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!


DIY custom chair slipcover for the office!

There are SO many talented designers and DIYers participating in the One Room Challenge this season and these days that I am excited to bring one of my more unique skills to it. With a couple decades of sewing experience (including some complicated garment sewing and a few upholstery and slipcover projects) under my belt, I am proud to be tackling a beautiful custom fabric slipcover for the high quality armchair in our office.

Thanks to Fashion Fabrics Club for partnering with me on this One Room Challenge!

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Rustic vacation cabin renovation and huge addition!

Ashley’s been working on a massive project at her dad’s rustic vacation cabin: doubling the size with an addition, renovating the whole thing, and even adding a bathroom. The framing, electrical, and roof are already done by the pros and now it’s time for Luke and her to do a bunch of DIY work and finish it out!

Posts mentioned:
  1. The floor plan, design, and plans for this cabin renovation and addition
  2. The one-room cabin renovation they did at this cabin a few years ago
  3. Houzz discussions on flooring for non-climate controlled cabins

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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Tips for traveling for the weekend with a baby or toddler

I had the idea for this post more than a year ago when, first weekend in March 2020, we took a little weekend trip to a beach rental with some of Jason‘s friends. We brought Otto along and used a few practices I’ve been using on other trips, and I wanted to share my tips with you guys! But then a week later, everything shut down for COVID and nobody was traveling so I didn’t think it would be that helpful! Well, now it’s even more complicated because we have a 9-month-old as well! We recently did our first trip with both of them and it went well! Sharing a few tips for making traveling was little kids much easier! 

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Pro-quality DIY pleated lampshade tutorial!

I have a really wonderful tutorial to share with you today! Have you seen the pleated lampshade trend coming back strong?? Floral, plaid, colored, other beautiful fabrics on pleated lampshades are everywhere right now and looking so fresh in their own retro way. I’ve seen them running about $175 each though, so if you want the look you may want to DIY!

You definitely don’t have to be an expert at sewing to do this project. In fact you can fake it with probably no sewing experience! But there are a couple things that you can do with some basic sewing tools (and some slightly fancier ones) to make it easier on yourself and a much better product! 

I’ve seen a couple different methods for pleated shades going around and Nancy's (@thehillsidehouse) is by far the best. If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram, you probably know how much I love Nancy. She has added so much rich color, texture, high-end detail, and personality to her new build home, and she does it all herself. She’s also an expert seamstress and great at sourcing fabrics! She doesn’t have a blog of her own so I asked her if she would do a guest tutorial on my blog (remember how we used to do those back in like 2010?). This is a great way for me to introduce others to Nancy, and I am so excited to shout this method!
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How to replace hardware, switch plates, etc. in a historic home. Office update!

The office is moving along! We got all the painting (except touch-ups) done in one long day after prepping the day before. It's looking so good. I'm really glad we decided to paint the trim. Pics below!

It's time to start putting things back, hooray! One thing I knew I wanted to upgrade in here was the switch plates. We have some original, some new throughout our house but the white plastic ones were just not going to cut it in here with this beautiful new color and tone-on-tone look! I'm replacing them with something appropriate for our 1937 Tudor revival house and sharing how to choose really nice hardware for a home with (or needing) character!

Thanks to Nostalgic Warehouse for partnering with me on this One Room Challenge!

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Updating exterior lighting (plus safety, wet conditions, and dark sky ratings)

Do you have dated exterior lighting that you’d love to replace one day? Or, are you dreaming up a new home and just getting started with lighting choices? 

Tune in to the Your Home Story Podcast today to hear about your options for choosing exterior lights including what Dark Sky rated lighting means, what the lighting industry hides (damp versus wet rated lighting), what exterior lights Ashley just installed at her house, and more!

Affiliate links below: Resources mentioned:
  1. Damp versus Wet Location Lighting
  2. International Dark Sky Lighting Association
  3. Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
  4. Front porch makeover
  5. Exterior wall lights that Ashley bought

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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Kid wall bookshelf storage solution (and what not to do!)

Otto‘s room is almost done! The shelves were one of the last things. His room doesn’t have a lot of wall space and I was struggling to store books, even a few of them. (We keep most of them in the living room.) For a while we just kept a basket of books next to the rocking chair, but it was always overflowing. There’s just this little wall space above the heater vent so it was tricky to find a shelf for there. I’m sure a lot of other kids rooms are lacking in wall/storage space, so this bookshelf method is really helpful for a lot of people!

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When to paint original historic wood trim! (Yikes!) Office update

Ohhh, this is a loaded topic. It goes way back to my childhood growing up in a restored 1909 foursquare house, but in short let's say I respect old houses and was (mostly) glad when we first walked through this 1937 Tudor revival home and I saw still had the original wood trim in almost every room. Well, sort of glad, sort of trapped because it wasn't exactly my style but I didn't want to paint it. It's made it this long and shows off the original character of the house! Plus I liked that it's the stained wood in every room except the bathrooms, kitchen, and one bedroom, so it doesn't feel piecemeal. 

But. Let's talk about our office project. As you may remember from the before photos, this north-facing room has dark wood trim including three doors and a fireplace. It's super contrasty with the white paint (it was turquoise with a dark silver ceiling when we moved in so that's an improvement!) and the white (Sherwin-Williams Alabaster, like all the white paint in our house) looks much colder than it does elsewhere.

Let me show you the design direction I'm going and what I've decided about painting this trim or not!

New here?

If you're new to this blog from the ORC site, welcome!! I'm Suzannah, a longtime DIYer and design lover currently making over our 1937 Tudor revival style home, our second fixer-upper. My style is modern traditional and I'm always working toward high quality design.

I have a 3-year-old and 9-month-old, but my husband and I have done almost all of the work on our homes ourselves! I've blogged about all of it so you can check out my tutorials page and room reveals to see. You can also follow along with me and my projects on Instagram! I also co-host the Your Home Story podcast!

See all my posts about this ORC here

First some inspiration:

Painted Wood Trim and Fireplaces

I'm really leaning toward painting our walls a light dusty aqua/sage/warm grey. Looking around at my pins, I found a couple other rooms in a similar color that--hey! had painted their trim, too. Some with fireplaces even!


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Outdoor tool upgrades you might need

Honestly, I don't love yard work or outdoor projects, but I do them! Or I watch and learn as Jason does. And we’ve found a few tools that make things easier. Sharing some basics and some upgrades, plus a few unique hacks! 

Tune in to this week's Your Home Story podcast to hear how Ashley and Luke and Jason and I use each of these and when we think they’re worth buying.

The tools:
  1. Pick
  2. Rototiller
  3. Torch
  4. Leaf blower
  5. Sledgehammer
  6. Hedge trimmer
  7. Tree trimmer
  8. Folding camping/outdoor knife

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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