2016 Rewind: Our Favorite Makeovers & Projects Of The Year

2016 was an interesting year, to say the least. Between starting a podcast, buying a beach house, creating a coloring book, and taking on various projects around here and beyond, well, there were lots of firsts. So we thought we’d end 2016 with a quick recap of the year’s highlights.

Topping the list as our most memorable room makeover was this speedy space-themed bedroom update that we did for a local family whose young son Mason passed away suddenly (the bedroom that he shared with his older brother Hudson needed a refresh so that Hudson could work towards sleeping in there again). We’ve stayed connected to the family via Facebook, so they’ve been on our minds frequently throughout the year, and we are so grateful that we got to meet them.

Probably a close second for most memorable is the teacher’s lounge makeover we wrapped up right before school started. It presented some of the most unusual challenges of any project we’ve ever done (how do you design around a big blue Pepsi machine??), but we loved having the chance to make a space that looked and worked better for this local public elementary school.

Our other ongoing “outside the house” project this year has been helping Sherry’s best friend of 16 years & my cousin settle into their new place. Yes, they married each other many years ago after we introduced them, and they moved down the street from us this summer (more on that in Podcast Episode #3), and you may have caught this little update Sherry did in their son’s room by splitting one duvet cover into two.

And of course, there were lots of changes around our own house this year. Heck, even we almost forgot that we kicked off 2016 with the completion of our bonus room, including nailing in the hardwood floors ourselvesinstalling the cabinets & floating shelves, and creating a wire-free spot for the TV.

Around this time last year it was still an unfinished storage space, and it has become such a natural extension of our upstairs that it’s hard to remember a time we couldn’t just walk in there and kick back on the supersofa for movie night.

And the bonus room was quickly followed by another big renovation: our new kitchen!

The overhaul of this space and the countless improvements it has made to our day-to-day are NOT hard to forget. There are the obvious aesthetic updates…

…but it has also been a huge functional upgrade, thanks to a more hardworking layout and some serious cabinet organization, both of which streamline mealtimes (and getting-out-the-door-times, thanks to the hidden mudroom). We also shared five kitchen remodeling mistakes that we made (so you don’t have to) which will hopefully come in handy for anyone else who’s planning a big room overhaul.

Along with the kitchen reno, we also updated the living room with these DIY built-in bookcases that were the final icing on our long (and long-awaited) renovation.

Our home also saw some smaller updates this year – like embracing beige (never thought we’d write about that!) by repainting our bedroom and office in more neutral colors. Sure it’s less pinnable and probably looks less exciting on screen, but in person it feels just right to us.

Our daughter’s room got an update too, as she moved from a twin daybed to a full-sized one, prompting us to write about a bunch of the phases this room has gone through over the years. It’s oddly fun to look back on all the tweaks and changes in one time-lapse style post. Especially since there’s a chance another room in our house will be making that crib-to-bed transition in 2017.

As you can see from our latest Upstairs House Tour (below), this room continues to change.

If you’re having trouble viewing the video below, try clicking through to the post (they don’t always show up in a reader like Feedly/Bloglovin’) or you can watch it here on YouTube

We also had fun walking around the first floor with a camera in hand (the whole post with both videos can be found here):
One update not caught in the House Tour videos was a helpful new structure outside of our home: yep, we got a shed. Listeners of our podcast have heard lots of little updates about its progress (or lack thereof), but we promise some photos in 2017. Just don’t judge the size of my scrap wood pile.

But as exciting as that shed is in our lives (well, maybe mostly mine), it pales in comparison to our other new structure in 2016 – the beach house! 

It still feels weird to say “our beach house,” especially since it’s in such dire need of fixing up before it can actually function as one. For those who missed it the first time, here’s the state of the dining room when we bought it:

We’re working on a couple of update posts for you, since there’s been some visible – although somewhat terrifying – progress out there. But in the meantime, you can see the layout changes we considered (along with a video tour!) and even weigh in on what color you’d paint it it (we think we’ve made a decision… for now at least. Stay tuned).

Along with makeovers and renovations, another “project” was the podcast we started back in June. We weren’t really sure how it would go, but we’re nearly 30 episodes in and still having a blast, so it’s one of the things we’re most excited about continuing in 2017. We have more guests & special episodes lined up and it still feels really new & flexible – sort of how we felt when we started this blog. So we’re really grateful to have a place to experiment and be weird and have fun. Psst- Podcasts are free & can be enjoyed without using any data, so click here to learn how to listen (just takes a few seconds).

Also filed under “random but fun” was our adult coloring book that came out this fall. We’ve loved every part of this project – from working with an illustrator to reimagine rooms in two-dimensional line drawings to seeing all of you share your colored-in pages. It’s especially fun to see what colors you’d make certain things in our house (it’s like an awesome alternate reality game).

Oh, and remember when we casually launched an app? We’re still kinda miffed that it didn’t catch on. 😉

Perhaps the best thing about looking back at 2016 is that it reminds us that we’ve got lots of fun stuff in the pipeline for 2017. Beach house renovations, more podcasts, more projects around our house (we still have two bathrooms with seashell-shaped sinks!) and hopefully some more makeovers for others as well.

In the meantime, you can catch up on some other 2016 happenings – like writing a free e-course about bloggingdecorating for the holidays, etc – by just scrolling down our blog page to see all the other things we’ve had fun with this year. We also made a few new blog pages, like our Shop Our House page and this We’re Digging page full of furnishings/accessories for anyone out there who’s planning an update of their own.

We hope you all had some big bright spots in 2016, and even more coming your way next year. See you on the flip side! And by flip side I mean January.

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