Monday, January 6, 2020

Favorite posts last year

 Happy New Year everyone! I enjoyed two wonderful weeks with my family, making memories and savoring the Christmas season. Now it's back to work, and I have lots of fun projects planned for this year.

First, though, I wanted to recap my favorite projects from 2019 because they really foreshadow the projects I have planned for this year.

The first thing I did last year was paint the master bedroom a dark gray, Kilz Color Collection "Dark Umber," and oh how I have enjoyed this dark and moody color in each and every season.

In the summer it feels dark and cool, and in the winter months it feels warm and cozy. Win. Win.

After ripping out the island in the kitchen, we enclosed what was the dining room to make an office and ended up with a cozy New Living Room that I just love.

It has been so much fun to have a more separated room, and we love using it.

Last fall, after giving my mother the rescue sofa, I found this amazing antique Duncan Phyfe sofa on facebook marketplace, which really changed the feel of the room.

We also upped our electrical skills by installing a $20 craigslist light over the kitchen table. Some rewiring needed to be done in the attic, and we tackled it like pros -- except for one incident😅

The new kitchen that resulted from all the changes has also been the most pleasant surprise. We have enjoyed so much family time sitting around the table, and with my last two kids at home, those times are very precious😊

My biggest accomplishment, besides my electrical skills upgrade 😉, was conquering my fear of the miter saw and diving into some woodworking projects I've wanted to do for years. 

And, yes, my screen door from the old house is warped but I'm ok with that.

I didn't stop with one door, but kept on going with my desire to use as much of the old trim and wood here as possible.

There is nothing more satisfying than going from this stage: this:

Of course, at that point I was feeling pretty confident that I could do something bigger, so I tackled restoring and installing this wormy chestnut beadboard from the old house. All. By. Myself.

What a labor of love this was, and so worth the effort.

I didn't stop there, though, and recycled more random pieces from my pile of old wood into this beautiful Victorian mantel.

This has to be one of my favorite projects ever, although it was a challenge to my geometry and math skills - or lack thereof. I really studied photos of woodwork and the experts who teach carpentry, and under the watchful eyes of my dad and husband, both master carpenters, I was able to somehow get this together all square, level and solidly built. 

And you know what that means? Exactly. More woodworking projects as I have so much wood I refuse to let ruin. After studying photos of the interior of the old house, and figuring out how these pieces fit together, I have some doors and windows I'll be trimming as well as more baseboards, beadboard walls, etc. 

So my motto of "Reclaiming the past - one board at a time," will really be my motto for 2020.

I'm so thankful for all of you who have followed me - some of you for the past ten years I've been blogging, and I hope you are inspired to use what you have to make your house a home. All you need is a little creativity and some hard work😊

Please follow me at Whispering Pines Homestead on instagram for behind the scenes and so much more.

I'll be joining:


  1. Every time you make a change I think "but I liked the way she had it!" And then of course the new looks become my favorites too. I have to say that taking your island out was genius! And I would never have thought of it. I enjoy seeing all of your "reclaiming the past." For decades I have collected vintage women's magazines of the past and I happily lose myself in them, wanting to keep what was so good then and make it a part of my life now. I love the way you are taking your house back in time but in a way that embraces all the rich colors with the beautiful woods. The great room in our 1935 cottage has original V-groove pine boards on walls and ceiling that I love, would never paint over, but it eats the light up like crazy. So I'm learning that the rich jewel colors work best in there, with lots of soft lamplight. And I study yours to see the touches that give such a vibrant feel. Those curtains behind your Duncan Phyfe sofa are calling my name!

  2. I love your home. I love the color of your bedroom, cozy, warm. You put the colors, pattern and textures together so well. I don't have that knack. I am just going to put what I like from now on and not think about it so much. I love jewel tones and vintage pieces.

  3. Oh my, what a labor of love. We once had an old 1905 'Adams Family' house. And the wood was gorgeous and torture also. I can really appreciate your hard work---and trying to stay true to the home. Your results are gorgeous! Our next project is bead-boarding a once walk-in-closet/bathroom and updating the shower and fixtures! No history in a 1972 home, but definitely we have inserted some real wood here and there.

  4. I have followed you for several years and love everything you do to your home. I especially love the fact that you use all of your relatives old things: lamps, pictures, and the memories that go with them I would rather have an old lamp or table --whatever from my family than anything new. Also love your use of color. So many houses on these blogs are just the same: white,white and more white and they have all the warmth of the interior of an empty refrigerator. So keep up all your good work. creyenga8@gn