• Jennifer Laura

Projects I Thought I Would Tackle This Year vs. How Did I Do?

Last January, I wrote this post about all of the projects that were on deck for the upcoming year. I thought it would be fun to unpack this old post and see- how did I do? What projects did I tackle and which ones didn't even make it onto my radar.


1. The Kitchen-

What I said in January: We don't have the budget for a big kitchen renovation this year and our current kitchen isn't super problematic (this is a photo from the house listing, but other than what's in the cabinets it looks the same).

before kitchen photo

It was actually one of my favorite spaces in this house when we first saw it and while I would love to one day make some huge changes, this year I want to do a few little band-aid fixes that are going to make the space feel more like us. The lighting needs to go- all of it, swap out the hardware on the cabinets, and update our breakfast nook with new furniture, among other things.

before breakfast nook

How did I do?

A+ I think I nailed this one! The kitchen was one of the first projects I tackled in 2021 and our quick $2,000 makeover with our painted granite countertops easily became the most popular (and controversial) project I did all year.

white and gold timeless kitchen makeover

The breakfast nook had a nice little refresh too...

blue classic grandmillenial breakfast nook, farrow and ball parma grey

I even revisited this space this fall and repainted the walls. I still love the blue, but the ivory keeps it feeling more consistent with the kitchen since it's all connected.

classic timeliness grandmillenial breakfast nook

2. Laundry Room/Mud Room

What I said in January: This room is right behind our kitchen and where we walk into the house from our detached garage.

laundry room before
laundry room before

It's a really great space and pretty functional with some "lockers" and cabinetry that's already built in, but I would love to make it a lot prettier by adding some tile, maybe painting the cabinetry, updating the floor in some way (these brown tiles are in a few places in our home and I want them gone).

How did I do?

D+ I could give myself an F here because the truth is I haven't touched this space this year, but BUT! I do have this space completely planned out. I haven't shared it yet, but a mood board has happened. Wallpaper and tile have been chosen and ordered (!!). The laundry room will very likely be one of the first spaces I tackle in 2022, stay tuned!


3. Finish our main bedroom

What I said in January: I feel like the closer I get to finishing this space the more I envision changing it...I'm pretty close to locking in on curtains, but now I'm second guessing the paint color and we still have two ceiling fans that while super functional are a huge eyesore...I would love to get this space squared away once and for all...but maybe I'll be tweaking it forever.

farrow and ball de nimes

How did I do?

B+ While I did stick a fork in our bedroom and call it done, I never got around to getting rid of the ceiling fans. There are still a few changes I would like to make in there, but I did get the curtains hung, and this space was featured on Apartment Therapy (they said it looked like it belonged in a fancy hotel), so we'll call this a partial win.

grandmillenial bedroom, farrow and ball de nimes

grandmillenial bedroom seating area, farrow and ball de nimes

4. Finish Lincoln's room

What I said in January: I have high hopes that I can finish my three year old Lincoln's room this week- more on that soon! I can't wait to see how it turns out, but in the meantime, here's how it's looking right now...

toddler bedroom cloud light fixture

How did I do?

A+ I think I did finish Lincoln's room later that same week back in January. This was my first big makeover project and I still love how it turned out!

It was also my first project that went viral on Tik Tok! It was featured on Apartment Therapy, People Magazine's Instagram page, and so many other places. This was the project that made me think... maybe I can really do this.


5. Finish Phoenix's Room

What I said in January: My eight year old Phoenix's room was pretty much first on the priority list when we moved in last year and I did most of it while I was still running my wedding planning business. Unfortunately, that means that most of it went undocumented.

blue bedroom before

But I really just bought a lot of expensive furniture (that I now regret, but we're keeping) and plopped it down.

blue bedroom before

I did do a few fun projects (wallpapering his closet) and have plans to re-paint, hang a few fun things on the wall so we can finally feel like his room is completely finished.

How did I do?

B+ I kept the big bulky furniture like I planned and worked with it- I added a gallery wall, re-painted, and completed a few fun DIY projects. And while Phoenix's room makeover didn't knock anyone's socks off, I did finish it! And he loves it- and that's all that matters right?

tween boy room with pottery barn bunk bed

framebridge the staggered grid gallery wall

6. Finish the front room

What I said in January: This is the first room you see when you walk in our home and right now it doesn't look terrible, but most of that furniture has now been moved into our bedroom so I'm on the hunt for some more pieces for in here.

traditional neutral living room

I would also like to swap out the curtains, add molding to the walls, and maybe do something with the ceiling...

