Our House

2021 Year In Review

Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by Kristi Linauer

At the end of every year, I do one of these “this is what I got done this year” posts. To be honest, I was kind of dreading doing this year’s post because I haven’t felt like I got much done this year. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that I really did get quite a bit done!

This was the year that things starting coming together. I was finally able to move three rooms from the “in progress” column to the “finished” column. I finished another area for the second time, after it was necessarily torn up a bit to enlarge and square up another room. I converted a room from one use to another (at Matt’s request). And I made quite a bit of progress on two other rooms, including one pretty extensive remodel. I’d say that’s a good year!

So let’s take a look back at each area, shall we?

The Guest Bedroom

Our guest bedroom was the first project I finished up at the beginning of the year. There really wasn’t much left to be done since most of it had been finished in 2020, but there were still some finishing touches that needed to be done in January. And here’s what the room looked like when I finished it…

It looks so different from what we started out with…

It still looks like that “after” picture for the most part, with a couple of changes. Matt and I are temporarily using this room as our bedroom, and will continue to do so until we are able to build our addition on the back of the house, which will include a large, new master bedroom. So we had been using the room just as it looks above until the spring, when Matt got the flu so badly that he had to be hospitalized for three days.

After Matt got out of the hospital in the spring, his occupational therapist suggested that we get an adjustable bed for him. But an adjustable bed wouldn’t work with the wood platform bed frame pictured above. So now we just have the adjustable bed frame (same headboard), which isn’t too pretty. I’d like to make a bedskirt for it to hide the metal legs that show, but it just hasn’t been a priority so far this year. That’ll go on my list for next year.

Also, that TV stopped working, and instead of replacing it with the same size, Matt wanted a bigger TV. So now we have a big TV sitting on top of the dresser. It won’t stay there, but I just haven’t yet taken the time to rearrange that wall and mount the new TV on the wall. That’s another project for next year.

Other than that, the room looks the same. And surprisingly, I get a whole lot of use out of that little writing desk that I built than I thought I would.

You can see more of the before and after pictures of this room here, as well as the individual DIY projects that went into the room.

The Hallway

I originally finished the hallway a few years ago, but then when Matt and I decided to turn the original master bedroom into the new master bathroom, we decided to square up that room, which in turn, affected the hallway. The original hallway remodel looked like this…

But after squaring up the new master bathroom, the hallway got a bit smaller, and we closed up the original doorway that led to that room. (We don’t need a doorway from the hallway into the new master bathroom.)

At one point, the entire hallway floor was ripped out, with just floor joists showing. But here’s how it looked with new subfloor, the new wall placement, and new drywall.

(The floor was ripped out because we decided to also take care of some water damage from a separate incident while this remodel was also taking place.)

And after getting this area all finished this year, it now looks like this…

You can seem more pictures of this finished hallway right here.

The Living Room

After many tries (and many fails) at finishing this room, I was finally able to get the room just right in 2021, and move this room into the “finished” column.

While this room has been a long time in progress, and I only needed a few finishing touches by the time 2021 rolled around, I still can’t post that “after” picture without showing you how it looked when we bought the house 😀 …

That’s quite a transformation, right? 😀

You can see more before and after pictures of the living room here, as well as sources and DIY projects that went into the room.

The Music Room

Our music room was another room that had been “in progress” for years, so at the beginning of this year, it just needed those finishing touches that would bring it into the “finished” column.

This room came a long way, too! Again, most of the work was done before the beginning of this year, and all it really needed was finishing touches. But I still like taking a look back at what we started with when we bought the house.

You can see more before and after pictures of the music room, as well as sources and DIY projects that went into the room.

The Breakfast Room-To-Sitting Room Conversion

After coming home from the hospital in the spring, another change that Matt wanted to make was to find a space in the house where he could have a comfortable recliner to sit in during the day. I had already finished the guest bedroom, the living room, and the music room, so the only idea I could think of was to convert the breakfast room into a sitting room for us.

When I finished the original remodel of this area, the breakfast room looked like this…

And after the transformation of this area to a comfy little sitting room, it looks like this…

This will be a temporary solution, because the big addition that we have planned for the back of the house will also include a large family room/media room, with plenty of comfy seating where we can watch TV, and where Matt can play video games, and where we can have plenty of seating for visiting with guests. So when that happens, we’ll get our eating area with a dining table back. But until then, Matt and I have a very comfortable place to hang out and watch TV.

A small change I made just a few days ago was to remove the French doors that separated the sitting room from the pantry. I loved those doors, but they were more of a hassle than a useful feature.

walk in pantry refresh 8

You can see more before and after pictures of this room here, as well as the DIY projects and sources.

