A Decade Of Marches

August 16th of this year will mark ten years since Matt and I bought our house. Ten years! I’ve said that many times in different conversation with different people. I’ve mentioned it in at least a couple of blog posts already. And yet, it still seems hard to believe that it’s almost been 10 years. And as I’ve mentioned already, my goal is to have all of the interior rooms of our house finished by that 10-year anniversary of us owning this house. If I counted correctly, that means I have 4.5 months to get my studio completely finished.

So just to appreciate the last 10 years, I took a look back at what projects I was doing in this month (March) of each of the last 10 years. It was a fun exercise, not only to remember all of the different projects, but to see how far things have come. Here’s a quick look back…

This Month Ten Years Ago (2013)

In March 2013, Matt and I were still living in our little condo close to Baylor University campus, and I was finishing up a 20-day makeover that I did on the little hallway bathroom. Here’s what it looked like before I started the makeover…

And here’s what it looked like after the makeover…

I was still a pretty new DIYer back then, but I figured out how to make a wood countertop and new cabinet doors for the vanity. I also painted the bathtub and tub surround, installed new vinyl tile flooring, and so much more. If you weren’t around back then, you can click here for a little trip back in time to see this makeover.

This Month Nine Years Ago (2014)

In March of 2014, Matt and I had been living in the house for just a few month (I think it was October 2013 when we finally moved in), and I had just finished a Phase 1 of decorating the living room. There was no remodeling that went into this. The room still had the old drywall, old polystyrene ceiling tiles, old windows, and window unit air conditioner. This was a “lipstick on a pig” type of project.

It still amazes me to look back at that living room. Who the heck was I decorating for? That room just doesn’t seem like me at all. I did love that ottoman, though! I built and upholstered that myself, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. And who remembers my painted sofa? 😀 It started out a very loud blue and white floral, and I painted it white. It was incredibly durable and felt a bit like vinyl.

Also in March of 2014, I was just starting the kitchen remodel. I had no idea what I was doing, but with sheer determination, I started removing the original cabinets and shoving them over into the big room next to the kitchen (i.e., the room that was originally divided to become our pantry and breakfast room).

If you missed the original kitchen remodel with the green and gold cabinets, you can see that here.

This Month Eight Years Ago (2015)

In March of 2015, I was more than halfway through with the hallway bathroom remodel. After finishing up the kitchen remodel, I was feeling pretty confident in my DIY abilities and the new skills I had learned during that remodel, so without much planning and zero budgeting at all, I jumped right into a bathroom remodel.

This room looked like this when we bought the house…

hallway bathroom before - edited 2021

All of the original bathroom had been torn down to the studs, floor joists, and ceiling joists, and I started over completely. So by the end of March 2015, I had the paneling on the walls installed, and I was just finishing up the paneled skirting that I added to the side of the standard bathtub

And I was also just finishing up the vanity mirror with the sconces incorporated into the frame.

But as you can see in the reflection in the mirror, I still had trim to install in the room, and loads of finishing touches before the room was actually finished. If you missed the original bathroom remodel, you can see it here.

This Month Seven Years Ago (2016)

March of 2016 is when I was in the middle of my very wayward attempt to turn our living room into a dining room. That will, forever and always, be remembered in my mind as my dumbest idea in this house, and it swallowed up months of my time as I tried to turn the room into something that it clearly wasn’t intended to be.

That ridiculous idea included lots and lots of picture frame molding on the walls. Why in the world would I choose to put picture frame molding on the walls of a room that had five windows, a fireplace, a door, and two cased openings?!

I’d love to know what the heck was going on in our lives during that time, because it seems like I was probably dealing with some sort of mental/emotional issues that manifested themselves in my crazy, nonsensical decisions with our home.

I struggled and struggled with that room, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and finally gave up in wrote a post on March 25th titled “Know When To Walk Away“. I’m so glad I walked away from that plan! We get so much use out of our cozy little living room these days. I can’t even imagine how useless that room would have been to us had I somehow managed to turn it into a dining room.

The very end of March 2016 is also when I started the hand drawn birds and butterflies mural on the entryway wall.

I didn’t finish the mural until April 2016. Of all of my projects I’ve done in this house, and that didn’t make the final cut, this is the one that is mentioned the most often in comments by readers as the project y’all miss the most.

This Month Six Years Ago (2017)

In March of 2017, I was spending my time focused on a few different things. I hadn’t yet started on the pantry makeover, but I was installing the doors on the pantry. I used bifold closet doors, and took them apart to install them as French doors on the pantry.

Today, that pantry doesn’t have any doors on it, and those are the doors that I used to build the cabinet that is now in the water closet area of our master bathroom.

In March of 2017, I was also in the middle of repainting the kitchen after deciding that a green kitchen just wasn’t exactly right for me. In the picture above, you can see the kitchen cabinet doors lined up against the empty pantry walls. Looking back at these old posts, I was reminded that I had tried out several other colors before landing on the teal that they are now. I had actually tried a navy blue for the lower cabinets, and a very light gray for the upper cabinets. That was awful in my kitchen, so then I tried out several other colors, finally leaning into my love for teals.

