2019 In Review (How’d I Do On Those Goals?)

The year is coming to a close, and we’re only about a week away from 2020! I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that.

For the last few years, I’ve been making lists of home goals filled with projects that I’d like to get done during the year, and 2019 was no exception. And then at the end of the year, I like to look back and see just how I did on achieving those goals.

So, how did I do on 2019? Well, I got a lot accomplished this year, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. And while I do feel like that to some degree at the end of every year, I feel like 2019 was different. In 2018, I had such clear focus, I worked incredibly hard and diligently, I kept my to do list always at the forefront of my mind. 2019 was different. I went for long stretches of time (sometimes three months) without even referring back to my “to do” list for the year. I completely forgot that I even had a list at one point. This year felt more scattered and disorganized.

But even with all of that, I did manage to get quite a bit done. So here’s a quick rundown of the year…

The Hallway Bathroom

I started the year with a hallway bathroom makeover. At the beginning of the year, the hallway bathroom looked like this…

I just couldn’t handle that drab gray vanity, the light green wall, and the super dark (almost opaque) finish on the countertop. So with some paint, some sanding, and some refinishing, I ended up with a bathroom that was much more suited to my taste.

You can see more pictures of this bathroom here…

The Studio

The biggest changes of the year have been in the studio area. At the beginning of the year, the studio looked like this…

And now it looks more like this…

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 19

I had the drywall installed (because I’ve sworn never to do drywall again), and then I got the walls and ceiling painted and the window trim installed. I still have two doors (and exterior door and the interior door that goes to the breakfast room) that needs to be trimmed out.

I also installed and finished the floor, which was one of my BIGGEST accomplishments of the year. My brother helped me install the floor and whitewash it. It’s definitely one of the projects I’m the proudest of this year.

Studio red oak hardwood flooring during whitewash process

To see more about how I whitewashed the red oak hardwood flooring, you can find that here…

I also designed my own wallpaper for this room to go on the front wall. I wanted something big, floral, and colorful, like an explosion of flowers on the wall. I think this fits the bill. 😀

studio progress as of 10-25-2019 - 18

You can see how I designed my own wallpaper here…

I also built a desk for the office section of the studio…

DIY writing desk - how to build a desk out of a solid core door

You can find that project here…

And then I finished my favorite thing of the whole year — my huge work table for the studio. This is actually two tables that can be used separately, or pushed and clamped together to form one huge table that’s big enough to hold one full drapery panel. This has been my dream for so long, and I finally have it!

large DIY workroom craft table -- two tables that can be clamped together to form one huge table - 2

You can see how I built those here…

You can also click here to see a video of the build process for those tables.

The Studio Back Entry

The back entry of the studio is an area that is actually finished. At the beginning of the year, it looked like this…

And now it looks like this…

back entry of studio with painted chevron floor design and black painted doors

Obviously, I didn’t do the drywall myself, but I did the rest! I installed the doors to the bathroom (on the left) and storage closet (on the right), finished the floor, painted the “rug”, installed and finished all of the trim, painted the walls, and made the curtains.

You can see more of the back entry here…

Studio Half Bathroom

Another big project (and huge accomplishment) of the year was the studio half bathroom. At the beginning of the year, it looked like this…

And now it looks like this…

finished studio half bathroom - 1

I’m so happy with how this bathroom turned out! And I love the fact that I had this area to do some fun, colorful, crazy things that I’d probably never have the nerve to do in the main parts of my house. But with this being my studio, I felt quite a bit more freedom to take some risks with pattern and color, and it still makes me smile every time I walk in there.

The wall design is obviously the star of the room. You can see more details about that here…

I also decided that since this was a studio bathroom, it needed a big, utility-sized sink. I ended up using a kitchen sink, so that required a custom-built vanity to accommodate such a big sink. You can see how I built that here…

And you can see all of the after pictures of this bathroom here…

You can also click here to see a video of the finished room.

