...because home doesn't happen overnight.
01.07.15 / A Look Back at 2014

Hi everyone! Thanks for being so patient while I spent time away from the laptop. Steve and the kids had two weeks off work / school and I forced myself to unplug from the blog and social media in order to savor our sweet time together. But now that we’re sick of each other (ha!) and snowed in, cabin fever is beginning to set in. Back to reality.

At the beginning of each new year, I have a tendency to focus on all the things I didn’t accomplish during the previous year. While I do find it helpful to assess my shortcomings, taking a moment to acknowledge the things I did tend to gives me a confidence boost moving forward. Here’s looking at you 2014.

DIY sueded cord cover 6

I set up a small workspace in the kitchen which includes the cutest lil’ lamp. Having a designated and organized place to write posts, edit photos, pay bills and play house secretary has been glorious.

We created an easy-to-use attic access and organized the attic. No more heating the attic! No more hour-long searches for that one thing I know is up there somewhere!

exterior entry 2

We revamped the entry inside and out. (But sometimes – like today – the FedEx man forgets the front door is functional now and brings deliveries to the back door.)

I shared our biggest renovation regret and the details of a game-changing renovation project.

I bought a fiddle leaf fig and somehow managed to keep it alive.

I continued with my efforts to disguise all of Steve’s audio equipment.

mabrey & B

Mabrey lost her beloved B (a.k.a. Berry). I bought two replacements.

Mabrey burnt my favorite chair. I bought one replacement cushion.

I revived a vintage dresser.

exterior before & after

I painted the garage door as a stopgap measure and we had the driveway replaced. 2014 was the year the exterior graduated from crack house to okay-maybe-I’d-let-my-kids-play-there house.

I was wifenapped! (One of my favorite memories of 2014.)

We (and by we I mean Steve) tiled the main bathroom. Twice.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

I made out with John & Sherry’s show house.

I upgraded the toilet seat in our master bathroom and it was kinda magical.

I busted out my sewing machine for the first time in a long time.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I worked really hard just for me then I bought a bikini.

I shared my thoughts on quitting my day job. (One of my favorite posts ever.)

clubhouse south side 1

I spruced up my childhood clubhouse for my kids and nieces. (One of my favorite projects ever.)

cheetah

I adopted a kitten even though I thought I wasn’t a cat person. (One of the best uninformed decisions I’ve ever made.)

We declawed a claw foot tub – not our kitten.

We went on a real vacation and stayed here.

thanksgiving 2

I created an easy Thanksgiving tablescape.

And I finally got around to piecing together a legit house tour. (Main bathroom coming soon!)

Those are the highlights I’m remembering as I ease into 2015.

gold coast ikea kitchen after 15

A big THANK YOU to all my (real life and virtual) friends who allowed me to share their Ikea kitchens and home renovations. You are an inspiration to me and homeowners everywhere. (Be sure to check out John & Sara’s kitchen and MIL suite in Nashville. And you must see James & Kristina’s renovation of a midcentury family home here in Ohio. It includes a new kitchen-dining area, a reworked layout and the coolest playhouse.)

And, last but not least, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to read my words and write your own if / when moved to do so. I know you have a million other things you could be doing and I don’t take that lightly. You’re the best.

Happy new year!

62 Comments

07.January.2015

Happy new year Dana & family ! Thanks for posting my kitchen creation in my barn (in France !) and thanks for sharing your renovations and family life. Take care !

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Thanks for sharing all the way from France!

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07.January.2015

Congratulations on all you achieved this year! I just want to thank you for your post about your approach to working out – it influenced me so much! The way you described exercise, not as something one commits to and then either succeeds or fails at, but as something you do when you can, for your own sake, completely altered the way I view my health. Instead of exercise being something I thought I should do (but never ever did), I came to think of it as something I wanted in my life. So, I followed your lead and started doing Pilates in my living room. Five months later I’m still working out at least 3 times each week and so very happy that I took it up. Thanks for being my inspiration!

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Good for you! On hard days when I’m not 100% into it I remind myself that I’ve never regretted a workout.

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07.January.2015

You accomplished so much this past year and yet you show that the process takes time complete with mistakes and redos. I am still in love with your kitchen space and work area.

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07.January.2015

Dana, what an amazing post! I’m inspired to start a blog so I can look back at the year and see all that I have accomplished as well.

One question for you, Since you posted about John and Sherry’s show house, do you, being a blogger, have any thoughts about Young House Love? For me personally, it was like a bad breakup. We’ve all been giving the opportunity to watch John, Sherry and the kids grow and evolve over the years, and now it’s over… gasp! Have you ever thought about stepping away from House Tweaking?

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Personally, I try to never judge anyone for doing what’s best for him / her / their family. As much as I enjoyed their blog and miss it now, I’m completely supportive of their decision. I’m just happy I got to follow along for as long as I did. And I’m so looking forward to their book release next year!