March of 2017 was obviously a busy month, because that’s also when I refinished the concrete countertops in the kitchen.

This Month Five Years Ago (2018)

In March of 2018, I was focused on several front porch projects. I finished up the wood porch that I built to float over the original concrete porch, and I had also installed new posts and wrapped them to look like thicker columns. But I hadn’t yet tackled the new steps and railing.

Also that month, I built the little portico over the side studio door.

This Month Four Years Ago (2019)

March of 2019 was all about the studio. At the beginning of the month, the room got new drywall.

And by the end of the month, I was hard at work getting that back entry in the studio painted.

And now, I’m about to redo all of that. 😀

This Month Three Years Ago (2020)

In March of 2020, I actually took a long break from project in our house in order to work on a remodel in my mom’s kitchen. That was a very fun and rewarding project. When we started that project, her kitchen looked like this…

mom's kitchen before - 2-2

By the end of March, it wasn’t quite finished, but we had built new cabinet doors, and were in the process of getting the cabinets painted and the doors installed.

At that time, it would still be just over a month before her kitchen was finished.

If you missed the before and after of my mom’s kitchen makeover, you can see that here.

This Month Two Years Ago (2021)

March of 2021 was kind of a slow month as far as house projects go because Matt spent a week in the hospital. But one thing that caught my eye when looking over posts that I wrote that month was my post about inspiration for our home gym. I had determined that I wanted colorful striped walls in that room, but I was still trying to figure out exactly what I wanted. Here’s one of the mock ups I did. 😀

That’s not too far from what I ended up doing (with different colors, thank goodness), but check out this mock up I did…

I mean…YOWZA! 😀 Let’s just say that I’m glad I stopped with what I have. Striped walls are just right. A striped ceiling like that? That’s a bit much.

This Month One Year Ago (2022)

In March of last year, I seemed to be struggling a bit with staying focused, probably because I was in the midst of a bathroom remodel and having to do big projects (like tiling the bathroom floor) that I really didn’t want to do and dreading having to do. Not only was I working in the master bathroom, but I was working on installing trim in the home gym. And then, in them midst of all of that, I took some time to do a little organizing project in the kitchen.

This Month, 2023

And this month, March 2023, my big triumph was finishing our home gym.

So there’s a glimpse at what was going on this month over the last ten years. It was fun for me to look back and see just how far this house has come, and to relive just a little bit of the journey.

And now I’m done to one room, and four-and-a-half months before we mark our 10-year anniversary in this house. I hope I can get it done!

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  1. I remember the couch!!! I started following you right before that, I’ve enjoyed following all of your projects. While I didn’t do the work myself, I used your style for window trim when we had our windows replaced. As many others, I do miss the bird mural… I look forward to your future projects!

  2. Nice visit through time. Your projects are so beautiful and the detail you provide is so great. I think a key part of your blog are the detailed pictures which are worth a 1000 words as they say. I really liked the portico that you did and had missed it on the blog before.

  3. Oh Kristi….has it really been 10 years???? I was with you from the condo days…. I still love that mural of the branch and the bird…! Thanx for the trip down memory lane…

  4. I’ve been following you since your condo days. What a great journey through time! The ottoman was one of my favorite projects and I remember what a disaster the bathroom was as you were demoing it. Because of all the work you have done, you have instilled faith in myself that I can do it too. I don’t second guess my design decisions often because you have taught me to design my house for me and my family. Thanks for all the inspiration over the years and for giving me the belief in myself that I can do it. You are an amazing woman. Keep it up. I have faith that you will get the studio done in time!

  5. Beautiful! So many little (Big) projects along the way. Keep going ! You are a true testament that slow & steady is the way to go.

  6. I’ve been here through all of this. There is no blog I enjoy more than your’s. You have created a beautiful home and worked tirelessly on it. Your eye for detail and use of color are unmatched. I can’t imagine the feeling you and Matt must have as you see each room and remember how it all started. I look forward to each new post. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I remember every single one of those original posts. I look forward to your content when you send it out. You’re truly amazing!! Great work!! Thanks for sharing your ideas and inspiring us all!!

  8. I started following you in 2013. I had just list my mom in 2012 to pancreatic cancer & in 2013 my younger sister to breast cancer. I was so depressed but your blog helped me see possibilities even when you were discouraged.I am a DIYer too & you continue to be an inspiration. Thank you!

  9. I have been following you for 8+ years. In the beginning I almost quit, because of all the starts and stops. Now I realize it is just part of your process and you know yourself well enough to redo rather than regret.

    I thoroughly admire you. I talk about you to my friends because I am so impressed with you. I also have a love of color, so I am always pleased with your projects. That gym is fab.

    Hope this was not too fan girl for you!!

