My Top Five Favorite Building Projects

September 8, 2016

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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We took Auston (our oldest) back to college a couple weekends ago. It’s never easy to say goodbye. The ten hour car ride home feels so long. With the miles separating us farther and farther away from each other. I decided to pass the time by trying to organize my 4000+ photos sitting on my phone. (Corey was driving, by the way 🙂 ). It was fun to look back at so many memories. But also rewarding to see the groundwork and transformation of the many projects I have done over the last few years.

I thought it would be fun to list my top 5 favorite building projects. These are projects that I absolutely loved working on and we get so much use out of them still today.

1.  The project that started it all. I still remember the day…I came home from the store and told Corey I wanted to see if there were real wood floors under our stairs carpet. I then proceeded to pull up a small section and tried to peek under it. Unable to tell how far the real wood went, I ripped the carpet a little further. And that sealed the deal. It was all real wood floors!! I was both nervous and excited to pull all of that carpet up and reveal the real wood. After a LOT of sanding and painting, my carpeted staircase was transformed to this…


2.  This summer we have especially loved our outdoor kitchen. I don’t know what I did without all the counter space it added. I built this functional add-on to our deck at the start of last summer. And we love it!!

outdoor kitchen

3.  Let’s just stay right out here on the deck. We love to eat outside (well, I say “we” loosely..Corey and I do. Maybe not so much the kids 🙂 ). Every summer, I am loving our outdoor farm table. I tackled this design a couple years ago. I learned alot through it, as it was one of my earlier building projects. And let me tell you, this thing is solid! Just ask my boys…they’ve had to move it a couple times. Not fun. I loved hunting for chairs for this table too. I knew I wanted them all mismatched and so not perfect. A couple of them could be replaced at this point. But the great thing is, they were super cheap.

farm table

4.  Sticking with the theme of tables. Farm tables at that. I love our dining room farm table. I have gotten so many compliments on that. And what would have cost a fortune at a furniture store, was actually incredibly inexpensive to build…and super easy. I shared this project several posts back. You can find it here. I actually used our existing table and just added planks to the top of it, beefed up the apron of the table a little bit, and stained/painted it. What was a boring department store looking table is now a beautiful Pottery Barn looking table. And the best part…it was only a fraction of the cost.

dining room farm table

5.  One of my latest projects and probably my favorite was the boys’ bedroom makeover. It was so much fun to transform that room from floor to ceiling, literally. I ripped out the carpet and put hardwood floors down, planked the ceiling (so cool), did a board and batten treatment to the freshly painted white walls and changed out all the trim to thick, craftsman trim. LOVE!! Also got all new furnishings and light fixtures. AND my favorite part…this door!!

Sliding Barn Door

What a fun build this was! I showed how to make this sliding barn door in this post. And guys, the tracking for this door is awesome. It glides like butter. I am amazed at how easy it opens and closes. Such an awesome feel. And it goes with this room so perfectly. I have provided links below for the barn door hardware. The sliding door track is the least expensive I’ve found anywhere. A really good price and EXCELLENT quality.

It was hard nailing down my 5 favorite builds. There aren’t too many projects I’ve taken on that I don’t like. Only one sticks out in my mind and apparently it wasn’t too terrible, cause I’m getting ready to build another one. I’m on a 2-week deadline for this one–wedding gift. So, I’ll share it with you guys soon.

Here are the links for the barn door hardware (purchased through

Sliding Barn Door Track

Barn Door Handle

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