Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

We made a ton of progress inside our house in the past twelve months. I’m so happy with all we accomplished. Sometimes I look around and just pinch myself. A year ago things were so different around here. Our carpet smelled, colors were not right, our kitchen didn’t function as well and it wasn’t delighting my eyes like it does now. There were so many projects to do that I felt like I’d never catch up. I don’t like that feeling, I really like to feel more on top of things.

But I was determined it was my year to revamp our house in significant but affordable ways to make it more like us. I decided I was ready to focus my attention on my house and cut down on travel and other things so that I could spend enough time on it and make an impact.

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

It was long overdue, but the timing was finally right for us to make progress. Seasons come and go and finally it was a season to work on our house! Far from a frivolous pursuit, working on our home was a gift we gave our family after a few years of crazy schedules. We wanted our home to be our retreat from the world. I knew working on our home was something that would make a big difference in our life and our future so even though it was going to be a long year, it would be worth it in the end.

I had spent little bits of time here and there on the house of course, but what I wanted to do was going to take more time than a week or two so I was willing to set aside the time to focus on it (in and around all the other things that have to happen in life!) and allow myself the year to do make significant progress.

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

I wanted to make enough progress so our home would feel more peaceful, prettier, and more orderly. And that it does.  HOORAY! Colors are starting to flow better. My heart no longer races when I think of our house to do list. Is our house perfect and all done now? NO. There are plenty of things to do and I am far from finished, but projects definitely feel more doable and carefree now that the biggies are done!

I really feel like we’ve rounded a corner. Life at home feels different now. We enjoy being here. We now know what projects are next on our to do list so we feel more in control. Before it felt like there were SO MANY projects and rooms to do that it was hard to know which to do next — I wanted to do all of them because they all felt connected and important.

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

It was hard to know where to begin but I just had to dive in somewhere and get the ball rolling. You have to start SOMEWHERE and just let everything else evolve. Your home needs to be a place you LOVE. So start with something that really BUGS you and move on from there. Sometimes I go back and adjust once I get rolling and that is OK. A home is never finished and you have permission to make mistakes and course corrections along the way.

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

Now I really feel at home when I look around. I don’t panic any more. I feel more peaceful. I can see what needs to be done now and it isn’t overwhelming. I LOVE decorating again because the backdrops of my walls and floors don’t compete or fight with what I try to do. I am more decisive in what I add to my home because things either work or they don’t — finishing details in a room are much more fun to me than all the messy projects and confusing decisions and attempts at things along the way.

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}

I’m even starting to remember how much I love to work on my yard (since I can focus on other goals like landscaping now!), how much I enjoy setting up for parties and maybe even enjoy craft or DIY projects or recreation more without feeling like I had other more important things to do like paint walls or rip out carpet!

And best of all, I’m so excited about this next season here in our home.

Have you ever set aside a big long chunk of time to get your home in order?  Like even six months or a year to focus on completing something more significant that you always want to do but never take the time? Whether it is starting or finishing up house projects, remodeling, reorganizing your home to make it function better, fixing things you’ve been putting off or whatever it is that nags at you around  your house? It is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and I highly encourage you to give yourself the gift of time to complete projects!

Home Progress {A Gift You Give Yourself}


  1. You have accomplished so much – all beautiful. Thanks for always encouraging us and giving us great inspiration!

  2. Melissa, I REALLY love this post. True, true, true I want to cry. The fact of the matter is, we have to make huge sacrifices of time and money and effort {meaning, we don’t get to do all the other things we love!}, if we want/need to see big changes in our homes.
    For me, apparently, that means getting pregnant! That is the only time I nest and improve in HUGE chunks. So girl, you give me hope that this can happen OUTSIDE of the realm of child-bearing! HA!!

    LOVE ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE! Now, warm up the coffee pot. I will be RIGHT over!
    – {dar}

    • Ha, aw….yes I remember all the nesting phases with pregnancy. But INDEED you can get in that frame of mind even without that added bonus. HA! I just had to tell myself it was my mission for the year and while I didn’t end up with a baby, I did end up with a house I’m much happier about :-) BLESS YOU!!!! xo

  3. We have taken about a year and a half to do some huge projects in our home. We had 20-year-old carpet that was replaced by Pergo flooring and more recently a bathroom was gutted and remodeled. Along the way we’ve done lost of thrifty projects that have helped me discover my style and given me fodder for my blog! I completely understand how it feels more like home. Great job!

  4. I feel exactly the same way! Even down to the landscaping and gardening that I love so much which has been on the back burner while I tackled all the projects for inside the house. It’s such a great feeling to have accomplished so much and to love what I see when I look around my home. Mmm mmm – the journey was so worth it!

    and your home is perfectly lovely!

