My rookie blogging year & top 10 favorite posts!

{I'm linking this post up to Top Projects of 2009 Party over at Southern Hospitality! }  I guess we all think alike because I'm hosting a similar party!  Also linking to Talk to Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie

You are invited to post your yearly review at the 1st annual Finesse Your Nest "Best of Your Nest" Party this Friday 1/8/10.   There's a button on the left side of my page if you want to grab it!

I've succumbed to the pressure!  No really, I see that many blogs are recapping their year, so I thought, "What the heck!  I'll join in."

Now, most of my blogging idols have much more interesting material to work with, but I thought I would show you some of my favorite projects, as well as projects that generated lots of commentary.

Looking back to my first post, I've come a long way baby!  I learn so much every day fishing around on your blogs.  Thank you friends!

Oh and by the way, I'll be posting my son's bedroom re-do later today.  I have to do a little clean-up before I can take pics!

Presenting the first annual Finesse Your Nest "Top 10"!


I worked on a friend's breakfast room and kitchen in the Spring.  She, like most of suburbia, had boring builder white walls and a room with no character.

Here's the before...

And the after...

We painted the walls a warm mustard and glazed over that with brown to "age" it.  She bought a new breakfast table & chairs and we replaced her builder grade light fixture with a beautiful rustic chandy that my mother-in-law gave me when she updated her light fixtures.

See the art on the back of the walls?  It's actually a $2 empty frame from Goodwill, a $5 plaque and we painted the wall a warm brown to create the look of a matted piece.

I also made the valances, courtesy of Stitch Witch (I love that stuff!)  I'm hoping to learn to make window treatments & pillows in 2010 with the new sewing machine I got from my Mom & Dad for my birthday!

I had this metal shelf in my garage.  It was red and we spray painted it black.  The plates were $2 a piece at Homegoods.

Notice the arches.  We painted both arches (1 at the pass through & 1 at the foyer) the same warm brown we used for the art project.  It really shows off this architectural feature.

These are the coordinating curtains I made for her family room, since the room is open to the kitchen/breakfast area.  Again, stitch witch and Ikea panels that were $29.99 per pair.

The wrought iron pieces were another find from my garage (oh the treasure trove that is in my garage!) and we positioned at each end of the breakfast room opening to help define the space.


This is another project I worked on in the Spring with my 13 yr old.  He was volunteered for the job as part of a punishment! (*insert evil laugh here*)

We used Behr Concrete Stain (from the Depot) and I have to say it was one of the easiest projects I did all year.  The process is long (Cleaning, priming, staining, sealing, oh my!), but not hard.  I used a reddish brown for the main color and spritzed black over it.  I painted a black border around the edge.

Here's the before.  That's my husband modeling for ya, along with my mother-in-law's weiner dog (we don't "do" pets at the Walters Casa!) 


And here is the after...
Now I would love to say that the patio is fully decorated and beautiful today.  Our patio furniture is so pathetic, I refuse to take a furnished picture until I've worked my magic (goal for Spring 2010!) 


 There are some things that really frustrate me about new home construction.  1) Why, oh why do builders still use cultured marble for bathroom countertops?  Granite or quartz would have made so much more sense. 2) Why, when every other cabinet in the house is cherry would you put WHITE in the bathroom?

Unfortunately, we bought the home after it was built or this would have definitely been addressed.

So, here's the before picture of our master bath cabinets.  Cover your eyes!

And here is my temporary and cheap makeover...
I sanded, removed the doors and painted everything a dark espresso satin finish (Ralph Lauren Howard, 3 coats!)  Then I applied 2 coats of polyurethene and added the oil rubbed bronze handles.  They have held up pretty darn good, I must say!


My kitchen was a recessed lighting extravaganza!  Literally, I think I have at least 7-8 canned lights in there!  

I found this easy pendant lighting at Lowe's.  The light kit has a lightbulb sized plug on one end and simply screws into the canned light just like a lightbulb!  No rewiring!  They have a variety of shades to choose from.  I chose this white glass with brown drizzle.  Reminds me of dessert, yummy! 

