DIY Decorating – Lake House Living: Year One

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Over the last year, not a day went by where I was not fully engaged in a DIY project or planning one out. It feels nice to take a break from holding a paint brush or need to take a run to the home improvement store. :-)

my house on the lake

As I enjoy this week, I also wanted to share a milestone with you. December 8th marked one year that Ed and I made the move to live our dream of living along the shores of a big lake.

After a year of DIYing and updating many of the rooms to fit our style, the house truly feels like…

Lake House Custom Watercolor portrait by The Art of Michelle
Watercolor portrait by The Art of Michelle

…home sweet home. :-)

Waterside tour of homes

When I look back over the last year, I realize we got a lot accomplished, even with lots of downtime to enjoy the water… swimming in it, boating on it, and…

summer easy living ideas

…sitting back in the evenings to enjoy the show every night. It is never the same.

I have many new projects planned for 2017 and thought before I start posting about them, I would recap the changes we made to the house so far.

Before and after floor makeover for a home office

The first project started the week we moved in. I had vinyl plank flooring from Floor & Decor that we brought with us from Pennsylvania. We decided to use it to replace the carpeting in what would become my studioffice.

Vinyl Plank Floors in the Craft room – Studioffice

Home office decorating ideas

It made a huge difference to the room along with the addition of an area rug.

Home office decorating ideas

This is the room where I first started to paint all the brown trim…

In My Own Style studioffice

…to white. A much nicer place to work now.

Master bedroom makeover before and after

After that was done, I painted the master bedroom…

Bedroom decorating ideas using quilts

in a shade of soft blue.

How to find budget window treatments for sliding glass doors

and made extra-wide white drapes to cover the sliding doors in every room by sewing together pre-made drapery panels to get the wide width I needed.

How to make extra wide drapes to cover a sliding glass door

It took me months to get all the drapes made, but it was well worth my efforts to get exactly what I wanted.

Staircase Makeover BEFORE

I made over the foyer staircase…

Foyer staircase Makeover AFTER

…by painting the balusters and risers white and re-staining the steps.  Ed has started to create the storage area under the steps that will have a hidden door.

How to install plywood planking over an interior brick wall

The flat brick wall and fireplace in the living room…

Brick fireplace wall makeover using vertical wood planking

underwent a big change with the help of this…

furniture repurposing idea for a dining room hutch

dining room hutch top from my previous house. We didn’t have a place for it, so I removed the top and made…

Furniture repurposed into a fireplace mantel

… a floating mantel with it for the new AirStone fireplace.

Airstone Fireplace makeover

…and vertical paneled walls.

Autumn home decorating inspiration and ideas on a budget
Fixer upper house wall demolition

The other major change to the room was taking down this wall between the kitchen and living room.

How to remove a wall and repair the gap in the flooring

Ed did most of the demo work, but we did have a pro come in to add the structural beam.

Opening a wall in an old house

We lived with it like this for awhile, but are now are enjoying…

DIY decorating ideas on a budget

a much larger space and double the lake view from both the kitchen and living room now.

how to paint over stained louvered doors

Amidst the bigger projects, I had a paint brush in one hand and a bucket of white paint in the other to paint all the brown trim in the house like these louvered doors…

how to tighten cabinet knobs
Before photo of painting wood trim


Gallons and gallons…

Priming and paint in one step

… to brighten up every room.

How to make an ugly ceiling fan disappear in an afternoon.

I even started to paint the ceiling fans, white.

Powder room makeover before

One thing I was going to wait on was updating the powder room, but Ed decided to take the project on.  Goodbye green toilet.

Bathroom makeover ideas to DIY

Goodbye brown and hello…

budget bathroom makeover

…light and bright. We made the sink vanity by cutting a hole for a sink in a sideboard that I used as a desk in my previous house.

Shiplap wood plank walls in a powder room

I jumped on the shiplap bandwagon…

Shiplap wood plank wall tutorial

and even added some to make a focal wall where there was none.

China closet organizing idea

One of my favorite updates was turning a coat closet into a china closet.

China closet organizing idea

I will have more projects, many more.

How to spray paint a ceiling fan

In the September I started to update the 1970’s kitchen with paint. I am thrilled with how it is coming out.

Kitchen Makeover Progress  |  Kitchen Makeover Cabinet Hardware

1970's kitchen before updating on a budget

It is a lot of work, but I am almost done.

Kitchen makeover progress

I did a section at a time.

White kitchen makeover in progress

and am 95% done.  See more here:  Budget DIY Kitchen Makeover

kitchen wine rack makeover with paint

I will be sharing the completed AFTER with you in January.

Affordable coastal decor window treatments

I hope you enjoyed this look back to see all the updates I have done in the house over the past year.

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  1. Tons of work in one year!…..Love how you are turning this lake house into your own. Looking forward to seeing the after pictures of the kitchen.

  2. It is great to look at all you have accomplished at your new home in 2016. I’m loving everything you have done and I’m excited to see the kitchen when you are finished. I always enjoy your posts and your down to earth common sense approach. Wishing you and Ed the best in 2017. Vikki in VA.

  3. I loved the walk down ‘renovation’ lane! My goodness, you were busy this year. I can’t decide on a favorite–I love everything! Happy New Year! I look forward to many more wonderful posts.

  4. Beautiful job, as always, Diane. Thank you for your continued inspiration. I painted my bathroom cabinet right before Christmas following your instructions and am so proud of how it turned out! Such a little thing compared to your big projects, but I never would have attempted it without you and your blog. All the best to you in 2017.

  5. For those of us who anxiously anticipate each of your DIY updates, time moves so slowly while we wait. Now, seeing all you’ve done over the preceding year, which seemed to fly by, it’s difficult to wrap one’s brain around all that you’ve accomplished in those 12 months. Amazing transformations! You certainly don’t lack for imagination, creativity, determination, motivation….and stamina. Wow. Prior to each project, I wondered how you’d give each your signature look. Some turned out pretty much as expected, others, a bit more of a surprise. Your efforts make me long for my home-owning days, decades ago, when I engaged in similar endeavors (wishing I’d known then what I do now…no internet for ideas back then).

    Look forward to seeing what you’ll be up to in 2017. Hope it’s a healthy, happy, productive and rewarding year for you. Thank you for continuing to share, inspire.