  5. Well, look at all you accomplished! Amazing! Looks fantastic and you should be proud of yourself!

  6. You have a beautiful home – really inspires me and gives me ideas. Congrats!

  7. Love the big pillow on your bed. Where is it from?

  8. It may have taken some time to achieve your goals and you still have ones that you want to accomplish but things are looking really well done. You will get finished and be able to sit back reap all the rewards for your hard work.


  9. Cheyenne Morris says:

    Hey! What is the name of the flooring that used on the remodel of your home! I LOVE it!!! It almost looks like Australian Cypress! :-)! Thanks, Cheyenne!

  10. Yes, yes and yes! After renting this house for two years, last year I bit the bullet and bought it. Cute little farmhouse in a small rural town in Nebraska. The decision to buy a house as a single woman was huge but I went two steps further and borrowed the cash to remodel, repair and redecorate the entire house both inside and out. I’ve already spent a year on the outside, re-coating the stucco, adding a patio, moving the garage, building a fence and putting on new roofing etc.etc etc. Wow! I loved this little farmhouse before but now I am so proud that it’s mine and so pleased when people stop me to tell me how wonderful it looks and how much the changes have added to the beauty of our town. Now I am truly in love with it and it just keeps getting better as I move toward working on the inside. I’ve spent my days working and my evenings planning and locating those special items that will transform it into my vision of what it should be. Every room will be transformed in time. I’ve chosen to start at the back door, which is the door that everyone enters through. You get one chance to make a good impression so the entry is going to change dramatically. I’m looking so forward to each step as it comes along! Thanks for such a wonderful, meaningful post today. Just the motivation I needed to get moving this morning!!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing your progress. Your home looks so inviting. I especially like your entryway.
    I love the pops of blues. It is relaxing and refreshing. You have given me so much inspiration!

  12. Thanks for the reminder that’s it’s okay to set aside a chunk of time to focus on making our home work better for us. We’re in the midst of that right now and I’m trying to enjoy the process instead of worrying about getting it all done at once. I love the place your home is at now, its beautiful, and I’m so glad it’s such a blessing for your family.

  13. I LOVE those bowls in the kitchen! You have a beautiful home!

  14. You have a lovely home. I love reading your blog on a daily basis. You should be proud of all your home projects, great work!

  15. This is amazing! You’ve done so much…! This was a very inspiring post to read! We moved in here a few months ago, and I really need to take some time to get it in order… The floors are always a mess, everything is so cluttered, and the place doesn’t really feel like “home” just yet.

  16. You have created a truly beautiful sanctuary for your family, Melissa. What a wonderful accomplishment. And so worth the time. I must also say that you have ‘lived it out’ before your readers as an example of how to carefully and gracefully transform a house into a home. This post was no exception. Your home is definitely inspired.
    ~ Diane
    p.s. Please, please, please….what is that lovely coral rose????? I have never seen one like that. The color is exquisite and the ruffles are pure perfection. I hope it’s an ever bloomer. Wouldn’t a swarm (Can roses swarm?) of those be beautiful?

    • Oh! One more thing! I think that’s the first time you’ve shown the entry from that perspective. It’s great seeing the map wall and how you picked up the colors with the lamp and painting on the chest to bring it all together. I’m seeing the importance of the flow you speak about.

    • Thank you Diane. YES that ROSE! I’ve been buying plants for my backyard to help me get a vision of what it might look like…right now everything is just sitting in pots haha, but it still helps me to visualize. I’ll show you what it looks like and talk about that in a post soon. BUT yes that rose is beautiful!!! It is a Tequila Supreme Heirloom Rose. http://www.heirloomroses.com/tequila-supreme.html

      • Thanks for the link to the rose Melissa!! I am thrilled to learn that it is a floribunda. What happy flowers and to think one could enjoy that color all summer long. :)
        Haha! One of my favorite things to do is greenhouse/garden center plant shopping. Oh my! I can get in serious trouble. [wink]
        Have fun with your garden planning….I know you already are. :)

  17. I really feel very stressful when my house is untidy. But in a strange way this nervousness disappear at the moment when I put everything in order. Nice post…!

  18. I love what you have done, so pretty.
    I was hoping you or anyone out there could give me some advice. I’m looking to paint all rooms on my house, and I’m having a hard time figuring out colors. I have honey colored wood floors and beautiful wood trim around all the windows but that is why I’m having a hard time. I tend to lean toward colors that would look great in a home with white crown molding and trim. Just want to know of you guys can give me some quick ideas! Thanks,:)

  19. I love this post because it is so me right now – or me 6 months behind you. We bought our house in September and have such a LONG list of things to do. Now that we have been in it a year, know how we live in it and have had some time to dream, we are ready to get the ball rolling and start tackling those projects. I’m looking forward to the next 12 months.