The Home Gym

I definitely didn’t get as far as I had hoped on the home gym this year. I mean, I thought I would have it finished. 😀 But I did take on (and finish) the insane task of painting gradient stripes on the walls to set the background foundation for the rest of the room, which will hopefully be finished early next year.

colorful gradient vertical stripe walls - 24
colorful gradient vertical stripe walls - 26

The Master Bathroom Remodel

The master bathroom was, by far, the biggest project of the year, and it’s still only about halfway done.

At the beginning of the year, the room looked like this…

master bathroom demo day 14

It had been torn down to the studs, floor joists, and ceiling joists. It’s come a long way so far, and now it looks like this…

current status of master bathroom remodel
current status of master bathroom remodel

There’s still quite a list of things that need to be finished before this bathroom is done, but at least it actually looks like a room again! And with the shower tiled (but still needing to be grouted) it actually looks like a bathroom. Obviously, this room will be priority #1 in 2022.

So that’s quite a year for progress! I love taking the time to look back at the end of each year, because I truly didn’t realize that it had been such a good year for progress for me. I had been a little discouraged about this year, but now I see that there was nothing to be discouraged about at all!

I’m really hoping that next year is THE year that the rest of the interior (the interior that we currently have, that is) gets finished. That would include the home gym, the master bathroom, and my studio. Then I’ll be ready to tackle those nagging, unfinished projects, and then take on a pretty extensive addition.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri Hepworth
    December 17, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Great job!!! You impress me, for what it’s worth!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    December 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    It HAS been a great year – so nice that you could look back and really see it for yourself. I’m sure everyone enjoyed watching it all happen as much as I did. Now sit back and enjoy the holidays with the family and look forward to all your plans for the new year. Best wishes for you and Matt, and see ya in 2022! PS) HOW did I get this old? I remember thinking about the 2000 celebration…now 22 years ago!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Anna Adams
    December 17, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Congratulations on all the amazing thought and work you put into your home in 2021.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    You have done an awesome job on your home!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    I am always amazed at your vision and quality of work you do. Your house is so beautiful and also functional. I can’t wait to see your additional projects in 2022. Here’s hoping that the price and availability of products involved with with your addition work in your favor. Wishing you and all your family a safe and wonderful holiday season.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    marcia greene
    December 17, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    All lovely and imaginary. But am most intrigued with style of painting in masterbath. Fanastic – love it.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 17, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      BRAVO! Your talent amazes me!


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    It’s always a great feeling to look back and realize you got more done than you thought you had. It takes such a load off the mind and releases some pent up frustration you may have had. Great job Kristi!! Merry Christmas to you and Matt! Now go enjoy the holidays with your family and we’ll see you in 2022.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura B.
    December 17, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    You are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Your house is stunning – so full of color and happy. You should be very proud of yourself. I look forward to seeing what you do next year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Matt!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Great progress, well done. Beautiful work.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    December 17, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Yes, despite all of the holdups you’ve had, you did get a lot done! I am always amazed at everything you do, with little help at all! And you still have a house to maintain, a husband to aid during the day ( I’m assuming) and family commitments outside of your house. I can barely get a load of laundry done some days! (Because I spend too much time on the computer!) LOL! Hoping you and Matt have a holiday just perfect, and all you want it to be. See you in the New Year!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Kristi. I was just going thru my favourite icons and one led me to your ImageKind profile. I don’t recall you mentioning it recently so I just wondered how those prints were working for you. I have been considering a print on demand service so I wonder if it was a worthwhile project for you?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 17, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      I made some sales, but not many. One reason is because I literally never promote it. It’s funny because I got a payment from them for commission one month, and it took me a while to even figure out what Imagekind was. 😀 I had literally forgotten about it.

      But honestly, the reason I never really promoted it is because I find that website to be incredibly confusing for the consumer, with limited options for displaying the items for the seller. It would always want to display framed images first, which are costly and probably turn away prospective buyers. I always wanted to just display unframed prints, which are very reasonably priced, but for some reason, I didn’t always have that option. It was incredibly frustrating.

      I’m planning on putting my prints for sale as download or print-on-demand on Etsy. They have several options for companies that will print them for you, and you can select the one you want and integrate it directly to your Etsy account. And of course, you can upload your own images of your prints, so they can look exactly how you want them to look. There’s so much more flexibility there.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    December 17, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, Kristi, how satisfying to look back and see all the beautiful progress you’ve made this past year! May the new year bring you and Matt lots of good health, joy, and many other completed projects!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathryn C
    December 17, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Christy, I’m interested to know if you did anything in particular as the MBath was getting rebuilt to ensure the walls/floors are as square as possible? You’re always one to see several steps ahead and I know crooked walls, etc would have driven you mad during the tiling process.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 17, 2021 at 5:21 pm

