COTE DE TEXAS: The Top Ten Best Renovations of 2009!

The Top Ten Best Renovations of 2009!


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My own kitchen redo:   I am planning to repaint the walls from yellow to  white/gray this year.  


One of my favorite kind of stories to read on the design blogosphere are the redos, the renovations, the remodels:   the sagas of taking a terribly ugly room and making it beautiful.   I especially love the tales where the blogger did all the work herself – with no help from painters or carpenters.  I’m in complete awe of those women because I am all thumbs!   I couldn’t even paint a wall without ruining it, consequently,  I have to hire out even the smallest of jobs.   

When putting this list together – it seems that all of my favorite renovations happen to be done by favorite bloggers, those whose blogs are my go-to each morning.   Do you have a favorite renovation story of 2009?    I’d love to hear what your favorites were this year!    My own top ten was hard to narrow down because there were so many great ones.   I’m sure I am leaving out some wonderful project done by someone extremely talented – if so, I apologize!   My only criteria was that the renovation be in the blogger’s own house – it couldn’t be a job done for a client!    And so, here are my favorite Top Ten Renovations from 2009 (in no particular order:)


Holly and her precious baby girl Wren

1.   One of  my favorite blogs is Life in the Fun Lane starring Holly who has her own business, Whiteberry Reinvented, where she takes brown vintage and antique furniture and turns them into gorgeous white masterpieces.   She and her husband moved into their new house last year and have totally redone it – taking up all the carpet and laying down the most wonderful almost-black hardwoods.  Each room’s decor changes with the inventory – a newly finished Whiteberry piece will go inside the house until it sells.  You never know how a room is going to look from one day to the next as her furniture sells so quickly.  Holly is a tremendously popular blogger – and why not?  Not only gorgeous, with a gorgeous baby girl Wren, she is hugely talented, the Canadian version of our own beloved southerner Layla Palmer.



The dining room as it was when Holly bought the house – a sea of white carpet and wallpaper along the right wall.  The draperies and light fixture are just too gorgeous, no?  But Holly could see beyond all this.   She knew she could make her house fabulous:



At first the dining room looked like this – with the new, almost black, hardwoods.  It didn’t stay like this for too long. 



For a short while the dining room looked like this – I loved this version with the large antique window and mirror and oval table.  But Holly had other ideas. 



Recently she had slipcovers made for her Craig’s List wing chairs and she recovered and painted the set of vintage chairs.   The window is now to the right, resting on the floor.   I loved this version too, with the touch of turquoise on the table.  But alas,  Holly had other ideas,  again.  




A new chandelier, redone and repainted by Holly was recently added – I love it!  Holly tells us she paid just $15 for the chandy and $20 for the wing chairs!!!   Wow!   She has moved her old slipped chairs  back into the dining room, the vintage chairs went into the breakfast room.  Here is how the dining room  looks today – maybe.  Who knows?   And that’s the fun of Life in the Fun Lane – each day is another look, another vignette, another project.   Glance back at how this room looked when she moved in – the transformation is amazing!    And be sure to visit her blog to see her bedroom (fabulous), her nursery, her living room, her family room, her entry – all wonderful!




The darling Laya Palmer


2.   The Lettered  Cottage:  Layla Palmer and her rock star husband Kevin live in a darling cottage  - somewhere in Alabama – that they totally remodeled themselves!   Layla is one of my favorites, even more beautiful inside than out, if that is possible.    Layla’s star is soaring – she recently starred on a decorating show on CBN where she remodeled a room for a pennies – and of course, it’s adorable.  Watch the show here.   Besides being on TV, the Palmers have teamed up with the True Value Hardware – DIY Squad and are sure to be headliners of the group.   If you have ever wanted to be friends with a star, this is your chance now, Layla is headed for major stardom and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.   She is amazing, adorable and a blur of energy.  Together – Layla and Kevin have turned their drab, dark house into a bright, charming cottage.  To find only one project to show here was almost impossible – the entire house has been redone!   Right now the Palmers are finishing up a major bathroom renovation, so I will show you the outside of the bathroom – their renovation of the hallway.  



The Lettered Cottage was built in 1950 and added onto in 2003.   Recently, Layla discovered that in the older section of the house underneath the sheetrock was wonderful planked wood ceilings and floors.  Here is how it looked when they bought the house – peach painted walls and awful carpeting, but it didn’t stay this way for long. 




In progress, the sheetrock is removed and the plank walls are revealed.  Next to the bathroom is the “reading room” – a tiny guest room that doubles as a wonderful place to nap!


imageAnd here is the same spot today – planked wood walls, painted white, wood floors (they are really laminates that are a temporary fix until they tackle the hardwoods underneath) and the new/old bathroom door with its frosted glass window.  Wow.   Could it be any more charming?




Originally Layla used this mirror above her linen press.   This view looks toward the living room and their new front door with glass that lets in tons of light.  Also, notice the new transom that was added to the doorway leading into the living room.   Layla adds details to every inch of her house – which makes a huge difference to the decor!




The same view – before.  Here you can see the sheetrock walls and ceilings that was removed, along with the carpet.  A transom was added above this door to the living room.   And – you can also see how the paneled living room was originally stained a dark brown – now it is painted a light color.  What a difference!!!  And the Palmers do all the work themselves!



 image Another “After” view of the reading room and the door to the bathroom.  Notice the sign above the reading room.   Layla had it custom made for her by another blogger,  Susie Harris, HERE.  love, love, love this!!!!





The charming reading room with its new sign – too adorable, just like Layla!!!!!





