The 17 most noteworthy things that happened this year (on this blog)
Adios, 2014. This year was crazy, nuts, stressful and pretty darn rewarding. I don’t know why I can’t just be a normal blogger that wraps up their year quickly in a cute post with some pics. When I began writing this post I was like, ‘Oh it will take a couple of hours, I’ll whip it right out’, but it kinda got out of control. You pretty much don’t need to read the blog anymore – just come here once a year for the roundup of all the highlights of the year and you’ll get the best information anyway. Kidding.
(P.S. at first it included a bunch of mommy post stuff, but I’ve decided to make that a separate post so it’s a little more focused). So these are the 17 most noteworthy things that happened this year, on the blog and in the business:
1. We bought a house, renovated it (kinda) and slowly decorated it. We aren’t done, but it’s coming along.
Here’s the first intro post. Man that was an exciting day. And then the makeovers began …
The living room makeover, including the bookcase, string art, blimp painting and tree. Sorry the angles aren’t the same … I need to take more big pulled back verticals of the room – they just tend to look so busy with all the ironwork, but we’ll do it.
The guest room:
My family room made progress, but I still don’t like it. (More work to be done?) Lots to do this year, but check out the before and progress.
And then the nursery, which I haven’t revealed fully yet – just that one photo from Domino. Don’t worry because there is a feature in Pregnancy Fit coming out in March so I can reveal it then. I know. A long time away, I’m sorry. But meanwhile here is some eye candy:
Oh and then the master bedroom, which is a big involved, but juicy story (aka, things didn’t exactly turn out how they should have, but I still like it).
We got a lot done, right? But so much left to do:
The bathrooms – they are still DISGUSTING. Like creepy-movie-from-the- seventies -kinda-of bad.
The landscaping – we’re doing it now, working with SALT and they are awesome.
Our master bedroom – I never wrote the full post because there has been DRAMA in the bedroom. Expect the full bedroom post soon, with less double entendre.
The family room – I want to either wallpaper or paint, then change out the rug, and add a photo wall or two.
I still want to do something with the bonus space that used to be our office that is now just full of garbage (stay tuned for a garage sale in January, it’s going to be epic).
A lot was accomplished, but a lot still needs to happen. The bathrooms haunt me, daily …
2. And then, in February, the best thing happened. Target hired me as their Home Spokesperson. It was (and hopefully will continue to be) a TOTAL dream partnership in every way. I love the store, the pieces, the brand and all the people who I’ve worked with so much. Everyone loves Target because it’s just good stuff. And I’m so happy and not surprised that you guys have been so supportive. Thank you. Don’t ever stop.
We have produced a lot of good content this last year together, for a lot of magazines, websites and blogs. And then topped it off with this video series, that has been very successful and I’m super proud of. Let’s do it again.
Also I just got a sneak peek into Nate and the Thresholds spring collection and it is very good. As a warning stuff sells out – as you know. Get your credit cards ready.
3. We did a pretty massive Airbnb project at SXSW, and one of our clients was SNOOP. Snoop Dogg. We designed a mini house representing Snoop Dogg’s personality. Why, oh why aren’t more projects like this? We did this with Moby, James Franco, Molly Sims, Anjelica Huston, Capital Cities, Allen Stone and Lake Bell, as well and they were all wonderful (and we had great collaborators). But Snoop was the tits.
It was an incredibly creative, insanely intense, and an absolutely rewarding project – the whole thing, not just working with him.
The end result far exceeded our own expectations and Ginny and I will always remember leaving Austin thinking ‘We nailed that one’. Working with Airbnb and their creative agency, CEG, was truly an experience that I’d love to repeat. In other words, call me, m’kay?
4. I wrote, styled and shot my book and it was probably the most time-consuming and stressful thing I’ve ever done. Thank God I was smart enough to hire some VERY talented people to help whom I’ll endlessly thank and cherish (Angelin, David and Scott – I’m looking at you). Man. I kinda can’t believe I decided to have a baby and write/shoot a book the same year. You’ll hear ALL about it, I promise (I can’t wait to show you the whole process), but just know that I now have an intense amount of respect for anyone who takes on a book. It comes out in October and don’t worry, you’ll all know when. You’ll know the release date better than your own birthday by the time I’m done with you. Meanwhile here are some sneak peeks (not real shots, just from my phone).
