With Thanksgiving one week away, I’ve been reflecting on this interesting year and remembering what I’m thankful for. At the top of that list is our home. As we approach a time of remembrance and thankfulness, I’m appreciating how our home has been our safe haven and a place of comfort & joy, this year more than ever. 2020 has truly been the “year of the home’ and while the majority of our travel plans fell through, I’m so grateful we were able to love, appreciate, and improve our home this year. Click through for a heartfelt post on the gratitude I’ve been feeling for our house, a renovation recap, and our future plans as we head into a new holiday season and year.
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First, I wanted to share all of the things I’m thankful for, in regards to our home. Like many this year, we’ve made modifications and improvements that we’re proud of. Making home updates and tackling renovation projects gave me a feeling of certainty and control- a mindset that was difficult to come by this year. I’m especially grateful we were able to create beautiful & functional spaces to further our love for this house, creating a space that reflects our family!
SOME WAYS I LOVED BEING HOME THIS YEAR:
- Cooking & baking in our kitchen.
- Eating al fresco style… outside.
- Movie nights with popcorn.
- Being able to work from home.
- Snuggling in front of the fire.
- Seasonal decorating.
- Renovation projects.
- Opportunities to be creative.
- Nights spent on our patio.
- Mixing drinks at our home bar.
- Getting cozy with a blanket & a good book.
- Spa-worthy soaks in the bathtub.
- Grilling dinner outside.
- Lighting new candles and testing scents.
- Homemade pizza Fridays.
- Cuddling the dogs.
- Celebrating every occasion (birthdays, anniversaries, etc).
- Styling vignettes & switching up decor.
- … the list goes on!
To Our Home,
You’ve been a constant during a trying year. I’m incredibly appreciative to have a warm, comforting, and safe place to call our own. Thank you for giving us a blank canvas to be creative, for meeting our needs, and for providing a space where we feel totally like ourselves. We’re also thankful to have a beautiful backdrop in which we can make as many memories as we please. Thanks for working extra hard for us this year, for withstanding construction, dog shenanigans, and even natural disasters- like earthquakes and windstorms. You’ve seen your fair share of updates, but we’re looking forward to more projects, dreaming up beautiful spaces, and living life to the fullest in the happiest place of all- our place. While we won’t be traveling for the holidays this year, I’ve come to realize, the only place I truly want to celebrate is here at home.
Your friendly inhabitants, The Gibson Family
Are you ready for some lists? Let’s start with a little recap! So far, we’ve renovated and fully completed the following spaces in (and outside) our home…
I’ve also got one more renovation reveal to share before the year comes to a close… stay tuned for the guest room reveal in December (yay)! We typically average three large room renovations or projects per year. We’ve also updated the following:
- Replacing the Hot Water Heaters
- Adding a Whole House Steam Humidifier
- Replacing the Front Door
- Swapping a Variety of Light Fixtures
- Installing Herringbone Hardwood Floors
- Lots of Outdoor Work (Landscaping, Gardening, Sod, etc)
FUTURE PROJECT PLANS:
While it may seem like we’ve accomplished a lot at home, we still have PLENTY of fun projects to tackle that have me excited for our future here…
- The Dining Room
- My Home Office
- The Laundry Room
- The Mudroom
- The Entryway
- The Staircase
- The Basement Living Room
- The Basement Kitchen
- The Exercise Room / Home Gym
- Three More Guest Bedrooms
- The Primary Suite (Our Bedroom, Bathroom, and Walk-In Closet)
- The Bedroom Balcony
- A Few Hallways
- Lots of Millwork
- Updating the Interior Doors
- Adding an Outdoor Kitchen
- Installing a Pool (if I’m lucky, haha!)
- New Landscaping in the Backyard
- An Exterior Makeover
- A New Roof
In the coming year, we’ll probably choose 3-4 of these projects. As of now, it’s looking like these are next on the docket: a new roof, the dining room, my home office, the entryway & stairs, and maybe the laundry room OR our primary suite (which would be really amazing). Who knows what 2021 will bring! We’ll chisel away at our project list and enjoy our home as it evolves with us. I sincerely hope we’re doing this place justice, because this special house deserves nothing but the best.
I’ve watched friends & family tackle multiple DIY projects this year, in an effort to make their home work harder… from home offices, a space for learning & home school, home gyms, and more- I’ve really enjoyed watching everyone invest their time and energy into their homes, making them more functional, more beautiful, and a place they’re proud of and comfortable spending time in. Kudos to all of you who have loved your homes extra hard this year! I’m looking forward to tackling more projects, making new memories, and will continue to enjoy this beautiful place Emmett & I are grateful to call home.
Now, I’ve got a question for YOU… what has “home” meant to you this year? Feel free to drop a short letter to your home in the comment section below, or share on social media, tagging me (@roomfortuesday) and #LetterstoHome. What are you planning to “gift” your home this holiday season or in the year ahead? Do you have projects or home improvements in mind? Cheers to appreciating the wonderful places we live! “Home for the Holidays” certainly takes on a new meaning this year, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what I wrote on our Christmas cards, ha!
