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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!

10.28.2020

Choosing the perfect paint and COLOR! Big changes in the bathroom reno. Week 4 One Room Challenge

We've turned a corner and the One Room Challenge bathroom reno is looking VERY different this week! I went outside my comfort zone because my comfort zone was feeling boring for this one. We now have beautiful, not-white-or-neutral painted wainscoting in the bathroom!


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. I have a 2-year-old and newborn, 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! And see:

As you may remember in the design plans, I originally was thinking white beadboard... classic, what's not to like (like for resale), matches the trim we had already painted when we moved in. But I'd also seen some beautiful bathroom inspiration images with dusty teal trim or vanity (see three faves here). The third image, this powder bath by Studio McGee, uses Pigeon by Farrow & Ball. I looked it up... it's really a chameleon color and more grey-blue than teal. I decided to just take a look at the dusty teal options at Sherwin Williams and pick one of those.

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10.27.2020

Keeping up your physical and mental health while renovating a home

Keeping up with your physical and mental health while renovating is hard! If you don’t think about strategies for self-care, keeping scope creep in check, budgeting basics and more… you will be exhausted and burned out. 


This week on the Your Home Story podcast, we are diving into some strategies that have worked for us and sharing where we’ve failed so that you can make better decisions!

  1. Some of our favorite design podcasts on Ep 120
  2. The Homeowners Show
  3. Dear Alice Podcast
  4. Ep 104: Budgeting for Home Improvement Projects
  5. Kyla’s (House of Hipsters) Budget Download
  6. Chris Loves Julia’s recent budgeting blog post
  7. The 100% DIY bathroom reno that almost killed me

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:
@suzannahstanley
@biggerthanthethreeofus
@yourhomestorypodcast

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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10.26.2020

Getting the living room ready for the holidays! With extra seating

Our living room is long and skinny. We have a couch and two side chairs, and a playmat for the baby! It's just not enough seating when we have more than a couple people over. We're always pulling in chairs from the dining room or the tiny storage cubes we keep toys in. I'd love a sectional sofa or big chairs, but there's just not enough room!

So I found a great solution. Beautiful, flexible seating that we can use at the entryway and then pull over into the main seating area for company. I'm sharing this update to our living room (plus a cool DIY art piece I just did) and a round-up of other affordable flexible seating pieces I love!

This post is sponsored by Joss & Main.

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10.21.2020

How to lay medium-sized square tile: Tutorial and Week 3 One Room Challenge progress

We are more than halfway through the 6-week One Room Challenge! We are making great progress on our bathroom reno AND I have a tutorial for you today, with some great tips on how to lay the type of tile we used.


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. I have a 2-year-old and newborn, 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! And see:

I absolutely believe that tiling is one of the top 5 essential DIY skills! I have done it so many times now and every time it makes the room feel so much more intentional and high-quality. I love using a real tiles, and it is not that much more expensive or that much harder than alternate methods which may not last as long.

I’ve used mosaic tiles (small tiles that come attached to ~1 SF sheets), large hexagon tilessubway tilessubway tiles in a unique pattern, and square tiles. They all have their pros and cons! I often recommend mosaic tiles to new tilers, because they are more forgiving, but I really like the ease of cleaning larger tiles. Plus, patterned tiles (which are often medium-sized square) can make such a great impact!

We used patterned tile in our en-suite bathroom at our last house, and they really made that room exciting. In a space with white walls and other neutrals like a white toilet and sink or vanity, something fun on the floor is a really great way to make a permanent statement, which has more authority than painted walls, as a way to add color.

But, with that project at our last house a couple years ago, I made a couple mistakes and I learned some things. This time around, I wanted to do an even better job laying these square tiles! The ones we chose are 8", which I think of as a medium size tile. It’s not tiny like the ones on mosaic sheets, which allow for more imperfections in the mortar or tile board underneath, but it’s also not massive like some of those 12"x24" tiles, which I’ve never used but look harder to work with.

So, here’s a tutorial sharing what we’ve learned for laying medium sized square tile!

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10.20.2020

Favorite lesser-known home decor sources

This week on the Your Home Story Podcast, we’re talking about some online stores that you need to know about. We can easily box ourselves into shopping at the same places, but if you want unique decor or are just tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, we will be sharing a few places to shop, hopefully lots that are new to you!


We chatted about: (contains affiliate links)

  1. Enneagram for homes
  2. Jayson Home
  3. City Home
  4. Burke Decor
  5. Big interior designers who have shops: Lauren Liess and House Seven Designs
  6. Ashley’s #20in2020
  7. Food 52
  8. Lemon Tree Interiors
  9. Ferm Living
  10. The Prairie Shoppe
  11. Live Auctioneers
  12. Chairish
  13. EBTH and 1stDibs
  14. UShip
  15. TJMaxx online

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:
@suzannahstanley
@biggerthanthethreeofus
@yourhomestorypodcast

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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10.19.2020

I'm speaking at the Home Sweet Home Summit!