5. We started and finished the Ban.do project (yet to be revealed). Read about that all here, and here are some sneak peeks.
6. We did a lot of DIYs – mostly good, some bad. I have a DIY column for Redbook so every month we would put together one that would be published – and most of those I love. But we also did a lot before I went on maternity leave so I would have original content to post and maybe some of those were questionable.
I still love to do them, but for 2015 we are going to be more intentional about them and make sure that they truly are projects that you SHOULD make and not buy – projects that make sense. There are so many talented makers and artists out there, not to mention retailers that sell chic, affordable things, so it becomes increasingly difficult now to think ‘Why would you not just buy that?’
But there are endless ways to be innovative and smart – to make high-end things in an affordable, practical way, and that’s the goal. Some of those above I still love and I’m proud of their simplicity and affordability – that table runner, the side table, the towel ladder, the jewelry blocks that became wildly popular. While others, I would do differently. This mirror was a total joke for a million reasons that are my fault and I probably should have just not published it but I was on maternity leave and it was already shot and I was desperate for content. The idea was fine, but we tried to make it too cheaply and it looked the part. A blogger desperate for content does regrettable things. I’m going to put that on a T-shirt, sell it and I’ll make millions. (I’m actually serious.)
7. We wrapped up and revealed The Fig House. It was such a big project – one of those that while you are in it you keep thinking ‘was this the best decision’ but then when its over and you get to post pretty pictures, then you are so happy you said yes.
It was so great having a deadline. It made us do things that we wouldn’t have done – in both a good way (the bookcase, splurging on string art), and in a bad way (the refinishing of the kitchen that looked WORSE and then had to be painted over, full post here). Thank you so much Domino for featuring us and forcing us to start making decisions. That was VERY fun.
9. We started a new series called ‘Material Girls’ where I put together a mood board for fictional women characters. In my mind this was going to be a wild success – its real design content, that isn’t as involved as a big makeover. And we can shot a lot in one day, then post them every couple of weeks in between the bigger posts.
I still really like them, but I didn’t get much feedback or comments from y’all. So let me know if you guys want us to continue doing them, or if you have no idea what I’m talking about check out the series here.
10. We made over an animal shelter in New York. I mean, this project was possibly PURRRRRFECT.
It was such a rewarding job. The shelter was incredible, but under-funded (like most things that are incredible) and the people there were angels. It turned out pretty adorable and yet totally functional for them.
11. We won best home inspiration blog. Thank you so very very very much. I was so excited and it meant the world to us. Just, thank you.
12. We revealed Lisa’s house. I went all french country for a spell and it looked like this:
13. We started a new series called: Utilitarian and Chic that wasn’t as popular as I thought it would be, but looking back on them I actually really like them. Thoughts?
14. We did a budget weekend makeover for Oprah. Herself. See whole post here.
15. We moved into an official studio and its been a real game changer. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I can’t tell you how good its been for our morale. On the days that I have Charlie (Wednesdays and Fridays Brian and I split child-care) Ginny and Brady can come into the office without me – instead of coming to my basement. We can produce so many more shoots, be so much more creative and generally just feel more professional.
16. And then threw a party with TinyPrints to celebrate and launch their home collection:
17. Lastly we decorated the heck out of our house for the holidays. Full post here.
Geez. I’m sure I’m forgetting something – the lake house, Cup of Jo reveal, all the Target instagrams, all the videos!!!! Man, this is a good exercise for anyone to do because you get to see really what you did all year.
Mostly I have these two, Ginny and Brady, to thank. We all work REALLY hard and care so much about getting better as we grow bigger. They helped me pull out of the ‘mommy months’ (January – March) and help curate the content in a more beautiful way. I’m so proud of what we have done together in 2014.
That’s our year in review, folks. It was a crazy year starting off a bit slow due to the whole child thing, and then by spring/summer and fall I was so busy that I literally couldn’t handle one more thing. As far as whats on the agenda for 2015? Well, A LOT with many improvements and plans that I’ll tell you about later.
Thanks for reading along this last year. Obviously this website is nothing without readers and an audience who shares it. So thank you for every time you clicked, every time you commented and every time you shared. I seriously appreciate every single comment and email, and its what keeps us going. xx
(I received a lot of information from the survey, but if you have an opinion about the Material Girls or the Utilitarian and Chic series, let me know in the comments).