Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

December 30, 2014

My Favorite DIY Projects of 2014

I love this time of year because I get to put my feet up on my desk and rest on my laurels.  (Just a little bit).  Today I'm rounding up my fourteen favorite DIY projects of the year.  It was so hard to whittle the list down to only fourteen (I rounded up 13 in 2013, 12 in 2012, 11 in 2011...), so I may have cheated just a bit.  But, in all fairness, we finally moved into the lakehouse last January so almost every room started to take shape.


The kitchen got the biggest overhaul of the year and it looks (and feels) unrecognizable.  It even made Apartment Therapy's list of 10 Wallet-Friendly Kitchen Renovations, from their Best of 2014 list.  From painting the cabinets to installing modern paneling and open shelving, we toiled many weeks (months!) in this room.  Given how dramatic this makeover was, it should be no surprise that two of my favorite DIY projects of the year are from this space.  

1. Solid Wood Counters from Scratch

The solid wood counters that Hubby and his woodworker Dad crafted from a pile of lumber still amaze me.  Happily, I'm still smitten with the sheer white stain I nervously applied to the counters that they spent many, many days making (I was so stressed out applying that first coat).  The counters still look gorgeous and they just make so many of our cheap fixes - paneling, open shelves, painted cupboards - look more elegant because the counters are just so substantial.  They're much thicker than store-bought butcher block counters and everyone is tricked into thinking they were super expensive.


2. Open Shelving (Good-bye Ugly Cabinets)!

Truthfully, my other favorite project is the aqua cabinetry but we technically started painting the doors in 2013.  So do they count?  To be safe (because I'm sure there are serious ramifications for fudging the numbers here), I'm going to name the open shelving as my other favorite kitchen DIY project.  They have held up so well and it's still such a joy to see my lovely Pyrex collection in the open.  I may or may not have really treated myself to a few somewhat rare additions to my collection since completing the kitchen. 


Although the kitchen was in shambles when we finally moved in, the living room was in good shape!  In the fall I had painted the walls and ceiling with my folks, and then painted the fireplace stone and "sauna wood".  All we had to do was move in our furniture.  This room did change a bit throughout the year, though, as I switched around furniture and added vintage Lotte lamps, accessories, DIY Marimekko pillows, and mid-century teak side tables.  For the new year, continuing to massage this room to perfection (which includes phasing out the brown leather ottoman) is on the agenda.


The dining room looks really different, even though we didn't do a lot.  Paint, of course, always makes a difference - particularly painting the patio doors and removing the faux French door detail.  It was the spendy new light fixture that all of a sudden added oomph to this space, which previously felt lost between the living room and kitchen.  The original placement of the light fixture seemed like an after thought, but I realized that it positioned the table with the best view of the lake. 


3. DIY Floating Credenza with Grey-Stained Plywood Top

Unable to find an optimally sized, vintage credenza for the dining room nook, Hubby and I hacked some Ikea Best units to suit our needs, topping three wall-mounted Bestas with grey-stained plywood.  Silver furniture grommets helped us hide the lamp cords and complete the stream-lined look.  This simple project - that's been executed numerous times - is one of my favorite projects of the year.  It was so simple but much needed - it's added so much handy storage for the non-turquoise wares, which have been banished from the kitchen.  Plus it's home to the massive collection of Iittala Festivo candle holders my Mummu gave me as a 30th birthday/housewarming gift (each size was given to her by a different family member over the years).  As if the gift couldn't get any better, she also gave me her Iittala Toikka bird (plus my Mom tracked down candles for the festivos!).   When Szuka and Hubby rough house, I stand in front of the credenza with my arms out, shielding my towering collection of expensive breakables.

I love the dining room so far, but I'm hoping 2015 will see the dining room sporting prettier chairs! Maybe even a different table?

  
I'm definitely focusing my attention on the bedroom this year.  We got the basics addressed: bed, fabulous curtains, new closet organizer and my vintage posters.  I also took some time to refresh the headboard and side tables, which had started to look shabby after so many moves.  An improvement, to be sure, but there's so much more to do in here.