I have stepped away from House*Tweaking – albeit on a smaller scale. I’ve found that taking regular breaks (like the one on our vacation and then again for the holidays) keeps me inspired and prevents me from getting too burnt out. I owe it to my family to step away from the computer every once in a while.

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07.January.2015

You are my go to blog to start off my morning with my cup of coffee. You inspire and motivate me and when I look at my home I think, “what would Dana suggest?” This somehow allows me to see my space objectively. You keep things real, life, family and decor in the mix. Thanks for sharing, you make an imprint more than you think.

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replied on January 7th, 2015

M’wah!

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07.January.2015

my burning question for you is this. do your cat’s claws scratch up your leather couch? we just got a leather couch and randomly my cat hating husband said we should just go ahead and get a cat. wha?! we decided that maybe the claws would be the death of the couch and didn’t get one. wait, maybe he planned that ;)

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replied on January 7th, 2015

We really lucked out in the cat department. Cheetah has been so good about scratching only her post / cardboard lounger. I try to keep her claws trimmed, too. She hasn’t damaged the sofa at all.

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07.January.2015

Dana, you continue to be one of my favorite bloggers! I admire how you blend function and style so seamlessly into your home. I’m looking forward to see the new and improved main bathroom. I bet it seems like such a luxury now! You did leave out one of my favorite posts -the zucchini pie. I believe we still have 4 more bags of zucchini pie filling left in the freezer!

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Oh yes, the sneaky zucchini pie ;)

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07.January.2015

I had my second baby (a little girl, named Ingrid) five weeks ago. I just bought Tracy Anderson’s post pregnancy workout DVD, per your recommendation. Hoping I have as good of results as you had. Thanks for the tip!

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07.January.2015

Happy New Year, Dana!!! Cheers to more renovation projects in 2015…: )
Leah
(Looking forward to the bathroom reveal!)

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07.January.2015

Happy New Year. When you do the bathroom reveal, the house it seems is finished, renovation wise, I know a house is never finished as things get tweaked, what is next? And what will your blog content be?

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Speaking of moving forward that is….

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replied on January 8th, 2015

Alison, I was wondering the same.
I do miss the excitement of the house remodel, but I love learning more about Dana’s style as she explores different types of projects.

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replied on January 7th, 2015

More of what inspires me I guess! I love being able to share my projects and others’ too.

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replied on January 7th, 2015

hey, you could build a brick oven in your backyard! do it! that would be cool.

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replied on January 9th, 2015

Looking forward to seeing what the new year brings.

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07.January.2015

Great recap of the year. I love that you adopted a kitten. Your house looks amazing and I think it suits your family well.

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07.January.2015

Those little beater houses are the best to work on, really, and I love the decisions that you have made with yours. It’s a gift to the neighborhood just as your blog is a gift to me. Thank you Dana and Steve for sharing so much.

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Thank you for reading.

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07.January.2015

hello,
i’m sitting here in the PNW but across a little bit of water and wanting to just reach out and let you know how very much i enjoy visiting your little space in blogland! … please keep it coming!

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Thank you Helen!

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07.January.2015

I love your stacking gold bands! Can you share where they are from?

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replied on January 7th, 2015

At first I didn’t know what bands you were referring to! I’m guessing you mean the rings in the bikini photo?? I bought them at the Arlington Flea while visiting my sister last year. They are brass and were $5 each! I bought three to represent each kiddo. The stack is my version of a mother’s ring I guess.

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07.January.2015

I’m so glad that you are back from your holiday break! I love your blog so much. I wanted to let you know how much I look forward to reading it everyday.

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replied on January 7th, 2015

Thanks Beth :)

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07.January.2015

What a year! Love that you had a great break and that you are now baaaack!

jbhat

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07.January.2015

Where did you get the wooden pot holder on your outside entry way? I LOVE it!

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replied on January 7th, 2015

I sourced the planter here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2014/04/24/my-front-entry-part-i/

Hope that helps!

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07.January.2015

It looks like it’s been a huge year for you! How did you choose the “right” white for your walls? I’m having trouble deciding between the 1000’s of options available.
Cheers,
Jo

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replied on January 7th, 2015

In the main living space we used Benjamin Moore tapestry beige which is a very light gray slash warm white slash tan. The trim and other white walls in the house are Benjamin Moore white dove. I tried sampling truer, purer whites but they looked too cold in our natural light. (We’re in the midwest and the light here tends to be cooler.) At least for this house, whites with warmer undertones work best. But oh how I love bright white spaces!

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07.January.2015

Yay! Awesome recap. I’ve loved following your posts, and I want your whole house…and maybe the kitten too. :)

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07.January.2015

I’m glad to hear that you had a nice time off. I’m so jealous you got to make out with John & Sherry’s show house. :)

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07.January.2015

Welcome back and happy new year! I must say, I love following your blog- I admire your decorating style and your writing style. It’s like getting updates from a stylish, cool friend. Thanks for doing what you do.

