Today I'm here to share some of our favorite projects that have held up great and some regrets that we would do differently if we had a time machine. Ready or not?
Concrete Countertop DIY. This was one of the most physically difficult projects we've had on ABM (tons of hand sanding, so lots of "elbow grease" needed), but it's SUPER inexpensive and looks great in person.
After 10 months we're thrilled to report that our countertop is holding up perfectly. So much so that we're planning to do it again in another space soon. It's beautiful, sturdy, and unbeatable for the price.
Washer and Dryer Makeover. It's been almost a year since I decorated my washer and dryer with electrical tape. I am happy to report that they still look exactly the same! Since electrical tape is durable and water-resistant, I can still wipe the appliances. I still like the look of them and plan to keep them for years to come, but I also like that they're removable if I ever change my mind.
Fabric-Lined Shelves. We did this project a little over a year ago, and it's still in my bedroom today. One of the corners of fabric fell down a little (an easy fix with more rubber cement), and so I tried pulling it off (just to make sure it truly is removable after all this time), and it worked great. I would definitely do this project again, and it's super renter-friendly.
Guest Room Cart. I wanted to mention this cart not because of how it held up (it's fine) but because it's been so incredibly useful. It really makes our guests feel welcome.
DIY Instax Wallpaper. This one has good and bad things about it. Here's my honest review! Does it work– Yes. It's easy (can be installed in a day) and cheap (mine cost $130 for a giant wall). Buttttt…. I got tired of how busy the pattern was. It's been up in my home for close to two years now, and I'm ready for a change. And now I have to pull 100 staples from my wall.
If I had that aforementioned time machine, I would go back and change a few things. I would absolutely do this project again, BUT I would choose a smaller wall next time and use thicker cardstock (the 80 pound cardstock began to warp a little bit over time).
Similarly, I painted over my handwriting statement wall after just one year (and have regretted it ever since!). I definitely miss it. After photographing it for the blog and then later for our book, I was ready for a change. Bold statement walls can be hard to live with. They're busy. With that said, they're also incredibly photogenic and beautiful. If I've learned anything from this house, it's how truly indecisive I am.
If you like this look but don't want to commit to a giant wall, I suggest making the painting version.
Painted Tiles. I wondered how these would hold up after a winter in the elements. After last winter, there were a few worn off spots. They could have used a fresh coat of paint, but it didn't bother me and I didn't repaint them (maybe next year).
I would definitely do this again. I used porch paint and, honestly, it's exactly like painting your house or porch. It will need some maintenance, but it's totally worth it. We've hosted several back yard parties since I painted these tiles, and it's something people always compliment in our space. No regrets!
DIY Dining Room Table. I can't say enough about how happy I am with this table. In the first few months after we moved into our home, we spent so much money. Moving is really expensive, and it was great to save thousands of dollars by making our own table that seats eight people. We've enjoyed it for more than two years now, and I would highly recommend this project to anyone who is on the fence. It's so worth the investment of time and supplies.
Laura built the very same table in her home! She's still loving it too and she just painted hers white to contrast more with her floors. I laughed because I've been toying with the idea of painting mine too. Anyway– this project is highly recommended along with Emma's Honeycomb table (depending on the size and shape of your room. Hers also looks just as good today as the day she completed it!
Painted Chairs. These were an awesome solution to buy me some time before shopping for a matching set. After about a year of daily use, they were in need of a touch up coat of paint. I really liked these chairs and have used this oil-based Rust-Oleum paint for several other projects including my bar cart. It's great stuff!
Mudroom Organization. This was EASY, and two years later I haven't changed it at all and still love it. Sometimes the simple, functional projects are the best!
Probably the most bummin' D.I.Y. of our year, when it comes to how it aged, was this linoleum floor. It was SO pretty at first, but after just a few months of heavy traffic, many of the corners broke.
Time machine? Yeah– if we could go back in time, we'd use real tile. Not linoleum. It could work in a very low traffic room, but in our busy workshop, it didn't do so well. Not a huge loss, though, since it was super inexpensive.
We've made quite a few rugs that held up as good, or better, than retail store rugs. This rag rug has been in our studio kitchen all year. This rope rug is super durable (but also more difficult to make than the rag rug).
A lesson I've learned with (big) D.I.Y. projects is that what you get out of it is usually pretty equal to what you put in. When I invest more time and effort into projects, I usually get a better result that I end up loving for longer. When I rush though decor projects, I tend to get tired of them more quickly.
What are you curious about? Scan through our D.I.Y. posts and let us know what you are curious about! We're here to help. We'd love to give you honest feedback about any of our older projects. And if you have stories from your own D.I.Y. experiences, we'd love to hear them! xx. Elsie