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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

2020 home project recap!

I have to say our major accomplishments of this year have been 1) we had a baby and 2) Jason graduated from physical therapy school. But those are just top of mind...! Looking back, we did a ton of other important things to our home, too. 

I also can compare our actual progress to our 2020 house goals list... we did pretty well!, but we shifted focus partway through the year when we thought more seriously about the logistics of adding another baby to our family. So we did things that we didn't think we'd get to this year!


2020 home improvement project progress

Going in order of the 2020 house goals list... here's how we did! (You can also read our 2019 projects and 2019 progress for this house. We've come a long way!)


1. Roof

Done! It was expensive, about $18k like we expected, plus $1,500 or so for replacement gutters and new gutters on the gazebo and part of the garage. We had these parts of our exterior done first, back in February. Most houses wouldn't be this expensive in this area, but ours is steep and had three layers of old roofing to demo first. Here's my post all about the roof replacement.


Here's the post about the gutters that we had done right after the roof. Here's the spot where we had gutter added--will protect this window trim from more peeling, and keep mud splatter off the siding here.

2. Garage door


Done! We didn't reinforce the header like we'd planned but instead added a nice steel post, and had a custom extra-wide garage door made. (Someone had removed the center siding at one point to turn two garage doors into one, and it was sagging so bad!)

3. Exterior painting


Done! Oh, it felt SOOOO good to have that done, but we had to do the roof and gutters first. Here's the blog post all about the exterior painting, and the pictures above are from after it was painted. Hooray!!

4. Replace fence


Done! I have to leave the before pic in this because OMG, it was so bad before. Only 4' high on the street side, which we couldn't even tell when we bought the house because it was so overgrown! (see the true befores in this post and this post). It was $3,800 for the new fence (we have three sides of backyard) but so worth it. It made a HUGE difference for curb appeal but also it's so much nicer to be in our backyard now!! We spent a lot of time outside back there this summer!

5. Landscaping


Partially done. We dug up our backyard this March (again--it had gotten weedy and packed down after being tilled the fall before) and planted grass seed. This was our first summer having a nice green backyard to play in! We felt so grateful every time we kicked a ball around with Otto this summer.

We also set up a lot of garden beds, on the perimeter of the grass, by that new gutter, and even in the front yard.

We also planted grass in the part of our front yard right in front of our big window, and that did well. We got some of the groundcover planted north of the main path, and spent some time weeding here and there on the front and sides. But it's still not done, and still looks a little too messy for my taste. We planted grass seed on the side yard, but not until October and it's not really growing much (north side of the house, not getting much sun this winter). 

Bonus project was making our gazebo really awesome! After we'd had the roof, gutters, and painting done, we cleaned it up and stained the ceiling, and added some nice decor. It was great for enjoying this summer, and we even had a couple of socially distanced small parties/friends over in it!

6. Basement


Not done. All we did was remove the gross shower stall. It's still cobwebby and dark down there. Hope to add some more bulbs and clean it up, and paint the walls, improve the shelving... but that feels pretty overwhelming right now and low priority. I'm desperate for an organized garage first, and several other little projects around the house!

Style goals!


As I shared in my 2020 goals post, I wanted "simple but not boring, and using more antique or vintage pieces and less mass-produced stuff." More antique stores/thrifting, less big box. Well... starting the first week of March it wasn't really possible to go out thrifting much. I have a few times but I've had to get resourceful. Bought an antique dresser on Facebook Marketplace and painted it, that sort of thing. 

Here are some fave decor projects I've done this year... I've been working toward the more character/vintage look for sure!

In January we replaced the wood, really widely spaced balusters on our stair landing railing, and cleaned up the upstairs hall.

In April we worked with what we had so that I could have a nice work from home office. Made such a difference for my attitude on my long days working!

Also this spring I recovered a couple of storage ottomans with a neutral plaid fabric. We love them for toy storage and now I love how they look, too!

This summer, right before baby Lucy joined us, I did a final update to our bedroom and loved it so much. We've since moved our rooms upstairs--that is actually the biggest interior update of 2020, the whole room shuffle. But here's our downstairs bedroom looking its best.

I am always tweaking our living room... this summer we got a new rug, switched the location of the couch and bookcases, and added sconces.
Then on Thanksgiving weekend we finally decided to mount the TV over the fireplace. I've been meaning to blog about that but in the meantime you can see how it looks now in our holiday home tour.

For the fall One Room Challenge we redid our upstairs bathroom. LOVE this room now! I wanted to get this done before we moved our bedrooms upstairs.

Final (completed) project of this year was our stair runner!

We're still working on FOUR great room renos: Otto's room (what was previously that nice office we made for me), our new bedroom upstairs, Lucy's room (the pointy-ceiling room off the largest bedroom upstairs), and then the ugly stepchild leftover office which was previously Otto's room.

I've been sharing progress on these on my Instagram, and I'll share our 2021 goals here soon!

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