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'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


DIY room makeover expert, modern style, and multi-generational living

Possibly my favorite Featured Designer from last fall's One Room Challenge wasn't a New York or LA celebrity designer, but an Ohio-based DIY blogger who's knocked it out of the park on two other One Room Challenges--and who I got to interview!

You've probably seen Bre's amazing master bathroom makeover... vintage dresser vanity! Black framed sliding shower door! Tub enclosure!

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Budget-friendly alternatives to custom window shades

Window coverings can be so tricky and you can spend a LOT of money (and time!) figuring them out. Curtains, curtain rods or clips, where to hang them, when to use blinds or shades instead of curtains or in addition... so much to think about!

I had no idea what I was doing when I chose blinds and a shade for our first house, so I ordered them custom and it was a good experience since I only had two.

At our next house, I wanted all matching bamboo shades. I ordered them custom which worked out fine, and I was glad it avoided the pooling of too-long shades.

For our current house... I didn't know what type of shades I'd want on allllll the windows at once. I couldn't deal with a $1,500+ blinds order for the whole house, all custom. Also, I really wanted features like top-down and cordless--once you start adding those on to some custom products, it adds $30-50 per blind.

I find that slatted or cellular blinds often look dated or apartment-ey, and roller shades can be fine for bathrooms and kitchens, but I wanted something a little dressier in our living room and bedrooms--especially because I'm not planning to hang curtains on top of two in our living room.

I also wanted inside mount--because we have big, elegant trim and big windows. (Outside mount is appropriate if you don't want to block ANY light when the blinds are open, or if you don't have adequate room within the trim for the brackets. But I prefer inside mount whenever possible to show off the trim!)

Non-custom linen look Roman shades

So I did a bunch of online shopping and research. There are lots of Roman shades you can find online (I wanted a linen look Roman shade), but once you narrow it down to top-down and cordless, the options narrow and actually can be pretty expensive--like $100 per window.

I searched and searched, and...THIS linen roman shade was exactly what I needed. It comes in natural or white color linen-look, it's lined with a white thermal backing, it's cordless, it does the top-down feature (great for when you're close to a street or neighbors)... and it's $60!

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Choosing the perfect couch!

This topic has been hot on my mind lately because our living room is so desperate for more seating and a rug/sofa makeover. We've been using our IKEA sofa with Comfort Works slipcover for a couple years now and we love it, but I'm ready for a color change and we have a funky layout but still need more places for people to sit! (But don't we all have a funky living room layout in some way?)

Point is, which sofa to buy is an important choice and a lot of research does (should!!) go into it.

We're helping you out with that choice in this week's episode of the Your Home Story podcast, with a "deep dive" into what to consider when buying a couch.
Yellow Brick Home recently did a whole post about their new sectional@

We break it down to SIX big questions! Function, dimensions, lounge-worthy or more for looks, fabric, budget, and style.

Here are some Cliff's Notes for you to follow along with as you listen to the episode. We talked about:
  1. Function
  2. Dimensions
  3. Lounge-worthy or Firm
  4. Fabric
  5. Budget
    1. Smaller Budget - IKEA and Target
    2. Middle - West Elm and Article
    3. Upper Budget - Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware
  6. Styles (ie. Midcentury, Chesterfield, Rolled arms, etc.)
Then we also mentioned a couple of other good research tools--Bev from Room Sauce recently did a huge sofa search and came up with a great post about it! Also, the Sofa Squad by Apartment Therapy has reviews and rankings for sofas from all the big companies--example, The Most Comfortable Sofas at West Elm.

Good luck in your next sofa purchase!

Listen here or in your podcast app!
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A temporary solution I am LOVING: picture light in an office space!

Maybe it's because of our recent Your Home Story podcast episode all about office spaces... I recently got motivated to solve a problem at my desk/office space (a corner of our dining room) and it's not done yet, but I LOVE it! I wanted to share since I got some follow-up questions when I shared on my Instagram.

This post contains affiliate links.

My "office" space is pretty embarrassing right now. CORDS, black on black/dark wood that shows all the dust, index card taped over the power button cause Otto loves to pull himself up and stand at the computer tower...

And this is when it's clean! But, it's very functional for me right now when I want to be able to work in the center of the action--cooking dinner, maximizing naptime, etc. I am cool with my desk being in this corner of our dining room and it's actually very unobtrusive when we have guests over in the dining or living room.

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How to Get Started Finding & Hiring Professionals for Home Projects (+ before/after landscaping demo!)

This is kind of a scary topic for me! Hiring a pro usually means spending more money, and actually often more time because I like to get multiple quotes--and contractors are pretty busy in my area right now.

But, I've learned quite a lot about finding and hiring professionals for home projects in the past couple years and fixer uppers, and I'm sharing today!

On this week's episode of the Your Home Story podcast, Ashley and I both share tips and experiences on what's worked for us when hiring contractors for projects. Honestly? It is HARD. So is doing a massive plumbing, electrical, concrete, landscaping, etc. project yourself... but I've found there is a lot of stress around communication, budgeting, and timing.

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Design, Make, & Live: Offices

Home offices are typically mostly about function. Desk, comfortable chair, printer, to-do list... the design doesn't really come first.

But, there are tons of ways you can make a home office space beautiful as well as practical. This post links lots of ideas and solutions for utilitarian essentials and design features, plus four (very different) gorgeous office inspirations from around the web!

This post contains affiliate links.

On the Your Home Story podcast this week, we do a deep dive into office design and function. We start by talking about the utilitarian essentials (and how to make them more attractive), including constant design challenges like the table-vs-desk debate!, and then cover design features that add style while also being practical.

Resources from this episode:
  1. My townhouse home tour and office/sewing room
  2. Ashley’s current sunroom/office
  3. The HP printer that charges you based on prints/usage if you use HP Instant Ink
  4. Ashley’s office board on Pinterest
  5. My office board on Pinterest
  6. The Nesting With Grace “Magic Light Trick” you can use to add sconces above a desk or to add interest and light
  7. Inspiration image of a hanging light over a workspace
  8. My affordable and cute office chair round-up
  9. Butcher paper roll holder and clip set for to-do list
  10. Inspiration image of an oversized design board
  11. Some cute acrylic wall-mounted calendars: 1, 2, 3
  12. The clear plastic pegboard system I used in my sewing room
  13. The Grid-It product you can use to corral and hide cords mounted to a desk

Four office inspirations we love:
  1. Ashley from the Gold Hive - Hand Painted mural, pendant light, table (without drawers)
  2. Lindsey from Hello Hydrangea - A weaver so her office displays lots of her yarns, looms, etc.
  3. Yellow Brick Home - Small office setup with table and storage and then seating area on the other side.
  4. Jones Design Co - Office/studio with desk and table setup

We’d love to hear your office challenges, and see your office design solutions! Share in our Facebook group here!

Listen here or in your favorite podcast player!
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