Did you have good holidays? I hope you feel rested and relaxed. We’ve still got a few more days off and I’ll be enjoying a slower pace until the new year, but I couldn’t say good bye to this decade without a look back at some of our achievements. Warning: there are A LOT of photos in this post!
I’ve been blogging since 2007 and I thought it would be fun to pause, reflect, and revisit some of the DIYs, remodels, and renovations we’ve undertaken over the last 10+ years, working on our two houses and a cottage. From powder room makeovers to full basement renovations, we’ve done it all and documented it here on this blog. Everyone loves a good Before & After so here is a massive roundup of 35+ Before and After home renovation projects, plus some of our best lessons learned over the years! About 95% of the work done on these projects was a DIY so if Sean and I can do it,
you can do it too
. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Just click on the numbered project title to be taken to the details about that project.
P.S. I’ll apologize in advance for the quality of some of these photos. Our rooms are not the only thing that have improved over ten years 😉
LIVING ROOM REMODELS:
Let’s start with the heart of our homes, the living room. These rooms are where we tend to gather, sit by the fire, and entertain guests. In the Spring of 2018, we undertook what still holds to be our most dramatic renovation yet and in just six weeks transformed this boring lilac room into a sophisticated space.
In the early 2010’s, we also took the living room in our first house from bland and dated to comfortable and welcoming. This involved building and tiling our own fireplace, replacing the front window, and refinishing furniture.
BATHROOM REMODEL BEFORE AND AFTERS:
The most challenging type of renovation? We’d have to say bathrooms! There is no other renovation project that involves more systems, more surfaces, and down to the studs dirty work – all in a very small confined space. From a small powder room makeover to a basement bathroom remodel and full bathroom renovations, these bathroom remodel before and afters show just how much you can transform a small space. Here’s five of our bathroom renovations, each in a unique style. Click on the text to see the full reveals.
BEDROOM REMODEL IDEAS:
Bedroom renovations tend to be amongst some of our easiest projects. More of a makeover or bedroom remodel than full renovation, these projects often involve simple changes like adding trimwork, paint or wallpaper, and revised layouts. Despite their ease, bedroom remodels can have a huge impact on daily life. Nothing beats climbing into your bed at the end of a long day and feeling calm and serene. I hope these bedroom before and after ideas inspire you to create your own relaxing space.
This panelled accent wall in our old master bedroom from 2010 was ahead of it’s time. A little bit of moulding created a needed focal point for this bedroom (and this project landed us on The Nate Berkus show!). Creating that accent wall also resolved one of our big challenges in this room: hiding a bump out which had limited furniture placement.
Space planning was also a challenge in this blue and awkward master bedroom. With new paint, new furnishings, and a different layout, we ended up with a room that looked and functioned so much better.
Dealing with a lack of storage? We were too, until we took this lack-lustre bedroom and hacked IKEA Pax wardrobes to create a cozy room to welcome baby Chloe home, complete with a dreamy window seat. After it was done being used as a nursery, we turned this room into a bright and peaceful guest bedroom.
But bedrooms don’t have to stay as bedrooms. This one went from empty space to green home office for 2 and finally ended up as a big girl bedroom with a new window seat. You might have noticed we have a thing for built ins!
In our current home, this empty bedroom turned into a pretty blue home office. We installed wallpaper and added storage to create a room perfect for working at home.
Sometimes, paint can bring about the biggest transformation. This tragic red bedroom became a calm and neutral guest bedroom. Installing a new closet system and bifold doors added style and function.
Dining Room Makeovers:
The dining room in our first home was dark and striped when we moved in. We first updated it with wainscotting and a bold yellow floral scheme then shifted to a more neutral and bright tropical dining room.
Our dining room at the cottage didn’t need much updating. With curtains and handmade furniture, it became a pretty spot for casual dining.
BASEMENT RENOVATIONS, LAUNDRY ROOM REMODELS, AND CREATIVE SPACES:
Some of the spaces we’ve renovated involved more dramatic transformations. From demolishing and moving walls, to reconfiguring spaces, and adding elements like cabinetry, flooring, and lighting, we created these rooms from the bottom up.
We took down walls and opened up the rest of our dated and dingy basement to create one large and bright open area. In this space, we incorporated a craft area, a play area with ample toy storage, a basement home office, and entertainment zone.
Creative spaces are a must in our home. In our current home, we transformed this empty and barren room in 2018 into The Crafts Dept., headquarters for all sorts of crafting, gift wrapping, art, and mess making. We infused it with coastal style and an abundance of organized cabinetry.
KITCHEN RENOVATION BEFORE AND AFTER:
Kitchen renovations are difficult, expensive, time consuming, and always extremely satisfying. We’ve only renovated one kitchen in our homes but the change was dramatic. We took this awkward and dysfunctional 1960’s kitchen and created a small but mighty bright, white galley kitchen. This project taught us a great deal about efficient layouts, cabinetry selection, and small space design – lessons that we used in future renovations.
Sometimes, the Before and After involves a very small space. From hallways to closets, these mini remodels were an opportunity to add interest and function.
There have been plenty of changes to our outdoor spaces too. We’ve replaced walkways and built gardens and increased our curb appeal with exterior upgrades. For some of these outdoor spaces, decorating made the difference and all we needed was outdoor furniture or a bit of organization to get things in order.
38. Deck Decor
And that’s it! Phew! I think that covers every major renovation we’ve done. Just reading this post, I suddenly feel very very tired, ha! I’m even surprised myself at how much work we were able to accomplish over the last decade.
If you’ve been reading along for all or part of these projects over the last ten years, THANK YOU!!! I wouldn’t have continued blogging for so long if it wasn’t for the wonderful community I’ve found here. It’s been one of my life’s greatest joys to share our life with you.
Cheers to the 2010’s. All the best to you for the 2020’s!