3.  OMG – Chris, what can I say about Chris Kauffman who writes Just Beachy?   I mean, to look at her, she appears to be a beautiful blonde (do I see a trend here?) mother, housewife – but don’t be fooled – beneath that exterior is a 300 pound construction worker that is living inside her body!   From Canada, she dreams of living in a shingled house in the Hamptons.  Somehow, in the cold, frigid northern air – she has created that beach house.   There is nothing, nothing this woman has not done to her house and it looks fabulous because of her.   Believe it or not, she does it alone – without any help from her husband.  This year she is building out her basement, alone.  I have no idea when she even has time to blog.   She is always knee deep in some mind boggling project – she built her kitchen island, she has added molding to every surface of her house, she put beadboard on her family room’s ceiling, she totally redid her staircase, and her bathroom, and her daughters rooms and their bathrooms,  and her living room.   Her dining room changes daily.   She is a powerhouse.  I am in awe of her talents, discipline, and her self taught abilities.  She is fearless.  She is a wonder woman.    Choosing one project that she has done this year was almost impossible, but I settled on her bedroom.   To her it was “nothing” – just something to do one week when she was bored.  I would have ended up in the hospital in traction if I had done what she did.    Here is her bedroom, before:




The walls were painted a deep chocolate brown – the furniture is white.  It’s definitely got a beachy vibe going, but not enough for Chris and her power saw.  I would have been very happy in this room, but Chris doesn’t leave anything alone for long.




After:  Chris completely wrapped her bedroom in wainscot.   It instantly raised the cottage/beachy feel up a notch or two, don’t you think?  It’s so charming, so cozy, so beautiful!     Here she shows off her new capiz chandelier.  On top of being able to redo and fix everything in her house, Chris is an expert thrifty shopper.   She finds the best bargains and shares all of her sources!    She recently started her own design business, if you would like to contact her – do so HERE.




On this wall in the bedroom, she put pictures of her two daughters in matching frames. Chris installed the wainscot all the way around the room.  For a day or two she had painted the room in a soft aqua, but no – she didn’t like that (I did!) so she repainted it this soft taupe color.  I can’t wait to see what Chris tackles next – stay tuned!!!!




Here is her old chandelier that was there before the capiz.  Aren’t the end tables darling – she painted the stripes.  Next, she hinted that she will be replacing the carpet with hardwoods.  Of that, I have NO doubt!!!   Nothing is too big a job for her – she loves to challenge herself!






Close up of all the beachy stripes in her bedroom.  Great job Chris – looking forward to seeing what is next on your agenda!





4a.  Finally, a brunette!   Interior designer and Velvet and Linen blogger Brooke Giannetti sits between her too-handsome husband architect, Steve Giannetti and the fabulously talented interior designer Windsor Smith – photo taken at Windsor’s house.  There is more talent sitting on that sofa than in my entire neighborhood!!!!!    Brooke has two houses, one in Santa Monica by the beach, and a weekend house in Oxnard.  So, she gets two projects!  Both are absolute favorites of mine.  



The choice at the Oxnard house was difficult to make – besides gutting this powder room, they redid the landscaping.    But this project is just too fabulous to pass by.   Here is the Before picture:  an outdated, long, built-in vanity,  boring  floor, and an odd ceiling line. The room was completed gutted and the ceiling became a gentle arch.




After:  WOW.    Brooke and Steve laid a new stone floor and added a stucco like finish to the walls.   The vanity was torn out and replaced with a Chelsea Editions console.   Outside, an old shutter was placed against the wall with a table of plants before it.   The French door is also new.  



The antique mirror was purchased by Brooke in Round Top and the antique marble sink came from Big Daddy’s.  Instead of a traditional faucet they used a spout from a fountain.  I love the industrial touch of the wire basket below.  The lamp with the Venetian shade is a perfect addition!    



Across from the sink is another area, with shelves, an open area closed off by a linen skirt along with a wall of botanicals. 



 image  4b.  Before (yes, before!)   At Brooke’s house in Santa Monica, she needed a new home office.  She had outgrown the desk in the kitchen set-up she had been using and decided the sitting area in the closed-in porch would be the perfect place.   I was slightly horrified when she announced she would be dismantling this beautiful vignette.   It was one of my favorite areas of her house!!!!    But, of course Brooke knows better than me.   Maybe that’s why she is a better designer than me!




After:  Brooke’s beautiful new study!  Gorgeous!   The large bookcase is from Bobo’s Mark Sage and the French desk is from Tritter Feefer.    The chair is an antique with its original stuffing decadently spilling out.   The brick floors and the plank ceiling add the texture.  This room is so wonderful - I would never quit working!



The large lantern came from Wisteria and then Brooke filled the shelves with hotel silver, shells and books.  Dried hydrangeas add the perfect touch at the top.  Great job Brooke!!!  It’s drool worthy.





5.   Jenny of The Little Green Notebook is another blogger with a huge following.   She also is the new mother of her third daughter  Evelyn Jane, born on Christmas Eve – perfect for her nickname, Evie.    Be sure to visit her blog to read the story of her birth – it’s as amazing as Jenny is!   Jenny recently moved into a new house, but the family won’t be staying there for long, so redecorating is done with moving on to the next house in mind.   Jenny’s palette revolves around Schumacher’s Chiang mai Dragon – and greens, blues, aqua and reds are found throughout her house.   She recently redid her office – and it is amazing.     She did it on a shoestring, for the cost of a meal, and it couldn’t be more beautiful!!!!!




Here is the Before – the office has architectural potential, a wooden ceiling, brick wall, and a wonderful window.   Wait until you see what she did!!!!!




Jenny spent a total of $45 redoing her office.  $40 of it was spent on this dresser.   Unbelievable!   In my redoes, I spend more than that on mistakes.  Shame!  Shame! 



After:   the console is now a vibrant lacquered red that is the focal point of the study.  The dhurrie rug from IKEA sets off all the colors.  



She used fabric to make the two bulletin boards that are both functional and decorative.  She also painted and trimmed out the boxes to match the room. 



She painted the old parson style desk a soft minty green and made the shade with the added red grosgrain ribbon.  



The hardware makes the piece!  It’s amazing – it came with the dresser and Jenny just shined it up.  Do you think you could take a room from nothing to this for $45??????    Jenny is an interior designer – contact her at Pearl Street Interiors, HERE.





Remember little Evie Jane, born on Christmas Eve, you see that ottoman?  wink, wink.   Go read the story – Jenny is an amazing woman is all I can I say.   I wish I could draw from her strength and stamina! 





6.  Beth aka Chinoiserie Chic on the left, and the great interior designer Alessandra  Branca on the right.    Am I jealous?  You bet!!!




