Happy New Year, y’all! I blinked and 2017 was over!
2017 was a really weird but amazing year for us. We sold our old (well, actually new) builder grade house, moved in with my parents for 2 months, traveled to Miami, Austin, and Chicago (all for work-related trips in one single month… whew!), bought our 1960s brick colonial fixer-upper, and it’s been full steam ahead in DIY projects ever since.
I think I need a nap. Ha!
It’s really been a whirlwind, a total emotional roller coaster full of worries about the future, self-doubt, discoveries about our own abilities, and more stress in one year than we’ve ever experienced before. But 2017 also revealed to us just how much more awesome God’s plans are for us than if we’d planned them ourselves. I’m always amazed by that with every New Year, that it didn’t at all turn out how I’d planned, but I’m glad it didn’t.
I never would have imagined in January of last year that we would be where we are now, and I’m SO thankful for our supportive family, for this new house full of new adventures, for all of the opportunities this little blog has brought us, and for all of you guys who encourage us along the way and allow us to be a small part of your own journeys in making “home” happen.
So today, I’ve joined in with my sweet friend Cami at Tidbits and a group of some of the best home and DIY bloggers on the planet who I’m so blessed to call friends to share our top 10 most popular blog posts and projects of 2017.
I hope they all inspire you, whether you’re a newbie to this blog and playing catch up or you’ve been a long time reader and maybe missed a post or two that you might want to re-visit. Cue the cheesy 80s music montage for the highlight reel…
In April, Robert and I traveled to Austin, TX along with Rachel from Maison de Pax, Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof, Nina from Nina Hendrick Design, and April from House By Hoff to makeover a master bathroom for a very deserving couple.
It was by far one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever been dealt, but it turned out even more beautiful than we imagined! And it was just proof to me that anything is possible when you have awesome friends for support along the way.
There were so many builder-grade-turned-custom projects in this space that you could DIY yourself quickly and inexpensively.
In May, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago with Delta Faucet to come up with a design inspired by the city. I never would have imagined this whole design scheme without that trip. I certainly never would have thought that I’d ever put wallpaper on our walls, but life is full of surprises, I guess.
We got a big awakening about just how tough owning a fixer upper really is with this room makeover too because, apparently, this room used to be a poured concrete porch… which we learned the hard way. Totally worth every little hiccup though.
Our kitchen backsplash was one of the first weekend projects we tackled in this house to cover up some mosaic tile that just wasn’t really our style. It was a temporary, cheap solution that has become one of my favorites!
We gave Olivia a little space of her own by using an old armoire I found in a junk shop. I just painted it, converted the drawers to a bookshelf, added some birch tree wallpaper, hung a lantern as a reading light, and voila! A Narnia-inspired The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe reading nook. I kind of wish this was adult-sized. 😉
If you have an old armoire lying around and a little one who loves books, this project is tons of fun (and I bet could be adapted for all kinds of favorite children’s stories).
Back in the summer, I made these engineer print botanicals and shared them as a free printable set, and they’ve become crazy popular ever since! I even shared a fall botanical set and winter botanical set to swap out with the seasons. I plan to share a spring botanical set in March this year too so that the gallery wall can be changed year-round.
When we lived with my parents earlier this year while transitioning between houses during our move, I gave their guest bedroom a quick makeover. My parents found this sleigh bed on Craigslist that I made to look like weathered wood using just chalk paint and wax. I looks so much like a high-end piece from Restoration Hardware! But it cost less than $200. Woot!
Summer was really crazy for us this year as we were still unpacking boxes and moving in furniture, but I love decorating whenever I need an “escape”. It’s my way of making a few pretty corners in our house while working in other messy rooms. This was my first seasonal tour in this house that finally started to make it feel like home to me.
After we sold our “cookie cutter” builder grade house, I rounded up all of the ways we customized it to make it have lots of farmhouse character. Some of the ways are super easy like how to add texture to a room or incorporate seasonal greenery into spaces, others are more challenging like how to install a faux beam or build a fireplace. All of them are super effective, if you love farmhouse style.
This printable went bananas on Pinterest last year! And I can’t wait to bust it out again this week as I do a full deep cleaning. I suuuuper heart making lists (nerd alert over here); it’s how I’m the most productive, so this whole house deep cleaning checklist came in very handy last January. Some of y’all even messaged me to tell me that you printed out a few copies of the list and divided up the chores for your kids to handle. Genius! (And makes me wish I had a bigger cleaning crew around here.)
I do a lot of thrift store furniture makeovers, but this one spread like wildfire all over Facebook and Pinterest using Fusion Mineral Paint. Was it the color? The gray wood top? The antiquing wax on its cute little details? I dunno. But who knew a $20 dresser bound for the trash could ever turn out so pretty? It is currently staying in my parents’ guest bedroom, where we visit it often. 🙂
Thank you again to all of you who have followed along on our journey this past year (and the years before that). It’s so hard to believe that this little blog that I started just as a creative outlet during Olivia’s naptimes as a baby back in 2013 has blossomed into magazine features and design opportunities and partnerships with brands I love. Bless’er House will officially be turning 5 years old this year! And we couldn’t do any of this without you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in us!
I’ll be sharing later next week some of the goals we have for this house in 2018, so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, what would YOU like to see from us? How can we help you in your own home this year? What burning questions do you have? Sound off in the comments or take the Bless’er House Reader Survey for a chance to receive a $100 Amazon gift card as my little way of saying thanks.
You can check out lots more project ideas and inspirations from some of the best DIY bloggers on the internet from the list below. Every single one of them are full of talent, and I just know you’ll be inspired by their Top 10 Posts of 2017 too.