PeggiNovember 18, 2020 at 5:43 am
What a sweet, sentimental softy you are! This has definitely been the year of home. Making a giant “to do” list is so easy (and exciting…or daunting), but taking time to reflect and appreciate our accomplishments is so heartening and grounding. We are homebodies by nature, but this year has been a stretch even for us! We’ve expanded into our space a little more, utilizing rooms in new and different ways. I’ve tackled a few of those little, boring jobs…and they’ve made such a difference! (#lesson) I have also adopted simple new habits that have had an impact. A neatly made bed and a wonderfully fragrant candle can give rattling around the house all day a different timbre. So many lessons from this year! Here’s to the many comforts of home.
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Haha! I know, I know. I think taking time to reflect and appreciate our achievements and accomplishments is so important. I’m also a homebody, but I’ve really missed traveling this year. Had it not been for our home and projects to keep us busy, I probably wouldn’t be in a positive headspace. You’re 100% right- a made bed, a nice candle, and the little comforts of home go a lonnnng way. Here’s to allllll the lessons this year, enjoying home, and ending the year on a happy note :)
KarenNovember 18, 2020 at 6:33 am
Sweet post indeed. I’m a homebody too, and I feel a big part of why I love being home so much is because of the other people in it/around me (though some solo time is always sometimes welcome!). This weekend, my husband ended up home alone on Saturday night (our two girls and I were gone); the next morning he told me the “house felt hollow”.
And I often think about for as much as LOVE our home, being in it now after so much renovating/decorating and designing (still not finished but getting there), making it a wonderful place to be with our family of four plus two doggos, and lots of party hosting (pre-Covid), if once my kids are grown (out of the house, gasp!) and I’m older, will this “season of (my) life” be behind me? I actually just finished up our guest room, and posted it on IG, and included a sentiment along these lines (so again, very timely post here about the “home”!):
https://www.instagram.com/karenonerom/?hl=en (shoot, can’t link directly to the post, but it’s the most recent one of the bed)
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 1:04 pm
Thanks Karen! I totally agree- home isn’t quite the same when my people and pets aren’t here. I think it’s true when people say home is where their family is! I LOVE, love your guest room- the drapery color, the art, the styled dresser, the fun red headboard, the color blocking, the pattern…. it’s all very beautiful! You should be super proud! Thank you for sharing :) That was a really fun tour! xo
ColleenNovember 18, 2020 at 7:07 am
What a lovely post Sarah! You are so incredibly sweet ❤️ Your home is so incredible and the projects you completed so far are stunning 🤩 Your home is lucky to have such creative and talented owners 😜
While this year has been very challenging there are many things to be thankful for. My home is definitely one of those things. It’s definitely my safe haven, a place of comfort, and a wondrous spot to staycation 😉 thank you pool and spa (a wonderful addition this year we had been dreaming of for over 20 years) I sincerely hope you don’t have to wait that long to make that dream on your wish list happen, but if you do it’s totally worth the wait ☺️
While we completed all large scale renovations thus far, I have many small scale items on the to-do list we are hoping to conquer over the winter and spring next year. I’m not sure this house will ever be complete but it’s our forever home so the odds are pretty good 😂
Thanks for this darling post reminding us of the importance of home 🥰❤️🥂
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Thank you, Colleen! We truly love living here. It has also been fun to chat with the previous homeowners and learn more about this house and the memories associated with it. It’s a special one! Your backyard makeover came at the absolute PERFECT time. I have to say, talking with you over the summer had me ready to fly in for a visit. Ha! If only! I’m really happy you and your family were able to enjoy it… especially having dreamed of that for so long. It’s all worth the wait! We’re in saving mode, so I’m hoping we can get our own pool someday or backyard oasis. I feel like homes are never complete and are constantly evolving and growing with us- which is all part of the fun. Wishing you and your family the happiest holiday season in your beautiful home this winter :) xo
LaurenNovember 18, 2020 at 8:35 am
This year has been the year of home indeed. I love the sentiment and heartfelt reflection of this post…it would all be for nought if we didn’t reflect on the many things this year has brought us. It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking only at what this year has taken away, and I appreciate that you’re giving all of us a chance to step away from that and focus on the opposite perspective. We have *begun* many projects around our place, and finished many others. The top of my list of completed projects has to be our side patio/backyard. Adding the enormous pergola brought a gathering place to just sit and enjoy each other’s company at the exact right time this year, and having the wrought iron painted all around the yard and replacing our exterior light fixtures added an elevated ambiance to the backdrop of our everyday life. It all looks incredible, despite the unfinished projects around it. To the house on Lotus- thank you for being our shelter from every storm. This year you have helped us weather the most tumultuous unexpected year of all of our lives. During a time where being confined could have felt suffocating, somehow you took a deep breath for us and expanded your walls to allow the love and laughter to soak into the places that needed it most. It is within these walls that you’ve allowed us to strengthen our emotional foundation as a family, and my gratitude at the sense of home we all have now, could never be expressed. It is here that you’ve allowed two fur baby best friends to cross the rainbow bridge in peace, surrounded by everything they loved. It is here that you’ve allowed our little boy to rest, relax and heal from one of the scariest, most unforeseen accidents I’ve ever witnessed. Here, you have allowed me the tranquility and safety to conquer a lifetime of childhood trauma and anxiety. I could never imagine confronting that burden anywhere else in the world. This year, I hope we do you justice. I hope that our laughter makes you brighter, and our tears make you stronger. This year, I hope we can take all of that beauty and love and pour it into you, so that you reflect what is housed within these walls. Our lives would not be the same without you. You are forever offering new beginnings and possibilities. Thank you house on Lotus. Love, your family.