4. Beautiful Back Tab Bedroom Curtains:

One of the few projects we did tackle in the bedroom: the back tab bedroom curtains, is definitely worthy of this list!  The fabric is more green in real life (it photographs so aqua), but it is still a bit bluer than the silk throw pillows, which I'd very much like to keep.  I have a solution: I'm planning a very involved embroidery project for 2015 that will tie together all of the shades of blue and green in the bedroom.  A little DIY art flanking the headboard won't hurt either.  But - curtains!  Yay!  I'm definitely opting for chic back tab curtains when we get around to making some for the office and I'm kicking myself for using curtains rings for so long, when this option is chicer and cheaper!


It's definitely fabulous living closer to my parents and Hubby's Dad, and it's not just because they've all been so immensely generous with their time, helping us getting the lakehouse in shape.  But okay, it's largely because they've all been so generous with their time ;)  The laundry room and half bathroom were the only rooms we didn't have a chance to paint before moving in.  Unfortunately, they also became a dumping ground during the kitchen spruce and looked worse once we got the keys!  But with my Dad's help I quickly painted both spaces shortly after moving in.

5. Laundry Room Makeover + Magic Curtains

Next, my Mom and I made curtains for the laundry room which effectively hid the washer, dryer, drying rack and ugly melamine cabinets.  Sure, painting the walls and trim white (and cleaning!) made a huge difference, but the sweetly gathered curtains were the most impactful project in there




6. DIY Atomic Dog Bowl Stand (with Mini Hairpin Legs, awwww)

In the laundry room, a fancy Eames Hang-it-All, a cute little quilt for Szuka, plus a new mod dog bowl stand made the awkward space prettier.  Szuka's adorable mod dog bowl stand still totally cracks us up because it's just so stylish - and so flipping tall!  I swear, when we travel and use plain old bowls for her food and water she nudges them around a little dejectedly, looks up at us, sighs deeply, and then turns her attention back to the inferior bowls.  Could it be that she likes her turquoise bowl stand as much as we do?



It seems like every room got some attention, except for the one I use the most.  The office is my room of shame.  So far the closet and Expedit have seen some love, but the rest of the space is an embarrassing dumping ground with waist height stacks of banker's boxes FULL of Etsy inventory.  We have some BIG plans for the new year, including two desk DIY's that might just blow your mind.  Also, curtains would be nice because the sun really blinds me at certain times of the day.  Happily, I like what we've done in there so far, so we're off to a good start.  In fact, two projects from this largely ignored space are making my list!

7. Office Nook:

The office closet was made more functional, although it's still a work in progress.  I'd like to re-do the shelving and install solid wood brackets and shelves, paint the filing cabinet, replace the painted cork board (which has so many holes and is driving me nuts), and maybe swap out the raspberry pink boxes for something more solid and subtle.  But still, hurrah for progress



8. DIY Plywood Magazine Files

My second take on my patented artful Expedit hack was a success, but it's nothing compared to the fabulous plywood magazine files we made to fit the Expedit.  The plywood files were the perfect excuse to try some Rub 'n Buff on the vintage hardware I found - how long have I been wanting to try that stuff?  Years? 




9. Favorite Photo Turned Oil Painting + DIY Floating Frame

I feel super lucky that my little blog has grown enough for me to be able to work with great brands.  Sponsored posts and blog freebies help push projects along and I'm able to work at a slightly quicker pace.  In addition to offering a small financial boost, I've also been introduced to great products and brands that I might not have discovered otherwise.  My partnership with ArtsHeaven was really sweet: they turned a favorite photograph of mine into a beautiful oil painting - even making some key changes, like an homage to Charlie and boosting the intensity of the aqua.  I hadn't heard of ArtsHeaven before and would have certainly been hesitant to send in a photo, not knowing what kind of quality to expect.  But this painting is now one of my favorite pieces.  We also built a really great float frame for it, and now I want to frame all of our un-framed art because it was so simple to create something that looks so polished and professional.  I don't think I've painted a single thing this year, so I will definitely have to make time for some artistic adventures in the new year.




Although it now hangs in the kitchen, at first the Artsheaven painting found a home in our freshened up hallway.  The hallway was painted before we moved in, so I eagerly hung up my own artwork and my cherished Hungarian embroidery right away.  We replaced the door hardware with gorgeous new levers, then I painted the doorbell cover and also the front door.  We ordered a new door in the summer but there have been a number of delays.  I can't wait to finally see the new one in place and share all of the details!  Oh yeah, our sweet little solid wood stool is still earning its keep as a handy place to sit to tie shoes, or just toss my purse while I'm still fussing with groceries or trying to corral Szuka. 