  20. I love those bowls in the kitchen! Where are they from?

  21. This is SO what I’ve desired to do, set aside most everything else and focus on the house “once and for all”! Since it is almost completely DIY by my hubby, it tends to be fits and starts. He’s been in MN this week and I am going to surprise him with an almost finished bathroom. I bit the bullet and hired someone to come tackle the paint fail and the touchups (which they did in about 2 hours including clean-up – yay!!) I wonder how long it’ll take him to notice, heh! I am excited for another thing that should speed up the remodeling. I will be revealing that on my blog soon. Thanks for an excellent post – I love your perspective and balance.

  22. Lovely post. Beautiful colours!

  23. Jennifer says:

    You have such a bright and lively home! Congratulations on the progress you’ve made. What’s really encouraging about this post is that your updates didn’t happen overnight. We moved into our house two years ago, and there are so many projects that I have placed on the back burner. I have a feeling that similar to you, I will need to set aside a year that I really focus on the changes I would like to make. Until then, it’s baby steps… : )

  24. Jennifer says:

    Can I ask where your kitchen light in this post came from? I love it! Great post!

  25. Watching you transform your home has been so much fun, Melissa. Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas along the way. I’m so glad you and your family are enjoying your home now!! You give me hope that we’ll get there “someday”….one step at a time!

  26. Well put! I have been thinking that I needed to take some time off to plan a kitchen remodel. I have been thinking and dreaming about it, but I need to complete my final sketch, select my materials and meet with the drawing guy, then the contractor. Maybe both together. It takes thought and time to plan out what you want so you can give your best ideas to the people you want to work with. You have to put the effort in up front for good results. I have been honestly thinking of taking few days off just to focus on kick starting this project and you have inspired me to schedule.

  27. I’ve found so much inspiration reading your blog the past 6 months or so. I feel like you just went through what I want to go through this year…the past week it’s been on my mind, to really dive into home projects and repairs. I want to love where I live and right now I can’t quite say that. But I’m determined to get to that place and finally realize if I want to see change, it’s going to mostly happen through me. It’s a choice…and a sacrifice. I’m excited for the journey! :) Thanks for this post!

  28. This is fantastic! T

  29. First time posting but I have read your blog for a while now. I draw geat inspiration from it and now I need it because we just moved into a house 2 weeks ago with a long list of things to do. Great post.

  30. Your home is SO beautiful Melissa! I remember when I first saw you put in those hardwood floors and I sighed with happiness for you.

    Unfortunately, I’m still at the smelly carpet and wrong colours stage of things in my own home. But, on a positive note, my kitchen is now totally functional and awesome, if I do say so myself.

    Keep up the good work. I’ll be cheering you on!
    Annie XO

  31. I love how your home turned out….and I have enjoyed all the stories, ups and downs as you have created a beautiful place for your family. We have set time aside over the years to work on our home…now we are just trying to keep up with it all.
    Thanks for sharing your home with us….I think that is my favorite part of your blog.
    Happy Day

  32. Wow- I love how all of the decisions you’ve made in your home are so practical. I just found your blog and it’s very inspirational! I especially love the foyer, and it’s given me some ideas for my own, which is our big design struggle right now (I just posted about it 2 days ago, would love to hear your thoughts). Thanks for all of the wonderful idea.

  33. Donna Macheska says:

    Yes I applaud you… because of your insight of all your desires…we all need to take time…you make décor seem so effortless thru your photos..knowing it’s a lot more than that. Please don’t stop.. continue, it truly is a pleasure reading your blog.

  34. Jessica-Naomi West says:

    I’m in the midst of it all now. I’m so tempted to just recreate your interior in my own home, because once we committed to one project, it seams the whole house is in need of change and thinking about how all of the rooms need to work together just floors me. Prioritizing takes concerted effort, and focus, and isn’t my strong suit. I tend to get distracted or overwhelmed easier than I thought when, as an apartment dweller, I would imagine re-decorating my own home. I love seeing photos of your garden. We moved from a much smaller home, into a 4 bdrm 4 bath in May, and I’ve had the most trouble deciding whether to garden or work inside since summer has begun. I have painted many many sample colors on the walls, and move furniture daily. We live in rural Missouri, where it takes planning and scouring to find the style of wares and furniture I’m searching for. I soo appreciate seeing your efforts on your blog and getting ideas for my own home. I lived in Southern California for many years where the problem was the opposite as now- I had resources everywhere but wasn’t a home owner and had no time to devote to the search. Any readers from the Midwest with great resources near St. Louis- please drop a line!
    *oh, I am also in love with Jack and Lily. I’ve been searching for an Australian Labradoodle recently as we are in excitedly in search of a great family dog and I’ve read wonderful things about the breed.
    **another add- we have six children and the oldest is 12. This is all the more reason re-doing our home will take time and patience on the part of myself and my husband.

  35. Lovely! Love your colors! What are those roses?????

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