  10. Wow1 Those years have rolled along fast. It looks like I subscribed sometime in mid-2017. I keep a gmail file ‘Label’ named “Kristi & Mark’s House” so I just checked to see when I started adding some posts to it. What project was going then? The picture of those doors with windows that came to earn other spots rings a bell.

    Where to begin the list of the favorite results you have achieved? Not by any means all-inclusive and in no particular order. The living room makes me relaxed even from afar because it is soft and inviting. The pink additions did it for me.

    The sitting room, which at some point will revert back to a breakfast room, was such a smart way to use the space. You can be with Mark when he is up to it, even when working in the kitchen and if a TV program doesn’t draw you in, you can smile at the fun wall stuff. (The recliners look very comfortable.)

    Those pantry tiles just knock me out. I have shown them to many people who loved them too. The black pen addition to the music room wallpaper took it to a new level. Genius. Your Mom’s kitchen is beautiful.

    A guest room that turned out to be a big surprise, given that the colors are so different from the rest of the house. Just perfect. The gym is a knockout. That neon sign will keep you both motivated and dripping wet. Oh, so then just head to the fabulous master bathroom and enjoy a shower (that may just be your crowning achievement) and maybe later, head out in the van for a treat somewhere or just take a rest.

    The studio and the nearby projects will be smashing. I have been eager to see that move forward. I hope you enjoy the process and if you make your time goal, how great! No need to stress if not. Nothing will run away and we members of the Kristi and Mark fan club will still be here too.

    Congratulations on what you have accomplished. I wish you only the best.

  11. Oh my gosh! Really?? Ten years?? I had no idea if been following you that long. Wow! It has been a wonderfully enjoyable time. I found you right as you moved in here and started on this house. I have seen every post you just showed. I also watched as you went back to do some final work on the condo. It’s been amazing being with you all this time. Love it all!!

  12. I started following you about the time of the phase 1 kitchen redo, with cement countertop and beefing up the kitchen cabinet/paint. It has been so enjoyable to watch your home blossom over the years! So much life has happened in between and you have created a warm and loving home! Thanks for letting us share it with you!

  13. This was a fun trip down memory lane! I’ve been reading your blog since the condo days. I didn’t realize I’d been following along in your home journey for so long! It’s been a treat to see your work. You are a great communicator, your photography is so good, and your skills are fabulous. Thanks for all the inspiration through all the years!

  14. What a journey! I have been reading since you were in your condo (not sure when), and it’s amazing to see all of the beautiful dreams you’ve brought to fruition. I hope you do a post like this for other months in the future. 🙂

  15. Not sure when I found your blog Kristi, but I am still so happy I did. I look forward to your post each week and the extras are always a pleasant surprise. I am thinking I saw the curtains you were making on Pinterest and then found the blog. (purple with trim) I do a lot of sewing, so I think that was what I was first looking at. Boy, it has come a long way from the beginning, and even since I started following. I don’t know HOW you knew you could update that house when you first saw it. Amazing! Looking forward to what you do next, and yes, I also love that wall mural with the birds…!🥰

  16. Wow Kristi, You are amazing with your styling. Congratulations on such a beautiful home full of colour. Not many people do colour. I love colour, I don’t always know how to do it .

    I am in Sydney NSW and love your to do instructions they are so well put together.

    The one piece that to me is a master of patients, design and genius is your pixel art. I don’t know how you can be so patient and creative and even after you completed it you still went back to do it with epoxy resin. Just perfect.

  17. Looks like I have been following you since you moved into your home, and remember you painting the couch! Fun to read this post and re-live all the projects you have done!

  18. I will always miss the birds and butterflies mural, but the majority of what you have now is certainly more you, and that’s a good thing! Would love to see some shrubs or even just a couple of flowerpots in front by the porch this spring though, if nothing else!!!

  19. Wow, I didn’t realize how many years I’d been following you and Matt on your home journey. What an incredible trip through time. All great work, even the things you ultimately changed. Still missing the faux Schumacher wall but agree that in the end it wasn’t right for the final entry/living room. Best wishes for the next 10 years and looking forward to seeing more great projects.

  20. I started following you about a year before you left the condo. It was the spoon mirror project. I can’t believe it has been over 10 years already (for me). I take a little break from work and check every day at 11 a.m. to see if you have posted (most days, yes, some Wednesdays, no). I’m always amazed by what you do (ripping out walls, putting in walls, putting down floors, building furniture, tiling miles of bathrooms, etc.) because I remember when you were rocking it with just a few little power tools.

  21. Has it really been a decade? I found your blog when you were a professional decorator for clients and refreshing your condo. You are amazing.

  22. No matter whether you get the studio done in your timeline…I will still be reading your blog as I’ve done since your condo days. You are truly an inspiration, as you keep on going until you are satisfied and as you said, even give up on an idea when you realize it is just not right. Thank you for your hard work, pictures and honesty in how DIYing is!