I have to admit that I'm still unpacking from our move!  At first I was really on top of things but then I started running out of room and my organizational systems fell apart.  The laundry room cupboards and linen closet barely close!  I have major organizational goals for the new year.  Happily, the bedroom closet has stayed fairly tidy, as has the coat closet.  My shoe closet makeover has stayed the most tidy.


Down the hall, the bathroom was given a facelift before we moved in so it made settling in that much easier!  We just unpacked and did a little bit of accessorizing - some art from the townhouse makes the room more special.  This simple and super cheap makeover has been hugely popular and actually won over the folks at Apartment Therapy (and then it made the list of 18 DIY Bathrooms That Beat the Bland - for their Best of 2014 series).  I don't get why this room has gotten that much love, because I can't wait to gut it this spring.


The half bathroom, even though it got a similar makeover as the main bath, still feels blah, but I'll work on it this year because it's not getting gutted until the kitchen does.  My goal is to spend exactly $0 in here and I think that's keeping me from achieving non-ho-hum status.  But we have expensive fixes on the horizon: new roof, enclosing the car port, a generator...so I'm extra penny-pinchy these days.


10. Deck Makeover

It's not yet covered in snow, so I'm still enjoying the deck makeover.  It took much longer than anticipated, but the grey stain of the deck really mirrors the cool grey of the lake some days and this makes it feel like the lake is that much closer.  The house exterior didn't get painted, but the deck makeover motivates me and has me longing for spring already. 



Whew, in hindsight, we changed a lot, even though it felt like we worked at a snail's pace.  I think it's because we still have tons to do - we still have quite a few blank canvases!


But wait!  I haven't finished my list of favorite projects, because some of the best ones weren't even for me. 

11. Simple Solid Wood Trivet

While large-scale projects and room makeovers are fun, sometimes it's really nice to make something that offers instant gratification.  It's also nice to make things for others.  So when a project does both, it makes it onto the Best of list, like the sweet little solid wood trivet we made for my Mom.  I originally thought it was solid teak, but now I'm thinking it's actually walnut.  Either way, it has such pretty grain and she uses this little trivet all of the time.



12. Painted Particle Board Floor

Although it can't hold a candle to the painted laundry room floor of last year (which is pinned a lot), I loved the painted particle board floor I tackled for the computer shop makeover.  Although this rental location didn't work out for them (and we never did finish a makeover, because the teeny budget was sunk into this space), I'm happy for what I learned because I think I might want to do this type of floor in the weird little storage room we call "the fish room" - it's going to become a sweet little painting studio.  The vinyl floor in there is awful, but something like this - a painted particle board or plywood floor, painted a fun colour and eventually covered in paint splatters - could look cool.



13. DIY Dog Grooming

Trying to save ourselves $80 a haircut, we started giving Szuka DIY haircuts.  I can't say we're getting better, but I can say that we've saved ourselves about $400 to date.  Well, just over $200, since the clippers cost $170.  Although none of us enjoys the task, particularly trimming the nether regions, I'll trim a little butt hair if it frees up our budget for more exciting things.  Plus it's pretty funny to see how excited she gets with shorter, cooler, hairdos, and I think that grooming at home is a little less stressful for her.  Although sometimes mid-haircut she'll get up slowly, sigh, and very slowly walk away and lie down about three feet from us.  It's her very gentle way of saying, "ENOUGH!" 



14. LED Sign

Someone asked a really great question about how I would have decorated my home for Christmas if:

A. I celebrated Christmas, and
B. If I hadn't partnered with Canadian Tire to produce some Christmas-themed DIY projects.


That's an excellent question and I think I should have addressed that in the posts.  All of the projects were my idea - except for the framed ornaments, which we developed together.  I was pretty honest about the success of the projects, particularly the plywood tree which turned out a bit wonkier than I hoped.  I really, really liked every idea but, at the end of the day, I probably wouldn't have put them all together at once, only because my aesthetic can be so spartan.  I would have done the window baubles, for sure, but then axed the ornaments in cake stands and bowls.  The framed ornaments and ladder were cool, but I think I would have instead re-done the plywood tree in a smaller scale and leaned it behind the credenza.  I definitely would have done the LED sign because I loved that idea so much and had wanted to make an LED sign for awhile.  Long story short, the project was definitely a favorite and even makes my list!  It's so versatile, and we plan to use it for other parties and good times.