 I'm doing a cool thing! I'll be presenting as a DIY home reno expert at the Home Sweet Home Summit, a 3-day FREE online event October 27-29. And that's just part of it... I am one of 20-something experts across the home ownership, repair, maintenance, renovation, design, landscaping, and organization fields delivering presentations and doing interviews to help homeowners! 

You can jump in to one of the virtual sessions and learn from an experienced plumber, real estate lawyer, feng shui expert... all kinds of pros sharing knowledge and answering questions! These is a powerful interview series that can improve your homeownership experience, home value, and of course, home!


Sign up here to get an invite to the event when it begins October 27. It is 100% free to join, and some speakers will be offering freebies and downloadable tools as well. After the summit, you can purchase it to watch everything as much as you like.

I'll be sharing about one of my passions--helping new DIYers build a foundation for meaningful projects that add value to your home. I love a good tract home bathroom reno!

I would love if you'd check out my presentation! Sign up for the Home Sweet Home Summit here!

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10.15.2020

Why (and how) I put my newborn on a schedule

Newborns are not predictable and you always hear it's impossible or even bad to put them on a schedule. You just use wake windows and time between feedings. Otto didn't have a nap schedule till he was at least 4 months, and then it was mostly because we had multiple babysitters throughout the day and needed some predictability for us in his evening schedule. But now I have two little ones, and I quickly realized, it's different this time.

How the schedule started


I think even in the first week I identified that I needed her last period of awake time to be around 8-9pm, so she and I could both go to bed around 9 and I could share her longest stretch of nighttime sleep. So I worked backwards from there, assuming 45-60 minute wake windows and feeding after waking up from each nap. I also fit it in to our schedule with Otto--he naps 12 or 12:30 to 3 or so, and he goes to bed at 7:30, and I knew I couldn't be putting them both down at the same time since it takes a while to read Otto books and all that.

I started trying to feed her solid meals (nursing 15+ mins each side) around 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm, with snacks in between as needed and sometimes to get her sleepy (though I've learned not to feed her fully to sleep, as I talked about in this post!). Then she'd be awake for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and I'd try to get her sleepy (or wear her in the soft wrap) and put her down for a nap again. This worked well because then there were only a few parts of the day when I was juggling Lucy and Otto awake at the same time: 8-9am (although Jason is also here then, and sometimes Otto doesn't get up till 8:30), 11-12 (Daniel Tiger time!), and 5-6pm (impossible to make dinner then, so I learned have to make it before). This makes parenting two kids SO. MUCH. EASIER. and less stressful--knowing when I'll have time to eat or send an email or cut up veggies for dinner or whatever.
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10.14.2020

Affordable patterned floor tile round-up. Plus Week 2 One Room Challenge bathroom progress

We kicked off demo and tile last weekend and the bathroom is already looking transformed! I'm working on an tutorial for how to lay medium-sized square tile but in the meantime, wow, I am so impressed by how the patterned tile we chose looks. It was crazy affordable and it's nothing ground-breakingly original, but it really makes a great statement and I am now all excited about patterned tile!

There are also a lot of temporary tile techniques out there these days. I have friends who've painted and stenciled their existing tile, or applied peel-and-stick. I'm sure these are good options sometimes, and it's a huge pain to tear out old tile, but in our houses we've always been replacing vinyl or linoleum, and real tile is the way to go. Tiling is probably #2 on my list of essential hardcore DIY skills (after installing light fixtures). It is NOT that hard! I am all about real tile instead of peel-and-stick if you can manage, and with some of these affordable options, it's a budget-friendly way to elevate a reno and get a high quality look!


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. I have a 2-year-old and newborn, 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 hereAnd see:

First weekend progress


We made a bunch of progress last weekend: demo, lay tile board, lay tile. You have to wait about 24 hours in between mortaring the tile board and tiling, and between tiling and grouting, so we had some breaks, but other than that Jason worked hard both days!

Took these pics before we finished the edges. We tried a new method this time where we did all the whole tiles first. I'll share more about that/pros and cons, plus a full tutorial on laying medium sized square tile, next week!
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10.13.2020

Moody eclectic modern living room makeover

This week on the Your Home Story podcast, an exciting reveal.

Ashley’s been working on meaningful, personal updates to her living room for the past almost 2 years! It’s finally feeling basically done and she’s reflecting on the trials and errors and what’s made it really work for their family.

Image source


Resources and links:

  1. Wood Flooring Install
  2. Neutral Paint in the Living Room
  3. The Makerista
  4. House of Brinson
  5. Hacking the Chandelier to make it work.
  6. The corner cabinet that gave Ashley fits.
  7. My corner built-ins.
  8. All About the Korhogo Cloth
  9. Paintable outlet covers (affiliate link) (great for dark walls)
  10. How to Make an Oversized Canvas
  11. Forest Green Living Room as it looks now.

You can find us on our blogs or connect with each of us on Instagram:
@suzannahstanley
@biggerthanthethreeofus
@yourhomestorypodcast

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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