2018 Year in Review  

Well, I think we can all agree that Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation said it best:

“Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where’s the Tylenol?”

Indeed all 3 of those comments certainly apply to the last year, but on the whole it was the very best year I have had in ages. Wonderful things happened in both my professional life, and in my personal life. I had the privilege to work with lots of clients this year who trusted me to help them with their homes, which is always a huge honor. Along the way, I was also lucky enough to forge beautiful new friendships with amazing people, and I am so grateful for that! My husband and I were also fortunate to take some amazing trips this year to Utah, Oregon, and Colorado for vacation and we managed to visit 4 new National Parks. I also think I grew my Instagram following by 15 followers. Hey, it is important to celebrate every win!

This year has been full of so many amazing things, and I truly believe that all of the positive changes that happened are primarily due to the fact that I really worked hard on changing my mindset. I started to read books that inspired me to be my best self and more optimistic. I started using positive affirmations – hello, Stuart Smiley! – and I started meditating. I also worked my tail off! It was really worth it, and I am so glad that I took the time to start to focus on the changes I wanted to see, and made those changes happen!

If you are curious, I really recommend reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; it’s a great book about how to relate to people. I also read You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Cincero. JK – I listened to it on my Audible app. Four times. But I really liked a lot of the stuff that she was saying about believing in yourself, believing that the things you wanted to make happen would happen, and using affirmations. There are a few others that I also read, but those were by far my favorite ones. Reading those books really helped me change my outlook, and that really needed to happen. I was stuck in such a rut, and felt a little bit trapped in life to be honest. I was at a turning point, and I was willing to turn away from things that made me feel safe, but weren’t making me happy. And you know what? It all worked out. Waaaay better than I ever could have imagined. All because I started to push myself for better things.

This year was by far the best year my business has had yet, and I am hoping for an even better year in 2019! I got to work on a variety of different projects with completely different requirements, and they all really challenged me.  I am working on improving my presentations by learning how to work in Sketchup, and I also am experimenting with some other presentation software that should also help me.

So my hope for you and for me, dear reader, is two-fold:

I hope that we both push, challenge, and believe in ourselves so that we can be better friends, better partners, better parents, and happier more successful and fulfilled people!

I also hope that you keep coming back here, subscribe to my blog, and trust me enough to help you with the design of your home!

All that said here are some of the projects that I would like to complete in my home in 2019:

Hall Bath remodel: We have a terrible vanity in there with a beige cultured marble top, so I really would like to replace that, paint the room, and update the lighting in there. It is a bit of a tricky space because it is in the middle of the house so there is no natural light in this room. I currently have travertine floors that the previous owner put in. It will be important to make careful choices so the floors read warm, but not yellow. There is also a lovely cast iron claw foot tub that we put in there. I would like to move that in the master bath to replace the cultured marble whirlpool tub that is in there and replace tub in the hall bath with a walk in shower. Nobody who comes to visit really feels comfortable climbing up into the tub for a shower, but it really is wonderful for baths. I think a walk-in shower in the hall bath will be much more functional for us.

This dressing room inside of Billy Reid inspired the vintage collection of mirrors in my hall bath.
This is an older photo of the hall bath, but you can see the beginnings of my mirror collection, and my ugly cultured marble top. It is profane to me that the word “marble” is ascribed to that material at all. It’s plastic people!

Sprinklers: Not the most exciting thing in some ways, but we really need an irrigation system for our yard. We already have a well and pump, but we need to have sprinklers installed so that we can finally start to put in some landscaping (hello, camellia trees!) without everything dying. I doubt that we will be able to fully landscape the yard this year, but we should be able to get some grass seed put down. Maybe even plant a couple of shrubs as well.

Not exactly the garden of Eden, but my yard looks beat in the winter when we put down rye grass. In the summer it all dies back in the heat and becomes a sandbox.

Home Office: In the backyard, a darling little building built as a sort of workshop for the previous owners. We are pretty much using it as our shed since we don’t have a garage. Drives me crazy! That “shed” is way too cute to be a shed! It has window boxes, double French doors, shiplap walls with trim! This thing is totally finished, and I want to clean it out and make it my design studio. Currently the design studio is housed in my dining room, and that is a bit problematic for my husband when I am in the middle of a roaring project. The solution will be to install a separate shed on a concrete pad in our yard to house all of our yard equipment. Then we can install a floor and finish the baseboard trim in our existing shed, and put an AC unit in. Once all of that is finished, then I will convert the shed into my home office. Easy right? Doubtful, I am toying with the idea of building the new shed myself, and the project has the potential to run away from me. Wish me luck!

My future home office is this cottage slash shed. It’s too cute for a shed!

What about you, Dear Reader? Are there any projects that you have in mind for 2019? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy New Year!


I'm Allison McCowan, and I live in Florida with my husband, Sean, and our dog, Clover. I am inspired by music, art, books, design, and nature. This is a place for me to share my ideas, my vibe, and my observations.

2 thoughts on “2018 Year in Review  

  1. But I love having the tub in the hall bath! Boo to the WIS! The floors are nice, but the vanity does need changing. Sent from my iPad



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