BARNHOUSE | Backyard Dining Area Reveal!!


I am SO EXCITED to share our backyard dining area at the Barnhouse! It seems unbelievable that the picture below is how this space looked last year at this time. This backyard has been such a labor of DIY love (and exhaustion, ha!). Last Summer we cleared out garbage, leveled, built the fence, laid the pavers and rolled out sod...then we needed a break (Check the BACKYARD highlights on @ISPYDIY IG for more info.) This Summer it’s time to really amp up the backyard and make it the space our family can enjoy for the few nice weather months we get here in Wisconsin. The first area I tackled was the dining area!

The gazebo was the game-changer in the backyard! It really defined a space for the dining area, and provides the right amount of shade for us to hang out with the babe on hot days. The Wood & Steel Gazebo by Sunjoy was delivered in a compact box and we were SUPER impressed on how concise the directions and organized the parts were. They even included a bag of extra parts that were labeled EXTRA PARTS (so we didn’t freak out when there were loose nuts and bolts after it was done!!). They recommend having a few people do the assembly together, but quarantine… so Mr. Yolo assembled it by himself over the course of 3 days. He said with a couple helping hands it would have taken about 5 -6 hours. My favorite features? It’s real wood! The metal roof is so slick, it’s translucent at the top to let in a little light. AND we could hang a chandelier, which makes it the most cozy place to hang in the evening. It just feels SO magical!!! I am so happy with it, and would highly recommend!

I really wanted to mix the old and the new back here. The table and the outdoor rug is from World Market (link at the end), and the chairs and bench are vintage. The mix felt perfectly eclectic!

I came out of retirement to make a charcuterie board, ha! Preparing them before parties was stressing me out, so I took a hiatus. But this one felt right. I am excited to make more this Summer!

World Market reached out about shooting a video campaign in the space, so you might see it popping up in their marketing! The video was to promote their outdoor products, so everything on the table (and the table) is from World Market. Links are at the end of the post!

For the video shoot, my neighbor (and wonderful friend) created this insanely beautiful (and yummy!) burger bar and homemade focaccia! The Yolo residence is definitely still working on the whole cooking dinner thing, but Mr. Yolo has grilling down! So we can’t want to create more burger bars for family dinners 🙂

Shopping links after the break!




I SPY ABODE | Bathroom Refresh & Paint Reveal!!


SURPRISE!! It’s Modern Mocha!!! Who guessed it?! For the last week we have been giving the bathroom at I Spy Abode a paint refresh on @ISPYDIY Instagram stories, but hiding the color from you all. I have to admit this color is out of my comfort zone, and midway through I was definitely questioning it, but the final result is exactly what I was hoping for. With the walls painted with Behr’s Modern Mocha, it feels WAY more dynamic than the white walls, and there is a cozy warmth in the space that is perfection.

Ok, so when I picked the color Modern Mocha , I was sold on the fact that it was pink. Then, as we started painting it was looking a lot more brown…which was not what I was going for in a bathroom…yikes. But then as I started to decorate, and with the light streaming in, it looked like the color I imagined. I did not tweak the color in the photos at all, so this is true to how it looks in my bathroom. But let me repeat, in MY bathroom. This is definitely a color you should test on your wall, with your light. And if you have a room without natural light, I would anticipate it would look a lot more brown.

This whole refresh started because the old vanity in here was a temporary install. When I was renovating years ago, I *ahem* ran out of money for this room, so just used left-over butcherblock for the vanity top, which was a temporary fix that lasted three years. We had this Kohler vanity leftover from the Duplex renovation and it fit perfectly in this bathroom. Since we were changing out the vanity, why not repaint and decorate the whole bathroom (logical, right?!?)

I have a feeling I am going to get some questions on why I painted the ceiling. Honestly, Mr. Yolo started rolling on the color, and looked at me and said “ceiling too”, and I said “Sure!” Go with your gut! I love how dramatic it looks, and the contrast of the color against the graphic tile is so pretty once you step in the door.

I switched out the old mirror with a brass one from Amazon, and am in love! The brass on brass is a little unexpected, but feels right to me.