After:  Chinoiserie Chic redid her grown daughter’s room into an fantasy escape for herself!  I don’t have the before pictures, but the after pictures are so beautiful – this is one of my favorite bedroom redoes of the year.   Beth, who writes Chinoiserie  Chic, purchased the bed from the Annie Selke Collection – and named the new room ‘The Pagoda Bedroom.”  It’s a beauty – don’t you think?




I love the blue and white toile wallpaper and the silk curtains in the bedroom. 




The en-suite bathroom continues the blue and white chinoiserie theme!  Wonderful job Beth!!!




7.   Gina who writes Willow Decor stands to the right of the Visual Vamp on a shopping/business trip to New Orleans.



Before:  The quietly beautiful blog, Willow Decor, is all about Swedish design and Gustavian style, with Belgian and European interiors thrown in for good measure.   One day, the gracious Gina stunned us all when she revealed her Butlers Pantry that she had been creating.  Stunned is putting it mildly.  I could barely lift my chin off the keyboard.  It was one of the prettiest pantries I had ever seen.    There are many projects that Gina has shown this year, but her Butlers Pantry remains top on my list.   Above is a picture of how the small room off her kitchen used to look like.  Get ready for the reveal below!




Today the small room is ceiling to floor cabinets painted the most gorgeous shade of gray!   Of course the countertops are white carrara marble.  There is a small desk here under the window that Gina uses for her computer work.   Just stunning!!!!!





A glimpse of the wood paned window.   I love the hardware she used. 





An appliance garage hides the ugly stuff!   A set of green and white dishes are highlighted in the center cabinet.  The beadboard is true wood tongue and groove – more fitting for the house, built in the 1930s.   Gina says she plans to roll out dough on the marble counter – I’m sure she did plenty of that this Christmas.    I would love to have a dedicated room like this for all my kitchen things, it is just beautiful!




8.   Here she is as a bride a few years ago – today, Lauren from Pure Style Home is a mother to two small boys, one of whom was just born on this December 22!   Lauren is another interior designer of great talent.  I just adore her style!    Earlier this year she moved into a split level house.   Literally within days, she and her husband had redone it all.   Lauren, like many interior designers, changes her mind and moves her furniture around on an almost daily basis.  Her blog is full of her redoes, her ideas, her designs.  It was hard to pick just one project – for the whole house was changed!  But I settled on the one that made me gasped when I saw it – the entry hall!




Before:  A dark place that links the ground floor, the basement, and the upper floor where the living room is.   When I saw this – I thought, well good luck.  What on earth could Lauren do to this?     Just wait:





Today the entry hall is a bright space that doubles as an art gallery!  I couldn’t get over the change that 30 framed prints would make.  They look wonderful!   All the prints are by Leonardo daVinci – so not only are they nice on the wall, they are nice on the eyes.   And that chandelier!  Perfection!!!!




Here’s another view from Before.



And after.  Lauren chose to hang the prints in a random manner rather than a grid – and I think this was a stroke of genius.   Who but Lauren would think to hang 30 daVinci prints randomly and have it all look so wonderful?    She is the best in my book. 





The gold frames are all 20 x 14, put together by Lauren and her husband.   She also ordered full mats.    Once she had hand torn out the prints from the the book, daVinci’s Notebook, she simply pasted the rough edged prints directly onto the full mats.   The chandelier is the 4-feet high Minka- Lavery caged lantern from Bellacor, which she bought on sale for $200.   She paid only $20 for each  frame.  The floor is covered in wall to wall seagrass.   Lauren is a synesthete (read about it here) and she says that the entry hall reminds her of tinkling chimes – she can almost hear the frames.   Her condition is so interesting, a blending of the senses, and I think that having it explains some of Lauren’s extreme creativity -  her “risk taking” in design as she explains it.  It is an extremely rare condition and she is lucky to have it. Lauren is so young, I look at her with wonderment - her whole life is in front of her and she will be huge one day – a household name!   I just know it and I’m not a synesthete, though I wish I were. 



9.  Jennifer Boles, The Peak of Chic, was a blogging idol of mine when I started.  She and Courtney of Style Court were the two queens of Atlanta whose blogs I admired the most and tried to emulate.   They both were and are great role models for a new blogger just starting out – they do everything with class and grace.  Since she started blogging, Jennifer’s life has changed completely – House Beautiful read her blog and offered her a job – something that we all dream of!   She also went through some personal changes and found  herself in a new house, actually a high rise condo, with a bathroom in desperate need of an update.   The contemporary space was a disaster and Jennifer planned on gutting it and starting over, yet this year’s economy slowed  her down.  Instead she did a  superficial remodel, choosing to hide all the bad parts rather than remove them.  I think it came out beautifully and it really reflects her glamorous 30s and 40s style.   Though not a designer,  is hard to believe that judging by the job she did in this room.  You will agree with me when you see the new powder room.




Before:   The light fixture above the sink was a major problem area for Jennifer during the redecorating.




Check out the shower door and the yellowed toilet seat!!




After:   The powder room is almost not recognizable as the same space!   The room has a definite David Hicks vibe, someone who Jennifer greatly admires.   The toilet is new and the shower is hidden behind a floor to ceiling curtain from Pottery Barn.   The cornice is really the focal point here.  Behind the wooden piece the fluorescent light fixture is hiding – if Jennifer needs the light, she can still use it.   Two lamps on the sink create a moody atmosphere.  Jennifer wanted a jewel box powder room and she got it!




Across from the sink is a wall of prints in gold frames.   Another glamorous touch.   The walls are a dark blue from Benjamin Moore:  Soot. 




My favorite part of the room is the skirt that hides the vanity.   It’s a light aqua with a black and white trim for extra detailing.     Great job Jennifer!  




