DIY DESIGN | Living Room Update & Leather Couch Review


Happy Monday All! I have been getting questions about some of the updates in my livingroom on @ISPYDIY Instagram, so I thought it would be a good time for a mini makeover post! I have been wanting a leather couch for SO LONG, and have be ogling over the ones at Article, and online furniture company who has BEAUTIFUL sofas/chairs/etc (especially leather) at really good prices, plus the $49 shipping fee for a couch is amazing (anyone else get so annoyed when you get to the checkout and find out the shipping fee is $250+!) I must have been sending good vibe into the universe because Article reached out for me to review one of their couches, I immediately said “Heck YA!”. I ordered the Nirvana Dakota Tan Sofa and let me tell you, this couch is comf-ty. The leather is worn in, so you immediately melt into it. Many naps have happened on that couch in the short amount of time I have had it. I love that it’s super deep and the back cushions are removable if I need to make room for snuggling with Griff!
The biggest question I have been getting in my Instagram Stories is how the leather sofa is holding up with my pup. Generally, Griffin sits on the other couch which is closer to the window, but I can definitely tell that the leather has a lot to give and will hold up great. When he jumps over to this sofa there have been zero problems with puncturing the leather, and Griff has those sharp puppy claws. In my opinion, the Nirvana Dakota Tan Sofa is super dog friendly because I think it will look even better worn in, so I welcome my pup to snuggle there any time he wants!

The the new floor lamp in my living is also from Article, it looks pretty slick in the corner, no? The gunmetal finish fits perfectly in the space, and the globe gives off a cozy light, perfect for a relaxing evening. For those that will ask, no, I don’t have a TV in the living room and yes there is a hook up for one behind the art, ha! I actually don’t have any TV’s in the house, I usually just watch Netflix/Hulu on my laptop or phone.
I also took a couple hours to take on a built-in refresh! I started by taking everything off of the shelves. It helps to have a clean slate, not only to dust, but also to clear your mind of what was. Sometimes you see your objects in a new light, you’ve got to start fresh. Styling the shelves is all trial and error. Two key tips are to alternate the heavy looking pieces and to alternate materials. For more styling tips check out my segment on our local news station, The Morning Blend, here.ISPYDIY_livingroommakeover7
Most items on the shelves are old World Market, from local stores, or vintage but if you have a question about something, leave a message in the comments. The most asked question is about the new rug, it’s from here! The new blanket is from here, but it’s only available in sage.   (more…)



NEW RENOVATION PROJECT | The BayView Barnhouse!!!


I feel like I have been living a double life, because those that follow along on @ISPYDIY Instagram know the that the new renovation I’ve been designing has been consuming SO MUCH of my life right now, but I have not told you all about it yet. Introducing, my latest and possibly greatest renovation: The BAYVIEW BARNHOUSE! I had been looking for another house to “flip” for awhile (I use “flip” loosely because we don’t want to be lumped with the bargain bin quick flippers, but that is a conversation for another time…)  The minute I walked in the door it was pure love! I’m excited to be working with with my contractor buddy, Mike, who owns 3rd Coast Real Estate & Renovation and was the contractor on our last project, the HGTV pilot house. I loved how the house turned out, so thought, “let’s do this again”!  I was brainstorming a catchy name for this renovation, Bay View of “BayView Barnhouse” is the neighborhood in Milwaukee where the house is located and I was first inspired to call it the Barnhouse because of its striking red exterior. Now the Barnhouse concept is a big part of the design direction, and I’m hoping to differentiate it from the farmhouse style, by giving more of an Old World feel (more on that later!)

As we dive in to a series of posts about the Bayview Barnhouse, I thought the best place to start was the before photos! The prior residents were “collectors” and there was A LOT of stuff to clean out before we could see its true potential, but I was immediately drawn to the high ceilings and some of the original characteristics. The house was in bad shape, so I will just show the highlights here (pics after the massive cleanout). As the process continues, I will break down each of the rooms with more detail, but for now, I just want to show you some of the characteristics I love about this house and some bits that need creative solutions.
Barnhouse General Bits:
– The house was built in 1875 as a single family home.
– The house is 1750 sq. ft.
– The house had been converted into a duplex by the time we first viewed it.
– We are converting the duplex back to a single family home, with 3-4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
– The lot includes a great size yard for the city neighborhood.

I love the board and batten treatment on exterior. We are so excited to revitalize this original feature of the house along with the huge porches. There has been a hot debate on social media about the exterior color: keep the red or paint it another color, like black. I’ll hash it out in a future post dedicated to the exterior of the house.
The high ceilings were a major selling factor for this kitchen. The house is 1750sq ft but the spaces feel a lot bigger because of the ceiling height. The plan is to add beautiful open shelving and lighting that accentuates the high ceiling height.
More BEFORE pictures after the break! 




DIY ORGANIZATION | Bathroom Bottle & Towel Labels 


Decorating my bathroom was one thing, updating all the day-to-day bath necessities was another. It can be easy to overlook what a simple bottle update or towel switch can do to either bring a style down or boost the aesthetic. For example, after a while I tend to collect bottles in my bathroom that are different sizes and styles. Since I want to buy shampoo for quality instead of how the packaging looks (although that’s tempting being a designer), I decided to purchase these amber bottles so I didn’t need to worry about how my favorite bath products looked with my bath decor. In the process, I was able to streamline the amount of bottles I have (it is spring cleaning season after all!) and make everything look uniform. I partnered with Brother’s P-Touch Cube to label each bottle so I don’t use body wash in my hair or anything.

More after the break!  (more…)




  • » DIY DESIGN | Livin
  • ENTRYWAY | peg
  • KITCHEN | Green
  • EXTERIOR | home
  • EXTERIOR | Black


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