Before & After, DIY PROJECT, Home DIY, The Barnhouse

ispydiy_barnhouse_livingroom11 Last week our Barnhouse was photographed for a magazine which was an AMAZING experience! To see the house we have been renovating for the last couple years come to life in photographs was surreal. I can’t share which magazine yet, and the story won’t be out until 2020, but in the meantime I snapped some pics of the house and wanted to show you some before and afters, starting with the livingroom! Heads up, a lot of the room is vintage finds, but all the sources of non-antique finds are at the bottom of the post. We actually had an amazing thread going on my IG this week when I asked readers if they get frustrated or inspired when a lot of the decor in a room makeover is thrifted. Mostly, you all LOVE second-hand finds (with some linkable items mixed in)! And agreed that it brings a uniqueness to a space, which made me so happy because I LOVE thrifting!  Now time for the before…and afters!

beforeispydiy_barnhouse_livingroom_before4after ispydiy_barnhouse_livingroom12
This original archway was one of the selling factors of this 1875 built house, I just LOVE this view into the livingroom (and the reverse view of the kitchen!) I get asked most commonly, what are the paint colors?? Wall Paint Color: Behr Swiss Coffee
Trim Paint Color: Behr Cotton Knit. It is a little hard to tell in this photo but the trim is a shade darker then the trim, and the both colors are whites with some warmth to them. I  absolutely love Swiss Coffee, the whole house is painted this color, and I am using it in our new renovation, AND I have recommended it to others….every person/room loves it!!

Fireplace: I knew from day one of the renovation that I wanted to build a fireplace on this wall. It would be the grounding focal point of the room (check out the DIY here!), and we were able to customize it so the box for the TV (yes that art is a TV!) would be housed in a cubby in the fireplace. The Frame TV by Samsung is a game changer, because it looks like art when it’s off and you can change the art every day if you want! It’s seriously fooled half our guests. We got it on Black Friday on Amazon heavily discounted, so if you can wait a few months I highly recommend it!
Layout: One other thing I will say about this room is that there is usually a sectional where that couch on the left is, we moved it out for the photoshoot, and used this West Elm one that used to live in the Airbnb because the magazine wanted to get a shot of the whole room, and the staircase on the opposite side. The sectional blocked both shoots…so in full disclosure, the sectional will probably go back in the room, or I will find a lower profile one for the room because we need a spot for the hub, me and the two pups to cuddle when we watch movies. Since this room is our livingroom AND den/familyroom, plus it’s the first room you see when you walk in the house, it’s been a challenge tying to balance style and function. I don’t actually think I have achieved it yet, but wanted to show you the space in every stage!

Lighting: Right before the shoot we installed new lighting (the old ones will be reused in our new duplex renovation) and WOW did it elevate the space! Fun tip: There is no hardwiring on the wall so we just mounted them on the wall and use puck lights with a remote to turn them on and off (check my HACK highlight on IG). The chandiler also has beautiful shades but was feeling like it was shade heavy with the sconces so took them off, and now I love how they work together! Oh, and the sconces are only $125 for the double light, which considering the quality, I was amazed at that price!
Curtains: The other addition that really elevated the room was removing the blinds and hanging curtains, the brass rod from Annie Selke is the PERFECT gold, and I feel so fancy every time I walk into this room, ha! We hung them so the 108″ curtains just pool about two inches on the ground, and probably could have hung them a little lower to even out the space above and below the rod and then hemmed the curtains, but I love the height it brings to the room!
Thrifted Finds: The barrel side table and the end tables by the couch where acquired from my in-laws. The coffee table was a $40 Antique market find that I painted the top with Behr Black Onyx Chalk paint, I still need to seal with a chalk paint topcoat because I am already seeing some drinks rings. I picked up the wood caddy (for the *real* fire, ha!) for $20 at an antique store. And the little accessories like books, bowls candle sticks are all Goodwill finds!

Painting the Stairs: This stair case transformation makes be SO darn happy, my insane brain was considering replacing this original railing, but painting it Behr Satin Black gave it the updated look I wanted, LOVE!!! We went through a whole process of attempting to strip the original stain, which was a huge headache and ended up using a deglosser, then sanding, then using a Kilz primer (tinted Gray) so the paint would stick, then using the Satin Black in an exterior paint, and I am blown away how well the paint is holding up. Before the runner the pups ran up and down and even their claws did not chip or scratch it!
Runner: My design assistant, Hannah, was installing the runner the day the stylist showed up for the shoot, so everyone was stepping over the poor girl as she worked. But she still did an amazing job! We used the Dash & Albert Samson Black Indoor/Outdoor Runner, actually 3 of them that we pieced together using their tutorial. It took a couple hours, and a whole lot of staples, but walking up and down these stairs is a million times nicer, and we used a thick carpet pad under each step so it’s a squishy dream on the feet!
Art: I was not quite sure what to do for art on the stairs, and when the magazine came to photograph the house, the stylist asked if I had a few paintings I could group together, and I ran around the house and gathered these, we arranged them, and they look pretty darn perfect! I have to admit that I stole them from other rooms, so the question now is, do I find new ones for the other rooms? Or put these back and find new ones for the stairs? I think I would like to replace the floral ones with landscapes…but this is the now! All these were thrifted for between $3 and $40!

Gallery Wall: Ok, let’s talk gallery walls. I did a poll on my IG, and a bunch of you still love them. I am torn, but saw a few with neutral colors, so gathered up all my thifted frames and put this together…I’ll admit, I don’t love it. I think there needs to be more variation in the size of frames and I think it needs to fill more of the wall.  I also think, that in general, it’s really busy for the room that we relax in and watch movies…so it might move. Maybe to the stairs.  I also need to find some larger pieces. My home is always a work in progress, ha! What do you all think?!?
Thrifted Finds: Everything in this shot (except the soft goods, like rugs and the chair) is thrifted! Included the door in the background!

SHOPPING LINKS! (if I missed anything, ask in the comments!)
Wall Paint Color:
Behr Swiss Coffee
Trim Paint Color: Behr Cotton Knit
Stair Color: Behr Black Satin
Rug: Dash & Albert Harwich Natural Woven Jute Rug 
Stair Runner: Dash & Albert Samson Black Indoor/Outdoor Runner
Entry Runner: Loloi Layla Runner Olive/Charcoal 
Curtain Rod: Brass Pine Cone Hill Rod 102″-144″
Finials: Brass Pine Cone Hill Pineapple Satin Finial Set of 2
Curtains: Pine Cone Hill Lush Linen Natural Curtain Panel
Sofa: West Elm Andes Sofa 
Sconce: CraftMade Ella Brass Wall Sconce
Chandelier: Craftmade Parker 6 Light Chandelier
Entry Light: Patriot Lighting Annika Black & Natural Brass Pendant
ART/TV: Samsung The Frame Smart TV 55″ 
CHAIR: Article (no longer available)

EXPLORE MORE: Before & After, DIY PROJECT, Home DIY, The Barnhouse



  1. Heather Townsend says:

    Wow looks absolutely amazing! We’ve just started a renovation project so I’m so pleased I’ve found your blog!Congrats on the magazine feature too! xx Heather (

  2. Catherine says:

    Beautiful! I find that with gallery walls, the only way the pictures look good grouped together is to put them all in the same color & style frames. This gives a more cohesive look to the photo grouping.

  3. says:

    This transformation is amazing! You did an incredible job!


  4. Kate says:

    Was the wall sconce in the entry way thrifted? I have a weird niche in my house I’ve been looking to fill and that would be perfect. Truly an amazing transformation!

    1. Jenni says:

      Yes! Got it at an estate sale 🙂

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