10.   I left my personal favorite for last.  Linda Merrill, my friend,  of Surroundings who also created The Skirted Roundtable, worked on a new project this year that seemed like it took forever.   It was a major overhaul of her kitchen, driven by her new appliances, and Linda and her friend did all the work themselves!    It was exhausting to watch and I can’t imagine how exhausting it was for Linda!   After many talks – mostly after we had recorded The Skirted Roundtable on Monday nights – Linda finally decided on a dark black green for her cabinets.   Our interview with Brooke Giannetti was the deciding factor on going with Cooking Apple Green by Farrow and Ball for the interiors of the cabinets.  Linda also used another blogger’s tip – beadboard wallpaper!   Rhoda of Southern Hospitality is the one who introduced her to the wallpaper.  When Rhoda first wrote about it, Home Depot sold out nationwide!!!!!!!  The power of the blog!    Linda lives in a condo in a small coastal town in Massachusetts.  Besides doing interior design, she is a flautist and gives lessons to young children.   A true renaissance woman, there’s not much Linda can’t or hasn’t done before!   I’m so happy for her – she loves to cook and now she has all new appliances  to do it properly.   This Christmas, she took her oven out on its test run making batches of beautiful iced sugar cookies for her friends and family.  


Before:  Actually – I thought her kitchen was cute before – with it’s wood cabinets and black and white flooring.   But – new appliances were coming, she needed an update!



After:  What a difference!  The stainless appliances just gleam against the deep, dark green cabinets.   I love the floor and the green ceiling, which originally had popcorn on it – it took days to clean it smooth for painting.   The beadboard wallpaper was used above and below the cabinets.  It looks sooo real!!!!   Linda still has to make her window shade.


The inside of the cabinets are Cooking Apple Green.   I love the contrast.




The view looking into the kitchen.   It’s a tiny space – but the entry way into the room is long.  In that space there will be a console with a burlap skirt along the right wall. 


I hope you have enjoyed my Top Ten Renovations of 2009.  If you did a renovation and think I should have showcased it – let me know!  Email me your project!

Here’s wishing everyone  a wonderful New Years:  Happy, Healthy and Prosperous!!!!!!!!!  


  1. Great read for the last of 2009! Haven't seen many of it was fun for me! And the story of little Christmas Evie...swoon! better than furniture, I tell you!

    I'm working on our laundry I type! Had illusions of getting it done before 2010.

    Wonderful, prosperous, productive and peaceful 2010 Joni! Thanks for all of your beautiful inspiration!

  2. Joni-Thanks so much for including Chinoiserie Chic and The Pagoda Bedroom in your list. What a thrill. I was burglarized just before Christmas with a door being kicked in as I was working in the garden and my little dog was in the house. It was a very stressful week and it so nice to end the year with this post and such a positive note. I really appreciate it. Happy New Year to you and your family. P.S. My favorite renovation of 2009 was your daughter's room-stunning!

  3. Joni,
    This is one of the reasons why blogging is so interesting! You meet so many talented people with such a good ideas for renovations! We all learn a lot about these "after and before" projects!
    Great post!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Dear Joni,
    I hope you have a wonderfull new year! With lots of joy,peace and harmony.Your blog is always an inspiration, with so many good ideas!

  5. Joni, I recently discovered your blog and I am truly enjoying it. Your top 10 are truly noteworthy. A post like this is a lot of work. Thanks.


  6. Happy new year ,
    Some post.
    I love the kitchens
    the most.
    The best of everything to you and yours.


  7. Joni - I loved reading your take on all the remodels that I drooled over too. Some were new to me, which is always the best. I love finding new blogs. I've been working hard on my house, but have not been brave enough to share the progress on my blog. Maybe I'll get the courage in the New Year! These remodels all really inspire me. I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year.

  8. They are all great! And some were new to me, thanks for sharing!!!

  9. Joni, what a FABULOUS post! WOW! This is better than sitting down with my stack of shelter mags. You've got article after article and picture after picture that's just delightful!!! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

    Here's to THE BEST in 2010!

  10. What an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing these favorites of yours!

  11. Wow Joni, what a recap! I am always astounded by your posts...they must take hours and you must be incredibly organized....sigh;) Thanks for introducing me to a few new blogs, it is amazing how inexpensively some of these ladies have recreated their interiors! I feel inspired, I should start photographing the transformation of the condo....just seems to be taking forever as it is definitely a do it your selfer...a first for me as I have always called on my team in the past but as I am, like many, watching the purse strings a bit more these days, I find myself spearheading these projects and it is a bit empowering, if I do say so myself. Thanks again Joni, Happy new year!!!


  12. What an amazing, wonderful, and very generous post. Some of these blogs are new to me, and some are 'old friends'. All are incredible, but I must admit to being particularly fond of Pure Style Home's front hall and Little Green Notebook's office! All of these projects are so well done.

    It makes me think about a post that M21 did on how blogs have become specialized based on style - and you can see this so clearly in these posts -so many great styles, so many great talents, but each blogger has a definite style. I love it that you follow them all - you love design, no matter what shape or form!

  13. Hi Joni and thanks for showing us all these wonderful projects. Wow! These ladies are all so talented!
    Happy New Year to you, Joni, and thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication in bringing us such a great blog.

  14. These are all great makeovers and very inspiring! It's always so much fun to see what others do with their homes. Thanks for sharing these makeovers (I'd missed a few) and for sharing so much with everyone who reads your blog. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010!

  15. I agree...Elizabeth's bedroom should be included! It's magazine-worthy!

  16. Joni,
    What a wonderful post to end the year! I can't thank you enough for the time and care you put into each one of your posts. Cote de Texas is the first place I stop at every morning.


  17. Joni - a perfect blog to inspire all of US in the new year! I really loved your always. Here's to a healthy & peaceful 2010 for you and yours!

  18. Such a talented group of women! Thanks for sharing these incredible transformations. So many wonderful ideas in all of these spaces.

  19. OMG , thank you for including me in this post I am glad you liked my bedroom reno I love it, I am so humbled , I better get onto that flooring project this year , actually a photo from your blog has me planning my back deck structure for next summer .
    Happy New Year

  20. Joni! I am so incredibly flattered to be included here! WOW!!! Happy new years to me!! :)

    Your blog is such an amazing resource - so much information, and, oh, the eye candy!! Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your posts.

    And I totally agree with the last commenter - your daughter's new room should be included here!! Just amazing!!


  21. This is such a surprise Joni!
    I have to thank you for for helping me with both of my renovations. Not only did you find my powder room mirror, but without C de T I would never have been exposed to so many inspiring interiors this year.
    It is truly an honor to have my projects included in this fabulous list. I remember seeing Gina's Butler's Pantry and Lauren's Entry Hall. My jaw dropped to the floor both times. And your kitchen? Stunning!
    Thank you for introducing me to some of these other amazingly talented design bloggers! I agree with TTI, these projects show the unique style of each individual.
    Happy New Year Joni!

