Skip to content
home | thoughts | The Best of JDC in 2016

The Best of JDC in 2016

    With the start of a new year, it gives us a chance to look back at the previous 365 days.

    I love going through old posts and remembering what happened throughout the year.  So here are the highlights and favorite posts from 2016:


    The year started with an impromptu video house tour.

    This was such a popular post that I’ll be copying it with a video house tour in our new house soon. There is just something about seeing how a house flows together through video that makes more sense than still photos.

    The new year also brought with it an important message about being kind to ourselves.

    Still something I’m learning and I love reading back over this post to remind myself.

    It only took two years, but I finally finished Audrey’s classically cute bedroom makeover.


    Coffee Chat videos became a thing. Here is the first one:


    I installed removable wallpaper all by myself and just loved how it turned out.

    And our Simplified Penmanship class opened up for the first time.

    I have so much fun teaching my favorite things in the form of online classes. We launched two in 2016 (penmanship and decorating) and have another coming in 2017!


    We worked on a mini budget friendly master bathroom update. I’m still pretty in love with this design board:

    I shared my top Spring Outfits.

    And we announced that we were headed out on a 4 month family Road Trip.


    The kitchen was missing something and we figured out what it was.

    My big sister let me share her gorgeous kitchen remodel.

    And my little sister did a quick weekend fireplace makeover that turned out so good.

    So much trip prep and planning. With 9 days to go before we left, our list was long and slightly overwhelming.


    Let the #jdcroadtrip begin!

    Our trip began by heading down the west coast from our home in Seattle.

    By the end of May we had made it to the Oregon Coast, Redwood Forest, San Francisco, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Zion + Bryce Canyon, Moab, Mesa Verde, Albuquerque and finished by staying with friends in Oklahoma. Whew.

    See all of the road trip posts HERE.

    We also took you on a tour of our Airstream trailer.


    We made it through the first month of our new traveling life! The travels continued through hot, wet and humid Texas, a few days in New Orleans and a vacation from the vacation on the Florida Gulf Coast.

    I shared my Summer Wardrobe which basically consisted of blue, white, denim and gray.

    By the end of June, we had traveled through St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston, the Outer Banks, and Virginia.


    We celebrated Independence Day in Washington, D.C. with my parents. It was such a cool experience after spending so much time learning early American history as we traveled up the east coast.

    Things slowed down as we spent longer times in each city. A week in D.C., a week in Philadelphia, a week in New York City.


    After all of the walking and sight-seeing, we were pretty much exhausted. Our quick pace caught up with us and it greatly impacted our next stops in the Northeast.

    This region (Watch Hill, RI, Boston, Cape Cod, Maine, upstate NY, Niagara) is one we went quickly through and definitely want to visit again to do it right.

    Our journey back across America included a drop down into Lexington and Nashville, a sleepover in St. Louis and a few very enjoyable days in Chicago. Another place we can’t wait to visit again.

    We left the big cities and spent the final portion of the #jdcroadtrip in scenic places like Mt. Rushmore, Jackson, WY and Yellowstone.

    And then – just like that – it was over.

    You can see all of the posts from our road trip HERE.


    Back at home and easing back into normal life and a new fall season.

    I did some reflecting on what home means and why Absolute Minimalism will never feel like home to me.


    I started the month by wishing myself a happy birthday with 37 (errr … 38) things.

    And a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! We bought a new house.

    And we chatted about changing decorating styles and opened my new Simplified Decorating course.

    image via @bradytolbert


    With fall in full swing, I shared nine of my Favorite Looks for Fall

    Our old house was on the market and quickly sold (yay!).

    We accidentally started a kitchen makeover.

    We launched a new House + Home shop


    December has been all about the new house. So many projects. Such a chaos. We’re making progress, though and things are looking much better.

    Work on the third floor was underway.

    I spent many evening painting over the orangy-wood trim.

    And somehow things were pulled together by Christmas. We worked hard … and still have so far to go. I couldn’t resist doing a quick house tour after Christmas just to document the progress.

