Lists & Favorites

2011’s Most Awesome Projects

Thinking over what new resolutions, goals, and to-do lists to make for 2012 is straight-up exciting. Revisiting 2011 is a good way to gauge what successes 2012 may hold – and also a rare opportunity to look back and go “Dang, a lot happened this year.” In that spirit, I present The Borrowed Abode’s top projects of 2011!

Ryan’s Office Makeover

It was an exciting year at TBA what with Ryan and I getting engaged.  He planned to decorate his office, but his business trip gave me the chance to give him an engagement surprise using a paint color he had already selected, and some of our favorite vintage pieces from our favorite vintage store.  For all the details, check out the full post. There is more than meets the eye in this room seeing as it doubles as Ryan’s Dressing Room/Closet (Kind of like my studio).

Window Frame Jewelry Display with tutorial

This was the little project that could. The window was initially rescued from the trash  and nearly gave Ryan a coronary. When I outgrew my old jewelry storage I realized I had a great solution at my fingertips – and a great reason to tread the line between planning ahead and hoarding.  Thus, my window frame jewelry display came to life, and has rocked my world ever since.

This piece resides in my closet/studio/office and makes me smile whenever I use it. Which is often.

Full details on how to make this baby can be found in the tutorial post I wrote.

Sewing Studio Makeover – in all its many phases

Since I’ve already mentioned my multi-tasking studio twice, I figured I should feature it. I love its practicality and prettiness. This year has been big for pushing ahead with Janery, my online shop, and the studio kept morphing to suit my shop’s growing needs.

Some of my favorite elements of this room:

Finally, I can’t leave out my mid mod secretary score. I love this desk. It’s neat. It’s tidy. And it’s mid century! Awesomeness.

Basement makeover – still a work in progress

This makeover is ongoing into 2012. It sat undecorated, looking like this (below) for almost a year and a half. This fall it was time to take action.

But when rooms have to multi-task, it takes a while for it to feel right as we saw in the section above.

We’ve finally landed on a furniture arrangement that we really like for the room and have already made it useful for blogging and crafting, pets (hidden cat litter? Yes, please.), and movie nights galore.

Launching Janery and selling at my first craft show!

Janery has pushed me to new limits of creative thought and personal triumph. Starting a small business is for sure a labor of love. But look how pretty the fabrics are!

Starting a small business will invade your home.  (But hopefully not as badly as it did mine in the week leading up to the craft show.)

Your nerves will be shot over what to name your new baby business. You will wonder at all hours if you’re sewing enough. You’ll have to explore wholesaling, pricing, and other things that didn’t first occur to you when you first thought ” I want to start my own business and sew pretty fabric with the goal of eventually working from home.” You’ll go to a craft fair and wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. (Full details on the craft fair here!)

And if you’re working a full-time corporate job? Then you’ll definitely wonder “why am I doing this to myself?” many times. 🙂

Suddenly you’ll meet others and make friends who worry about the same things and who create inspirational products like these. You’ll see the fruits of your labor when your friends and others love your business, buy your products, and even review them.  TheJanery journey has had so many changes throughout the first year- but it’s been an awesome ride. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Painting an Accent Wall (or two)

I love the way our living room turned out – once we took two walls from beige to green.  It was really the missing link between that space and awesomeness.

It also got a healthy dose of Janery, and I figured out just how inexpensively we put the whole space together. That was a wake up call that really showed me the value of creating a space over time!

 The Back Porch: From Redneck to Worldly (and with storage to boot!)

In the summer I dared to show the world just how redneck our back porch had become. Parties would not be happening here. I’m wondering if we just opened the back door and threw things out back. This ugly duckling sure became a swan of a space, though.  Check out the after below and the progress posts: Part 1, Part 2, and a final update.

Ahhh. A soothing after.With storage. And bunting. All awesome.

The only problem now? The weather had to go and get cold again.

But with cold weather comes a new year.  Here’s to 2012, full of new projects – hopefully more projects than in 2011. Looking back sure is reinvigorating. Speaking of which, I’ve got some basement furniture to build now. . .

Update:  Oh my gosh, how did I forget my Coat Closet Makeover, complete with my {successful} attempt at temporary wallpaper using contact paper??  This was definitely a sweet success.

**I’ve linked this post up to Rhoda’s Top Projects party at Southern Hospitality. Drop by and say hi!**


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  • Reply Kate at 8:04 am

    Awesome projects!

  • Reply Erin @ How to Nest for Less at 9:00 am

    I’m just sitting here in AWE. You have completed some amazing transformations in 2011! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for next year 🙂 And congrats on the engagement!!

  • Reply Liz at 2:52 pm

    Ah, it’s so fun to see all your projects again. I may have to do the same on my blog….

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 3:15 pm

      Do it, do it! I have found that even the bloggers I religiously follow have *something* I missed earlier in the year!

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