  22. Happy New Year Joni! What a wonderfully inspiring post for a New Year's Eve ---- just in time for the rest of us to make our decor resolutions! Thank you for a great year of posts and best wishes for a grand 2010.

  23. Happy New Year! Thanks for bringing such fun and beautiful things to your blog!

  24. These are all some of my fave makeovers did a great job!
    I hope to be in next years makeover!
    (we're in the process of a few never ends, right?)
    Happy New Yr. Joni!

  25. Love the showcase Joni;
    Thanks for sharing this with us!!
    I just love the kitchen(s) & the living soaces that have been ressurrected!
    Have a blessed New Years!

  26. Darlin', trouble getting emails to you...all returned as "non delivery".

    Just a heads up....

  27. i love all of these! Realizing that my blog reading keeps my unsatisfied with my house!! I need to make a list of my projects for 2010 in order of importance!

    Happy New Year!

  28. OMG, this was a fun read.........scrolling down and seeing surprise and amazing talents, loved this post! this will be a keeper to go over and over again.

    by the way your kitchen is amazing, as was elizabeths room.
    happy new year!

  29. A fun group of revamps, very creative group of ladies.

  30. Joni this post is wonderful and fun. I have reread it many times.It is better than a stack of magazines. You did leave out one important room...Lizzy's bedroom.... it was perfection!

  31. Joni,
    Happy New Year!
    I get more out of reading your blog than I do any magazine.

  32. Great choices!!! I think my favorite redos are the bathrooms--such vision! Thank you for all of the wonderful posts of the past year (SRT, too)--I've learned and grown from them. Have a wonderful New Year's celebration. Can't wait to see what you have in store for all of us in 2010!!! Blessings. Mary

  33. Thanks for making my New Year's Eve morning coffee a delight! The antique marble sink from Big Daddy's is a stunner! Yet, each and every one is so creative and deserving of this post!

    I have yellow walls in my dining room and am considering going white or gray. As you are going to re-paint your kitchen, would love to have your consideration of a color.

    As the shelter magazines dwindle, you continue to 'wow' us! Thank you! Happy New Year to the Webb's and all!

  34. Love this post as do I all of your's. I guess I am getting in a little late but some things must be said.
    So I thought the whole point in beleiving in Christ was that you don't have to waste your time judging others. THAT IS GOD'S JOB.
    What was wrong with seeing a wonderful family sharing gifts of love and food togethter? How do we know by looking at pictures how large the group was? And who cares? And who cares how much the gifts from the heart cost? This is America in case you don't remember. I may have a chemo brain but the Jesus I know and love, loves everyone including Joni and loves you despite yourself. So search out a good blog that is all about Christ and enjoy commenting on it and STOP reading this blog NOW! nancy

  35. Joni-
    I LOVE your blog and all your posts. They all seem to be done with such thoughtfulness. I'm not a designer, but I love great design and I follow you and some of the designers you highlighted closely. Thanks for such a great post. I was just saying to my husband this morning that here it is, Dec. 31st, and I haven't seen one single show or article on the best of 2009 anything. You are so hilarious and so talented. Happy New Year!

  36. You are so dang sweet and must have an "archivial" brain to keep track of all these talents, redos and tidbits of info. Loved seeing this list. Love your writing..your writing makes me happy and laughy!

  37. Great post Joni- love all these re-dos- don't know when you find the time to do such in depth posts! Love them all- Happy 2010 to your whole family!!

  38. Great way to end the year- all these incredibly talented and gorgeous women. It almost makes me want to move my lazy self off the couch and pick up a paint brush. Maybe if I had even a fraction of their energy...

  39. Joni,

    Thank you for this tribute to women who use their God given talent to beautify their homes then generously share with others--of this, you are the epitome!

  40. These are all fabulous projects, Joni. I think I had seen most all of them, but fun to see a recap. Some blogs are new to me too. There's just not enough time to visit all the fantastic blogs out there.

    Thanks for the mention of the beadboard wallpaper. I think Linda's kitchen turned out fabulous.

  41. Joni, what can I say that has not already been said about you and your wonderful blog. I look forward to each and every post you do. I recognize all of the time and effort you put into each post. I admire your honesty and how you are always willing to share your sources and give a good and honest opinion. Keep doing what only you can do, inspire, motivate and teach.Love your blog!! Happy New Year to you and yours, Kathysue
    PS Loved all these renos so many talented young ladies. I agree about Lizzys room it was one of my favs also!!

  42. Joni - thank you so much for including me in your roundup - this is one talented group!! I'm honored. Now I know why you kept asking me when my kitchen would be finished! Actually, my plans for New Year Eve and Day include finishing as much as possible with my friend who has generously donated his time all year. Oh, plus a nice dinner, some champagne, a movie (It's Complicated -- finally!)and a brunch in the morning. Otherwise, it's work, work, work! i have to live up to the finished projects of all these other talented - and I must say it - beautiful ladies! Happy New Year to everyone.

  43. Joni, this post is filled with so much eye candy! I am not familiar with some of these blogs, so I am looking forward to reading them in the future. Jenny's office is gorgeous and her birth story is nothing short of amazing! Lauren's foyer is beautiful, too.

  44. What beautiful and talented ladies!Each one reflecting their own style. I loved the butler's pantry and the way the bathroom was made over very clever.....Have a great 2010!Onward and upward!

  45. Joni! Joni! Joni! In the words of my favorite fashion stylist, Rachel Zoe...Bananas! I die! Seriously, everything you post is swoon worthy and the reason I am now subscribed to so many design blogs and spend much of my day or night in lust over the beautiful rooms and amazing talent of all these people, you included! You've helped make what could have been a miserable year without a job into a joyful year full of hope for a new beginning for me with all you share with us. I pray for many more wonderful posts and blessings to come in 2010.

