2022 Year in Review: Checking in on Projects and Life


Well, here we are again, sitting at the close of one year as another one sprawls ahead of us. Or at least we were a couple of weeks ago. Though I am only now publishing this post mid-January, it feels like the beginning of something since we spent the first two weeks of the year in Arizona.

There’s nothing quite like coming home to remind you of all the things you like about your house, the small comforts of art you love hanging on the walls, and everyone being silently aware of which seat on the couch is theirs (just kidding, all of them are Lia’s). In that way, I’m glad I waited to get this post out, as I can review our progress from a more positive and comfortable mindset than I may have at the actual conclusion of last year.

Today, we’re looking back on 2022. For a quick vibe check, let’s check out our Christmas card last year vs. this year:

2022 Year in Review

(Feel free to skip this section if you just want to read about project progress!)

This year was a challenging one for me physically and emotionally, filled with exhaustion and resistance to said exhaustion. I stared at unfinished painting projects from the couch, dreading the inevitable crash if I took them on, but knowing I was delaying progress by leaving them untouched. I took baby steps and crashed. I was really coming out of a 2-year long covid haze, and just struggling to figure out what life looks like now.

Facing questions about whether (or why) we are “STILL” working on our house was—still is—painful. We’re “STILL” working because the scope of the project has changed wildly, because we took on numerous massive projects at once, because we’re new to DIY, and because we both have jobs. In short, we’re “STILL” working because we couldn’t have done it in less time. But also, we’re “STILL” working on it because I have a chronic illness that leaves me wiped after work, that limits what my body can physically handle, and that cuts off my creativity randomly and without warning.

I just feel so behind—people on TV and the The Internet accomplish whole home renovations in 6 weeks! I am left with incomplete rooms, not to mention incomplete blog posts about them. I am tired, so unbelievably tired.

But I also feel like moving slowly on certain items has been good for us. We’ve come up with new ideas and solutions, we’ve had the bandwidth to move quickly when unexpected items come up, we’ve had the space to pivot.

We also have ideas for changes, second iterations, next projects, and new paint colors. So maybe the answer is that we’re “STILL” working because we may always be, because our space might not feel “done” ever. And I think that’s okay, too.

Checking In On Our 2022 Punch List

And here we are, checking in on the list I wrote in early 2022, outlining 10+ projects we wanted to complete in 2022!

Most of these were at least somewhat in progress, some are complete now, almost all of them changed in some way. But it is, of course, fun to see how far we’ve come (even if it doesn’t always feel like enough). I am excited to share more about our 2023 goals tomorrow, but this will serve as a bit of a preview.

Completed Projects

First up, we’re sharing the items that got completed from our punch list of 10 items! Due to the aforementioned exhaustion, I didn’t find it in me to share completed reveals but I do hope to share those final images and every little detail, coming very soon.

The first big project of the year was completing the flooring across the main floor—we went with engineered wood and we love it. There is also a tile section, which you can read more about here, and I still need to share the details of the tile we completed in the entryway. Overall, flooring was (unsurprisingly) the foundation of every single project we worked on this year!

  • Primary Bedroom

As far as our bedroom goes—you can see the plans here—everything is completed, I just need to do one tiny drywall patch (classic) before I can take photos and publish a reveal post! It is such a zen space and we really missed the dark, calming energy when we were traveling recently. A dark bedroom is SO good for sleep.

  • The Powder Bathroom

Our powder bathroom actually ended up the first room we can call completely done (because of the aforementioned drywall patch in the bedroom). Final blog post is coming very soon for this room, but in the meantime, tide yourself over with a mood board here.

  • The Kitchen

I’m calling it done even though we still need to put in a new vent hood and some baseboards! This was a huge and very exhausting project, and I can’t wait to share the details of the creative storage options we installed. We were inspired by a number of cool black kitchens, and I shared our kitchen mood board here.

Nearly Complete Projects

I tend to be ambitious when creating my to-do list, and this year was no different. That said, we made HUGE progress in many spaces, especially considering the changes in scope and all the little details that need to come together in these spaces. These rooms are functioning great right now, but mostly need little details like art on the walls:

  • The Entryway, Living Room, and Dining Room

These three spaces are all connected so I grouped them together. We just need baseboards, and then little things like curtains hung, wallpaper installed, final lighting installation, and art, to call these rooms complete. Of course, we may continue adding special details like trim or wall decor—we may never feel done with these rooms we use so often. Check out our dining room plans here. For a preview of the living room, check out this post about our bookshelves (or scroll up and look at our fireplace progress).

  • The Laundry Room

This room is functioning great for us but hasn’t otherwise been a priority since it isn’t a space guests see. We’re still hoping to hang a couple of shelves and get new hampers for laundry. See our laundry room mood board here.

  • The Home Gym and Guest Room

These rooms are both essentially done but need artwork, mirrors, shelves, hooks, etc. on the walls. They just haven’t been a top priority while I haven’t had any energy for workouts, and we haven’t really had guests! Wondering what our plans are? Find home gym inspiration here and guest room details here.

Projects that Need Some Work

These projects got de-prioritized as we focused on some scope changes, but at least the Pantry is going to get started in the next week or so, along with the closet.

  • The Pantry and Mudroom/Closet

We are diving into these two projects to kick off the year! Our old pantry is going to become a coat closet, and the previous coat closet (you can see it in this post) is going to become the pantry. I know this might seem confusing, but it’s going to much more functional! More details, inspiration, and pantry plans coming soon.

  • Complete Bar and Shelving in the Basement

The basement has been very neglected ever since our initial push painting the ceiling, drywalling, etc. It’s been totally functional, just a bit disorganized and chaotic. I have had so many requests for basement updates, so I will be sure to share as soon as it’s presentable, but we didn’t get to it in 2022.

  • My Vegetable Garden

The garden actually did get started in the fall, when we installed pea gravel where the garden will be. In the spring, hopefully, we will build the boxes themselves so we can fill them with soil and get to planting. The season may be a bit delayed, depending on when we get it done, but we have a plan!

Scope Change: Have the Exterior Painted

Here is the big change that ended up taking a lot of time and energy away from other projects: “have the exterior painted” snowballed into a total exterior renovation.

We got new black windows (along with new interior trim that I had to paint), a new, relocated front entrance, had the “eyebrow” removed from the exterior, and got new soffits, fascia, and gutters. We also had a huge sliding glass door installed where a window previously was, had a ton of stucco patched, finished the front addition, and, finally, had the house painted.

Looking Back on 2022

No matter how you feel about New Year resolutions and goal setting, you have to admit that a new year is a natural time to reflect.

Plus, it’s fun to be able to look back on these blog posts and see how our plans and priorities change over the course of year. Even when we think we have everything planned and figured out, we change ideas, pivot, and re-prioritize so much!

Stay tuned—tomorrow, I’ll be sharing our goals and plans for 2023! I can’t wait to look back next year and see how far we’ve come.

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