2012: the year in DIY decorating

Happy new year!!! I hope you all had a wonderfully sparkly and bubbly holiday season. I’m super excited for 2013–I have a really big, really exciting crafty project that will be launching in just a couple weeks and I can’t wait to share it… but first, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some DIY moments in 2012.

This was the year of home projects for me–I definitely spent most of my creative free time working on my apartment. Last year, I declared that my new year’s resolution for 2012 was to finish decorating my place. I can’t quite say I finished, but I’m almost there. So before leaping into 2013, I thought I’d take a look back at what happened this year in my little world of DIY decorating on a dime. Ready? (You can click the links on each project to see before shots as well as how-to’s.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy first project of 2012 was making over this old credenza I found. A few coats of paint and new door curtains in lime green silk, and voila! I didn’t love the green at first, but then I became obsessed with neon this year like everyone else, and now I think it’s perfect.



Next up, I built floating night stands for my bedroom, even though I had no woodworking tools (or skills, for that matter). It was amazingly easy, and this became one of my most popular projects on Pinterest this year. Woo!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd with the completion of my floating night stands and lamps, my DIY bedroom was officially finished! (I also made the headboard and quilt, but those were in 2011 so I technically shouldn’t count them here. But the whole ensemble was complete in 2012, so I just have to share the photo for posterity’s sake.) I really do love my lil’ bedroom.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh! I almost forgot–I also installed a new light fixture in my bedroom! This was a pivotal moment for me–conquering the fear of doing electrical work. After this, I went on to replace all the light switches in my entire apartment too–I couldn’t believe how much it freshened up the rooms to have modern switches. And thus one of my 2012 epiphanies happened: Doing electrical work makes me feel like the most badass lady in the world.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeanwhile, back in the dining room, I spruced up a set of vintage chairs I got on Craigslist. Just a couple coats of glossy black paint and some new cushions, with fabric by my fabric crush, Jay McCarroll.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is one of my favorites from the year, in terms of cost (cheap), ease (crazy easy) and results (fabulous, I think!). I made an area rug for my dining room using industrial-type carpet runner that’s sold by the roll. I love how this turned out and I’m happy to report, a year later, that it has held up great. This stuff is practically bullet-proof; nothing can harm it. And I think it looks so modern and who would ever know it came from a roll at Home Depot?!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI finally sewed curtains for my naked dining room windows–four big, long, lined and pleated panels that almost killed me but were so worth it.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was another big moment of the year: empowered by my bedroom light, I went for broke and installed a new chandelier in my dining room! ALL BY MYSELF! (Well, a friend did help me hold up the fixture while installing it, so I guess I had a little assistance.) Sometimes I still look at this thing and say to myself, Girl you installed a freakin’ chandelier!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then I took a brief detour to the bathroom and hung a towel rack in a tile wall. It was terrifying, but in the end very easy, and I would like everyone to know that drilling in tile should not be feared!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is a really crazy-ugly diamond-shaped glass block interior window in the wall between my living and dining room. It mocked me day and night, until finally I sewed a quilt to cover it up! So much better.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then I hung this little light fixure (more electricity!!) which was plain boring black until I gave it a neon pink makeover with nylon cord and almighty duck tape.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo cover the living-room side of the ugly diamond-shaped glass block window, I made a big abstract painting to hang over it! (With the help of my painter friend Christina, without whom this surely would have been a disaster.)



And the last big decorating move of the year was repainting my living room a medium shade of pink (to replace the deep, almost-red pink that I started with), and also replacing my sofa with this loungy dreamboat (I love it so much).

So there it is! It’s cool to look back and see that my apartment really has come a long way this year. (I actually have quite a few more finished projects that haven’t been blogged yet, so I guess those will go on the record for 2013. That’s okay.) My apartment resolution for 2013 is to really finish decorating–well, I guess these things are never really finished, but I still want to accessorize in a few spots, and figure out some things in the living room. And then I’ll try to get some full room shots to share.

By the way–you can follow all my apartment adventures in my DIY Decorating Series, which you can always find by clicking on the sidebar to the right. (That page goes all the way back to the beginning, including “before” shots of the empty space.)


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd lastly, I couldn’t close out 2012 without reposting my favorite catlady photo of the year–Fifi bunny!!!! Gah. What would I do without this little smooshyface lovebug?

Happy 2013, everyone!! Here’s to a marvelously crafty year for all!
xoxo, Brett & Fifi

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