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Tomorrow is the LAST day of 2016. Can you freaking believe it? I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by! It seems like just yesterday that our weekends were filled with house showings and mortgage meetings and packing up the townhouse.

Since I dropped the ball and forgot to post a 9-month update, I thought it might be fun to do a quick recap and look back at all the progress we’ve made this year.

Our First Home

After Brett and I first walked through this house, in the back of our minds, we both knew this was it. He was a little hesitant about taking on such a big project and I wasn’t a huge fan of being so far away from the Twin Cities. But it had SO much potential, an unfinished basement, a few acres of land and the view was breathtaking. Our inkling was confirmed after stopping by two other places that just didn’t compare.

Exterior updates

When we moved in, there were two entrances to the house because part of it was a rental property. Also, each entrance had a ramp leading up it.

We tore out both ramps, built stairs to what we wanted as the main entrance and replaced the other door with a window. We also added a fence to the side yard for the pups to play.



We knew going in that all the windows were junk and needed to be replaced – this was something that we would have to do over time.

This year we were able to add a window to the mudroom and replace one in the master bedroom, both guest bedrooms and the front entryway.


Interior updates

We got the keys to this place on February 22 and that first night we made a few trips back and forth with some things and stayed up until 2:00 am scraping the popcorn off the ceilings.

The next day we knocked down the main wall dividing the rental space and the rest of the house.


After that, we reconfigured the layout of the guest bathroom and guest bathrooms, along with adding space for a mudroom.

Since then, we’ve slowly been putting up sheetrock and mudding the walls. This year we finished mudding and painting the main living area where the wall was knocked down.


Another one of the first projects to be completed was the repainting of the kitchen cabinets. Even though I know we’re going to redo the entire kitchen, brightening up the space was on my ‘must-do’ list from day one.


Although you can’t see it, what took up a majority of time this summer was the installation of a new furnace and all new duct work, with the help of my dad and his co-worker. This was a HUGE project that although isn’t pretty to photograph, has made a significant difference in the entire house.

The only space to be one hundred percent completed [if there is such a thing in home renovation] is the entryway. We tackled this project as part of the One Room Challenge this fall and finished it up a few weeks ago when we installed the brink floor. To say we are happy with how it turned out is a complete understatement and I am so thankful that we were able to finish SOMETHING.

Entryway built ins | brick floor | dark wood trim


2016 Takeaways

It’s hard to prepare yourself for a full-on home renovation. There is a lot that isn’t always said; did you know it’s best to make sure both parties are well fed and well rested before you have a conversation about light fixtures or paint colors or tile style? And there are some things that you just need to figure out yourself – like the joy of beating the shit of a wall on demo day or the pure exhaustion you feel when hanging sheet rock in 112 degree weather with no air conditioning.

What we do know is that we can look back on this past year and know we kicked ass. For not having done 90 percent of the projects we tackled this year, there is something to be said about just giving it a shot and seeing what happens.

With that, we want to thank all of you for joining us this year and we hope to continue to entertain, teach and inspire you to tackle 2017 like a boss!

If there’s anything you’re struggling with, give us a shout at contact@northcountrynest.com. We want to help in any way we can – whether that be a new tutorial, diy project or some story that didn’t go exactly as planned.

Have a safe and happy New Year!


All our best,


  1. Lora

    Loved reading this. You all are DIY heros 🙂 What an adventure!!

    • Kelly

      Awww thanks, Lora!!

  2. Sabrina

    You guys did such an amazing job. I can’t wait to see what you will tackle in 2017. Happy New Year!!

    • Kelly

      Thank you Sabrina!! Happy New year to you as well!!!


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