    ~ Victoria ~

  46. Joni,
    Thanks so much for sticking up for the Vamp and defending her from that crazy commenter! I know the Vamp will be too modest to do this, so will you give us a few links showing the Interior Decorating work that Vamp has done for others (not her own house, I mean)? You mentioned that her decorating for clients has been published in books and magazines, and her fans would LOVE to see it! She's such a talent. Please give us a few links?
    Thanks for all you do...

  47. No. 5 should get the originality award. I love the red credenza. One would never have guessed its original state. It is all in all a very cheerful and inviting place to work. No. 7 is truly amazing and really showcases the owners talent and vision - something hard to do.

  48. I love your lists. This is one of my favs of the year. Reading your blog makes me want to be a better homekeeper. I am constantly looking around my 912 sq. ft. house wondering what to do with all of this space. My favorite reno was your kitchen and your daughter's room.
    Be blessin in 2010!

  49. Love the post! So inspiring. Just to let you know - the link to Chris Kauffman's blog (Just Beachy) isn't right...

  50. I have no favorite! These are all just...WOW! I feel so lazy it's unreal. Gosh. ***Slithers off tucking her tail between her legs....

    And if I can produce a baby as cute as Holly or Jenny, I'm sold. I know that makes you want to cut flips just reading it ;)

  51. Great round-up, Joni! How fun to see these all again. I have to say, I'm still blown away by Jenny's office... and Lauren's entry, well, there just aren't enough words.
    Funny to see that you too are planning on painting out your yellow walls... there's a lot of that going around right now. I think your kitchen looks great as-is, but with grey/white walls... wow! I'd say "have fun painting", but I know that's not going to happen! Meanwhile, I WILL be painting my own walls—which I actually like to do, otherwise I'd be happy to just write a check ;) —so here's to a lighter, brighter New Year for us both! Thanks for your terrific blog and the inspiration it provides us relative newbies. Can't wait to see what you've got up your linen sleeves for 2010!!

  52. Late to the party..... I will check out all of your faves I haven't seen before, many are already personal favorites in my blog world! Great job, and Happy New Years Joni to you and yours.

  53. I am so loving your blog...each post is amazing! I especially loved this one. So much eye candy! I must say that I really loved Jenny from the Little Green Notebook's office! It is a real stand out. Her use of color and attention to detail is outstanding! Thank you so much for showcasing such talent :)

  54. hi joni! i love all these renovations, and can feel all the hard work that these wonderful women have been through to get their projects done. i too am a fan of every single blog you mentioned, so it was a thrill to see all of them! if you still need an ounce of renovation before and afters, i'd love to share the one my husband and i did in 30 days with NO outside help. Nothing was just cosmetic...we completely gutted everything and tore down walls in that short amount of time. If you ever need another before and after fix, come on over and check it out:) No worries if you don't get around to it, I know you are super busy!! All the best to you and your family in 2010!!!! Here is the direct link to the post. I hope you like what you see!

  55. As usual your picks are spot on and all were so fun to see all together. I'm with you I always hire the pros so it's right the first time (and I'm a wimpy scaredy cat). For 2010 my big goal is to try to do some more home projects myself. It's much less expensive and maybe I'll get a few more things accomplished.

    Well, maybe.

  56. joni!!! you are just too generous & kind & thoughtful. thank you so much for including our reno in this list of amazing renovations. i'm so flattered to be mentioned with these talented women...

    I definitely agree that lizzy's bedroom should be up here & it looks straight out of a design book. you really are too modest.

    anyway, i just wanted to send you a HUGE hug & let you know what an inspiration you are to us bloggers. You are so inclusive & open & ready to help at a moment's notice & it's just awesome to have such a good friend & mentor always there. You're amazing & I hope you know how much you do for us all.

    I smell a book in your future --- and can't wait to see what you do... You're one special lady and i'm so happy to have "met" you this past year.

    Happy New Year!!! THANK YOU!!!

  57. This post was incredibly inspiring.

    I love so many things that I don't know where to start. But the front hallway gallery is gorgeous and precisely the look I'd like to achieve in my dining room.

    The home office with the IKEA rug and red buffet is amazing. I can't believe the transformation of that cabinet. It really has my mind moving.

    And of course The Lettered Cottage redo is fantastic.

    thank you!

  58. This was a great post! Very inspiring. The transitions from the typical suburban blah houses we all see everywhere to interesting are really amazing. Happy New Year!

  59. Thank you so much for sharing..some of these blogs will become "must-reads". Happy New Year to a creative and generous blogger!

  60. awesome post as usual..

    i agree that your daughter's room should be on the list...and Lauren's entry is amazing..i love it..

    this is a great one too i think she already posted here. the lights are great!

    i mean what a year...Jenny had a baby in her darling living room and sweet sweet gorgeous Layla, hasnt it been awesome to see her blog grow and all of her projects..the blogging community is awesome!

    thanks for all you share with us Joni..

  61. Well, if the publisher's haven't already come a' knockin', I hope you know how to find them, because you NEED to write a book! I love it-- and I love that you pull everyone from the high end looks that teach us so much about what great design SHOULD look like to the folks who are like me-- we have young children, homes that need to be flexible and wipe-down and CHEAP yet still chic and comfortable and inspiring. Thank you! Have a great New Year!

  62. Dear Joni,
    So many wonderful blogs and yet yours remains my absolute favorite. Thank you for another fabulous post and also for sharing your redo of Elizabeth's room which is GORGEOUS!!
    Happy New Year to a national treasure!

  63. Good gravy! What a fun post! I am going to have to go through it again just to catch it all:) I love love love your kitchen. I am new to your blog and absolutely love it! I would REALLY like to know where you found your basket that is sitting on the top of your kitchen counter in the first picture. I have been looking for one with that shape FOREVER!! Please stop by and let me know:) Happy new year,

  64. Joni
    What fun to have all of these great make-overs in one post!! I hadn't seen most of them, so I had to scroll ever so slowly to take it all in!!!

    There are some really good ideas for future make-overs.


    ***(I was wondering if you got my photos of the problem windows? I can't tell if they are sending correctly!)

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  66. Gosh Joni, they are all amazing - what a great job on the roundup. I am a personal fan of Lauren because she is twice as nice as she is talented but I think each one of them possesses an amazing eye and some, like Chris from Just Beachy have carpentry skills to match!
    Wow. I am inspired by all of them. Layla blows me away too. And I love Gina's home and dear Brooke's (oh and I love Windsor!) and Linda's new kitchen and on and on....

