In this post: A review of the past year’s home improvements is a great way to take stock and create decorating and renovation plans for the coming year. ⇒
There’s no better way to get a clear picture of where you are than to look back to see how far you’ve come, in order to look ahead and determine where you want to go.
I like to picture myself on a mountaintop with the accomplishments of the past year on one side and a blank slate of unknown terrain on the other. A review of the past is best utilized in service of forging that path ahead for the future.
That’s exactly what this end-of-year post is meant to do as it applies to creating a home you love. I’ve joined with a group of my blogging besties, whose posts you can find at the bottom of this one, and our hope is that you’ll find inspiration to do the same with your own home, as you see the progress (and failures) in ours.
Creating a home and then subsequently updating it is an ongoing process to be sure. I’ve never been the type to decorate from top to bottom and then leave everything as is for 20 years until the next updates.
For one thing I’m ever aware of changing trends even though I don’t really decorate by what’s in vogue. But more to the point, I simply enjoy finessing and tweaking my home.
This past year, a lot of my updates were not on a particularly grand scale, which actually made it a pretty normal year. Let’s take a look at what I accomplished, what I did not get done that I had intended to, where I pivoted, and what I have planned for the coming year.
The year began with a need for a second home office, with my husband and I both working from home. While we are just two people in a four bedroom house, I like to keep my guest rooms set up as bedrooms to accommodate family and friends coming to visit.
Yet I needed to steal a portion of one of those rooms for a desk and a comfortable sofa. I reworked our blue and white cottage bedroom into a dual use guest room and you can see the details at the link in this paragraph.
With my office squared away, I could move on to my intended projects for the year. If you’re curious what I hoped to achieve from last year’s recap post, you can see that post HERE. I always love to revisit it a year later to see how on target I am.
Of the 3 main projects at the top of my list, one I scrapped, one is in work but a bit stagnated (our entry foyer floor), and one I just completed. That last project is a small guest bath and I shared the plans for it earlier this year.
Both the bath and the entry hall floor were delayed by the difficulty I had securing a tiler. The tile for the foyer floor has been sitting in my garage for months and the little bath has just been finished. I will be revealing it very soon in an upcoming post as I’m currently putting the finishing touches on it.
Given the difficulty of finding contract workers I turned to DIY projects. I’m now quite comfortable with painting furniture and I found time for two pieces I wanted to conquer.
The first was a small chest in our back entry foyer which is a reproduction piece that had an awful, forced, faux finish. I hated the look but it was the exact right size for our space so I decided to update it with a new paint finish. You can see the full tutorial HERE.
The second project was a simple straightforward one but one that was much needed. The whitewash finish on our breakfast table was really worn out and dirty on the side we use more often. What a pleasure it was to spend an afternoon making it look as good as new!
In the realm of organizing, I did a lot of cleaning out this year, but the one room that I needed to whip back into shape was the kitchen. I did a complete overhaul of our kitchen storage to go with the pantry update I had completed prior.
Next week I’ll be sharing my top organizing and decluttering posts, before moving on to some new ones later in the month, so be on the lookout if you’re ready to get organized.
I spent a good bit of time this year working on design theory and that’s something I will continue in the coming year. I addressed these topics:
- How to Avoid the Biggest Decorating Mistakes
- Understanding Room Layout and Furniture Placement
- Are You Over Decorating? Home Decor Tips to Simplify Your Space
- How to Add the Finer Things to Your Home on Any Budget
I also spent some time this year refining my taste and style by looking at other homes that I love. Visiting home tours is something I’ve always loved doing in person and virtual tours are equally as fun. Here are some favorites I shared this year:
A good part of my decorating efforts this year were spent on seasonal decor and I feel I’m starting to perfect my technique of maintaining my true style while adding in seasonal flavor.
There are too many to share in this one post, but here are a few of my faves:
- Spring: 8 Design Elements That Will Refresh Your Spring Home
- Summer: 5 Summer Kitchen Styling Ideas
- Fall: Easy Ways to Add Autumn Decor to Your Bathroom
- Winter: Holiday Decorations Using Greenery and Organics.
When it comes down to it, decorating our homes is about making our spaces work for us, creating inviting rooms that function according to our needs. Setting up little nooks like a bar cart or a breakfast bar can help in that effort, and this year I added a little coffee station to our kitchen for a bit of premium kitchen comfort.
Looking ahead to the coming year, my top projects that I hope to complete include finishing that entry hall floor, renovating a second guest bath, organizing the garage and updating the laundry room. There are a few closets I wouldn’t mind upgrading with custom systems, as well.
But mostly my efforts will turn toward refining my decor, paring back some of the decorative items, updating a few pieces of furniture and taking my home one step closer to my imagined ideal.
My style becomes clearer to me each year and I hope to realize that vision in the coming year. It will still be French-influenced, it will still include vintage pieces and it will still be based around whites and neutral tones. And the modern pieces I add will hopefully co-exist with that essence that never really changes.
Please be sure to enjoy my friend’s posts below:
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN:
- Transforming a Modern Townhouse into a French Country Home
- 5 Affordable Room Makeovers: How to Modernize French Country Decor
- The 6 Defining Style Elements I Use In Every Room
- The Ultimate Guide to French Country Decor Essentials
- 10 Ways to Save Money When Decorating with French Country Decor
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