Your Best Projects: Highlights of 2011!

You people sure have been busy!

With over 400 link-ups on the Top Projects of 2011 party last week, I could hardly get through them all.  But, wow oh wow, at the fun projects and pretty pics I saw.  I did go through and pick out a few of my faves to share with everyone, so here are my observations about 2011 and all the projects that were done in the blogosphere. Please don’t get your feelings hurt if I don’t feature your project. It was so hard to pick and choose a few, but I mostly wanted to highlight trends that I observed, as well as giving some newer bloggers the spotlight.

Ya’ll have been busy painting, recovering, repurposing furniture, upholstering, shopping thrifty, and overall doing super projects out there!   All for the love of your homes and I so love that.

Let’s also take a look at trends that we all saw in 2011 as well.  You will see some patterns on popular things and many of you were jumping on the trends with gusto!

320 Sycamore 231

Gallery walls are still all over blogland and Melissa at 320 Sycamore did one of my faves with her balance of frames and interesting items.

pop of pretty 158

Pop of Pretty shared her own version of a gallery wall in her daughter’s room.  Gallery walls are a great way to personalize your space and there are so many ways to put them together.  I did my own gallery wall in my old house in 2010 and loved it.

BeingBrook 297

Reclaimed wood continued to be a HOT trend and really exploded in 2011, and Being Brook made a headboard for her child’s room.

Chris 197

My friend, Chris at Just a Girl took that idea and did a whole pallet wall in her son’s room that turned out fantastic!  Great way to get that rustic look on one wall and she used discarded old pallets for free.

in my own style 114

Board and batten is still all the rage and Diane at In My Own Style did her own version of board and batten and freshened up a bathroom. You can put it at chairrail height or higher and it works in so many settings.


Blue Clear Sky did an area in her house as well.  There were plenty of board and batten tutorials all over blogland last year.  I would love to try this myself and maybe I’ll get to do it in my fixer-upper house one day. Another trend in blogland was rustic painted signs and she also has one of those too.

CL 174

Pallet art and reclaimed wood signs were big, big trends in 2011 and Creatively Living made this pretty one one, with a wonderful scripture too.

love of family and home 26

Love of Family and Home also did a rustic sign and I love the thoughts on this one.

young and crafty 123

Young and Crafty’s wood sign is unique artwork too.

Cleverly Inspired 240

Ripping off carpet on stairs continues to be a big trend (hey, I was right in the middle of that in 2010 when I redid my stairs!) and there is no better way to get a new look on stairs, than ripping up the carpet and painting them.  This trend I love!  Cleverly Inspired did just that and her stairs look fabulous now.

june and bear 45

June and Bear did the same thing on her stairs and took it a bit further with numbers.  Numbers and typography have continued to trend in 2011 in a big way.

Take the side street

Take the Side Street did her version of painted stairs with a fresh new twist.  I love this too!   So, if you have some ugly carpet that you are really hating, rip it up and paint those stairs. You will not regret it!

Decor Adventures 233

One of the biggest trends in blogland were all the starburst mirrors!  Wow, did we see a LOT of DIY starburst mirrors out there and everyone got creative with them.  Decor Adventures had her own version too.

Markum StreetDesign

And Markum Street Designs did a pretty version too.  So many starburst mirrors.  Did YOU do a starburst mirror last year?  Is this still trending for 2012?

domesticate 135

Ruffles and slipcovers were all over the place in 2011 and Domesticate did a cute version for her bench.  Wonder if the slipcover and ruffle trend will start waning in 2012?

Thrifty Parsonage living

Thrifty Parsonage Living did her own upholstered chair redo, also with a cute ruffle.

youre talking too much 73

You’re Talking Too  Much gave an old outdated sofa a new life with covered cushions and a paint job.  There is nothing that can’t be changed with fabric and paint, I’m convinced!

House to your home 278

Possibly the HOTTEST trend in blogland this year was the use of chevron patterns.  It is everywhere.  On furniture… as House to Your Home did here.

All in a Day 229

To curtains, as All in a Day shared.

Kitchen Table for Two 246

Chevron was everywhere.  Kitchen Table for Two did a lazy susan in a chevron pattern.


And another furniture reinvention by Michaela Noelle in a chevron pattern.  Did you fall for chevron in 2011?

nest of posies

Felt wreaths and flowers were ALL the rage too in blogland and Nest of Posies did this adorable one.

CL Kitchen 174

There were some fabulous room makeovers, like this kitchen from Creatively Living.  Notice the open shelves!  Big, big trend!

