Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!


Moody English-inspired basement guest bedroom REVEAL! + costs and sources

Hooray, my One Room Challenge is done! I 100% did not have time or capacity to do this project (hence the lack of blog posts long the way, unlike how I've done my previous ORCs) but I have to say it turned out great and I'm so glad I did it!!

Moody English-inspired basement guest bedroom

This room is part of my big basement renovation which unfortunately is still not 100% done--though now this room is, as is the bathroom right next to it (my spring One Room Challenge--reveal here). Most of the work in this room was done earlier this year, and a lot of it by the electrician, drywall team, etc. who did the rest of the basement, but still--huge transformation! 

See the before/inspiration post in Week 1 of the ORC here

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Historic home statement front window replacement

One super prominent feature of this home is its long living room with (approx.) 7'x7' window at the front. It lets in tons of sun in the morning (it faces east) and a good amount of light most of the time. It's a great!! But it had a lot of issues. Almost all the windows on my 1937 home are original wood windows, including some leaded glass ones. They are very cool and help the house keep its original character. But this window was failing in several ways. 

When we first bought the house this window was on the long list of overwhelming expensive projects/updates, and it fell to near the bottom of the list. But now with two kids and using the space in front of the window for their playmat and climber, and with a lot of other projects crossed off, it felt like it really needed to happen. 

Take a look... leaded glass panes including four fins in the middle, which were no longer welded together. At the top someone had tried to secure them with wood and screws, but the glass literally moved when you pushed on it slightly, and rattled in strong wind. There was also a lot of water damage on the sill and floor below. (And cat hair--but hard to dust with the varnish worn off from water damage!)

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English-inspired guest room makeover, week 1 One Room Challenge!

I need a kick in the pants to wrap up this big basement renovation project, so here goes--my 117th (kidding) One Room Challenge. (See all my others here.) We started turning this little extra room into a guest room months ago and stopped, and... now it's just sad. But I have plans for a beautiful, richly colored, vintage-ey English country-inspired room and here I go!

Basement guest room One Room Challenge makeover

The before(s)

This room has been through a lot. Here's its recent history, from 70's/80's home office to newly framed tiny bonus room. There's no closet since it wasn't intended to be a bedroom (hence why we didn't add an egress window), and it's really very small. A full size bed is as big as you'd want to go! I was thinking it would be a nice office, too, or music room or small playroom... but then we decided we wanted it to be a guest room, and I love decorating bedrooms so that was the most fun option anyway. 
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Thrifted and vintage gallery wall living room update

We have a long, skinny living room and the wall opposite the front door/entry has always stumped me. We tried the TV there, tried a wall of bookcases (looked so cluttered)... no good solution. Until recently, when I got some new toy storage cabinets. They were really low and needed a big statement something above them, but I'm a little tired of really big art pieces and wanted something cozier. 

So I gathered a few pieces of art I already had and started buying coordinating frames at Goodwills. I started with the largest piece and just built outward from there. 

I "framed" out the gallery wall even before I had all the art pieces, and had empty frames hanging for a couple months! Even that felt better than the heavy wall of bookcases (we put them in the basement media room now that the basement is almost done).

Then, I had four empty frames I needed to fill and I shopped around some of my favorite sources for original art downloads (I highly recommend the Public Domain Print Shop from A Home Is Announced). I picked out some landscapes and some sketches that worked well with each other and the other art pieces. I printed them at Office Depot on 110 lb paper for about $1 each. Frames at the Goodwills in my area are usually $2-5 each. I would guess the total cost of this wall was about $40! 

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Living room update: new custom ottoman, coffee table solution!

I said back at the beginning of the year that a goal for my home was figuring out the living room. I knew it would probably take all year! I've been updating the curtains, creating attractive toy/book storage, moving things around... and the custom ottoman I ordered a while back is here and so wonderful!

This post is sponsored by Wayfair.

Coffee table replacement: upholstered ottoman

I've debated a lot about coffee tables in here and tried a couple out. I love the function and style-ability of a coffee table, but with little kids, we had to just keep it bare all the time and it was sort of a hazard for rough play. There is also already a lot of wood in this room due to the original wood trim. Plus, I like to put my feet up on the coffee table while watching TV and I was always putting a pillow under my heels for padding, ha.

