My Biggest and Best DIY Projects of 2021!

January 07, 2022

A round up of my biggest and best DIY makeovers of 2021! 

I love this time of the year! It's fun to look back at all that I accomplished in our home and plan for the next year!

I'm pretty sure I did more DIY makeovers this year than I ever have. As our son gets older, I'm able to tackle projects a bit quicker. 

That is until marching band season hits in the fall! Ha! (If you know, you know.)

My DIY experience helps too -- large builds that used to take me months now only take a few weeks. 

It also helps tremendously that I wait until I'm SURE of what I want to do. I find that I need to sit on projects for a bit to ensure I really love the plan. 

I'm rounding up my biggest and best DIY makeovers of 2021 here, and then will touch on some I hope to tackle this year!

Remember while looking through these that this is my job and my passion! Don't compare my progress to that of a normal household! :) 

Mud room and laundry combo makeover.

I never thought I'd love having a mud room space and laundry combined after our last home, but with all the space we have it's a winner for sure. 

It just wasn't functioning well. And since so many of our guests come into the house this way, I wanted to make it a prettier entry. 

The bones in this room were wonderful -- the faux marble ceramic tile and our mud room bench are great. 

But I knew it could all look and function so much better: 
folding table in laundry room

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faux marble ceramic tile

folding table laundry room

I moved the upper cabinets and added base cabinets (all drawers, which is AWESOME), so we have a great spot to hold all of our laundry and utility needs: 

blue floral wallpaper laundry room

blue base cabinets white uppers

I added some function to our utility closet by making it a spot for the cat litter as well. 

Our cats LOVE having a private spot and we love that we don't have to look at it every day. :) 

The wallpaper in here is the star of the show, it's SO pretty. I adore this space and am so proud of how it turned out: 
floral wallpaper mud room

My IKEA closet makeover. 

Function was really the name of my game this year. We've lived in our home for four years, and in that time I've figured out what works and what doesn't. 

One space that wasn't working is my closet. I appreciated all of the space, but it was designed for only hanging clothes. 

I needed storage for folded clothes more than anything. 

So what sometimes looked like this: 
wire shelving closet organization

Usually looked like this: 
replacing wire shelves in closet

wire shelves mess in closet

It's only been a few months since I finished this makeover and I already can barely even remember what a mess it used to be. 

This is one of my all time favorite makeovers in terms of functionality for SURE. 

If you can tackle ONE space this year, let it be your closet! 

I can't even tell you what a difference this newly organized space makes in my days: 
IKEA Pax unit closet makeover

Ikea Kallax hack for closet

You can see the Kallax hack I used to create all of that folded clothing storage and then the full reveal of the IKEA Pax closet here

I've started the process of prettying it up a bit more over the past couple of months. It's SO lovely! I'll be sharing more of that with you soon.

Our garage decrapification and organization reveal.

Yep...making spaces work better for us was definitely a trend last year!

I really wanted certain parts of our house to work better for us. Like I mentioned before, I always recommend living in your space for awhile before starting a makeover. 

I find I make the best decisions on both form and function if I wait it out a bit. 

I've never had a true workshop in either of our garages, and I figured that after 13 years of blogging, and 25+ years of was time. 

I don't have many before pictures, but I tackled our entire garage, top to bottom. I cleaned away the cobwebs, purged (or decrapified) tons and figured out exactly how I wanted to organize every. little. thing:
small tool storage garage

I got as much as possible off the ground -- use your garage wall space as much as possible my friends!: 
using garage wall space organization

That made a tremendous difference, and this spot still looks just as good now. That's the sign of successful organization! 

I've always made my own work benches -- usually out of scrap wood: 
scrap wood work bench

But I needed more space to work, and a spot to properly store my tools. 

I invested in some quality storage and a work bench, and this newly organized garage wall has improved my productivity 100 percent!:
garage tool storage rolling bench

You can see the full garage reveal with all of the details here!

Basement family room built in and makeover.

Second to adding storage, it was the year of the basement in our house! :) 

Early last year I tackled the biggest DIY project I've ever attempted! We have a HUGE wall (18 feet to be exact) in our basement that I had plans for: 
plain wall before built ins

The rest of the basement family room had great bones -- we LOVE our big sectional! I wanted it to feel a little more cozy down there: 
large Lazboy sectional

large sectional basement family room

I started by painting the walls a dark gray called Westchester Gray. 