The Living Room

I didn’t get my living room finished, but for the first time ever, I feel like I have a clear vision for the finished room. It started with a magazine photo with the perfect answer to my furniture layout, which has been a struggle for me for so long. With this newfound clarity, came some pretty significant changes. I started the year with a small loveseat, small recliner, small rug, and plans to add two matching chairs to the mix. I can’t find a picture that shows the actual room at the beginning of this year (with the teal fireplace), but this one is pretty close…

With the new furniture arrangement came a large sofa, a larger rug, a rectangle coffee table, new pink curtains, and two matching chairs (which still need to be reupholstered).

living room with pink draperies

Those are actually not the chairs that will stay in there. Those are the music room chairs, and the chairs that will go in here are currently in the music room. I swapped them because, while all four chairs need to be reupholstered, these at least look a little bit decent. The other ones aren’t presentable at all. 😀

And just last week, I finished the the new coffee table. You can see from the photo above that I needed something long and narrow with this new arrangement. So this new one fits perfectly…

DIY edge grain plywood herringbone coffee table - 3

You can see how I built that here…

The Current Remodel — Guest Bedroom & Home Gym

And finally, we’re ending the year with a remodel underway. This is the “Phase 1” of three phases that will get us to the finish line on this house. Phase 1 is to get the two bedrooms updated (new insulation, drywall, windows, etc.) so that Matt and I could move out of the master bedroom (which needs to be turned into the master bathroom), and move into the middle guest bedroom. (During this Phase 1, we’re actually staying in the breakfast room, which has been way more pleasant than I anticipated.)

The guest bedroom (which will soon be our temporary bedroom) currently looks like this…

remodel progress 12-23-19

It now has one less doorway and one less window. The one remaining window is brand new. The room now has actual insulation in the walls, new wiring, and new drywall. And I’m so glad to say that this mess in here isn’t mine. 😀

In the other bedroom, which will be the home gym, the progress is underway. They’re installing drywall as I write this.

That room also has new windows, new insulation, new wiring, and new drywall, which will be finished this week.

So once the guest bedroom is finished and we can get moved into that room, work will begin on the master bedroom-to-bathroom conversion. If you’ll remember, the quote that I got from the contractor kind of blindsided me. The initial quote was around $30,000 for that room, and that’s with my DIYing a whole lot of it myself. In other words, that number didn’t even include the parts I was going to do myself, like building the vanity, tiling everything myself, etc. I was blindsided by that number, but I still wanted to go ahead with it, even if it meant taking out a loan. But Matt insisted that we wait. I tried to convince him, but he just wasn’t okay with going ahead with that remodel right now.

Well, I’m not satisfied with that, so I’m forging ahead on my own. The bathroom remodel will begin on January 25th, when I have four (maybe five) people who are going to come over and help me do the demolition on that room. We’ll remove the ceiling tiles, ceiling drywall, wall drywall, shiplap, hardwood floor, and subfloor. My hope is that by the end of the day, the room will be down to ceiling joists, studs, and floor joists. And then I’ll start rebuilding the thing myself. I’m just not going to wait any longer for that bathroom, so if doing it myself (with reinforcements brought in when needed) is the only way, then that’s the way I’ll do it. So that fun will begin on January 25th, whether or not the guest bedroom is finished by that date.

So anyway, 2019 has definitely been a year of progress. I’ve accomplished quite a bit that I’m very proud of. But for some reason, I still feel like I lost my way at some point during the year. My goal next year will be to come up with my list of home goals at the beginning of the year, and stay laser focused on that throughout the year. But overall, I’m very pleased with what I did this year, and I’m VERY excited about what next year holds! So, I’ll see y’all back here next year!

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa P
    December 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

    The life of a MAJOR DIY-er like yourself is kind of crazy! You are a for-real, true DIY-er. Not just someone decorating their house. So, you’re definitely going to take longer on each project than some other “DIY-ers” would. That being said, you should be very proud of you 2019 progress!