So a while back I decided I wanted something traditional, comfortable, and unique. I found this upholstered ottoman on Wayfair that comes in a ton of beautiful patterns and has charming ball feet. It was perfect! I was able to choose the color of the feet, too. Ah, I love some of those stripes it comes in so much... it was a hard decision! I recommend ordering swatches!

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Old house small closet update!

I did a closet project last year--I repaired the walls and reconfigured things in a medium-sized somewhat funky hall closet that I used as mine. That worked great but it was down the hall from our room... we recently switched things around and now I get the closet and dresser in the bedroom. It was built similarly and apparently 1937 closets often need some of the same updates. I recently made this closet way more functional, too! 

This was a simple project that I mostly did right after the kids went to bed over a few days. Check it out!

Old house closet update

Here's my clothing storage corner of the room. Dresser (we bought two of these when we did this bedroom update years ago), jewelry storage, and a long but pretty narrow closet. 

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From-scratch sink skirt tutorial

The sink skirt is back! It's not just to hide unattractive plumbing; it can add so much charm and softness to an otherwise standard-feeling bathroom. I added a floral block print sink skirt to the pedestal sink in our recent basement bathroom project and it made it so much more fun!

I started my sink skirt journey by turning two shower curtains into sink skirts for my friend @ciarakenaston. It was a genius idea of hers--clearance West Elm Heather Taylor Home big gingham shower curtains, sturdy fabric and great colors. You can see the stories here and the finished product here

Making a sink skirt from a shower curtain is by far easier than what I did for our bathroom. I highly recommend that shortcut route! They come hemmed on all three sides; all you have to do is add a casing at the top for elastic or gathering and attach it with velcro. But if you want to pick your fabric (even use a lighter weight fabric) and make something totally custom... this tutorial will tell you how!

Sink Skirt Tutorial

You will need:

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Top 5 One Room Challenge room reveals!

The spring One Room Challenge is over, and there were hundreds of incredible design and home improvement projects as usual. (See them all here.) I've shared a handful of favorites in my Instagram stories but I like to put together a short roundup of my top faves each season and here are five that I think are really, really special. Bathrooms, a kids' room, and more!

Top 5 One Room Challenge makeovers spring 2022

Some of these are not exactly my style but I so respect them for the quality work and good design! Or maybe I kind of wish they were my style...!

A couple of these designers have been in my favorites roundups from previous seasons, too!

1. Deeply Southern Home European-inspired bathroom and closet

Wow... this space was just fine before, in a newer home, but Leslie made it feel classic and glamourous and so luxurious!

2. Rumfield Homestead shared toddler room

Honestly I didn't mind the "before" on this space, either! But now it's a way more unique and interesting, character-filled space that feels so perfect for this Victorian home.

3. The Southern Gail glam mudroom

I am in awe of this project. SO many skillful construction projects basically rebuilding this addition on this 1930's home, PLUS so much style! I would have never thought to combine some of these elements in the soft goods and wall/ceiling treatments. Epic!

4. @reneerenovates dining room

Renee MADE that table. From scratch. And I'm mesmerized by it in this shot. That built-in is original to her 1914 home, how cool!

5. Erin Zubot Design guest bathroom

Erin does such high quality projects always, and this room is no exception. She really puts care into her DIYs (almost everything she does is DIY) and she uses a great mix of classic English-inspired quirky style and modern fresh pieces (how cute are those sconces?). She also brings great art prints from museum downloads! And that is an antique pedestal sink (hey, a few similarities to my ORC bathroom this season!). I love that this bathroom is bringing beige back, too!!

Hope you enjoyed my little roundup! Check out all the reveals here!

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English country-inspired basement bathroom REVEAL! And budget/costs

PHEW! Our basement bathroom is DONE--AND I am so, so happy with how it turned out! Sorry for all the caps. I wasn't sure for a while there if I would wrap this up in time, and how I would feel about it. Very happy to share this post today.

This is my final post in this One Room Challenge of this bathroom we're doing as part of our basement renovation.

English Country-inspired bathroom renovation

I'm proud!

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