Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and 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!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!


Another upstairs hall/stairs safety improvement: an attractive baby gate!

Our stairs/upstairs hall just keep getting better! A while back we removed the carpet and painted up here, and then last year we replaced the wood balusters with metal ones that are close enough together to be safe. A month or so ago I installed a wool runner on the stairs--so much safer and nicer! And now, we've installed a baby gate at the top of the stairs to contain our exuberant toddler when we're upstairs with him and the baby, and just don't always have enough hands or eyes to keep him nearby.

Baby gates are not always attractive, but I found a really elegant one that even goes with our stair railing/balusters!

Thank you to KidCo for partnering with me and providing this gate for my review!

Here it is! 

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Expert tips for mindfully organizing and decluttering

I have definitely been thinking about and working on going through old stuff, getting rid of extras, and getting more organized lately! I think it's natural this time of year!

This episode of the Your Home Story Podcast is an interview with Kira from Zestful Design on what it means to mindfully declutter and organize. We chat about what over-owning is, how to decide if you really need multiple items of one kind, what to do about family heirlooms and more. From systematic reduction to Marie Kondo and how to build decision making skills, you’ll leave the episode today feeling more empowered to start organizing and decluttering at home. 

Links to some of the things we covered:
  1. Zestful Designs
  2. You Can Do Anything For 15 Minutes
  3. Old guitar as a shelf
  4. An old piano doubling as a liquor bar
  5. Upcycled globes as lights
  6. Ways to repurpose things

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:

And you can join our Facebook group here to connect with other listeners and ask questions!

Listen here or in your favorite podcast app: iTunesStitcherSpotifyGooglePlay, or Overcast!

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DIY custom patterned fabric Roman shade tutorial!!!

Possibly my favorite project of the year!!! though I started it in 2020 and just finished installing it now, so I'm not sure what year. I am SO happy with how this DIY custom fabric Roman shade came out!

I wanted to add pattern to Lucy's room but because the back wall is so small and has a pointed ceiling, there wasn't room for curtains and art, and curtains can look funny on unique windows anyway. I'm very particular about the pattern and color we bring in here and I didn't expect to find the right thing from a custom window treatment company (or want to pay for super custom).

So, I took an affordable fabric blackout Roman shade I found online and covered it with the perfect Indian block print cotton. It was super fast, pretty easy (with a few tips I'll share below), and it turned out AWESOME and unique!!!

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How to paint wood paneling (spray and/or roll!)

We recently transformed a dark, dated small bonus room off our bedroom into a charming nursery. It had dark wood stained paneling and dark green linoleum on the floor (think 1950's elementary school). Now, it's fresh and pretty and has a storybook vibe. Oh, the power of paint!!! (and new flooring). 

But it took a few extra steps to paint the wood paneling, and we tried multiple methods (sprayer, roller, and brush). Sharing what we did, and how you can paint wood paneling better, here!

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Multi-generational living and high quality DIY home design and reno

Sharing an interview with DIY and design blogger Bre Bertolini about her design process, how she makes it work sharing a home with her husband, two little ones, and father-in-law (including her #1 tip for designing in a shared home), how she budgets for room makeovers/home projects, her go-to online sources for home decor, and more! 

Image source

This week on the Your Home Story Podcast... tips and resources we learned from Bre:

  1. Bre's Photoshop mood board tutorial
  2. Bre’s 5 go-to online sources for home decor: H&M Home, Urban Outfitters, West Elm, CB2, and World Market
  3. Bre’s great room and dining room One Room Challenge reveal
  4. Bre’s master bathroom ORC reveal
  5. Bre’s laundry room ORC reveal

Some recent pics of her and her projects!

Check out Bre’s blog BrePurposed and follow her on Instagram @brepurposed. You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:

We’d love to hear your questions and thoughts! Join our Facebook group here and email us at

Listen here or in your favorite podcast app: iTunesStitcherSpotifyGooglePlay, or Overcast!

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2021 house project goals!!

We're feeling so good about our progress on this house (the Stanley Tudor - Revived)! We're in a great spot where we don't have ANY rooms that need to be completely redone (as long as you don't count the basement or garage). We have some updating to do and some rooms to finish, and plenty more on the exterior, but we don't have any more bathroom renos on the horizon. Phew!

I shared our 2020 house project progress here and you can see the almost-current state of our house here. Here's the list for 2021!