    2016. What a year.

    I’m tired. :)

    In all honesty, this was a big year of trust, jumping, transition, inspiration, relationship, pulling back, pushing ahead, and a reprioritization of family.

    Ryan retired from fire fighting, we sold a house, bought a house, lived with friends, launched two classes and a new shop, remodeled the kitchen, third floor and studio, started new schools, found a new church, caught a mouse and have a phone that keeps telling me storage is almost full (I blame the thousand of road trip photos I haven’t organized yet).

    This is a year that we will never forget. And not just because it has been filled with really good things. It has also been really hard. We’ve grown a ton, had to think hard and have hard conversations. We don’t have it figured out and continue to seek wisdom and receive grace through it all.

    Our word for 2017 is confidence. That one was Ryan’s idea and I’m fully embracing. Confidence in our marriage, our family, ourselves, our faith, our business decisions, our design aesthetic – all of it.

    Thank you, as always, for being such a delightful part of our lives. We can’t wait to see what 2017 has to hold.




    18 thoughts on “The Best of JDC in 2016”

    1. Thank YOU ! for sharing everything with us . . . I just finished a book that I think you might enjoy : ROOTS AND SKY , Purifoy 2016

    2. I am tired from reading everything you’ve accomplished! Seriously, my hat is off to you for creating these wonderful spaces and such an enterprising and beautiful family.

    3. I never ever comment but this was so great. Love following along and especially keeping up with your IG adventures. You guys lived big and bold this year and I love it. You LIVED it! Many blessings for 2017!!

    4. I love it when you share from the heart, one of my favorite posts is An Addiction to More. You wrote that while 2016 was a great year, it was also a really hard year. I’d love to hear how you and your family have worked to figure out the issues that made it a hard year.

      These are especially challenging times and I find it important to learn new ways to work though times of trouble.

      Here’s to a 2017 filled with love and grace.

    5. I absolutely love your blog! I don’t even remember how long ago I started following it, and I didn’t often click through the emails, but once I started I was hooked. Your style is so simple, elegant, and soothing. I think your blog is responsible for my love of neutrals, and it’s making me want to experiment with adding such a dark beautiful dark gray in some rooms the way you have. Congratulations on a stellar year – I look forward to seeing what you have in store for 2017!

    6. Loved following along! One of my highlights from the year was meeting you at the Happy Hour live show Emily! Blessings on your family as you walk confidently into the plans the Lord has already prepared in advance for your life.

    7. Isn’t wonderful to have experienced all that in one year, survived, grown and moved on to the next?! You and your family are truly an inspiration…We love being a part of your life. Thank you for sharing all the ups and downs.

      Happy New Year! And all that implies :-)


    8. Thank you for including us in ALL of your adventures from 2016. Cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store of you, Ryan and the family. All the best!

    9. Hi Emily! I am a new reader that stumbled across your blog earlier this year – well, last year (crazy)! I came across your chalkboard tutorial on Pinterest, and I was immediately drawn to your beautiful home! My family and I have been in our home two years now and we are just starting to tackle projects bit by bit and you have been a great source of inspiration. I cannot wait to tag along as you share your new home! It’s going to be such an adventure!

      I have to say, I was brought in by your beautiful home images, but I will stick around because of your precious heart! I love the glimpses into your family life, and your coffee chats make me think we could be great friends!

      I just read your post about kindness, and it gave me goosebumps. It was no coincidence, I’m sure. Earlier this year I read “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist and spent the majority of my time reading it in tears. As a mom of two perfectly wild little boys, when things get overwhelming I tend to give myself far less grace than I would ever give anyone else. Your post was a perfect (and much needed) reminder as I head into the new year.

      This has gotten longer than I expected, but I wanted to pop in and say “Hi!” Confidence is a great word! I hope you draw strength from it, and I look forward to seeing what inspirations hit as you move boldly into 2017. I pray that you and your sweet family are showered with blessings. You are a treasure!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *