Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I 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!

2021 house project recap!

It's almost the end of the year already and... I can hardly believe that in 2022 we will celebrate four years in this house! So I’ve done these project goals lists several times before for this same house… Over the course of a year, or several, the projects really add up and it’s incredible how much we’ve done! Little by little.

I checked back on my 2021 house goals/project list to see how we did. That was quite a list. Very ambitious. Especially since we had a 4-month old a year ago and Jason had just finished school and was about to start working. And honestly, this year has been pretty hard for us at times and after my June office renovation project when the stress really took over I decided to prioritize my mental health over checking things off, and we’ve really slowed down. So actually I would say my biggest/most important project in 2021 has been reducing stress. I quit doing the podcast, I’ve slowed down on blog posts to only once/week, I find myself with time to watch TV and fold laundry sometimes (luxurious for me!)… I’m still working on it but I have really felt a huge change since June. But that’s not a house project, so I will definitely still share this list!

2021 house project progress


1. We did finish the path. It was one of the last things we did this summer/fall and we hired out the labor. We didn’t get to enjoy it much but we really do have some strong affectionate feelings for our backyard now so I’m sure we will as soon as we can!

2. GardenWe did garden this year, although even that was too much to handle at some points. We scaled back from last year in square footage of garden beds, but we did our own vegetable starts. I would honestly do that again; it was pretty easy, just need to plan early enough. We still purchased a couple of starts but we did saved some money with the seeds that we grew. 

But the harvesting once things were ripe was almost too hard for us! Jason's work schedule means I have the kids by myself for afternoons/evenings a week, and our weekends are just always so short, so it was hard to just pick tomatoes and zucchini! We’re not sure what will do next year on the garden front.

3. Back patio! This space got a huge upgrade when we had the old hot tub removed. I wish we had done it way sooner! Cost less than $500 and the guys removed it in seriously about half an hour, while I was in a meeting. Just took a few minutes of me searching around on Craigslist ads to find some people who did that type of service and who could come out quickly. 

Our power washer isn’t working so we didn’t power wash the deck, but we did set up a nice eating area out here and really enjoyed it! Got our nice new Traeger grill, some string lights… this space is set! (Well, not anymore, because we had to pack away all the furniture for the rainy season!)

4. Yard, front entry. We’ve also been doing some other landscaping and exterior improvements, just small things here and there. Planted some more grass seed in several areas, went to this really cool contractor landscape supply yard and bought some hydrangeas and boxwoods and other things for the front. Stained the front door. Almost replaced the lantern on the front porch light but the first one I ordered didn’t work, so hopefully soon.


1. Bedrooms. We moved our bedrooms upstairs at the end of last year and it felt so good to just have larger, more private space, but we haven’t finished our bedroom with a style that I really love. It’s fine and it’s comfortable, but it’s not my dream space. So maybe this doesn’t go on this list? I’ll save it for the 2022 projects post! Otto's room is also so, so close. Just one more DIY project I want to do, unless I can also find an antique shelf. But I think I’m about ready to call it done.

We did finish Lucy‘s room. Favorite room in the house! Took me a while because I wanted that exact pendant light from IKEA and they kept being out of stock. But finished her room in May and have been enjoying it since!

2. My closet. I painted my closet a fun color and moved the rods back and moved the shelves around so it's much more usable now! And no longer stained and cracked 80-year-old white paint.

3. Entry. I wallpapered this entry vestibule at our front door, what a difference! I actually wish I had used a little bit more exciting wallpaper? But still very happy to have something here.

4. Office. In May/June I did the spring One Room Challenge and made over our office. I work out of there and was pretty embarrassed by how it was looking! Plus it wasn’t really functional and it was really cluttered; it had just collected things as we had moved our bedrooms around. So it felt really good to put some style into that room, and I made the bold choice of painting the original wood trim, which we haven’t done anywhere else in this house. (Don’t worry, it was in bad shape.)

5. Tiling the fireplace surround. Another project I wish I'd done years ago! It was super easy and I love how it looks.

6. Style and pattern. This isn’t a room/project individually, but I said at the beginning of this year that I want to add more color, wallpaper, pattern, and interest to our home and make it feel more traditional/English country, less southern California modern traditional. Well, a few examples: vintage Ethan Allen floral chair and even floral striped couch! Block print everything. Floral curtains in the dining room. Blue/green office! (I've added a lot of DIY tutorials for fun ways to add pattern this year--check out my Tutorials page.)

I’d say I have been succeeding at that goal, although now it’s feeling a little chaotic and I think I need to get more focused. I still want to add more color and pattern, but… more on that in the 2022 house goals post!

If you don't already, I highly encourage you to make goals lists and check back on your progress. It can be really depressing to look around a house with lots of things you'd like to change, but... the progress really adds up and looking back feels so good!

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