Do any of these additions surprise you?  Did I snub a favorite of yours (you can see the rest of my DIY projects here)? What did you whip up over at your house this year?  I'd love to know what you've been up to and, if you're a blogger too, please feel free to include a link to your year-end posts in the comment so we can see!
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39 comments

  1. Fantastyczne zmiany jak na jeden rok, życzę wytrwałości w kolejnym i równie ciekawych pomysłów.

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    1. I had to enter your comment into Google translate, did I get it right?
      "Fantastic changes for one year, I wish you endurance in the next and equally interesting ideas"
      Thank you!!

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  2. They're all amazing! I do like your bathroom, I'm needing to do something with our upstairs one and yours is a good inspiration.

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    1. Thanks!! The bathroom has held up really well - although our wood cabinets shrank and so I needed to do some touch up (I hate wood sometimes). But the Rustoleum stuff has proven more durable than regular primer + paint.

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  3. I only found your blog recently. I think it was when I saw the amazing kitchen makeover! All of your changes and renovations are amazing!Have a great new year!AriadnefromGreece!

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    1. Thanks Ariadne! I'm happy you found your way here :) It's been nice chatting with you!

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  4. I love bloggers that put up round-up posts since I'm horrible at bookmarking projects that I like.

    Off topic question I hope you won't mind. I'm visiting some family in Ottawa and I'm wondering if you could recommend some thrift stores, particularly ones that tend to have a good selection of mid century stuff. We have an Eichler home that we're trying to fix up and I covet so much of the decor you have in your home!

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    1. Kate, are you buttering me up with flattery to get my secret thrifting spots? Lol. Merivale is the best street because there are four thrifts along it: Value Village, Goodwill, Salvation Army and a little church-based thrift across from the Church of Richard (I can't remember the name or cross street). So it's an efficient thrifting adventure. I also like the Ottawa Antique Market on bank - lots of selection and good prices. There is even a dealer focused only on mid-century there. Almonte (a town outside of Ottawa) has lots of cute antique shops that aren't picked over and there are cute little stores and coffee shops so it's worth the drive. White Monkey is another favorite antique shop I love (it's downtown) with great style. For other thrifting, it's kind of spread out so it depends where you'll be staying. There is also a consignment shop in Nepean (Bella) that can have good finds and another on Carling (Ottawa Finds). They're out of the way, so sometimes they have real gems. I hope you find something fabulous! There are a lot of pickers in Ottawa, so sometimes it's hard to find a great deal. You might want to try kijiji, too - I always do when I travel. Have a great time in Ottawa :)

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  5. I love the look of your whole living room- painting the brick black was such a good idea :). Loved following along all year (again)!!

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    1. Thanks! I've loved following along with you too, but I'm terrible about commenting because I've started doing my blog reading on my phone. Your media cabinet update was really awesome - so happy to see it made your best of list. Who would have thought it could be updated so beautifully!

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  6. OMG lmaooooooo I laughed so hard at "I'll trim a little butt hair if it frees up our budget for more exciting things". I vote that as comment of the year lol.

    I have to say, I think my fave is the bedroom curtains. I might just have to make a pair when I find some pretty and affordable fabric. The curtains I have I made when we moved in, about 15 years ago. They are tab top and are way too short (I remember wondering at the time, how do you know how long to make these things on short windows?)......this was before I knew better but was trying and before everyone had the unlimited resources of the internet and Pinterest. You had to remember everything you saw on 30 min decorating shows and reproduce it on your own. You can see an awful pic on my Instagram with my xmas tree *hangs head in shame to the almighty home decor god* lol.

    I am also uber jealous of the painting in your kitchen. I just love art like that. Graphic, bold but still with detail but not too fussy or stuffy.

    I feel like I have been constantly working on stuff but I guess it was smaller craft stuff. But this year I am setting some goals and going to try my best to get them done. I am THE queen of proCRAFTination......or procrastination of anything really. lol. But organizing de-cluttering my crap room, I mean craft room, make some slide out drawers for my lower kitchen cupboards (just got a pocket jig for xmas. yay!), converting a bedroom cupboard into a pantry to create more storage for food and small appliances, and the never ending task of trying to keep some order in a house with a 16 yr old boy who is like a tornado in every room he enter. *sigh* Who btw seems very similar to Szuka when he is getting his hair cut lol.