HOmey home design 271

This kitchen redo from Homey Home shows the continued trend for open shelves in the kitchen.  Lots of open kitchen shelves happening in blogland too last year.

imperfectly polished 75

There are some gutsy projects going on at Imperfectly Polished, with this DIY concrete countertop.  They show exactly how they did it!

four generations 145

Jessica at Four Generations One Roof, built a fabulous barn door wall unit.  Many of you are honing those power tool skills and I love that trend!

Less than Perfect Life 331

This trend of painting old furniture is going to stick around, I think, as our economy continues to plummet.  We all love rescuing those old worn-out and dated pieces of furniture and giving them new life with paint as Less than Perfect Life shows.  Paint, my friends is the best thing you can have in your home arsenal for updating and reinventing the old!

wildwoodcreek 40

Wildwood Creek did her version of painted furniture and this pretty peacock blue makes this campaign chest come alive.  Paint will continue to rule in 2012!

Meredith & Gwyneth 159

Rescuing the old and forgotten will continue to be a popular way to redo, as Meredith and Gwyneth shows a headboard made from a discarded picture frame.  Now that is thinking outside the box.

Evolution of Style198

Evolution of Style shared a pretty stenciled wall and that trend is one of my personal faves.  I will be using stencils more and more to freshen up spaces.  This trend I love and I got into stencils in 2011 myself and plan to do more.  Great way to update for little money and get the look of pretty wallpaper.

Sweet Something 197

Chalkboard paint is still very popular and Sweet Something Design shared her lovely version.  I’ve done my own chalkboard paint project too and it’s fun!  Will this one stick around in 2012?

Borrowed Abode 257

There were plenty of room redos going on last year too and Jane from Borrowed Abode freshened up her outdoor patio space.

SHaring our Path 199

Sharing our Path did just that when they built their own winding stone walkway.  Outdoor projects are so inspiring!

designingdomesticity 39

Designing Domesticity updated her daughter’s bedroom into a fresh new girly space.

closet office

Love of Family and Home turned a closet into an office.  We will all continue to be resourceful when it comes to rethinking spaces in our homes.

There were outdoor spruce ups going on and The 2 Seasons went from a white cottage (which was really cute) to a gray one and wow, does this show the power of curb appeal.


Window boxes and a red front door have never looked so good!

Home in the Making 216

Home in the Making shared a room redo too and I love the cozy factor.

My Cottage CHarm 296

More board and batten in My Cottage Charm’s laundryroom redo gives it plenty of charm.

Not just a Housewife 184

Stacy at Not Just a Housewife redid her office into a stylin’ and beautiful space.  Love that pop of blue.

Thrifty and Chic 413

Another smaller trend in blogland was using stumps as coffee tables, either natural or painted.  Thrifty and Chic’s version is so pretty in white!

tellerallaboutit 141

Kitchens and bathrooms are probably the top rooms to overhaul and Tellerallaboutit’s masterbath redo turned out beautifully.  Don’t we all want a pretty bathroom?


Richella again shows us the power of paint when she transformed her dining room from red to a vivid blue. Totally gave her space a shot in the arm!

House Talkn370

I couldn’t resist this adorable pic of new puppy at House Talkn’s place!  What a way to end the year!

So, what do you think of all these trends in blogland?  I couldn’t help but take notice of them all as I went through the project party.  Y’all have been so busy being creative and making your homes beautiful and for that, I commend you.  Most of us as women, love feathering our nests and doing projects with paint and fabric are ways that we can make a difference in our homes.

From painting walls, to giving life to old furniture, recovering pillows or chair seats, the DIY world is bursting with creativity and I’m so happy to be a part of it in a brand new year of 2012.

So, which trends will stick around and which ones will leave?

Which ones of these that I highlighted did YOU do?

Do you see any new trends on the horizon for the New Year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

- Rhoda


  1. Wow, you really did your homework on this one, Rhoda. Thanks so much for giving us the crash course in trends.

    Care to offer your own predictions for the year ahead?

  2. Good Morning Rhoda! Thank you so much for featuring our barn {closet} doors 🙂 I am honored to have been featured by you! I LOVE the stairs that were painted to mimic a carpet runner~ Wow! The white slipcover with the blue pipping is also very cool. I need to give a go at piping. Reclaimed lumber will be sticking around this joint 🙂 Thank you again!

  3. Wow so many beautiful projects and so much talent out there in it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Trish @the OldPostRoad says:

    Love that summary! I think the board and batten will continue- as will the open shelving. Sunburst mirrors and chevron patterns are probably waning. Stencils instead of expensive wallpaper will probably continue to be a huge trend. Such a great analysis of what 2011 trends were like! Loved that synopsis, Rhoda!

  5. Thanks so much for featuring my bathroom stencil! I love all that you’ve featured here, and really enjoyed checking out the party links. Lots of creativity out there – so inspiring!