This refresh was all about using items I already had in the house, so I pulled this art from the bedroom. They are from Juniper Print Shop, and I had Shutterfly print it on canvas with a walnut frame a couple years back.

A few more details! The stool is an old Target purchase. And the shower curtain is just a linen window curtain. The rug is one of my favorite printed ones from Loloi. I added the rug, curtain, curtain rod, and towel to my Amazon shop.

More art from Juniper Print Shop; Flight, printed and framed in a gold frame I found at Goodwill. And some Magnolia branches I clipped from my bush at home 🙂





BARNHOUSE | Before & After DIY Dream Pantry

Before & After, DIY PROJECT

Ahhh, that magic feeling of walking into a space that you DIYed… I built the shelves and peg rail in the Barnhouse pantry forever ago, but I have had a bunch of requests for the details recently, so better late than never!

Originally, this pantry space was a bathroom. Sitting right off the kitchen, this was…well….disgusting. So, we moved the bathroom and turned the space into a butler’s pantry. 

Here’s the thing. I may not be great at cooking, but I love to entertain and arrange food on platters. This room helps me do just that! It’s an incredibly useful space that’s less about food and more about utility. 

However you plan to use your pantry, here are a few tips for creating one you’ll love, even if you have just a small space and minimal budget.

Maximize the Space with a Mix of Storage

Since this pantry is only 5′-6″ wide, in order to keep clear of the door opening I used upper cabinets for bases. Using uppers as your lowers is a great trick to get more space because they are narrower than typical base cabinets. The only additional step is to build a simple base to get the overhang of a typical base cabinet. The countertop is an off-cut piece of butcher block stained Walnut to match the kitchen countertops. Instead of upper cabinets I used shelves. For the upper shelving, I wanted something with depth to fit plates, platters, and larger items, so I used Ikea brackets and 1×12 boards.

DIY: To create the shelves, I used Ikea brackets (this is a link to the newer version of this bracket) screwed into the studs. The shelves are spaced 14” apart vertically and are made of 1x12in pine boards. Also, a fun little idea I saw on A Daily Something is to use a dowel in the angle of the shelf brackets as a paper towel holder.

On the opposite side, I wanted a place to hang brooms, dustpans and cleaning supplies, so I created a wall of peg rails. It made the wall functional without being cutting into the width of the room. Then I rested a thin piece of wood on the peg rails to make a temporary, moveable shelf for cleaning products.

DIY: Check out my peg-rail tutorial here!

Consider How It Will Function

It’s all about the planning. When mapping out your space, factor what you’ll put in your pantry when you determine the height and depth of your shelves and cabinetry. Make sure you know your dish, storage container, or food dimensions, so you plan a space that fits everything without items hanging over the edge. 

Consider how different containers will help you sort like items and where you’ll put the most-used items, so they’re within easy reach.

Embrace Open Shelving

I love how airy this space feels, which is mostly due to the open shelving that allows me to see most everything. It makes entertaining much more fun, because I don’t have to dig for hidden things in the back of the cabinets to find what I need. When a space is open, you are so much more intentional about what you store. Since even my cleaning supplies are visible, I find well-designed packaging to display it. It’s those little extra touches that make me so happy!

I get a ton of questions on open shelving and dust. For me, I’ve never had a huge issue with that. I have that wine glass hanger from the Container Store that hangs classes upside-down that helps with dust. And before I use wooden bowls or platters that may have been sitting a while, I quickly wash them out. Most of the everyday plates and bowls get used so frequently that they don’t accumulate dust. 

The door was thrifted and painted! Check out the video tutorial for it HERE!  

Give it Personality

You know me — just because it’s a utility pantry doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have style! I painted the walls Behr Swiss Coffee and the shelves Behr Silver Celadon chalk paint. On the floor, the Bricklane Tile from the Tile Shop continues through from the kitchen. And the light from Amazon adds that extra spark (see what I did there?). Overall, I love how the space fits so well with the rest of the Barnhouse. There’s no reason small, practical spaces can’t be designed just as thoughtfully as the larger ones in your home. 

This room sparks so much joy. If you do your own DIY pantry, make sure you tag me and use #doityoloself so I can be sure to see it.




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