Then the giant entertainment center built in happened a year ago and I'm still so proud of it!: 
Westchester gray bookcase wall

I later added that simple "frame" trim on the walls, along with the crown molding: 
DIY box frame trim

And now this space is SO cozy but has a sophisticated feel at the same time. 

It has been our favorite place to hang out over the past year: 
dark gray basement family room

I have another fun project I've been working on down here I'll be sharing with you very soon! It turned out so good! 

Heavy duty kitchen shelving.

I didn't do much in our kitchen this last year, but the one project I did work on made a huge impact. 

This one as a long time coming...I wanted to do more with this spot where our kitchen shelves hung: 
simple shelves metal bracket

I planned to turn this spot into a beverage center for all of our wine, hot chocolate and coffee needs. 

I first built some super sturdy open shelves to replace the thin ones, then extended that tile up to the ceiling
floating shelves wine glass storage

Even I was surprised at the impact this made in our kitchen! It gives the whole room more of a custom look and we all love it. 

We also love having our wine glasses within reach, and now have more space in our other cabinets. 

When it comes to plans for the upcoming year, I've learned that the spaces I think I'll tackle rarely turn out to be what I focus on. ;) 

But there are a few must do's and couple I'd love to work on in 2022!

1. Finish up the pantry.

One is our pantry redo that I shared with you a few months ago. 
box trim on wall with sconce

I shared the peel and stick tile backsplash I picked (this was so easy!):
peel and stick marble tile backsplash

Since then the pantry has been almost finished and fully functional, but I still have a list of to do's and projects I want to share with you! 

This one is high on my list to finish up early this year. 

2. Backyard additions and more trees!

Our back patio is looking great after a bunch of projects over the past couple years: 
patio with string lights

And now we're hoping to spread out and focus on the yard a bit more. We have a much bigger yard than our last house, so we've been planning out some additional projects and landscaping.

I'll definitely be adding a raised garden bed area this spring. I've been years since I've had a full garden and I miss it! 

This garden area will be more permanent and I hope to make it as pretty as possible. 

3. More closet makeovers!

I finally worked on our coat closet earlier this year and even that little space has made for less stress. 

I plan to tackle our linen closet that no longer looks this good: 
organized linen closet

With all of the additional storage I've created this year, this space has changed quite a bit. It's time to decide on what will live in here and get it functioning better. 

My husband is jealous of my beautiful closet now, so I hope to makeover his smaller closet as well. IKEA inventory was touch and go months ago, so I'm hoping it's better now. 

Now I know more about the process and plan to order as much as I can at the start!

4. The big basement project.

This one has been on my list for years now, and we still haven't started it. :) 

Our basement kitchenette will be SO day. It won't be a cheap project, and since I do as much as I can myself, will take months to complete: 
unfinished basement kitchenette with table

I'd love to get it to the point where we have running water...just a sink would be awesome! 

In the scheme of things that is an amazing bonus space that we don't really need to do anything with, so we'll see. 

I go where the winds take me! 😂 Who knows what is in store for this year?

I love taking a break over the holidays, and about this time every year I'm dreaming up new projects. I can't wait to start and am thankful to have you reading along with me! 

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  1. Amazing! Everything you've done looks stunning, and I appreciate that you take us along for the journey! :) Happy 2022!

  2. Whew! That is a lot of work especially to get done in a single year and looks absolutely fabulous! Somehow I missed the original post on the garage decrapification (love that word.) Since that has been on my list for a long, long time, 2022 might be the year I get it done thanks to all of your inspiration. Just getting it decrapified will definitely be a huge improvement. I love your storage work bench (a bit out of my price range) and the rolling work bench which I might be able to swing and definitely need for my saw which is stored in a shelving unit and is a pain to get out and put away. Also your wood storage solution! Brilliant. Mine is stored under my little work bench and I can never get to the piece I need. I am so inspired by all of your wonderful projects my head is swimming with my own ideas for 2022. Thanks so much for sharing all of this! Wishing you much happiness and success in the new year!

  3. Sarah you got so much done last year! I love your backyard! I have a question about your fence. We are considering the aluminum one as well as I think it looks the most classic however we have no privacy at this point and trees and shrubs will take a while to grow in. Would you choose this fence again or would you choose a vinyl fence that would provide instant privacy? Thanks :-)

    1. That's a hard one! We love the look of ours and it works well for our dog (he and the neighbor dogs like to hang out at the fence). I think I'd rather spend on the trees that will add more value down the road and keep our fence. Look into the fluffy arborvitae trees -- they give a lot of instant privacy and grow VERY fast!

  4. What is the paint color in the entertainment room with the builtins?


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!