spray painting lamps

I have big plans for this room coming soon – I still haven’t even finished painting it yet. :)

After a lot of trial and error over the past (nearly) ten years in this house, I’ve finally figured out what works in our yard. In other words – I’ve stopped killing things. Our backyard is coming together as a beautiful oasis for us, and I gave you a tour here:

backyard oasis

I was busy in the kitchen this year – some of it I splurged on, like our new sofa table:

long sofa table

And some I did myself, like this IKEA table turned farmhouse table:

DIY farmhouse table

The whole nook got a new look with the table and the new light:

bay window kitchen

It works SO much better in this space compared to our old round table and we can easily fit six around it to eat (even without pulling it out).

I was craving color earlier this year and tried out one of my very favorite chalk paint colors in our foyer:

aubusson blue

I painted one of my favorite Craigslist dressers with it and it’s such a deep, gorgeous color. LOVE it!

Speaking of that beautiful blue -- another bathroom in our house that sat undone forever was completed this year too. I showed you how I installed the floating wood shelves in our basement bathroom:

DIY wood floating shelves

And then later on in my no-spend August I finished up the room and used that chalk paint color again. You can see the finished space here:

basement bathroom

I made a few simple changes in the family room this year that made a BIG difference. The first was to change out the old dark mirror that was over the fireplace:

To this lighter, brighter one:

decorating a mantel

This mirror is one of the top five things I get asked about – I got it at HomeGoods and still haven’t seen another one like it since! It made a HUGE difference in there. Seriously…big. (You can see more about the fall mantel here.)

I saved up and finally found a rug I loved for this space too. It truly transformed the room:

light family room And finally – if you’re like me the last thing you want to see right now is more Christmas stuff, but my holiday home tour was a big one and I appreciated all your sweet comments there so much:   thrifty decor chick christmas

As always, the posts that got the most feedback were those that just talk about life, and usually those are my favorites. :) You can read more about our mouse problem and how I dealt with that here (I wish I had read something like this before we had the problem), my new favorite place to visit here, a BIG change in our lives (and the love of my life) here, giving up my soda addiction here and a rousing discussion on the prices at Goodwill here.

It was a very good year. Probably one of the best. I am so, SO grateful to do what I do. I have you to thank for that. Thank you for coming back to see what I’m up to, I truly appreciate you and I value the connections I have with so many of you. I’ll be back next week with some DIY and my plans for the new year! Have a great weekend!


  1. Wow! You did so much this year. I slowly remembered the posts as I saw the pics. I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and can't wait to see all you come up with in 2014!

  2. Amazing projects Sarah! I am itching to get started on other things as well.

  3. I, too, remembered each and every project as you went through them. It's truly amazing how fast a year goes by - AND how much you can accomplish in that time span. As I've said before, yours is the first blog I ever started reading and it still inspires me to decorate, purge, make do without spending, and generally feel good about myself. I love how you write as though you're sitting across the kitchen table from me chatting while we have a cup of coffee (or whatever your drink of choice is). I'll still be following you into 2014 and beyond...

  4. You did some amazing projects this year and your home looks totally amazing. Hugs, Marty

  5. Happy New Year Sarah, to you and your family! Congrats on being a new Grandma!
    Erin C in NJ

  6. Oh my goodness, that Ikea table turned into a farmhouse table...GORGEOUS. Bravo.

  7. Please blog MORE!! I love your style and your focus on "the thrifty".

  8. I love that blogging provides actual proof that I did get some things done this year! Great projects Sarah - that bathroom redo makes me smile every time I see it!

    I'm itching to move on to regular DIY projects too. Actually contemplating painting my son's bedroom in the coming days!

  9. Everything is so gorgeous and you are so talented! I pinned like crazy!
    Happy New Year
    House on the Way

  10. I don't know which is my favorite but if you twist my arm...I'd have to say the powder room. That thing rocks! I love coming here for inspiration.

    Happy New Year

  11. Sarah, I have followed you a long time and I have watched your house grow and your style evolve. It has been a blast to follow along! I LOVE your home, it's so pretty and comfortable and liveable. I can feel the love and warmth from the photos :) I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us next!

  12. Everything looks beautiful!!!! Especially that navy craigslist dresser!!!! <3

  13. Loved all I saw and am glad I found your blog, you have a gorgeous but welcoming home. I too loved the blue buffet, awesome, especially with the green mirror, great color choices. After I look thru your posts I love to go back to see what captured my interest the most. I am so inspired right now I'll have a hard time getting to sleep. Wishing you and yours a wonderful healthy happy New Year

  14. So many great projects - you had a fantastic year! I look forward to seeing you work your magic in 2014.

  15. Your home is beautiful!! It's been fun to watch your house change through your blog. You got me hooked on ORB and black everything. I think years ago I would say no way would I be putting gold and white back into my house. Thanks for your continued blogging and sharing!


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!