    All goddesses. Great post! ANd some new discoveries for me too!

    xo Terri

  67. Oh, and thanks for including some Canadians!! xo Terri

  68. Another nasty character defect just reared its ugly head. I am not going to covet in 2010, but for one more day will just DROOL over Gina's butler's pantry and the dishes in it :)I'll be digesting all of this post during the bowl games--thanks! Happy 2010!

  69. Thank you for the great inspiration. After Christmas is finished it seems I want to redo all my rooms and these ideas were so great. Have a creative and blessed new year.

  70. they're all lovely indeed! hope you have a wonderful new year my dear!

    xo katherine aka. urban flea :)

  71. Hi Joni! Hope you have a wonderful New Year's eve and day. Thank you for years (can you believe it!?) of wonderful design inspiration. Love your style. XO Trish

  72. Great post, Joni! I'd never seen Linda's kitchen, it's really the flooring...really the whole kitchen is awesome! Of course, I'm in love the with the Butler's Pantry you showed...definitely jaw dropping gorgeous.
    Happy New Year!

  73. what a gathering a supreme talent!!

    i am partial to the red dresser.
    and the soot room with all the trimmings.

    xx happy new year!!

  74. Hi Joni,

    I just love that butler's pantry! Gotta have it!

    And thank you so much for including 2 Canadians in your top 10. What an honor!

    I wish you, Mr. Slipper Socks Man, Elizabeth and your entire extended family a Happy New Year and the very best of eveything for 2010.

    Denise, Chatter and Squeak

  75. What a wonderful way to exit 2009 - great post and picks, Joni! I can't wait to see your kitchen painted... even though I hate to see the yellow go... me and my yellow (swoon!)

    Thank you for all your fabulous posts - your wit, your humor and your talent. You inspire me in so many ways, and I am grateful!

    Happy, happy new year to you and your beautiful family!
    xo Isa

  76. So much fun to read! I cannot wait to see the results of your own redo, Joni!

    And the happiest of New Year's to you. May All your Dreams Come true!!

  77. i wish you a very happy New Year Joni and the most wonderful 2010 ever...xv

  78. Miss Joni!
    You were one of the first blogs I ever read and was so amazed that you would take the time to comment on one of my posts. I have learned so much this past year from you and others I have found along the way. Blog-land is rich with wonderful and creative people.
    I enjoyed this post so much, many I knew but there are a couple of new ones to me that I will take a regular look at.
    Blessings to you sweet friend. May 2010 be THE BEST!

  79. Miss Joni!
    You were one of the first blogs I ever read and was so amazed that you would take the time to comment on one of my posts. I have learned so much this past year from you and others I have found along the way. Blog-land is rich with wonderful and creative people.
    I enjoyed this post so much, many I knew but there are a couple of new ones to me that I will take a regular look at.
    Blessings to you sweet friend. May 2010 be THE BEST!

  80. *** Dear Joni-girl~

    What WONDERFUL CHOICES you made here ~~~~ there's such delight in the pics AND the writing! It was SUCH a J*O*Y to read this "New Years Eve" blog!!!

    You KNOW nothing but thanks n' warm wishes are being sent your way for the new year ahead~~~ May it be blessed w/ the best of health, much happiness and countless new, exciting experiences!

    Linda in AZ *

  81. how amazing are they all! love the work, definitely inspiring!!!

  82. Happy 2010!!! Is it just me or is it not fantastic to leave the single digits behind. I have had a fine morning so far this year and I read some of the comments posted above and LAUGHED. Man, thank you Joni for not editing the comments. I needed a laugh. I am still laughing inside silently as I type. Goodness we are all wigwams who read this a little blog,-- typing to you freely like we are your college roommate & you need to hear what we think.

    I was so personally delighted that I was familiar with the bloggers and snaps you posted this entry.

    Thanks for another fab blog post.

    May today be the beginning of one the happiest, healthiest & most fun years you and your family have ever known.


  83. Amazing post that shows your generous good heart. You always mentor, encourage, and include.
    The Top Ten are great.
    Can hardly wait to see what they do in 2010.
    xo xo

  84. Oh, Joni! I enjoyed reading this SO much. Loved all of the redos and the accompanying stories. Your own commentary is always perfection and one of the many reasons I love visiting you on your blog. Thank you for taking the time to introduce us to each of these bloggers and their befores and afters. And I love your kitchen!

    I am wishing you and your family the very best for 2010. May the Lord's richest blessings be yours now and always...

    Happy New Year!


    Sheila :-)

  85. Happy New Year, Joni! Oh, this was a wonderful post to see all of these most talented ones! I'm so glad I've found you in Blogland and want to wish you the very best for 2010!
    Be a sweetie,

  86. Great post! I enjoyed looking at everything grouped all together like that! Well done.

    Happy New Year!


  87. I am now fully inspired to get the few projects I had been procrastinating on DONE! Great Post..

    Happy New Year!!!

  88. You have selected so many wonderful images. Thank you for always inspiring me.

    Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

  89. Joni-

    Why do you support Visual Vamp's disgusting attacks on fellow bloggers? It's one thing not to care for a blog, but another enitrely to feel the need to post a picture making fun of the author's personal appearence.

    After reading your supportive comments of Vamp on her blog, as well as in the comment section of your own "Tale of Two Religions" post, I am disappointed in you, and will not be visiting your blog in the future, nor listening to the Skirted Round Table. In fact, I wonder how much longer SRT will be able to book guests as word of your vocal support of such an appallingly unprofessional blogger spreads.

  90. Joni .. .
    Really love Linda's kitchen renovation- you can never go wrong with the black/white bold floor:
    and the interior cabinet color is the perfect final touch!
    My absolute fav is watching the Holly dining room evolution:
    Also proof that AllWhite needs that dark ebony base ... .
    Happiest of New Decades to you -

  91. Wonderful, amazing, all the best superlatives! I'm so inspired - have been by some of these ladies, and am happy to have some new ones added to the list! Great post! Happy New Year!