    I’m super excited for you to tackle the master bath reno on your own. You’ll save a lot of money and give us lots of good stories. You can use that saved money for the back of your house or your workshop. Don’t forget your workshop on your 2020 list!

    Happy Holidays! Rest up for that 1/25 demo day! LOL!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carla from Kansas
    December 23, 2019 at 11:34 am

    You should be ecstatic with all you accomplished this year. And if you “meandered” remember how long you have been working on this house. You need an occasional break. Every area you have touched looks so great. Enjoy the process. Glad you have demo help beginning in January. I know you can do that bathroom even if you have any doubt. Wish i could apprentice with you. Am loving your you tube channel too. And looking at the living room — those pink curtains just make it. Have a peaceful rest until you tackle that new, big project.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    December 23, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Wow, girl, what you have accomplished this year is A-MA-ZING. Success is not a straight line, it does often meander until we find the right path. And remember, you changed your diet and lost quite a bit of weight this year as well. Many heartfelt wishes to both you and Matt for a wonderful New Year!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 23, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    You have accomplished a great deal! It is an amazing list of goals reached. In addition, you made some art and did other things. Lots to be proud of. And going into the major remodel that is now in progress likely required that the project goal list be revised a bit; priorities sometimes must shift to allow for progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 23, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    You are amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna T
    December 23, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Looking at what you have done is amazing. I can’t even believe you would say “not good enough”! On top of that you are cooking all your meals and caring for your animals and husband keeping everyone healthy. I admire you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janice dinse
    December 23, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I see the studio doors unpainted and the floor molding not up and painted and I think….it is almost done (except for the big build of the cabinets). It would drive me nuts to not get those few things done to finish it. It looks so beautiful and I just love your big room to work and I would die to have those work tables! Love the big sink in the half bath. Are you building or buying shelves for the storage closet? Great job Kristi, you worked so hard this year and I know you forgot some things you did besides what you listed like the petrie dishes, frames and the big paintings in the living room and music room. The spice drawers rack and the pots and pan cupboard. Those took a really long time. You finished the pantry also this year, didn’t you? or was that last year. Time goes so fast, it is hard to keep track anymore. Keep up the great work, I love and look forward every week to your updates. I get so excited to see how talented you are what you have done in the week.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 23, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Incredible progress. Setting goals really does work, because even if you veer off a bit, it pulls you back on track. Your home is amazing. When will we see this in a magazine. It has to happen! Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 23, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    That is a LOT of work for one year! I admire your ability to translate your vision into reality. Have a restful and Merry Christmas and I look forward to a fabulous new year of inspiration.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cyndi Longest
    December 23, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    It’s weird, but I feel like you’re a friend that I’ve never met. I’ve gained insights into my own projects and eagerly await every single post. I never comment on posts, but felt called to let you know just how much I anticipate what you’ll do next. Looking forward to seeing what you accomplish in 2020! Have a Merry Christmas!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 23, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    You should be so proud of what you have accomplished! I have followed along with you over the years and you continue to amaze and inspire me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chelle Ellis
    December 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Your “slow” year wears me out! I woulda been done for the year after the studio floor, oof!

    Can’t wait air to see what you do with the master bedroom/bathroom in 2020.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Crystal Griffith
    December 24, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Love everything you have done and appreciate your tool skills. I am facing several major projects to repair/replace the things that slid by over the last 4 yrs while my husband was ill and then passed away in March. I am without a kitchen sink and have been since Thanksgiving. Have to replace the cabinet and repair the hardwood floor that is rotten under it. Making a few design changes so I can get a quartz countertop. I have already replumbed the drain so the DW can be used and capped off the water lines so the ice maker can still get water. The plbg I knew how to do but following your reno has given me the courage to tackle the floor and cabinets myself. Please keep us updated on ANYTHING you do! We all love it and have learned so much. If you run out of projects, I can offer you a Florida vacation! I figure I’m going to be in my 80s before I get close to done with this house.