2020 Progress Report

Welp, it’s the end of another year and here I am reflecting on the on one that has just past.

It’s safe to say 2020 was nothing anyone expected, but even amidst the chaos and struggles around us, there was still a lot of room for home (and self!) improvement.

Let’s look at my plans for 2020:

Honestly this list looks so ambitious and that’s because it is/was. We had so many house project dreams going in to this year and we also checked so many off our list.

We started the year with a demolished bath tub. This was our first time ever doing a drywall project and we learned so much. We now use the closet to store paint and other renovation supplies because without a garage or basement there really wasn’t a better spot for all that stuff. I still have some finishing touches to get to in this room, but we can save those for 2021.

The big goal was to make better use of the space and we’re so proud of what we did in here. We more than doubled the size and functionality of our kitchen and we did it on a pretty tight budget. We packed a lot of smaller projects into this renovation, including custom beams, DIY countertops, replacing a window, and an Ikea sink hack.

We started the year with a terrible mud pit. We really thought that adding mulch would be the end phase for our yard, but then Michael added a pergola and then we couldn’t get the idea of extending the patio out of our heads. We ended up doing a huge amount of yard to work to transform our mud pit into a luxurious outdoor living room.

The bathroom was on our radar for the year, but we really didn’t have a clear idea for what we wanted to do. This was a fun room to play around with and we enjoyed tackling a bold wallpaper project and later a more subtle but ultra functional makeover with the ultimate Ikea hack.

In 2019 I said that for some reason a bedroom fireplace felt like the epitome of luxury and I’m happy to report that I’m not alone in this view. When we got our house appraised we gained $1.5k for this project, which ended up being a bit more than we put into it. Added value is always a perk with home improvement, but we are also so happy with how this project turned out.

…And my goals for 2020:

1. Host more often.

Can’t help but laugh at my goal to host people more often. I had grand ideas to have my small group of friends over for craft parties every couple months but of course that became taboo mid-March. We included one couple in our quarantine circle and alternated hosting Sunday dinners with them. So I think I ended up hosting maybe even more than I would have in a normal year. Just perfecting the intimate dinner party instead of pleasing a crowd! I also baked my first cake! It’s been fun to work on my baking skills!

2. Post 3 times each month on my blog and 3 times a week on instagram

I’m proud of this! At the beginning of the year I felt nervous about committing to putting three blog posts out each month, but I ended up doing so many more than that! And I’ve been loving looking back at how much I’ve improved. Blogging involves so many skills, which is exactly why I wanted to start a blog in the first place. It’s been a great creative outlet and even professional development tool. I’m always learning so much with this blog!

3. Take better photos

This was a big one for me! I bought a nice camera at the end of 2019 and played around with it until I got comfortable enough to take the leap to upgrade to a nicer lens. It’s been a slow work in progress, but It’s been so satisfying to learn how to take better photos and get closer to capturing the magically little moments we work so hard to create.

4. Refresh my wardrobe a bit

I’ve had a capsule wardrobe for the past year and had almost completely worn through most of my clothing. I set out on a mission to buy a few higher quality basics to have a more sustainable foundation for my wardrobe. I’ve never felt particularly stylish, but I know I feel more confident when my clothes aren’t on their literal last thread. This year I added a few things to my wardrobe and it’s definitely headed in the right direction.

5. Go camping

My goal was to go on two trips and we did it! We went car camping at Inks Lake just outside of Austin in January and Arkansas for a long weekend backpacking trip in October. I’m equal parts a homebody as I am enthusiastic about sleeping in the woods, and these trips were both very good for my soul. We already have a camping trip planned for early 2021 and a couple more on my radar.

6. Open a little shop

I’ve had the idea of opening a shop of some sort for a long time and it’s finally come to fruition! I have been creating and curating craft kits to share with people for a while and they are finally available at a larger scale. I have so many ideas for this little business and can’t wait to roll them out in 2021!

This post was written for the  Collected Eclectic blog.

Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.

124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here

Learn more about the project here

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