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!


Hang removable wallpaper horizontally! Walls Need Love geometric print laundry room update

Our laundry room was one of the last rooms to get paint and flooring... and it felt so good when it did. We also installed white shaker cabinets above the machines for storage, in place of the cheap-o shelf that was there. (Here's the post.) It was MUCH better but still so plain! And nowhere to hang art, really.

So, removable wallpaper to the rescue again. (See how we used it in the powder room above a chair rail.) I found the perfect geometric print to accent, but not overpower, our tiny laundry room, and installed it so quickly for a fun accent wall!

Backsplash Look Horizontal Removable Wallpaper Tutorial

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The end of the #Stanley90sreno

Well, I have another announcement. Last week I shared our baby news and earlier this week I shared the video "after" tour of our 90's fixer upper! But I have some more big news for you today.

We're selling the Stanley 90's Reno. This was not our original intent. We did NOT mean to renovate and then flip this house when we bought it a year ago. We figured it'd be a 5-year house, maybe more, just needed to see what happens with Jason's career and our family.
Listing photo of the exterior!

(See all the listing photos and before/after here.)

But in June, right as we were saying, "MAN, it will be great to be done with projects soon and live in a finished house!," we had dinner with my parents who told us a neighbor in their historic downtown neighborhood was cleaning out his family home to sell. I walked by that home in my childhood and had been in there once, and knew the family and their kids about my age. Nice people, beautiful 1930's Tudor home, fabulous neighborhood--1.5 blocks from my parents.

We felt a spark. We were talking about starting our family back then and how fabulous would it be to be so close to my parents?! It's farther from work, but we'd loved living there for a month when we first started projects over at our current home and the neighborhood over there is SO much better. We might be able to really establish roots and stay there a long time! Something we'd never had plans for or a concept of before with our first two homes, which felt a little temporary.

The next weekend, we went into the toy store this family owns and chatted with the homeowner. We set up a time to tour the house and were so excited!

The house was fabulous. Very traditional layout (no knocking down walls in this one), but lots of quality original details like coved ceilings in the living and dining, original wood trim (the previous owners stripped the [probably lead-based] paint and restored it), original oak floors, built-ins in the charming breakfast nook off the kitchen in a turret.

For the past several months we've been communicating with the owner, who has to get 30 years of family memories out of the house before selling. He hasn't been in a hurry and had two other couples interested (all neighborhood word of mouth). Also, as the market picked up this summer, the Redfin and Zillow estimates for the market value of the home went up more than $100k and while those aren't always realistic, that kind of change isn't completely meaningless--we weren't sure if we'd be able to afford it.

Long story. I want to tell you more about it later if it works out. We've been in limbo about this house since June but the daydreaming made us realize, we want to live in that neighborhood regardless. We want to be that close to my parents, in an older home in a walkable, connected neighborhood. Homes don't go for sale there very often, but we wanted to be ready.

Keeping our fingers tightly crossed that the Tudor home would work out, without an agreement with the seller, we decided to list our home while the leaves are still on the trees and the weather's still nice. It went on the market last week, we had an open house over the weekend, and we had lots of showings. Also, it turns out the market has not slowed down after the summer as we feared, and our home's value has actually gone up a little! (I was worried about not getting it on the market before school started.)

We accepted an offer and if all goes well, will close and move in about 5 weeks.

We're still trying to work things out with the Tudor homeowner, but if he does choose us and we're able to buy his home, it won't be ready till at least February. So we'll be living with my parents again (we did that last fall when working on our fixer upper). If it doesn't work out, we'll be house-hunting in that very desirable neighborhood, so fingers crossed for that, too.

We're in limbo and can't wait to figure out what's next for us--but here's to the next thing and hoping it's fabulous!

Thank you for following along as we've updated the Stanley 90's Reno and thanks for your support in all of our life changes! Subscribe by email (sidebar on the right below my book image) to get updates as I share them!

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The video "after" tour of our 90's fixer upper is here!

One year ago Sunday....... we got the keys to our mess of a house and got to work. But first, we recorded this "before" video tour. Well, this past Saturday, our house was looking its best and is DONE, so we recorded the AFTER!!

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The Big Announcement

I have butterflies as I write this! I've been looking forward to writing this post for years now and here I am, nervous! So many emotions.

We're having a baby.

It's been a long journey for us, though not as long and challenging as for some people and for that I am very grateful. Gratitude and excitement are the main things I feel right now and I try to focus on the gratitude when things are hard, and I go to bed at 7:30 and feel like crap a lot of the time. (Although now at 13 weeks, it's soooo much better than it was in the middle of the first trimester. Again, grateful.)
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Laminate stair flooring--finally done!

Possibly the biggest embarrassment of the Stanley 90's reno... we installed 1,574 SF of laminate flooring ourselves in a matter of weekends, but it took us almost a year of living here to finish the stair flooring!!

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Combining the beautiful and the practical

 A recent piece of home advice I heard was, if you only have a small budget for decor items, choose elegant versions of practical items you need to buy anyway. Bathroom trash cans, broom/dustpan sets, butter dishes... it might cost slightly more to buy a nicer-looking version, but then you have something that adds rather than detracts from the decor if/when it shows, and you feel good about it when you use it.

As a sort-of minimalist who constantly aims for efficiency (of money, space, and mental energy), this concept has my name all over it! I've been thinking about the items I see in homes I like that look great, but are also useful objects. I rounded up a few I suggest you think about, too!

Combining the Beautiful and the Practical - 3 Useful Home Accents

The first thing that came to mind for me was cooking tools. I love the look of a Dutch oven on a stove in an otherwise clean kitchen! I have a red one but dream of a white one like this or this.

Olive oil and vinegar storage is another good one. I've heard of people taking the labels off their shampoo bottles to make them look less cluttered, but no one but me sees in my shower so I don't care about that. But, some olive oil and vinegar labels are not pretty, and if you keep them out, they show! And, if you do keep oil out, it's best to keep it in a light-blocking container to protect it from light/heat which oxidize it faster.

Finally, I looooove clean white striped Turkish cotton hand towels, particularly ones like these which have terry cloth on the back so they're absorbent, too. So much cuter than the basic bath/hand towel that has been in suburban bathrooms for decades.

Here are some of my inspirations!

Inspiraton image sources: 1 / 2 / 3

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