How did I do?

F- I'm giving myself a failing grade for this one. This is a space I wish I had been able to complete this year! I started thinking about this space in September, but I got a little stuck on finding "the perfect sofa". (This is the one I wanted, but knew I couldn't afford). Before I knew it, it was time to decorate for Christmas and this room was just not coming together. Ie. it looked like this... a random hodge podge of mis-matched furniture.

BUT! The good news is that I did find the sofa of my dreams (on Marketplace) and I do have a plan now... this room is on track to get the ball rolling come January.


7. Dining Room

What I said in January: I don't think we'll finish this room this year, but I do hope we make some headway.

traditional neutral dining room

I want to wallpaper above the wainscoting, add an antique gold chandelier, get a real table (this is a card table with a linen on it-ha!), and also a real buffet for behind the table. The main reason I don't think we'll finish is because I'm just waiting to find the right furniture pieces on Facebook Marketplace or in thrift/antique stores...I could find them tomorrow or I it could be a few years. I also keep waffling on wallpaper choices in here.

How did I do?

A- It's so fun to go back and read that I thought I would only be making progress in this room this year and I actually finished it for the spring One Room Challenge!

grandmillenial pink and blue dining room

I did end up going back to make a few tweaks (which turns out is something I do with just about every single space I make over), but this room is finished.

grandmillenial blue mural dining room, papiers de paris swan lake

The only reason I'm giving myself an A- is because I would still like to swap out the chairs for something a little lighter.


8. More progress in the living room

What I said in January: This is a room I've conceptualized a few times and I know I want to add curtains and molding, update the fireplace (more brown tiles!), but I haven't landed on a super solid direction for this room yet. Right now we're dealing with a pottery barn sofa and some pottery barn chairs that we all picked very deliberately for this space, but now it's looking a bit generic...

living room before
neutral gold and blue christmas decorations

I also struggle with the fact that this room isn't symmetrical and we have the built-ins only on one side and then a cased opening on the other. Which leads to the kitchen, if we closed it off we would lose the flow throughout our home, but it does still irk me...not sure there is a solution. I do love the one built-in, just wish the room felt a bit more symmetrical.

How did I do?

D+ I did think about this room a lot this year. And I did drop the blue sofa for the front room in here temporarily since the front room is occupied by a Christmas tree so this room looks especially pretty right now.

pink and blue grandmillenial christmas decorations

But after Christmas this room will go back to looking pretty ordinary. I do have some immediate plans for the fireplace (the tile has been ordered!), but I think this room will continue to evolve over time as I figure the rest of it out.


9. Main Bedroom Closet

What I said in January: The last project I have rolling around in my mind is our closet. It's a nice large closet (much larger than our last home), but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

closet before

It's technically the closet under the stairs (see that diagonal ceiling) just expanded a bit and it's just a struggle point for me. It feels ugly and like it's constantly disorganized...I don't have enough space for my photography gear, shoes, hats, or vacuum...I would love to plan this space out better and put in cabinetry for a more custom look in there.

closet before
closet before

But even though this space irks me, it's not a huge deal- no one sees it but me and it's semi-functional so I can definitely see this space getting pushed to the back burner for another year...we'll see.

F- This space did in fact get pushed. That's ok, reading what I wrote last year I can't say I'm surprised, it still doesn't feel like a huge priority. I did do a little summer organizing in here, but other than that it looks about the same except about 50% more crowded because it's filled to the brim with Christmas presents right now.


So those were the projects I thought I would tackle this year vs. how I actually did. Not too bad right? Especially considering I also tackled two projects that were not even on my radar like the backyard and my niece Harley's room. I can't wait to share with you what projects I have my eye on in 2022!


Want to read more?

Our $2k kitchen makeover reveal

Updates in the dining room

My favorite blue paint colors

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ABOUT ME

Hi, I'm Jennifer Laura- you can call me Jenn. My husband and I just bought a house in our dream neighborhood and we are so excited to be here! The house, while already beautiful, NEEDS A LOT OF LOVE and STYLE. Join me, a past interior designer and wedding planner, as I work to make over each room and share the process along the way.