New Year New Focus

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New Year, new goals, new perspectives, new focus. We all take the time at the turn of every year on the calendar to look ahead...and maybe even look back a see what we can improve, change, get rid of, etc. and look with optimism at the possibilities that lie before us. I have been doing a lot of thinking and mental planning when it comes to 2019, but to be honest, I actually haven't sat down to really THINK about what my goals are for this coming year. This post is me thinking out loud a bit, assessing the advancements that were made in 2018 and laying out what I hope to achieve in 2019...and what you can expect from me as well!

I am going to reminice a bit and reflect on the past year and how it was a game changer for me and for Bella Casa Interiors. I started off the year with a word in mind. Opportunity. I didn't know what it would look like, but I believed it meant doors opening in unexpected ways, connections, and new paths to take that I have never been on before.

And it was just that.

In 2018, Bella Casa Interiors completed a Teen Boho Bedroom makeover, a Master Bath Renovation, a whole home update in Westdale, a basement refresh, and another townhouse renovation that is still a work in progress. We had multiple, detailed projects going on simultaneously; it was exhausting and thrilling at the same time! I also had the opportunity to work with Les Anderson Construction for the first time--his team is amazing!!

This was the first year that Bella Casa Interiors produced a profit--after six years in business this is quite an achievement for me! We had always broken even so this level of growth felt like a gift from God. I was also able to connect with other designers, realtors, entrepreneurs, and businesses which helped both myself and the business grow in so many ways. When one project finished, I'd receive a call or email about someone else wanting to refresh their home...doors of opportunity opened all year long and it was absolutely amazing--and a really big learning curve! I embraced the challenges and am so very grateful for the clients I was able to work with this past year.

My confidence as a designer increased exponentially--I am not sure about you, but after being a bit distracted with raising precious little people you can feel like you've lost your edge and start to question things. Being able to successfully complete three large scale renovations and several smaller projects took a lot of juggling, but in the end, everyone was thrilled with the finished results--a very satisfying feeling!

Here are a few "before" pictures of the projects we worked on this year.

Living Room BeforeBath beforeLiving Room Before
Kitchen BeforeLiving Room BeforeKitchen Before
Living Room BeforeShower BeforeMaster Bath Before

For Little by Little, I wrote 25 posts and really started to get my feet wet in this social media craziness that is out there. Why crazy? Learning algorithms, how to get people to actually SEE your post, learning the WordPress system and making it do what I wanted wasn't always fun; BUT hearing from so many of you how much you enjoyed reading always made writing worth it! I was also able to offer a free download for new blog subscribers and now have 6x more people on the mailing list than when I started...thank you!! P.S. I hope you really enjoyed the budget tips!

Here are the top 5 posts of 2018:

First Home Buying Adventures

Rustic Modern Hannon Home

Teen Boho Bedroom Makeover

Back in the Saddle Again and a free gift for you!

The Evolution of my Living Room

If you missed the link and check it out!

For the blog in 2019, I want to give you all what you asked with your homes and different ways to tackle the challenges of small spaces, limited budgets, color choices and lots more. I have before and after pictures of design work we have done, and lots of other great thoughts, ideas, inspiration and sources all coming your way! I want to be more organized by topic so it is easier to find things which means updating the website a bit...that will be for later in the year.

We also plan on increasing our social media presence in general and -FINALLY- get hooked up with Instagram and Pinterest (woot! woot!).  This is already in the works so you will have access to so much more and so will people around the globe 🙂 My hope is to be connected with you on a much more frequent basis and continue to increase readership though 2019. I'd love to see more subscribers, perhaps a magazine feature, and more community awareness through local marketing. I know...boring stuff on your end but the more projects we get to work on, the more you get to see! I'll keep you posted on our progress!

As far as projects around our house--another subject that you all said you enjoyed--I am hoping to join in on the One Room Challenge in the Spring and makeover our Master Bedroom. It is a 6-week timeline and I blog about the progress each week; that will start around April and I am SO excited about it! Our room has furniture in it, but no style or personality so it is really ready for an update. There are also a few smaller painting projects that I am hoping to tackle and a few unfinished things from last year as well. I may even start to dream a bit about a kitchen reno--there is no chance that we will work on that this year, but I can put together some 3D design mock ups and see some possibilities...always so fun!

On a more personal note, I have a new word for this year. Relationship. I long for deeper connections with people, my loving Saviour, my community, and my clients. When you think about life being filled with amazing memories and truly RICH, relationship is at the heart of it all.

This past year I learned to juggle in ways I have never juggled before; balancing home life with work took some doing, but somehow, no matter how often the kids got sick or what technical issues I faced--or how often I had to change my expectations--everything got done.


The clients were happy. The Contractors got the information they needed. My kids were fed and we had some great family times together. I even got to go out a bit and have some fun! I tend to stress over things, but it was that attention to detail, that perseverance, that don't-give-up-even-when-it-seems-like-you-have-to-fight-tooth-and-nail-to-get-it, that got me through the highs and lows of 2018.

So there ya have it...the good the bad and the ugly for 2018 and the dreaming, hopeful, faith-filled aspirations of 2019. I hope you'll join me on the journey!

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Opening Photo by Vanessa Jeakins Photography

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