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    1. Haha, I don't know if anyone else read that far, lol. I should start putting really dirty footnotes and see who notices... ;)

      You know, long curtains weren't always a thing. I had shorter ones too for shorter windows. In some ways they're better because they don't act like floor mops! I kind of wistfully look back on that time when we didn't have so many images making us feel bad about our spaces.

      I'm so happy you like the painting! It was exciting to get it. I was really nervous it would look goofy. I wish I could paint that well myself, then I'd make you one!

      From your IG, you have been SO busy - you're always working, it seems. I am also organizing my craft stuff this year. I have so many unused supplies I should use - some, like clay, will dry out and go bad. I should stop proCRAFTinating (I love that) too. And I don't even have the excuse of the tornado.

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  7. Your kitchen transformation still makes my jaw drop. Impressive! And I'm totally going to be using your fireplace painting tutorial when I paint the heck out of my gold fireplace frame in the new year.
    Happy New Year, Tanya!

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    1. Thanks!! The kitchen is so much fun to be in. It's more functional and so cheery. It's definitely making the wait for a real reno that much more pleasant! Can't wait to see you make over your fireplace frame! Happy new year to you too!

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  8. Great roundup! My favourites are the facelifts- both the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, the fireplace and the deck. And I also love the floating credenza.
    What a lovely job you've done in a year- the house has been completely transformed.
    We've done considerably less since we've moved in but the focus has been building the workshop/garage workspace for my husband. We are renovating the kitchen in small chunks but hope that we can give it more attention soon.
    Happy new year to you and handy hubby!

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    1. Thank you! It's interesting to hear what everyone's favorites are. I'm glad it was interesting to see these big transformations. I feel like I really dropped the ball in the small project/craft category! I'm going to try to tackle a few more smaller projects this year, but I've also got our biggest reno yet coming up in the spring.

      From what you've mentioned, it seems like you've made pretty good progress and you have a lot more on your plate than we do! Having a workshop is crucial to getting other projects done, and I'm sure the pace of things will really pick up.

      Happy New Year to you too! Did you and your family enjoy some nice quality time this holiday?

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    2. Delayed response warning (I always forget to click notify me)
      Looking forward to your upcoming projects, whether they be big or small. I love the diversity of your projects- from renos and furniture builds to art, thrifting, crafts or house maintenance- it's always interesting and often inspiring.
      We had a great holiday- had to travel the first couple of days but the weather was perfect for it, given the lack of winter we experienced in southern ontario in December. The rest was relaxing- this is the first time my husband was off from Xmas eve to Jan 2.

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    3. It's so nice to hear you had a great holiday and got to do some relaxing! It's nice to start the year refreshed.

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  9. I want to try to get into painting this year. I can semi draw so I'd like to give it a go, but nothing so complicated as that picture of course. And if it doesn't go well I'll stick with polymer clay as my new craft this year lol.

    I was thinking of naming my blog procraftination.....but not sure. It looks like I'm calling myself a pro crafter.....and I don't want to maybe limit myself to just crafts. But then I'm probably wayyyyy over thinking it.

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    1. Polymer clay looks fun!! I have been wanting to play with some, but I also have some air dry clay drying out in my spare room.

      Cute name!! Haha, but you're right: it will be hard to start blogging about something else, like cooking. I hate my blog name and would totally go back and change it. I've heard a lot of bloggers complain, so you're not over thinking it at all!

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    2. my bad, this post was suppose to be with the other one of mine

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    3. No worries!! I'm keeping track of our different conversations in my giant head.

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    4. Btw I like the name of your blog, it covers everything that happens in your lake house ...could be baking, cooking, DIY, crafts, pet care etc....whatever it is, you are covered. I was actually thinking about Brik's House for mine also. It has been my nickname for a long long time and I thought, like lake house, it covers pretty much anything that goes on inside a house.

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    5. That was my thinking when I first started because I knew I'd want to blog about crafts and other stuff. I figured "in the townhouse" - at the time - covered anything that happened. I'm glad that others see that too! Although I'm totally sick of the name now - and it confuses the heck out of some people. Brik's House is a cute name. Versatile, like you said. And personal.

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    6. There's not one name that would cover everything for anyone's blog. I was also thinking something along the lines of "Diaries of a ___ ___" or something of the like but I can't think of the perfect words. Ughhhh I am totally over thinking it and putting off creating the actual blog. lol

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    7. Oh, I hear you - it's so tricky! I originally wanted to use "Five Year Flip" - happy that was taken, lol. I like Diaries of ... BLANK. Hmmm... "Brik's Diaries"? I also like something that makes absolutely no sense and allows for all kinds of shenanigans. I'm thinking of "How About Orange," as an example.

