Hey there, 2021!!!

Happy New Year!!!! It’s literally my FAVORITE time of year! And never have I ever been more excited to see January 1!!! After one of the most difficult years for everyone on planet Earth, I wish you could see the biggest, goofiest grin on my face right now while I’m typing. I’m always overwhelmed with gratitude for the fresh start each new year brings but ESPECIALLY this year. Right now, where I stand, the possibilities are endless and I haven’t done anything to mess it up… so far.

So anyway, I thought it would be fun to review the hopefulness of last year’s goals and resolutions to see what, if anything, I was actually able to accomplish. I am going to spare you all 10 sections of my typed 8 page 2020 goals and resolutions and simply zone in on the SBH section for this blog:

2020 Storybook Homes Goals and Resolutions

  • Blog post every other week.
    • I just counted and there was a total of 10 blogs published in 2020 so I’m going to call this a miss.
  • Social Media post weekly.
    • This seemed soooo doable, but again was a total miss. I just can not seem to remember to stop working long enough to take a picture. That’s why, mid year last year, I brought my friend Sarah Henry on board to help with the social media and blogging. When she came onboard the tone of the blogs elevated, the frequency of the social posts tripled, and my guilt of never posting was lifted. But alas, she had to go and get a big girl job and, understandably, her creative energies needed to shift to her classroom and away from SBH for awhile. But I’m not letting her get away completely, once she is fully settled into the teaching world I plan to lure her back on a very part time basis with maybe special projects over the summer.
  • Grow Instagram and Facebook to 5K followers.
    • Nope. Thanks to Sarah I know that I did grow significantly in both categories last year but neither platform has hit that goal… yet.
  • Update Website.
    • I’m going to give myself a “kinda” on this one. I did switch my blogging platform from blogger to wordpress last year and dropped the cheesy @blogspot.com web address for a more sophisticative and easier to find storybookrenovations.com but it still could use quite a bit of attention. But again-time.
  • Complete 3 flips.
  • 2 Custom Client Projects.
    • YES!! In fact, I completed 3 (2 bathrooms and 1 Master Suite) and started another HUGE one in 2020. I also started offering design consultations in 2020.
  • December off.
    • No, Sadly I had more projects going December 2020 then I have ever had in my career.

So 1.5 out of 6……hmm….. I know I should probably be disappointed but when I look at the goals I achieved (or almost achieved) vs those I didn’t, I realize where I fell short was the “story” side of the business but if I think about all the people who are now starting their 2021 in their newly renovated house I feel I delivered on the “home” side of Storybook Homes and really that’s what this business is all about.

So before I officially say goodbye to 2020 I want to share some picture highlights from 2020 projects:

From the Oliver Shotgun:

This was my second new construction project and I was thrilled with how this house jumped from my sketch pad to real life:

Every square inch of this thoughtfully planned out 1215 sq foot home is usable space, including the upper cabinets stretching to the 10 ft ceilings thanks to the….. LIBRARY LADDER!!!

This project allowed me to scratch “do library ladder” off my bucket list.

I also kinda loved the eating nook with that light!:

But perhaps the biggest highlight of this project for me was getting to know her new home owner. She was brand new to Conway when she moved in and since then has become a good friend to me, a cheerleader for Storybook Renovations, and an active member of the downtown community. A true treasure to her neighborhood.

Next up on our highlight tour is a never before seen renovation. I am so proud of how this one turned out that I asked special permission from my private client to show you a few before and after pics of this master suite renovation. So here ya go:

Before: Master Bathroom

Not bad at all! Just didn’t function how my client wished. She also had a nice size master bedroom:

During the renovation we simply rearranged the space to give her a nice soaker tub and relocated the potty to it’s own private space on the other side of the bathroom.

And we expanded her Master bedroom into a smaller room to give her a spacious master closet.