Here's the part where I share sort of embarrassing current-state "before" photos taken on a random day in late December, when I didn't put away or clean up anything. Plus, Oregon in the middle of winter is not pretty outside. But here goes.

2021 Historic Tudor Revival Home DIY Project Goals

I'll break this out into exterior and interior. I won't put maintenance/improved maintenance (like giving the hedges a better trim) or minor updates (like finding the perfect art piece for a tricky spot) on this list. Instead, this is the stuff that will take a weekend or two to do, plus more time beforehand for planning.

Exterior Projects

1. Finish the path in the backyard. We started on this but never finished so we have two depressions (tripping hazards as well as not pretty) and Jason wants to pour some big custom concrete pavers for the triangle-shaped area. 

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Target hack: high-end black and brass nightstand

I'm working on our bedroom now that we've moved upstairs, and going piece by piece. Now that we have a king-sized bed and more traditional padded headboard than we had in our downstairs/previous bedroom, I wanted larger, slightly grander nightstands. My top choices were waaaaay out of my budget, so I made something similar for way less!

Target hack DIY black and brass nightstand

Here's a look at the pretty brass and black nightstands I admired. They all have black hardware, and a nontraditional layout of drawers and maybe a shelf or two. I think this was my fave--$640 each. 

See that cute $160 alternative there? Target nightstand, not quite as wide as some of the pricier ones unfortunately, but I really love the shape and knew it could look more like the others with contrasting hardware.

One of the knobs is teeny-tiny. I'm sure it's possible to find hardware that size but I had some of this nicer gold spray paint and voila, added a couple of light coats to the ones the nightstands came with. They really don't get that much wear so I think it should hold up pretty well. If not, I'll hunt for little brass knobs that match more standard size ones for the drawers.

I'm sure it's not the quality of the $1,950 ones!!, but it is solid wood, and we only need one drawer of this size anyway. In a larger room, with a king sized bed, I think wider nightstands would be great, but for us for now this is just fine and leaves some nice white space on either side.

There is still SO much I have planned for this room (even since taking these photos I've already added sconces) but having the nightstands and bed locked down is great progress!

I'll share sources when it's all done, but here are links to the rug, quilt, and more.

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Listener Q&A: Pets, hiding cords, painting over wallpaper, & more

Answering your questions! We’ve compiled questions about how to hide media cords, what to do with paper clutter, how to live with pets and not have pet stuff all around, how to paint over wallpaper, and even what plant resources we use. As you tune in today, get ready to learn a few tricks!

Image source

Resources we chatted about:

  1. Ashley’s post on Cord Control
  2. How to Run Cables Behind the Wall
  3. Gardening Know How
  4. Stylish Pet Bed on Bookshelf
  5. Bed Crate Integrated in Laundry Room
  6. DIY Pet Murphy Bed
  7. Ashley’s Cat Door DIY
  8. Litter Box in Trunk
  9. Painting over wallpaper steps:
  • Oil based primer over wallpaper
  • That will reveal issues. Razor blade to score any issues and corners. Glue down any bits that peel up
  • Mud over problem areas/scored areas, sand
  • Regular prime mudded areas
  • Paint

2020 projects I mentioned in the intro:
  1. Stair runner DIY
  2. Pointy room nursery before/after and progress story highlight

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:

We’d love to hear your questions and thoughts! Join our Facebook group here and email us at

Listen here or in your favorite podcast app: iTunesStitcherSpotifyGooglePlay, or Overcast!

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2020 home project recap!

I have to say our major accomplishments of this year have been 1) we had a baby and 2) Jason graduated from physical therapy school. But those are just top of mind...! Looking back, we did a ton of other important things to our home, too. 

I also can compare our actual progress to our 2020 house goals list... we did pretty well!, but we shifted focus partway through the year when we thought more seriously about the logistics of adding another baby to our family. So we did things that we didn't think we'd get to this year!

2020 home improvement project progress

Going in order of the 2020 house goals list... here's how we did! (You can also read our 2019 projects and 2019 progress for this house. We've come a long way!)

1. Roof

Done! It was expensive, about $18k like we expected, plus $1,500 or so for replacement gutters and new gutters on the gazebo and part of the garage. We had these parts of our exterior done first, back in February. Most houses wouldn't be this expensive in this area, but ours is steep and had three layers of old roofing to demo first. Here's my post all about the roof replacement.

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