I have been a little quiet over here on the blog because I have been working on my latest renovation The BayView Barnhouse, and I’m SUPER excited to show you the amazing progress we’ve made on the kitchen!! The rest of the house is not done yet, actually if you would pan around, the reverse view is still a construction site, ha! But I wanted to photograph the kitchen so I could start showing you all the DIY projects we’ve been working on (like the hood cover! And the utility rack shelves! The pantry door!) so I sweep up the saw dust, styled it up, and snapped some photos. If you want to see the nitty gritty of the decision making, make sure to head over to the Barnhouse highlights on @ISPYDIY Instagram, where I chronical the entire process! I am sure I will make tweaks as we finish up the house, but I wanted to check in with you all, and give you sources for everything I picked out (at the end of the post) so here we go!
For those new to the renovation, the Milwaukee house was built in 1885 and had been converted into a duplex when I saw it. There had not been a ton of upkeep on the house, and let’s just say the former owners were “collectors”…but looking past all the stuff, I saw tall ceilings and a great layout, and immediately fell in love with the house, and knew it needed to my new renovation project! There is some beautiful original character in the house, but the kitchen was not one of those places, and it need to be gutted asap..kitchen carpet…YUCK!
Sadly the original hardwood did not extend to the kitchen so the floors and interior walls were all torn out, and the radiator heat was removed and upgraded. The closet wall was taken out to create an open concept kitchen. A little surprise: the original chimney was hidden in the closet, blocking the view of the kitchen. It ran through all three floors in pretty inconvienict spots, so we decided to tear it down, and keep the bricks to use for another project in the house.
I mentioned the great layout before, which was a huge selling factor because we did not have to spend a ton of money reconfiguring walls. Once all the guts of the house were upgraded (electrical/plumbing/HVAC) the walls were closed back up and I had a squared off space to design the kitchen.
When designing the kitchen, budget played a big factor. Even I would have loved all new windows (like in my dream mockup above), the ones that were already there had been replaced recently, so it did not make sense to spend money on new ones. So I had to design within those parameters. I know, I know, the layout is similar to the kitchen in my last renovation, but the peninsula set up honestly works so well for hosting, and I just worked in the space. This original mockup was a bit more industial loft, which ended up changing as I starting finding decor items at antique shops (lights, stools, decor), and the look softened up a bit to fit the “Barnhouse” vibe.
And here is the after!! As I mentioned above, the vibe changed as the process moved along, lighter, softer, warmer…and I am pretty darn happy!! One big change I made was instead of doing a brick back wall, I used a porcelain brick tile on the floor, and went with handmade looking tile backspash, with a DIY shelf and pot rack, which felt different from the opening shelving I’ve done in the past.
I am IN LOVE with this sink and faucet above and the pot filler below from Kohler. It’s been so amazing working with Wisconsin companies, and their support of me and my renovations has been so wonderful! I worked with Kohler on the bathrooms in the Barnhouse too, so stay tuned for future posts with more details. Also I’ll have a DIY post on the utility/pot rack shelf and the DIY hood cover soon!
I’ll also be posting about ALL the appliances I chose for the house, and why I picked each. The black dishwasher was a last minute switch from stainless steel, and I am so happy with how seamless it looks with the black cabinets. Speaking of, I really love how the black cabinets look! It was a bit different for me, they were budget friendly from Cabinets.com, and look way more luxe with the brass hardware.
This corner was reworked, and what was once was a door to a bathroom is now a door to a pantry! I asked on Instagram what people thought of a bathroom off the kitchen, and I got a strong reaction against them, so we moved it. The pantry door was vintage door that I refinished, stay tuned for the DIY! And I still need to design the pantry, so many projects to still share with you all!
In “The Plan” I went with a darker walnut stain on the butcher block, but we ended up adding a lot more wood accents then planned. My guy and I pulled some beams out of a barn that was being demoed. We secured it to the wall to separate the kitchen from the dining room, then wrapped the butcher block around it. Then I got a great deal on a wood door, AND when the original floors were sanded down and refinished, it was A LOT of the same color wood, so I am going to sit with it as is for a bit and then decide if I should stain/paint any of the wood. What do you all think?!