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07.January.2015

I’ve been enjoying your blog and admiring your lovely home-in-the-making for a few years now! And I agree that your post on quitting your day job was one of your best. :) I would love to see more lifestyle posts from you, and of course, always look forward to the house-related material too. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

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08.January.2015

Soooooo this post is basically a testament to why you’re my hero. Thanks for being such an inspiration, and I wish I could by you a cup of coffee next time you come down to Rosemary Beach!

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replied on January 9th, 2015

I may just drive down there for the cup of coffee!

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08.January.2015

Happy New Year! You accomplished a whole lot this year and I have loved following along. You truly inspire me and can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with this year. I also tried your workout routing for a while and really liked it but then, life happened, and I just stopped working out. After seeing that picture of you in a bikini (W O W) i’m determined to start again!

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08.January.2015

I read quite a few blogs and yours has remained my favourite since I stumbled across it about 4 years ago! Love your style and your house transformation has been amazing!

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08.January.2015

You know you’ve been following a blog for a long time when you randomly think to yourself, “hmm..I haven’t read a Dana post in a while!” :) I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your winter break with the family and I am happy you are back! I love all of your posts – family, home, etc. And, Cheetah is one of the prettiest cats I have ever seen! Thank you for creating such a wonderful place on the internet to come to! :)

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08.January.2015

Love your blog. I’m curious which posts are your most read or pinned!!?

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replied on January 9th, 2015

Great question! I should take a closer look and post about it. I see the reclaimed wood headboard from our previous house everywhere. The funny thing is many of the posts I’ve written that I thought would be a total flop (i.e., What I (Don’t) Miss About Working Outside the House) were actually well-received and seemed to strike a chord with those in similar situations. And then sometimes the posts I’m really excited about catch a lot of flak. I never know!

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replied on January 12th, 2015

Pretty sure I’ve pinned that head board :)

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08.January.2015

So happy to hear you enjoyed a holiday break with your family! I love reading your blog and look forward to hearing about your adventures in 2015!

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09.January.2015

Totally beautiful year! I love the blog and basically wish you styled my whole life!

And Cheetah (+ your kids)!! Your instagram shots always make me smile. I may be especially partial as the cat mother of two gorgeous brown tabbies who could be her big brothers. :)

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09.January.2015

Love your ikea kitchen posts and your frequent use of secondhand things. Keeping things useful is a great way to reduce consumerism.

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09.January.2015

Hi Dana! I love your blog and look forward to reading it every day! I also love your bikini! I’m in the market for a new one and would love to know where you found yours if you are comfortable to share.

Happy New Year!

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replied on January 9th, 2015

Victoria’s Secret… I felt a little ridiculous ordering it but I love it!

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09.January.2015

SUCH a great year Dana! So much inspiration and so many beautiful spaces. One of my highlights is being able legitimately pretend we’re besties now! Cant wait for 2015!!

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09.January.2015

I was just wondering if you still like your juicer (Omega 8004 Nutrition System Juicer) and your blender (Professional Ninja)? I’m in the market for both. I really want a blender that will make kale and greens smooth and I’ve heard so many great things about juicing… I want to start.

Thanks!

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replied on January 11th, 2015

We still have and love both! No problems with either! And we use them on a very regular basis. We juice ~5 times per week and I use the blender for all sorts of things, usually once a week.

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11.January.2015

Hi Dana,

I have read and been inspired by your blog for years. I am attempting to start my own as a hobby. I would love for you to check it out. http://psquaredlouise.blogspot.com

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replied on January 11th, 2015

Welcome to the crazy world of blogging!

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11.January.2015

I LOVED your post! Just spent a week contemplating where I am at and where I have come from, both personally, and also in my work and home lives as well! It is one thing to think about new goals and find faults needing some attention, but it is so much more inspiring to look back and be proud of what you have accomplished! Great post! Happy New Year!

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13.January.2015

[…] A Look Back at 2014 (from House Tweaking) While this article from House Tweaking may not be about setting new resolutions, it is a great reminder that we all have made a lot of […]

30.January.2015

I have to say you guys did an amazing job with both exterior and interior projects. Oh, and I love the metal roof you put on the home! We’ve been thinking about doing the same to our home. Is there anything about it you don’t love?

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replied on February 1st, 2015

When we get a heavy snow, it melts and slides off in sheets. We installed small snow cleats above the front door and garage but they aren’t effective. We’re worried about damage to the gutters when heavy snow slides off. We finally ordered and received a snow rail that will line the perimeter of the entire roof but will have to wait for warmer weather to install it. Other than that, we LOVE the roof.

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[…] A Look Back at 2014 (from House Tweaking) While this article from House Tweaking may not be about setting new resolutions, it is a great reminder that we all have made a lot of […]




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