My Two Cents About DIY Projects

posted by Andrea | 06/23/2011
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I’ve received a bunch of emails lately from people who are so excited about our farmhouse renovations. A few of them even said they were now motivated to do some of their own home improvement projects!

We are definitely making progress on our house — slowly but surely — and we’re aiming to be finished with “round 1” by the end of July. Yikes, I just said it out loud and then realized that’s only 5 1/2 weeks away!

Anyway, if you’re planning to tackle any DIY projects this summer, here are my two cents:

1. Have patience — it WILL take longer than you think

2. Be willing to live in a mess — it WILL be messy

3. Expect the unexpected –things WILL go wrong

4. Add 10% to your budget — it WILL cost more than you think

And NO, I’m not complaining — really. Just being honest!


I’m so excited with the amount of progress we’ve made so far and now that we’re just about ready to lay the wood floors, I simply can’t wait to see the final transformations take shape.

Now for a few pictures to prove we ARE making progress!

{sorry for the poor quality — it’s been really dark and rainy these past few days and we don’t have all our lights installed yet!}

Here’s a sneak-peak into my future office — just waiting for a fresh coat of Cottage White paint. Don’t you just love all the light those French doors let in? I’m sure I’ll be super productive in there!

And here’s a look at our bathroom vanity. My uncle built it to look like this one from Pottery Barn.  I’m just waiting until the floors are installed to stain it.

Our nursery has come a long way since we announced our big news. All we need now is some crown molding, a floor, baseboard … and a baby. {hopefully in that order!}

One of my favorite features about our renovations is the gorgeous trim around all the windows and doors. I’ve always wanted window sills — and now I have them! {This window is in our master bedroom, overlooking our front porch}. And speaking of our master bedroom, you can see the start of our new closet here!

These past few months have been a TON of work, and we still have a ways to go yet. But if you are the type of person who isn’t afraid to get a little dirty… then the transformation is totally worth it {even if it does take longer, is a lot messier, and is more expensive than you thought}.

I promise!

What projects {big or small} are you planning to tackle over the summer?

Or for the seasoned DIY’ers — what are your “two cents” for those of us who might be starting another project?

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  1. Rebecca


    This is the first summer in four years that I haven’t been pregnant or nursing or dealing with a baby that couldn’t walk yet and hated being outside. It’s the first summer that my kids can play outside and I can work on something other than entertaining them every second. Not that I don’t want to, it just makes getting big projects done.

    This summer, our first project, sort of by accident, was our landscaping. We put in the big landscaping bricks, mostly because my dad (a Craigslist bargain-finder) found the bricks at a steal and we had a really rainy spring and we needed to get the water away from our basement walls.

    If you want to read more about it, check out my blog,


  2. Katrina


    I love all the work you’ve done, especially the bathroom vanity. We have a very old house too, and are amidst many projects. I don’t think we’ll ever be done! 🙂 We’ll be doing our bathroom over someday, and I am considering that very vanity! (As an aside, don’t be staining and putting polyurethane on that vanity yourself. The fumes aren’t good for preggo mommies!)


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Katrina! We love the vanity too!
    And I totally agree that we will probably never be finished with house projects either — that’s the beauty of old homes I guess! This is just “phase 1” and we’re hoping to be done by the end of July. Then we have a few things to finish up in August before school starts, but we’ll call it quits for the school year. Round 2 will begin next spring/summer!

    Good luck with your projects too!


  3. Alice @ Farewell Office


    I cannot “Amen” everything you’ve said enough. Last April, we bought a house no one else would buy. It was built in 1976 and had not been updated since. Seriously, you should have seen my 1970’s era swag lights and dark stained trim. But I saw the beauty. I loved the layout and the large, light-infiltrating windows that are everywhere. We are in the trenches now – master bedroom, son’s bedroom and hall done. This summer I’m tackling the kitchen and breakfast room. I’ve been amazed what a coat of paint, new hardware and new light fixtures can do!


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, paint, hardware, and light fixtures can go a long, LONG way in transforming the look of a house!!
    We’re obviously doing a bit more than that right now 🙂 but this fall, I’m planning / hoping to get new hardware and paint on our kitchen cabinets before the baby comes. I think it will totally update our kitchen for a very reasonable price!


  4. Michelle Aitken


    Gorgeous! I love your windows!!