Skip to Content

A Few Highlights From 2019!

Hello lovelies!! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

We had a busy Christmas with tons of family around and lots of fun to be had. My house was chaotic, messy and loud for a week straight with my kids, nieces and nephews all here and I’ve absolutely loved having everyone together! It’s the best!

This year hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies but some wonderful things have come from it anyway, and I’m leaving 2019 grateful for the many good parts. Last January I told you about four big projects we were hoping to tackle this year, and for the most part they are all done! Starting with……..

The Kitchen Remodel!

We waited 9.5 years for this renovation and those of you who have been around for a while have put up with my endless scheming. As one reader put it, “whatever will you talk about once your baloney countertops are gone?” 🙂

Keeping a similar layout, I redesigned the kitchen and ordered cabinets online (more on how that went coming soon!). We demoed the whole kitchen, pantry and old floors with some really awesome and generous friends, and then hired contractors to install the cabinets, crown moulding, electrical, plumbing and new countertops. Mark and I spent several weekends caulking, priming and painting all the ceilings, trim, doors and walls on this floor of our house, and I installed the marble backsplash. 

We ended up doing more DIY than we originally planned but we were able to pull off this renovation with our two-kids-in-college-budget and love our new space!

If you missed the kitchen reveal you can see it here!  Stay tuned for the dining room refresh I’ve been working on all year coming soon.

The Floor Renovation

I’m due for a full post with the before and afters from this dramatic project, but in a nutshell, we once again did the demo here by removing layers of vinyl flooring and tile, and then handed over the rest of the project to a pro who installed new hardwoods, sanded the original hardwoods in adjacent rooms and stained and sealed it all. We had to move all our furniture out from our first floor and the whole process took five weeks, but it transformed our house and we’re so glad it’s finally done!! 

The hideous before (worn hardwoods meet ugly orange vinyl) – 

…..and the pretty afters! (the finish trim and replacing that door are on the 2020 list!)

Diagonally laid stained white oak solid hardwood floors stained 50/50 Special Walnut and Classic Gray

The Stairs

You remember these beauties right? Underneath that old runner were treads that were badly stained by what we think was the previous owners’ pets. Eeeeew. 

After laboriously attempting to strip and sand them years ago, I gave up and used an ebony Polyshades (polyurethane mixed with stain) to hide the pet stains. Once I added the seagrass runner it felt like it was meant to be; we loved the look of this combination for several years, except man were those dark treads hard to keep clean! Every speck of dust showed on them! 

DIY installation of a seagrass runner completes a stair makeover in an 80s era colonial.This year when we had the floors done we decided to also have the treads stripped, sanded and stained to match them, and while we were at it we tore out the old spindles and newel post and replaced those too. The stairs are awaiting a new DIY runner and I can’t wait to show you how they came out, but let me just say I am AMAZED at how well these old oak floors and treads that seemed like they have no life left in them cleaned up so beautifully with a little professional help!!! 

Refinished stair treads

Stay tuned for that big reveal early this year too!!

The Deck Remodel

Hallelujah we finally replaced our rotting old deck! What was the rush, just because people’s feet were going through floor boards? No big deal! 

We tore down the old deck ourselves and then hired a contractor to rebuild the new one with Trex decking, because it needed some structural work that was beyond our scope. I collaborated with Raymour & Flanigan to share some pieces from their outdoor collection and our deck went from being a time sucking headache to upkeep, to super low maintenance between the new decking and hard-wearing composite furniture. 

Trex decking

Our fire pit patio also got some new all-weather furniture that is so perfect for the seasons of New England living! 

DIY patio and fire pit

We love our new outdoor space and used it every single day in the warm weather! Check out the deck and patio makeover reveal here! 

A few other popular projects and posts this year…..

How I remodeled the half wall and pillar in our family room

How to create an antique mirror finish on French doors or glass cabinet doors (my favorite project!)

French Doors With DIY Antique Mirror Glass

How to build a custom sized wood trellis

Low maintenance composite Adirondack chairs

Beef & barley soup plus four other delicious soups to try this winter

I’m very wary about this beloved blog of mine becoming one big advertisement, so I intentionally keep the sponsored posts to a minimum and only work with brands I really like and think you would too. This year I am proud to have partnered with a few great companies on some of the big projects above to bring you content that might be of value to you.

I truly hope you enjoyed and were inspired by some of what I’ve shared with you this year! I have so many great ideas and projects coming your way over the next year and can’t wait to dive in! THANK YOU for making Shine DIY & Design one of the stops along your way – my readers are what have kept this blog going for almost TEN YEARS! I appreciate all your sweet and funny comments and I especially thank you all for your kindness about my recent news. I’m not letting that little wrinkle slow me down my friends! Let’s fill the year ahead with passion, productivity and happiness, shall we?! 

Wishing you a wonderful New Year’s Eve as we say goodbye to another year of our lives that may have had some difficulties, but most certainly had some joy in it too. Lots of love to you all!



2019 Holiday Gift Guide | For Her • For Him • For Everyone
← Previous
4 Simple Ideas For A Spring Living Room Refresh | Project Design
Next →


Monday 28th of September 2020

What stain color did you use on the flooring, I love the way they turned out!


Friday 1st of January 2021

Hi Andrea, thank you so much! Our white oak wood floors are stained a 50/50 combo of Minwax Special Walnut and Classic Gray!

Kristin salazar

Tuesday 14th of January 2020

Lisa, I love all of your highlights, you are so talented!

I am so very sorry about your diagnosis, I had no idea until today, you are so courageous and you have the most amazing attitude! If I lived near I would be cooking, cleaning and driving you to and from appointments. I'm sending you so much love and prayers! XO Kristin

Stephanie @ Casa Watkins Living

Thursday 9th of January 2020

What a fabulous year Lisa! Looking forward to seeing what you do 2020!

Cassie Bustamante

Tuesday 31st of December 2019

what an incredible year you guys have had... i always love your outlook, positivity, and, of course, style and skills! wishing you all the best in the new decade, in health, happiness, and abundance.