  6. Thanks so much for featuring our DIY concrete countertops! I’m flattered that you highlighted them with so much other great projects out there. Thanks for rounding up so much eye candy! I know how I’ll be spending my afternoon:)

  7. Loved your summary of all the trends for 2011. I agree Board and Battan will stay, Chalk paint will stay and other colors will be introduced. Re-do, Re-work,Re-use,and Re-invent is the theme for 2012.

  8. So love all those beautiful projects!..I love the framed chalkboard and more so, the saying, “Be Grateful”..

  9. Great summary post – so many “pinnable” images here! 🙂 And what a surprise to see my back porch as I scrolled through.

    I am loving Richella’s blue dining room. For me this will be the year of building furniture to fit my space and sewing slipcovers. I’m currently painting some old furniture white, which seems funny that I haven’t painted anything white yet in my 2.5 years of blogging – it’s almost a rite of passage! 🙂

    I definitely think chalk paint will be a huge trend this year. I thought the starburst mirrors were on their way out, but they seem to have had a fresh surge in popularity.

  10. Happy New Year, Rhoda!
    Thank you so much for including me in this awesome round-up of talented folks! (Puppy, Big George is pretty irresistible!)
    Have a wonderful year and thank you, again, for hosting such a great par-taaay!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  11. What a great round up! So many awesome things posted this year. I love big George at the end too 🙂

  12. The ‘chevron trend’ cannot end soon enough for me. I think it has been over-used. Not a huge fan of board and batten either, unless it’s in a bathroom or laundry room. It’s o.k. in some homes, but it seems everyone is riding that train. Do believe the use of paint for transformations will be around a long time. I like sunburst mirrors, too, but don’t think that trend or using pallets will be around that long.

  13. Wow these all look great! Great projects, so much inspiration in one place, thanks for sharing the highlights!

  14. I guess I am more traditional as I get older. I have seen so many “fads” come and go. When they GO then you have to redesign so I am trying to stay with the classics. I am enjoying all the paintings that I see in blogland and on pinterest. I like to paint myself and I have gotten some good ideas. Young and Crafty inspired me with her easy flower painting. Thanks for sharing all these great projects Rhoda!

  15. Do you know what I find humorous about this post? The fact that I often think I am not a trendy decorator. Despite missing your link party, I have done many similar projects to the trendy ones you featured here: board and batten, barn doors, open shelving in the kitchen, cozy room redos, red front door, chalkboards… I think though that I do something because I like it or it’s a great solution to a design or space dilemma, not because it’s a trend or because everyone is doing it. I quite like the projects you featured here, nice roundup Rhoda!!!

  16. Wow! That is some compilation of compilation posts. Thanks for taking the time to post that for us (since it is hard to have time to look at all the entries to your party…like you said).

  17. Hi Rhoda –

    Thanks for featuring my bathroom. It was truly an enjoyable project for me to do. I love how you added the trend theme to your round-up – quite interesting when you think about how trends move us forward. I never thought I would go for the open shelves in a kitchen, but the more I see of it, the more I like the contrast and interest it can add to a kitchen. I may just try doing it this year.

    Happy New Year Rhoda – I hope it is a great one for you.
    My best – Diane

  18. What a great wrap up! Thanks for sharing! Take care, Laura

  19. So many great projects!! Definitely seeing some trends in there…gallery walls, pallet projects, chevron, board & batten! Love them all!! Thank you for featuring my little office & my pallet project as well! I really enjoyed your party! Thanks so much for hosting Rhoda!

  20. Great choices! I loved looking through everything you selected. I can’t quit thinking about Chris’ pallet wall and have done some projects with stumps myself. Thanks for a great party review!

  21. Thank you for featuring my campaign dresser, Rhoda! You made my day. You are an inspiration to me!

  22. This is one of the reasons I love your blog so much! These are all so beautiful, and if I had a place for any one of them…I’d probably make them all. I am especially loving that pink, girly gallery wall! It combines all my favorite things – pink, sparkly, frou-frou girly, and reading!

    Thanks for sharing!

  23. So many amazing projects and inspiration! I’m a bit batty for board and batten … have installed some in 2011 with BIG plans for more in 2012.

    I’m also excited to jump on the chalk paint bandwagon an refresh some old pine pieces with paint!

    Thanks for sharing! I’m sure it was a big challenge picking those to feature.


  24. Wow, what an honor to be selected. Thanks so much! Love your blog, love your parties – love, love, love – it’s the theme of the new year. Thanks again, liz

  25. This was SUCH a great and informative post, Rhoda. Funny, I was thinking back on all the trends we saw last year in blogland just the other day, but you’ve added so many more. And thanks so very much for featuring my daughter’s READ gallery wall. That was such a fun project! All the best, Kerri, A Pop of Pretty,

  26. Fantastic projects! I really love the old sofa that’s painted white and has those lovely cushions with contrasting piping – beautiful.
    My BIG project was a stairway re-do. It was tons of work, but I love the results. I blogged about it endlessly, but doubt many shared my fascination with it! One thing’s for sure, I won’t be doing it again any time soon.
    My next project is to hang pictures around the flat screen TV so it doesn’t continue to hold center stage!