I am sure there is things that I missed, so if you have anymore questions, let me know in the comments. I can’t want to share more of the renovation with you! SOURCES AFTER THE BREAK! (more…)
This Summer, Apartment Therapy came to do a video shoot at my home (check out the story HERE! and the Video Tour HERE) so I wanted to get every nook and cranny of the house looking it’s best! I made a giant list, and finished all those little things I vowed to do “someday”. For those that are new around here, I “flipped” this house a few Summers ago for a pilot on HGTV. I bought this rundown 125-year-old mess for $24,000 and we fully gutted and rebuild in 4 months. I fell in love with the house, so decided to keep it, and have been making it my own with DIY projects! Since it was looking all shiny for the video shoot, I snapped pics of every room to share with you all in one place with credits and shopping links to the items still available. Welcome to I Spy Abode, hope you like the transformation!
KITCHEN & DINING AREA The kitchen started off as the grossest place in the house…think cockroaches and electrical fires….Once we got it all cleaned out, the design gave me all sorts of headaches, the sloped ceiling made upper cabinets difficult and I kept moving around the fridge because I did not want it to be a focal point. In the end, I got rid of all the uppers for more windows on the back wall, then added open-concept shelving, with a bunch of lower cabinets and a pantry around the fridge for storage. I am so happy with the final look, it’s such a beautiful view from the front to the back of the house. I originally designed the kitchen to have butcher block countertops, but my cabinet guy got me a deal on this snowy quartz, which meant a lot of white in the kitchen. To warm it up, I added wood cutting boards, and the raw wood shelves that I love styling with my vintage finds. We opened up the wall between the dining room and kitchen to create an open concept space, letting you see the kitchen from everywhere on the lower level. The modern fixtures and DIY dining table made with the reclaim wood beams from the house, mixed with the warmth of a rug and organic vase create an inviting dining space where I have potluck dinner with friends! Check out more details & photos in the kitchen before & after post here.
CRAFT ROOM: This room off the dining room has sliding barndoors that open up to the craft room! This is a space were I can store all my supplies and great creative, then slide the doors shut and hide the mess, ha! I love the cork board wall for hanging all my inspiration and creating moodboards for the next space I am designing.
LIVING ROOM & ENTRYWAY: The living room and entryway started out full of wood paneling and dingy carpet which needed to go immediately. We were able to get rid of the drop ceilings (yes plural ceilings) and raise them to 10+ft which makes the room seem so much bigger. Since there was no character to preserve in the house, I wanted to have a built in on the wall to add some interest. The floor-to-ceiling custom shelving unit displays my favorite tchotchkes. Since I used a lot of white, I really used the decor items to bring in the warmth and character to each room. I have always loved thrifting, so adding those unique pieces throughout makes it feel very much like my home. Check out more details and photos in the living room before & after post here and a livingroom update here!
It’s Summer Summer Time! And I am gearing up to host a few get-togethers at my house, and wanted to create a seasonal centerpiece. This one is as easy as piling up a bunch of citrus fruits! When you are done, break out the juicer and make orange popsicles or mimosas for the following afternoon 😉 For a little something special, I sliced a few oranges in half, scooped out the inside, and add a wick then filled with granulated wax to create a quick candle!
What you need:
Greenery – I used assorted eucalyptus in my centerpiece
Citrus fruits – Oranges, Lemons, Kumquats, Grapefruit, Tangerines, Clementines, Mandarin Oranges
Table Runner (optional)
What to do:
Use a platter or plate to ground your centerpiece. It’s easier to have a base before placing your fruits so that they don’t roll around.
Start layering up your assorted citrus fruits. The more variety of fruits you purchase, the more visually interesting the centerpiece will look. Try to alternate color tones and sizes in your layering.
Next add in the greenery. Place the greenery in and around the fruits to add contrast.
Stand back and view your creation as a whole. If you notice any holes, go back and fill them in with that extra kumquat or eucalyptus sprig.
For the candles, slice an orange in half.
Scoop out the inners with a spoon. Snack as you go, of course.
Place the wick in the middle of the orange.
Pour the granulated wax around the wick and fill up the orange half.