In addition to her Master bedroom we also did a refresh on the entire upstairs of her home. After we wrapped up this renovation, the homeowner extended this new style to the remaining areas of her home. She sent me pictures of a few of the projects she tackled and Wow, her home is beautiful! Aaaaaand a little birdy told me that this home “might” be for sale very soon. So if you like what you see, keep your eyes out on the local real estate pages.

This year, I began this new thing! In addition to the master suite just mentioned, I decided to take on some other “select” client projects…because why not? 2020!! There has been interest for quite some time and I never really had the time to consult. However, I began doing these limited design consultations focusing on layout (not decor).

From these consultations, we completed a total of 3 client projects including 2 master baths and 1 master suite.

Again, these were completely “off the radar” and the only evidence of these fun projects are satisfied clients!! It was a wild year. We moved from one project to the next and no blogs were written for these.

In the midst of private consultation projects and just general craziness, I started the Mountain Modern. Ahhh the Mountain Modern. I love how this one turned out especially the exterior:

Here are some of my other favorite moments of this design:

One of the biggest design consultations of 2020 was for my first celebrity clients for what has been affectionately sired, “Beaglefork”. The home is a diamond in the rough on Beaverfork Lake tucked away on the outskirts of Conway. I can’t wait to see how everything comes together for the homeowners and their humans in 2021!

Here’s a sneak peek/teaser of the Beaglefork “Before”:

Guys it has already come soooo far!

Aaaand I can NOT believe I have not found the time to tell you about my other project! Ya’ll in 2020 Rory gave me my DREAM project for my anniversary. And when I say “gave” what I really mean is he allowed me to buy it when he really wanted it for himself for a rental. After begging and pleading with him to let me adopt it into the Storybook Family, I finally resorted to telling him it was the ONLY thing I wanted for our 20th Wedding Anniversary. He very reluctantly agreed to let me take ownership. Ya’ll THIS HOUSE has ALWAYS been my FAVORITE house in all of old town Conway and I have dreamed about renovating it for at least 10 years. It is my Bucket List House. There is soooo much more I want to tell you but its story deserves its own blog so I promise to make that happen soon. But for now I’ll just drop her pretty before picture here:

Stay tuned, this one has 6-8 weeks to completion.

So while 2020 had its fair share of challenges (I’m choosing to spare you the negatives), there were also some pleasant surprises that I’m still just so humbled and honored by! Receiving the “best of” in the remodeling category in Faulkner County was such a highlight as was a feature article in At Home on our Davis Street house. Overall there were so many great projects and “wins” to celebrate. Which brings me to my:

Goals and Resolutions for 2021

  • Blog post monthly- surely I can do one a month
  • Social media post weekly- Niki, just stop for a second and take a picture! It literally takes 3 seconds. You can do it!
  • Grow Instagram and Facebook to 5K followers- can ya’ll help me with this one?
  • Project List Goals:
    • Caldwell
    • Beaglefork
    • Townhomes (Rory project I’ll tell you about later)
    • Finish Air B&B (another Rory project I’ll tell you about)
    • Cross Street Flip
    • Mill Street New Construction
    • 2 client projects
  • Last Client Project started by July- so can be finished by December
  • December off- I will have a Senior next year and I want to soak up our last Christmas with him at home
  • 1 Design Consult a Month
  • Find another flip for 2022
  • No crying- I’ve got to get tougher and stop letting these projects and subs get to me.
  • 1/2 day off on Fridays to do SBH business- I usually spend 1/2 my weekend paying bills, updating budgets, etc and I really want to be intentional with family time.

Thank you for your continual support throughout this extraordinarily unique season. I’ve really had to ramp up my social media game to remain connected to all of you as we’ve been unable to host our celebratory SBH open houses! It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since we’ve had our last one on Oliver. From hanging in there with my quarantine cleaning games to participating in our first featured online series of outdoor spaces and favorite rooms from former SBH projects, you, my faithful friends, have engaged and encouraged with each blog and post! It’s my prayer that 2021 is kinder to all of us and writes even more Storybook stories with the happiest endings.


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