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In my last post, I shared all of my favorite projects of 2015. Some were on the list because they were popular with the blogging community (like my raised garden beds the lumber rack in the garage); some were ones I was just plain proud of because of their significance to the house’s progress (like taking down the trees and repairing the siding). And, that got me thinking a little bit.
While I do love the cosmetic upgrades just as much as the next person with eyeballs, this blog has kind of always been about the “ugly” side of home improvement. Some of the messier-looking projects have such an impact on the house that they will always stand out in my mind as the best… even when the “popular” posts of the year don’t always tell the whole story. Getting rid of the pine trees wasn’t a glamorous project, but it meant less pine straw to keep up with in the yard and even less pine straw clogging or weighing down my roof and gutters*. I’m going to love the smell of my gardenias blooming next summer, but fewer home repairs and a greater sense of knowledge about my property in general? Made of WIN. And it paves the way for some badass projects I have in mind for 2016, which wouldn’t be possible without doing these things first.
For bloggers, the heavy value we place on traffic numbers and social media popularity can skew how a we see our accomplishments, which can also cause us to take our eyes off of the things we challenged ourselves to do or things we discovered about ourselves as we did them. But blogging is also about community and sharing these lessons with others (whether it’s a “yay, I did it!” or “dammit, that squirrel is back“). So, I thought I’d have a fun experiment with some of my blog friends. I posed a simple question: if you had to pick ONE project for this year, even if it wasn’t a “popular” post, which one was your favorite, and why? The answers ranged from small things to BIG room changes, but it was a nice reminder of how much fun the challenge can really be. I hope you enjoy these responses, too!
From Build Basic: DIY Coffee Table
“My favorite project this year was my coffee table. It’s maybe the first thing I’ve ever stained that came out exactly how I wanted it to. I lack confidence (and patience) when it comes to finishes, but I knew this was going to be the centerpiece of our living room, so I literally forced myself to walk away every time I started to rush. Which is all to say, the table is a constant reminder to me that I need to slooooow down ;)”
From Kim Six Fix: DIY Air Conditioner Screen
“…it is the only project I’ve designed and built from scratch, and actually got the thumbs up from a professional after the install, which made me super proud!”
From Not Just a Housewife: DIY Terrarium Side Table
“I’ve been obsessed with terrariums since the fifth grade when Mrs. Tanner helped us make one out of a two liter bottle. When I needed a new side table for my family room, I thought “Why not make a terrarium?” It challenged me since I had never cut and welded acrylic before so it made it all the more rewarding when it was done.”
From Fix This Build That: Reclaimed Industrial Side Table
“The thing I love about this one is how awesome the finish on the top turned out and the character in the wood. Also it sits in our family room where I put my drink any time we are watching TV. So I get to see it a lot and it just makes me smile everytime I look at that wood top with its big nasty knot, sawmill marks and patina. Love it!”
From My Repurposed Life: Dressing Table Repurposed Desk
“It showcases what you can do with old unwanted furniture. It’s really unlike any desk repurpose I’ve seen.”
From Pretty Handy Girl: How to Build a Table
“It wasn’t hard to make, but definitely thrilled with the results and that I finally found time to make it.”
From Organizing Made Fun: Home Office Reveal
“I’d probably say my home office – although my son’s room is a close second! It has my true style.”
From That’s My Letter: Loft Bed with Lego Storage
“Most proud of my son’s loft bed I designed & built and Jen (House of Wood) did the plans. Bloggers are stronger together!”
From Picardy Project: The Most Expensive Tape Measure Ever
“Sadly we didn’t get to complete many projects this year: toddler, pregnant/birth of another kiddo, growing our handyman/design business and looking for our new house (we have an offer on a short sale!) but there is one thing we did complete, and that’s a small project for our girls: our family growth chart. I loved how detailed and personalized we got, and even though it cost a small fortune, it’s so perfectly us and I hope it gets used for generations.”
From House of Wood: DIY Reclaimed Bed
“…the bed I built for my daughter. She loves it and I love that we can take it with us wherever we move since it disassembles easily. I love looking at all the different grains and tones of wood when I sing her to sleep every night.”
From Her Tool Belt: Console Table with Scroll Legs
“I love the curves of the scroll legs! It’s an unexpected outcome from building lumber.”
From Addicted to DIY: Dog Food Station
“I know a dog food station isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but it was one of the first projects I was able to draw my own plans for and it got such a great response from people who were building it for their own dogs :)”
From Reality Daydream: Fold Down Murphy Desk with Storage
“… the whole concept and design came out of my head, AND it’s so functional and gets used everyday by the littles!”
From Sawdust 2 Stitches: Garage Sale Cabinet Turned Kitchen Island
“This project has earned it’s rank as one of my favorite projects of all time, and tops the charts for 2015. I love the fact that no one ever suspects what the decrepit old cabinet had potential of becoming!”
And speaking of projects YOU are proud of from 2015, Stacy from Not Just a Housewife is running a contest this week for the Best DIY project of 2015, and I’m participating as a judge (hmm… not finishing any of my own projects and judging the ones that others make… sounds like a perfect fit for me, right?). You can check all of that out here.
What project are you most proud of in 2015?
*For those that will likely ask, I do have gutter guards – which were replaced before I had moved into the home, but already replaced nonetheless. But we were talking about an overwhelming amount of pine straw, and the guards just couldn’t keep up!