Before/After, Goals, Home Projects, Homemaking

2021 House + Yard Projects Update

Seeing as it’s been a loooong time since I’ve done a house update (around 6 months, in fact), I figured it’s high time I give a progress update on how the house and yard projects we wanted to complete in 2021 are going.

When I made up the list in February, we were still riding the high motivation train that comes from having just moved into a new place, and we were also in full-on project mode (as it’s basically all we’d been working on every spare weekend and evening for months). When I made up that list, I had no idea that I would be starting the flower farm business (I just thought I’d be doing a large cutting garden for myself), so the priorities have definitely shifted and changed. With that being said, you’ll understand why we’ve gotten MORE done in the yard than what we’d originally planned and much, much less done in the house than we were hoping.

However, we still have nearly half a year left to take on some of these projects, and I have plans to actually start pulling together some before/after posts of specific rooms soon (for real this time), so stay tuned!

I’ve copied each goal item (in bold) directly from the original post so you can see our original plans, and note that anything crossed out is a project we’ve fully completed, and anything else with text underneath it usually means we’ve made measurable progress. For more notes and details about each of the original goal items, check out the original post HERE.

Note: There are affiliate links in this post, which means I may get a small commission on any purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. I don’t make much money at all from blogging, but these small commissions do help me to pay for the behind-the-scenes costs of running a blog.


This is by far the room that needed the most work, and the one in which you can see the most drastic difference over the last 7 months. It took us a really long time to get the biggest piece done (the flooring), but now that we’re so close to being done with this space, it’s all been totally worth it!

How the eat-in area of the kitchen looked earlier this year
I finally have a kitchen floor! And a way to shut away the laundry area!!!
  • Replace the damaged subfloor in the kitchen and install new flooring
    • The subfloor (which had a big hole in it by our back door) was repaired several months back, when we were lucky enough to find a neighbor who does construction work on the side who agreed to do the job for a very reasonable price. Lack of time and motivation were all that kept us from doing this for the majority of the time since, but we finally (finally!) just finished putting in the floor this last weekend. Matt still needs to figure out how to finish off one tiny section and do the transition pieces from room to room, but I’m counting this as done!
  • Paint the kitchen island
    • This is the thing we’ve done since February that makes the biggest difference in the room other than the floor, and I love the color we decided on (a dark green: “Platypus”). I’d thought about painting the island white to match the cabinets, but I’m glad for the extra color in the room—it needs it.
  • Install new baseboards
  • Install simple wood shelves
The “Before” (earlier this year, in February) — notice the unpainted island and lack of floor
Currently, with our flooring finally in and the island painted
  • Put all the drawers back on
    • We had to take off all the drawer fronts to paint them, and I’ll admit it took us *ahem* a bit longer than it should have to get them all back on. But back on they are, and they’ve been that way for awhile now. Every little completed task has taken us one step closer to having a kitchen that I actually might want to spend some time in!
  • Do caulking along all the edges of the cabinets and trim
  • Put laundry closet doors back on
    • Once the floors were done, I begged Matt to put these up right before we had a bunch of friends over for a party so that we wouldn’t be staring at laundry all night, lol. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to the room finally having that area closed off! (Of course, now with everything in place, I realize how desperately white and blank and walls are, but one thing at a time!
The “Before”
Not a ton different, but the rug sure helps pull it all together!

Back Family Room

  • Set the standing gas fireplace back up in the family room
    • We attempted this by putting slate tiles down on the newly-installed LVP to provide a buffer to put the fireplace on. The only problem was, the slate tiles cracked and broke anytime we put any weight on them. We’ll have to figure out a different plan going forward.
  • Install new baseboards
  • Get new rug situated
    • It took about 6 adults to make this happen, but we did it, and now that rug is not going ANYWHERE, lol. (The rug we got was this one, in case you’re wondering.)

Front Room + Entry

The “Before,” complete with massive play house from Christmas that didn’t leave the house until the summer
What it looks like currently, with the dresser now moved in and minus the huge playhouse
Another current shot of the other part of the room. You can see why I want to replace those curtains / curtain rods!
  • Add a simple bench next to the front door
  • Get new curtains for the front room
  • Get two chairs for sitting area
    • We ordered a pair of these chairs (the brown faux leather ones in the below picture), and I absolutely love them! I got a killer deal on them for President’s Day, so they were just $200 apiece rather than the higher price they’re listed at now. Actually, they were technically even less than that since I went through Rakuten and got cash back for them!
The “Before,” complete with our massive fridge
  • Move fridge out
    • We took advantage of having friends over and asked them to help us out with this last weekend. True, I still walk into the front room to go to the fridge half the time, but it’s amazing to finally have the fridge back in the kitchen! The entry room looks about 10X bigger without it in there, and now the kitchen looks *nearly* complete.
  • Move side dresser in
    • The gray and white side dresser didn’t have a home before, so we’ve put it into the room off the entry for now (the one with the fireplace). I feel like it looks okay, but that room is kind of an awkward layout, so it’s been tricky deciding on a furniture arrangement that I like. For now it works.
Currently (no use putting in a Before because it basically looks the same)

Master Bedroom + Closet

  • Finish unpacking
    • I’ve done some, but not all. Now that I’ve started adding it as a line item on my monthly goals list, I’ve been making more steady progress. It’s at least a lot better than it was!
  • Add shelving in master bedroom
  • Figure out organizational system in closet
  • Paint master closet
  • Fix light in master closet
Currently (looks pretty similar to the Before, so this is all you get for this one, too)

Kids’ Rooms + Playroom

  • Move Raven into her own room and move the boys together
  • Hang up artwork in boys’ room
  • Hang up artwork in playroom
  • Install baseboards in playroom
  • Come up with organizational system for playroom
    • While I haven’t perfected an organizational system and still need to spend probably a good Saturday or two in there, I made ENORMOUS progress on this when I decluttered a huge number of toys out of there this month. Almost every toy has a specific-ish place where it belongs now, which is half the battle. Now I just need to clear off the shelves, perhaps make up some labels and buy a few tote bins, and that’ll be it.
Before, in the spring (early March)
Currently, 9 raised beds later

Yard Updates

  • Build 3-4 new raised garden beds
    • We overshot this one a bit—we’ve built 9 🙂
  • Build a sandbox for the kids
    • We purchased one quite awhile ago — this one from Wayfair if you’re curious — but we have yet to assemble it or fill it. I’m really hoping to for sure complete this by the end of the summer though.
  • Plant an apricot tree
    • We did this back in very early spring, but the tree isn’t doing well due to a hard growing season and poor soil conditions where we put it. We plan to get a new one next year and try again in a different spot.

Pretty crazy to look back and see how much has changed over the past half year or so. I’ll be curious to see if we’re able to cross anything else off this list before the year is up!

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