Year in Review: 2017 Highlights

As I write this post at more than 8 months pregnant, I can no longer balance my laptop on my stomach : ) that is to say that a huge personal highlight of this year was finding out we were pregnant in May. Also, between summer of 2016 and the end of this year we’ve renovated or updated every single room in the house!! (with the exception of the first floor bathroom, basement and backyard).

We hope to get to those in the next year or so. You can find all our home renovation posts under THE WARWICK RENO. Our HOME TOUR, was a really popular post and contains all the downstairs renovation photos. We are so excited to share the second floor before and after photos, and should be able to do that this month or next – very soon!

The new baby girl, due at the end of January / early Feb. 2018 certainly accounted for a good amount of content of this year:

First, we announced we were PREGNANT, and then I shared tips and favorite gifts from our BABY SHOWER, designed the NURSERY and finally, discussed preparations and holistic ideas for the end of pregnancy with our MATERNITY PHOTOS.

centered by design maternity photos

Professionally, it was my biggest year yet!! 2017 was my first official year in business solely as Centered by Design (no side hustles or freelancing for other designers) AND I opened a small brick and mortar studio! Some of most exciting and gratifying memories from this year include:

MARCH: THIS BLOG WON BIG!! Named Best Blog Writing 2017 by The Design Bloggers Conference. Going to the conference in California was incredibly worthwhile. I met lots of inspiring designers, bloggers and brands. I highly recommend investing in yourself and your business with a conference like this!

APRIL: I was interviewed on my first PODCAST. Not just any podcast, but A Well-Designed Business with LuAnn Nigara, who spoke at the DBC conference and has interviewed so many fabulous designers and leaders in the industry. It was a true honor and so much fun to talk with LuAnn. Also, the first phase of our HOME RENO (The Warwick Reno) was featured in the Chicago Tribune (on the front cover of the home section!).

MAY: Taking part as a designer in the LAKE FOREST SHOW HOUSE in collaboration with The Infant Welfare Society was a dream come true! It was scary and intimidating as a newbie, but I had friend and collaborator Relativity Textiles with me, and we made the best damn hallway and bathroom we could! Lots of people took notice and our bathroom was featured by Schumacher, and the hall by Circa Lighting.

lake forest show house 2017 hall

JUNE – AUGUST: Summer was busy with client projects, we began renovating our second floor and took a family trip to JACKSON HOLE, WY. This colorful CLIENT PROJECT and family home was one of my favorites.

SEPTEMBER: We created a company video and it turned out great! You can watch the 3 minute video right here:

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER: Our LakeView, Chicago design studio opened! I partnered with my colleague and friend, Wendy of Studio 912 to create the studio space where we both run our businesses and partner on many renovations. Check out the full STUDIO TOUR.

Sending love and light and thanks to all clients, friends and strangers who have offered kind words, encouragement and their trust this year. I worked super hard on the business and hope to keep the business going while devoting more time to my family and becoming a mom in 2018. The plan is to keep offering inspiration on the blog too! So come back and check-in often!

Much love, XO CLAIRE