      I didn’t, just because in a house this age (1948) and built on the soil we have where houses are continually moving and shifting throughout the year, I’ve just learned to deal with the imperfections. I hired out the first part of the project (the “foundational” things like subfloor, drywall, etc.), and the contractor I used is the one I’ve worked with repeatedly. His guys are very good, but they’re human. And men. And not quite the perfectionists that I am. 😀 I do wish I had paid a bit more attention because while most of the room is great, there are two things that I wish were a bit better. The first is the shower floor, which has a dip in it where it shouldn’t. The second is the ceiling in the shower, where it also has a dip in it. I have no idea how I’m going to work around that with the crown molding, but I’ll figure it out. All that to say that I wish I had given more oversight on those types of details. Hindsight is 20/20, right? 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nadine Garwitz
    December 17, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    You are so full of talent. I am in awe of how you have transformed the rooms and spaces in your home. I really enjoy looking at all of your work, and reading all your comments about how, what, and where to get it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 1, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      Your house is absolutely beautiful and I have the same color schemes in my house. You are a little braver than I am with painting color of your doors, which I love, and the kitchen cabinets. You have to be happy and have a smile in a house so colorful. Love every room, you are quite amazing and I’m sure Matt is so proud to live with someone who is so blessed with your talent.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Oh, wow!!! Looks AMAZING!!!!!!! You are always so inspiring!!!! Thank you!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    I love your beautiful use of color. So bright, happy and pleasant to behold. Living room and pantry are my favorites, breakfast room is my 2nd favorite. Can’t wait to see when the shower is finally done. Bravo!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    You accomplished so much in 2021! Everything looks lovely and I enjoy seeing what you’re going to do next. 🙂
    (Just an FYI: All of the ads are completely disabled on this site and the lock icon in the URL address bar has an exclamation point in a triangle on it. I do not know how the ads work, but they are not showing in the Firefox browser, I’m using Windows 10 Pro.)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    December 17, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Kristi, you have done so much this year and it all looks beautiful! I personally feel that you are much too hard on yourself, but I also understand how you feel. It is always exciting to see the transformation of each room that you work on. I hope you take some time now to enjoy the holidays… those undone projects will be waiting for you in the new year. But you should be proud of everything you accomplished! I patted myself on the back when I just got some new neutral Christmas decorations for my home made and a few things I made for others. 🙂 Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! <3 xo

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 17, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    You have done such an amazing job on EVERYTHING that you deserve an award. Your vision, tenacity, ability to do anything and get this much done in a lifetime is laudatory. Thank you for sharing with us. You inspire.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 18, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Your process gives me heart to finish stripping a dresser that has needed to be done for the last 50 years…seriously! I have followed you for years and am never disappointed in your progress. Have a wonderful, peaceful and merry Christmas and New Year.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marilyn Canaday
    December 18, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Your home is so beautiful! The colors in each room are my favorite thing. You are unbelievably talented. I have been following since you were in the condo. Everyone must look at your before pictures to begin to appreciate your after pictures. Thanks for sharing!❤️

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathie Kenyon
    December 18, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    You are a STAR! Merry Christmas to you and Matt. Please stay safe and well in this crazy world we live in at the moment. Sending you all things bright and beautiful now and always.
    Kindest Regards
    Kathie- Melbourne – Australia

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa Logan
    December 19, 2021 at 8:13 am

    What a treat it is to see the before and after pictures. Truly an amazing transformation! Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 20, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Hello, Kristi!
    I have been lurking your blog for the last 5 months, simply fascinated with all that you do. Your style and skills are truly amazing and I am forever impressed. I’m leaving you a comment today because you mentioned the adjustable bed for Matt and the unusable bed frame.
    About 6 years ago my husband and I got a split King adjustable bed and a King bed frame of the platform style. It does have both headboard and footboard. We simply built put the frame around the adjustable bed foundations and didn’t use the slats crosswise that normally support a boxspring and mattress. This solution definitely hid the “ugly” parts of the adjustable bed and no one is the wiser. This may be a consideration for you for your frame – IF the siderails and head/footboards will fit around the adjustable bed foundation and you still want to use the previous bedframe (which is beautiful, btw).
    Your home is lovely and your use of color and prints blow me away every time I visit you. I very much look forward to seeing your bathroom finished and reading about your progress as you do it! Have a wonderful holiday season and rest up!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy T Rickard
    December 20, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    You have done a wonderful job. I wish you and Matt a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. I really enjoy looking back where everything started. Love & God Bless. Peggy Rickard

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 22, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    You are amazing! Such beautiful and detailed work. I wish you lived near me as I also do my own construction, but I could really learn from you. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful holiday.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 6, 2022 at 4:43 am

    The master bathroom is my favourite but you did a great job last year I love your blog!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna Viessman
    January 31, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    I love your journey and am so happy you are sharing it will us. I was hoping to see if you could tell me where you have gotten your bamboo window shades? Also the color and texture you chose. They are just what I am looking for. I am also interested in where the bathroom mural came from. Thanks so much!