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    8. I like it. I don't think a name has to reflect whats on the blog exactly. People usually come across a blog other ways than looking it up. And once they visit the site they like it or don't.

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  10. That's a lot of progress in just one year's time! I appreciate that you haven't painted the wooden casings for your windows. I think they look so lovely and great especially against your white walls. All the best in the new year to come!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! The wood was an accident: it was too cold to paint those parts so I left them for warmer months but then I got used to that strip of wood. I've considered painting them white or black or maybe dark grey but it's just not as pressing as other projects and the idea of having to paint around the mechanisms makes me cringe! I'm happy they look good, but it's a total accident, haha.

      Happy New Year and all the best to you too!

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  11. Seeing that picture of Szuka makes me laugh! I have a 5 lb white Pomeranian and I prefer for his hair to be short (plus, Texas is hot). He does not enjoy the haircut, and the trimming of the nether region is often a multi day process with some trickery involved. But, post the major body trim, he looks like a tiny Szuka frolicking joyfully around the yard. (You'd think he'd be more patient with the trim since he loves the payoff.)

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    1. Yeah, I don't understand why Szuka is not more game for a haircut or bath because she clearly feels awesome after! I guess that's why we rule the world and dogs don't, lol. Is it weird that I'm happy to know I'm not the only one trimming some doggy nether regions? Solidarity!

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  12. My favourite is definitely the kitchen. I just have to say that I find your blog so inspiring!! Me and my husband are shopping for a house at the moment and we always wonder "what would Tanya come up with for this kitchen?" Haha. Hope you have an equally amazing 2015! Happy new year!

    Dora

    http://adropofindigo.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thank you, that means so much to me!! :) House shopping can be so stressful, I wish I could help! If you ever want my two cents, I'm happy to butt in with ideas. Just email me a pic or tag me on IG. But here's my default answer: paint solves many problems, lol.

      Happy house hunting and Happy New Year!!

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  13. Just found your blog - LOVE LOVE LOVE your style!! I'm a new follower!! I've got an ugly fireplace to paint too, your's is some great inspiration!! I am a Canadian blogger as well!

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    1. Hi Cheryl! Thanks so much for saying "hi"! I can't wait to check out your blogger - I love meeting fellow Canadians. Thanks for your kind words!

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  14. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all your stuff. Your place is looking amazing. Your fire place wall and back patio are beautiful. The colors are perfect. I really enjoy seeing all of your post and all the pictures that go along with it.

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    1. Thank you! It definitely feels like it is starting to come along. Then I remember that these all are temporary updates and we still have so much to do...

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  15. I can almost comment in real time! I'm so excited. Not too sure how long its taken me to start at the beginning of you blog but my binge-reading days are over. I thinks I've said this before but it has been a pleasure and an inspiration to follow you. You are the only one I follow is such depth. I'm not too sure how I got to you but your design style and your writing style and just you captured my attention.
    It wasn't until I had finished reading up to this point (saving 2015 for the moment) that your ArtsHeaven picture had moved to the kitchen. Love it there. I know you were hesitant to add colour to your aqua kitchen but a hit of colour adds interest. If you were to have put an orange or red kettle on the stove it would have been startling because it would have been in ones direct line of sight. With the picture on a side wall the colour is always just in ones peripheral vision and isn't totally absorbing your attention. And, when you're standing at the kitchen sink you can admire the view and your painting straight on! The kitchen has its hit of colour, yeah!
    I'm going to comment as Ann B. now because I saw another Ann. I'm sure we're different but this way we will be distinguishable. Looking forward to 2015!

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    1. I'm so happy you've caught up! (And that you're through my archives, unscathed and still feeling friendly toward me, haha.) It really means a lot to me that you've enjoyed reading the blog. I'm glad you like the Artsheaven painting there - that seems to be the general consensus. I'm secretly on the fence, but I move at a glacial pace so it might just stay there forever, while I "think it over". I do like that it has a little bit of orange, despite my initial reluctance, because the posters in the bedroom have a spot of it too - and there's a bit of yellow in some of Hubby's grandpa's paintings - so I feel like there's a nice flow around the house. That's my goal: a good flow.

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