Danna FNovember 18, 2020 at 10:09 am
Lauren, I hope your son is recovering. It is so hard when one of our babies are hurt. Hugs to you.
LaurenNovember 18, 2020 at 10:22 am
Thank you Danna! He is doing well! The reply feature is working for me again! Yay! Aaron is recovering better than expected and it looks like all the scary stuff is behind us…thank goodness! I appreciate your kind words. Have a great week Danna! Xo
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 12:18 pm
SO happy to hear Aaron is doing well and is recovering nicely :) Best news!
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 12:49 pm
You hit the nail on the head, Lauren! I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot recently (who passed away), and what he would think of this year. He taught me to find positivity in all situations and look at things from a different perspective, even if it’s difficult. This was a fun post because I was reminded of the happy moments we’ve had this year, and of things we still have to look forward to. My dad was definitely echoing in my mind for this one! I love, LOVE, love your letter to your home… the beautiful house on Lotus. Your writing and sentiment was so perfect and moving. THAT is what home is all about: the memories, family, healing, a place to be totally yourself, find joy, and find peace & comfort. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and for sharing with us. You are such a special lady and friend!! Sending you lots of love and wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving week ahead :) xox
Danna FNovember 18, 2020 at 10:06 am
A very sentimental and sweet post Sarah! Your ability to continue to renovate & pivot during this time has been motivating and inspiring to me. I look forward ever day to your posts. You are doing an amazing job on your house. Of course, I am going nowhere…I am here for all the upcoming updates and renovations.
Pre-covid I was tired of this house and had no desire to change it. After being home these 8 months, I have changed my perspective. Now I am more grateful for what we have. I am ready to make changes and challenge myself (tiling our kitchen backsplash…whoah who is this girl?).
Cannot wait to see the guest room, dining room, and office plans coming up. Have a great day.
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 12:37 pm
Thanks, Danna! I so appreciate that, and your continued support :) It means so much to me! I love your new attitude toward your home… I vote yes- tile that backsplash! It will be a fun, easy, and transformative project- tile projects make a HUGE difference. You have a beautiful home! I’m looking forward to another year of sharing projects, designing our home, and enjoying it. I hope you’re having an amazing week, my friend. xo
BrittanyNovember 19, 2020 at 11:15 am
Home has meant everything to me this year! I have worked from home every day and haven’t been gone for more than a few hours at once. I definitely think often about how pleased I am with the condo I purchased – I’ve been here for two years and it’s such a great fit (although I’d love to do without the HOA!). This year I continued to furnish my home via Facebook Marketplace, planted my first perennials (and celebrated every bloom!), spent a little time to paint my floor tile grout in the kitchen (huge impact!), and updated my small en-suite bathroom. Well, I chose the fixtures, colors, etc. and my dad executed it. I went moody for the small, windowless room – Benjamin Moore Venezuelan Sea! It looks so dark and rich since there is no natural light. My last splurge of the year was a replacement skylight! I previously had a cloudy plastic bubble that was original to the house (1987) – now I have a Velux skylight and I can actually see blue sky!
I am excited that we still have so many updates to follow along with as you and Emmett complete them!
SarahNovember 19, 2020 at 11:49 am
Reading this made my morning, Brittany! Venezuelan Sea is such a gorgeous color- what a beautiful choice for your bath :) It kind of reminds me of my kitchen cabinets. The Velux skylights are super nice!! Fantastic choice there as well. It sounds like you’ve had a great year appreciating your condo. I’m so thankful to have a home we love, especially this year. We’re also looking forward to many more updates! Have a great day, xo
EmmaNovember 20, 2020 at 6:45 am
Really appreciative of you saying primary suite! Love your blog and your house, can’t wait to follow along with more renovations!
SarahNovember 20, 2020 at 9:12 am
Thanks so much, Emma! Hope you have a happy holiday season :) xo
Julie RossmanNovember 23, 2020 at 10:35 am
I am very very very thankful for my home, this is a great exercise in gratitude and I’m going to journal along the lines of this post. And mostly thankful for all of our other homes and apartments that we have the honor of renting out to others so that they have a warm and deserving residence too.
SarahNovember 23, 2020 at 11:57 am
That is incredible, Julie! I’ve been trying to practice more moments of gratitude. Although it has been a rough year, we have so much to be thankful for. Thanks for sharing :) xo
KorimFebruary 13, 2023 at 8:24 am
Really appreciative of you saying primary suite! Love your blog and your house, can’t wait to follow along with more renovations!
SarahFebruary 14, 2023 at 8:07 am
Thank you so much, Korim! I’ve got a fun room renovation reveal coming tomorrow :)