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2021, the Year of the Pause

a DIY plinth base

The Year of the Pause

At the start of this year, we promised ourselves that our word for 2021 would be pause. I hesitate to even bring 2020 into this conversation, but I’d be remiss not to acknowledge that our 2021 Word of the Year was a result of the unsettling year before it. This year, we paused before saying ‘yes.’ We paused before saying ‘no,’ for that matter. We paused before signing onto a new project, before RSVPing to a birthday party, before deciding on a weekend of work or play.

We took a big, deep breath this year and slowed down. Way down. We focused on small projects, some with big impact and purpose, some to make us smile. We painted a lot of things taupe! We also painted a tired shed black and turned her into the prettiest thing at Tree House. We nixed our home office. We fine tuned our skills as Airbnb hosts, a role we approach with weight and pride. WE SOLD THE CONDO.

our shed makeover

On a personal note, I cried when Lucy turned 3 (and now she’s almost 4!), and I cried again when we celebrated one year of Catfish! Every night at the dinner table, we go around the group and say what our favorite part of the day is. It can be anything from a good cup of coffee to the release of an anticipated Netflix series. If I were to ask myself the same for the year, my favorite part would be dressing as a family of four Mariah Careys. I look back on that memory with a happy heart, and it never fails to make me smile.

Thank You.

Thank you for being a part of our journey. We see you, we hear you. We even had the capacity to chat with you one-on-one in virtual design sessions! During this year of the pause, we appreciate that you’re here. Wishing you a cozy + warm holiday season, full of everything you need and nothing you don’t. We’ll be back on the blog in January!

A Look Back | 2021

Below, we’re sharing the projects and stories across several categories that topped our list in 2021. Click on any thumbnail to take you right to the post! xx

Before + After


DIYs to Try


Family + Motherhood


Round-Ups + Resources

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  • Stacy12.17.21 - 7:19 AM

    Please tell me you have an album, physical or digital, that consists exclusively of photos of Catfish half asleep with her face smooshed into a pillow ❤️ 
    Have a wonderful holiday break!ReplyCancel

    • Scott12.17.21 - 10:19 AM

      We’re working on it!ReplyCancel

      • Pakster12.17.21 - 1:32 PM

        After looking at the photos my thought was that this could also be the year of Catfish loves a couch (so adorable!).  😍ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB12.19.21 - 6:14 PM

    Thanks for sharing so much of your lives with us! Here’s to hoping 2022 is a year of awesomeness for all of us :)ReplyCancel

  • Megan P12.19.21 - 10:26 PM

    As a longtime reader, I definitely can feel the “pause” here on the blog. BUT the content you put out this year was still amazing. It just seemed like there was less major renovation stuff and lots of smaller projects instead! All that to say, even though you may not have major projects going on, I still very much enjoy all the content you continue to create! I think one of my favourites this year has been your friend’s house makeover. ReplyCancel

    • Scott12.20.21 - 11:36 AM

      Thank you for the kind words, Megan! The Kalvakota’s project has brought all of us a lot of joy this year and we’re not even finished!ReplyCancel

  • Julie12.20.21 - 9:16 PM

    The overused, cliche word would be “intentional” but I like how you use the active word “pause” instead. It seemed to me that you guys were just as busy with the condo sale and apartment turnover, finishing the two flat, and more. But if you said no to something big this past year, I sure didn’t miss it. You content is genuine and that shows, and that’s what I’m here for.ReplyCancel

    • Scott12.21.21 - 8:54 AM

      We definitely turned down a number of projects that we wish we had the bandwidth for, but work/life balance was our focus. We appreciate the kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Eric12.30.21 - 7:24 AM

    Thanks for sharing with us again this year.  I’ve been following for YEARS, and always look forward to your new year goals posts – will you be publishing one this year too?ReplyCancel

  • Sherry1.3.22 - 11:23 AM

    Here’s an idea for 2023…. Sell a calendar of CATFISH photos!! The proceeds could go to the rescue you adopted from! She is the most photogenic dog… super sweet and cute :)ReplyCancel

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