  27. Thanks for that recap! So fun to see how bloggers really used trends out there this year! Thanks for adding pics from my blog too!

    Happy 2012 to you!
    Creatively Living

  28. Rhoda,

    Thanks so much for featuring my daughter/blog partner’s home in your blog today. Jordan and her husband are thrilled with the way their little bungalow looks, and they can’t wait to tackle the landscaping this spring. They live in Syracuse, and with the winters there, it might be a long wait. I’m sure we’ll be sharing photos at The 2 Seasons when it happens.

  29. Oh thanks for the feature !!!! I love my stairs…even a year later I look at them and smile 🙂

  30. Thanks so much for including my laundry room in your highlights…what a fun surprise!!
    Love ya lady!

  31. I was wondering where all of the traffic on my blog was coming from today! Thanks so much for sharing my slipcover. You’ve featured some really great projects. My “to-do” list for 2012 is growing!

  32. Oh my goodness Rhoda I’m on inspiration overboard…I’m getting up off my behind right now and starting in on our master bath. I’ll keep you all posted!

  33. Thanks Rhoda for giving us a quick summary of all the trends! I’ll be back to look at some of the submissions. There are so many inspirational projects to look at! Really gets the creative juices flowing. I’m usually not one for trends because I’d be re-decorating constantly and that would cost a fortune! I like to look at the trends though.

    I didn’t know how to email you to let you know that I entered the wrong link when I submitted my 2011 project. Just in case anyone is interested in seeing what we did here is the link? Is there any way Rhoda that you can go back in and change this?

    The correct link:

    Thanks for having such a gorgeous space on the net! I know you put your heart and soul into this! I didn’t see an email address where I could let you know the link was incorrect.

  34. My favorite that I may have to try are the white tree stumps! Loving all the chevron too!

  35. Wow!!! That is one awesome post full of yummy ideas. I hope those trends are around to stay for a bit. I loved them all. I’m also looking forward to some fun new ones as well. What am I looking most forward to in 2012? Haven!!!! I think I just talked my daughter into coming along as well. Oh so excited! You know I’m your biggest fan. Love and hugs, Susie

  36. Wow!! All are so amazing!!! Most will continue, at least I hope!!! 🙂

  37. Thanks for including my headboard in the highlights! So many great projects!

  38. Wow, Rhoda, you picked some lovelies for this post! I felt so honored that you included my blue dining room. Thank you! I had a new follower recently leave a comment to say that she really preferred the red. I understand her feeling–I really did love having a red dining room for many years–but I must say I’ve been so grateful to have a change. It’s hard to beat paint for transforming a space quickly, isn’t it?

    I pray that 2012 is a wonderful, wonderful year for you. It’s been an inspiration to follow you over the years, and especially this past year–you’ve handled a very difficult situation with such beauty and grace. I’m so proud of you and grateful for what a witness you are to the goodness of God. May He bless you abundantly this year!

  39. Lots and lots of great ideas!!!!

    Wish you were here. Did you see my photos of the beach I posted? Incredible day today.


  40. Good Morning Rhoda. :o)
    What amazing projects to visit. Thank you for sharing them with us. :o)
    I have a question regarding the Kilz Clean Start and wondered if you had a minute?
    Sincerely, Trish

  41. wow, what an amazing round-up and great analysis. i’m so honored to be included and can’t wait to visit some of these that i missed. thanks so much!

  42. Rhoda, thank you so much for featuring my kitchen along with all of these talented bloggers! You made my day! Blessings! 🙂

  43. HOLY COW, is that an awesome roundup or what?! I know what I’ll be doing for the rest of the evening, checking out these amazing ladies 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  44. Good Morning Rhoda & Happy New Year! I love the board & batten, the fresh look of the painted stairs & the painted furniture trends. I can’t say I have done any of these, but have painted several rooms, cleaned out closets & an endless number of drawers last year. Now I am ready for the fun stuff, making new window treatments, bedding & styling the rest! Enjoy your time in the mountains this weekend, Kathryn

  45. I love how you compiled all these projects. I still love a lot of trends, others not so much. I especially like the stump table, I may have to try one on my porch or patio. I also never thought of using those old pallets to cover wall. What an inspiration! Thanks, Rhoda!

  46. Rhoda!!!! What an amazing round-up!! So many inspiring projects!! I am so honored that you included my chevron curtains!!! Such a blessing. Thank you for all you do! xoxo

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