Home Decor

My Top 10 Favorite DIY Projects In Our Home (So Far!)

I’ve been DIYing my way through our house for a very long time now. And as a result, there’s not a single surface in a single room that I haven’t undone, redone, rebuilt, remade, customized, or decorated in some way. I can’t even describe how much satisfaction I have looking around our house and seeing “me” — my hard work, sweat, tears, blood, determination, vision, execution — in literally every room, every surface, every nook and cranny of our house.

Yesterday, I was looking around, taking inventory of what I’ve done, remembering the journey, appreciating the lessons along the way, and trying to determine what my overall favorite projects have been. I think my favorites change from time to time, but as of this moment, these are my top ten favorites.

1. Music Room Bookcases & Doors

The bookcases and doors in the music room are definitely a top 10 favorite, not only because I think they make the room, but because it was a rather big building project that I took on pretty early. And I was really proud of the design that I came up with to fake the look of pocket doors without actually tearing down walls to make real pocket doors.

Here’s what this wall of the music room looked like when we bought the house. This was the original exterior door that went out to the back yard. The “sunroom” behind it was added on later. So this wall is an exterior load bearing wall, and I didn’t want to have to reconstruct it to make real pocket doors.

2. Guest Bedroom Walls

I love these walls because it looks like wallpaper, but this design cost me less than $100 — the cost of a gallon of paint and a few paint pens. Using an overhead projector and a design that my mom and I came up with, I projected the design onto the walls, and began to trace. It was so easy to do, and gave this wall a big impact in the room. You can see more about the project here. And you can download my floral wall design here.

guest bedroom - finished - headboard wall and closet - verticalguest bedroom - finished - headboard wall and closet - vertical
guest bedroom - finished - headboard and beddingguest bedroom - finished - headboard and bedding

3. Bathroom Cabinet

This cabinet may very well be my favorite thing in our master bathroom. I used two leftover French doors (doors that I had originally used on our pantry) as inspiration for the cabinet. After cutting them down to look more like cabinet doors, I built a cabinet around them, and loaded it up with bathroom items. It fit into our water closet perfectly. You can see the details of this build here.

4. Living Room Fireplace

The first time I saw our living room, I knew that the space between the two side windows needed a fireplace. I didn’t even care if it was a working fireplace or not. It just needed the architectural detail of a fireplace, in my opinion.

5. Kitchen Cased Opening

It’s hard for me to now imagine our kitchen with a solid wall here, but this is what the kitchen looked like after the first remodel.

It wasn’t until after that remodel that I decided the wall needed a cased opening. And even though that is a load-bearing wall, I knew I could do it myself. After watching may videos about how to put a cased opening in a load-bearing wall (with a special thanks to This Old House for having the best and most thorough explanation), I decided to go for it. And I’m so glad I did, because this opening made such a huge different in the look and feel of our kitchen!

7. Living Room Spoon Art

I had to include my absolute favorite piece of artwork that I’ve ever made in my list. This colorful pinwheel is made out of over 800 wood tasting spoons. I painstakingly cut all of the handles off, sanded each piece, glued them into place, painted each one, and then added gold accents to the tips of each spoon. And then I made a shadow box frame for it. This is, hands down, my favorite art piece I’ve ever made. And I love watching people’s expressions when I tell them I made it, and that it’s made out of spoons.

8. Bathroom Bubble Light

This bubble light is the crown jewel in our bathroom, in my humble opinion. I made it out of Christmas ornaments, and even now, over a year later, I still love to stare at it.

9. Bathroom Vanities & Storage Cabinet

These DIY vanities and storage cabinet have been my most challenging building project to date. Since I wasn’t going to paint the vanities and cabinet, I wasn’t able to rely on wood filler and caulk to make up for my lack of imperfections in the building process. So I had to take extra care and extra time to get things right. It was my most challenging build so far, but it has also been my most rewarding.

10. Home Gym Striped Walls

With my love of color and stripes, our striped home gym walls obviously have to be included in my list. This project was such a pain, as I had to measure and tape off every single stripe with 1/4-inch tape, and then the tape didn’t come off cleanly, so I had to do so many repairs! It was a complete nightmare, but I’m so glad I persevered and didn’t call it quits. It is so invigorating being in this room, surrounded by so much color. In all, I used 15 different colors to paint the stripes in here.

So those are my top 10 right now. If I waited another month and did a top 10 list, the list may look a little different. But I’m so thankful for this journey, and for the skills and lessons I’ve learned along the way. And I absolutely love living in a home where I can look around and see the fruit of the labor of my own hands in every room and every surface. It’s so satisfying!

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