  92. Thank you for the lovely tour. I have added most of the featured blogs to my favorites. You, however, are my very first blog and always my "Favorite". All the best to you in the new year.

  93. I'm glad to see that all of my favorites were included. Happy New Year!

  94. This is "jlonit" but I can't get my stupid google password to work so have to post as anonymous.

    I have always loved Brooke's green sunroom and was stunned to find out that my new favourite room (i.e. her new office) replaced it!!! Hmmm. I looooove both rooms equally.

    You are a treasure and spoil us with these posts!

  95. Another great post! Thanks for introducing me to some new blogs too.

    Happy, healthy 2010,

  96. Joni,
    I have been out all day and just back to find the most wonderful surprise!! I am so humbled that you have included my butler's pantry in your post! It has turned into a wonderful space and designing it was a dream and a labor of love!

    I am so excited to see some of the others that I missed and ones I have also admired.

    Your blog is better than any show on HGTV, or any magazine I could buy. You truly are an inspiration to me. My living room and dining room drapes are the result of your wonderful advice and time. Without your guidance they would never have turned out as lovely.

    Thank you my friend. You are a blessing to me and I feel so, so fortunate to know you.

    Happy New Year!!

  97. What a great post! I'm from Canada but have never heard of the two Canadian talents until now. Thanks for sharing.

  98. What a great wrapup. Thanks for putting all that great talent in one article.
    I'd love to email you our kitchen remodel and get your opinions on do I email you?


  99. Or here is the link if you'd like to see it:


  100. What a great ending LOVED this !!!

    Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family !!!

    Kathy :)

    ps I have been following Jenny for a couple of months now LOVE her and was that an unreal story? Did you see the comment her Dad left ?? I got all filled up very moving....

  101. Jenny, The Little Green Notebook's dresser rocks in red. Lauren, Pure Style Home's picture overload stairway gallery - wow and wow. Now we have another whole year to gasp at Joni's taste and energy.

    Trying to hide a great re-do from Cote de Texas is like trying to sneak the sun by a rooster.

  102. Thank you for putting this post together! I found some new bloggers to look at.
    Happy New Year to you!

  103. As someone taking on three projects this year, it's always wonderful to see how "real" people handled their own. It's easy to think the world has dropped into the crapper with all of the hideous things that happened in this decade. What gives me hope, is the intense affection and pride people have in making their houses homes. Thanks for continuing to bring that message to us. Wishing you the best for this year.

  104. elizabeth from houstonJanuary 2, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    I can't tell you how much I love your blog. I spend a good part of yesterday just reading through old ones I saved and looking at pictures. Your blogs really are fantastic, fun and very informative! Thank you for helping me discover my inner decorator and for jumpstarting my creativity and desire to make my house a warm, beautiful home.
    Happy New Year!

  105. You covered most of my favorite blogers! Such a great post.
    Thanks, great read.

  106. Wonderful post Joni. You've included many of my favourite bloggers.

    Some other great renovators I recommend you check out:

    And would love you to visit my own blog:

    Thanks for another wonderful year of posts. You are always so full of information and inspiration!

  107. You can not hide natural talent! Some of the best renovations I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing!

  108. Wonderful images of 'self expression in Design'. Unique and I applaud every one of them.

  109. What lovely people inside and out and how talented! Gifts just to look at all the sites. Thank you for a peek into your own kitchen. What color gray are you painting the kitchen?

  110. What a stunning set of before and afters, I am in love with them all!!! Each and every one of these women has amazing talent, yourself included Joni :)

  111. How awesome! I love love when bloggers share their own homes, and you've rounded up an amazing bunch! Can't wait to see what 2010 brings!

  112. What a talented group of women! Their transformations are all so amazing - it's absolutely inspiring!! xoTrina

  113. This was inspiring! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful makeovers! I'm getting motivated!!! Happy New Year Blogger friends. Judy

  114. such an inspiring group, several of my favs of the year, too. and a couple new-to-me. maybe this will motivate me to get my act together in 2010!

  115. Wow that was a wonderful post Joni. I loved the way you laid it all out and showcased each talent!
    Thank you!

  116. Thank you so much for posting these beautiful transformations!!!! I'm looking forward to many projects this year and these are rooms are definitely inspiring.

  117. I love your kitchen - could you please share the color on your cabinets? It is what I am going for with light grey (almost white) walls. Many thanks!

  118. Linda Merrill's redecoration of her kitchen really
    bowled me over~no architectural changes to speak of,
    and yet the space was magically transformed. Very impressive, and reassuring to know that an injection
    of style needn't always be accompanied by upheaval.

  119. Joni, Thanks for introducing me to all of these wonderful bloggers. Many I had already been reading regularly, but there were some wonderful new ones in there that I plan to add to my everyday list.

  120. This post is so filled with inspiration! These are some amazing women you have showcased. Thank you for featuring the fabulous makeovers. I really enjoyed seeing them. laurie

  121. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I completely agree with the blogs I know and can't wait to read the ones I hadn't heard of. They are so inspiring for somewhat new bloggers like myself. And, might I say, that you are quite gracious to showcase them so beautifully on your blog.

  122. what a fun post! thanks for sharing... we've done alot renovating, but these are WOW! i'll keep them in mind for the rest of our home- lots left to do!
    happy monday,

  123. I just found you through one of my favorite blogs - velvet and linen. Wow, I am so glad that I did. Thank you for presenting that great group of very talented women. They are ALL inspirational. All the best, Lori

  124. Toby Worthington - thanks so much for your kind comment. You're right - it's amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do. (ok, new appliances help too!)

  125. Enjoyed the round up - wonderful talent and transformations.

  126. Love the rooms you picked, especially the Butler's Pantry and the red buffet office.

    The reason the entry stair case works well despite the apparent disorder: the frames are identical, and the ones directly over the stairs are very precisely placed. There are also several precise vertical columns of pictures holding the others in place. It's carefully controlled disorder.

  127. Oh Thank you for showing all of these lovely makeovers! They are all so Great!

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  130. it definitely needs a lift! Especially after pulling out all of the plants along the house and building the portico. remodeling a kitchen

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