I hung one over my kitchen sink and bar area and the other over the breakfast table.  Cost for each light was about $27, and I did it myself with no help from hubby (*priceless*)


My sister-in-law had a beautiful chandelier that she paid a fortune for and was going to put it on Craig's list.  I was like, "NO, NO, NO!"  and quickly snagged it.  

It was gold and dripping with crystals.  I spray painted it Blue (Rustoleum Hammered Spray Paint is da bomb!), cleaned all the crystals & spent 2 hours standing on the dining room table putting them all back on.  I love it...it's glamorous, refined & rock star, all at the same time!  And best of all, it was a $16 project, woo hoo! 



 The price that retail stores want for window treatments is just ridiculous.  The price for custom is even more ridiculous.  And when you have 10 bajillion windows to address, creativity is the key!  Stitch Witch, my wonderful little friend to the rescue.  Here are my dining room curtains...

I bought ivory linen-look panels at Ikea for $29.99 a pair.  I used leftover striped upholstery fabric from my side chairs and trimmed in wide chocolate grosgrain ribbon.  I used curtain clips to attach them to the rod.  Total cost for 4 96" panels?  $108.  Take that, Mr. Man!  

And speaking of the establishment, let's talk about Pottery Barn.  I love the whole Pottery Barn vibe, but being the ex-retail buyer that I am, I cringe at the prices they charge.  I generally know what this stuff costs to make and they are PROUD, way too proud.  

I delight in finding a look on PB and recreating it on the cheap.  Case in point, these curtains...

PB price for 4 96" panels? $300. (*gulp*)  My knock-off?  HALF! Yes, $150.  Look who's proud now?

I bought the panels at Ikea, again for $29.99 a pair.  I attached white grosgrain ribbon from Dollar Tree using my trusty Stitch Witch.


This was one of the projects I put together for the Holiday Decorating Workshop I did for my PTA ladies.   Cute & easy and had a lot of comments from blogland on this one, who knew?!



So easy and what an impact!  Canvas, christmas lights, floral wire and ribbon and you've got a wonderful statement piece.  Click here to see how I made it!

This project had the most comments from viewers for the year!  Yeah, it wins a prize...no wait, it IS the prize.  With a little tweaking I think this will stay up all year.  I love it!

I added this shell topiary I made just this week.


$15 piano bench from Goodwill + $7 worth of fabric and spray paint = DELICIOUS!

Can't wait to start projects for 2010 and OMG, I'm getting fairly close to my 100th post (*tear in my eye*)  Think I'm going to have to cook up a giveaway!  Stay tuned!

I'm linking up to DIY Day @ A Soft Place To Land


Linda@Coastal Charm said...

My favorites are...how you add POP to plain curtains and how your concrete stain patio looks (I stained mine last spring and just love it). I see you have a button...going to grab it...maybe you can grab mine too. Hope you have a great week!


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Your patio is just "WOW." Love the shot with the weiner dog too...cute. ;) I think the beachy tablescape is my favorite though. Lovely! I'm visiting from Kimba's party. Hope you might stop by. :) Here's my link:

Kendall@ Finesse Your Nest said...

Hey Linda - Thanks for grabbing my new button (I'm so excited that I actually managed to make one and it works! Ha!) I grabbed yours too. I swore I had it, but I guess I missed it. It's up now.
Amanda - I love the tablescape too, thanks for the compliment on that and my patio. I stopped by your blog and became a "stalker" (:

Dena Pickle said...

Love the top 10! I think I came into your bloggy life at the beachy holiday tablescape!
I love the Tuscan kitchen too! Looking forward to another year of creative posts!

Anny said...

Wow you had a really creative last year!

Kendall@ Finesse Your Nest said...

And 2010 brings even bigger plans. Somebody STOP ME! (:

Rue said...

Great job on all your projects! Love that chandelier :)


Marianne said...

Glad you saved that chandelier it looks fab. You did some really lovely projects. Here is to happy blogging in 2010!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Katy, it's so nice to meet you, I don't think I've been by your blog before. You have been a busy girl! Lots of great things. That chandy is my fave. Great job on all of it. Thanks for joining the party.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Super fun! I love your projects.

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

Great job on your projects. I love all your photos!

Kendall@ Finesse Your Nest said...

Thanks guys for checking it out! I feel {loved}

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