A little over a year ago I posted the kitchen before/after on the site (when we were still mid-renovation!), but I wanted to update the post, because we made some changes and I am just so happy with how much more homey the space is now. A couple updates like staining the wood and adding salvaged barnwood to the peninsula, really warmed up the kitchen making it the inviting space I wanted it to be!

beforeThis worn down kitchen with outdated wallpaper and paint colors needs a major update.
A little reminder at what I was working with! One thing that drew me too the 1875 built home were the tall ceilings and the layout, which I was able to keep the same during the renovation! Things that needed to go: Carpets in the kitchen, yuck! The bulky radiators were removed and forced-air was added throughout the house. And the doorway in the kitchen to the bathroom had to go!

I wanted to open up the kitchen to the rest of the house so we tore down this wall of closets separating the dining room from the kitchen. As the closet was getting demoed we uncovered a chimney right in the middle of where the peninsula would go. As much as I LOVE exposed brick in a home (especially Cream City brick, which is made in Milwaukee) I did not like it blocking the view of the kitchen, so it had to come down! 
The walls came down, but the window and door placement all stayed the same.

Blank slate!

after ispydiy_barnhouse_kitchen
The After! This kitchen is the heart of our home, everyone gathers around the peninsula, which makes me SO happy! We call this house the Barnhouse because of the red board & batten exterior, so I kept that in mind when designing the space. I was really drawn to black cabinets for this kitchen, but I did not want it to feel too heavy, so stuck with just dark lowers, and skipped the uppers. Besides the cabinets and the tile, there is a TON of DIY in this kitchen. Keep reading to find out all the projects I did myself! 
One of my FAVORITE DIY projects in the kitchen is ledge with the pot hanging rack, I made a DIY video for it on IGTV! It was super simple, and the racks were from IKEA making it a super affordable project that functions great and has a high visual impact! I thrifted the floral art in Austin, and when I set it on the shelf, I loved how it tied together ALL the colors in the kitchen. I was meant to be 🙂

The door on the left lead to a bedroom and the one on the right lead to a bathroom…very strange placement to be in the middle of the kitchen. So the bathroom became the pantry, and the other door was closed up to create the wall for the range, hood, refrigerator and pantry.

All the rich wood makes me so happy! The beam and the wood on the front of the peninsula are pieces that we salvaged from a 100+ year old barn that was being torn down. Fun fact: it was 98 degrees on the day we were scrapping this wood, and I thought my hub was insane when he wanted to load this huge beam into the truck, but he persisted and I am SO GLAD he did because it fit perfectly here. It’s a great natural way to separate the kitchen from the rest of the house. I stained the barn wood on the front of the peninsula by watering down some black paint I had and applying it with a brush, it feels just the right amount of modern and rustic. The hood is also a DIY project that I kinda winged one night, it’s built over a regular hood, because I wanted a back up plan if it did not turn out (you can read all about the appliances here) I have a few iPhone photos of the process, so let me know if you want a tutorial!

Behind this door used to be a bathroom, it’s now a pantry! I’ll be sharing the pics of that next week 🙂 
This kitchen was honestly a dream to design, and although cooking is my weakness, I love this space and spend a ton of time in the kitchen. I love that it’s where everyone gathers, eats, chats, and plays games. Truly the heart of the home!  Please let me know if you have any additional questions in the comments! Sources after the break!  (more…)



BAYVIEW BARNHOUSE | Wooded Bathroom Renovation Reveal


I’m finally sharing a tour of the downstairs bathroom with you all! This might be the quirkiest room in our 1875 Barnhouse. I don’t have any before images that make sense because this used to be a bedroom…that had a door that opened into the kitchen….hmmm. And the old bathroom was next to this bedroom, and it also had a door that opened into the kitchen….yikes. So I moved things around a bit, and the former bathroom is now the pantry and the former bedroom is not this bathroom. Make sense? 

Another quirky thing: I moved the bathroom entry from the kitchen, and rerouted it so you enter through the office.  It’s a little random, but I love giving a tour of this part of the house, because people are always surprised by this large hidden bathroom on the first floor. It’s always fun to see poeple’s response to the bathtoom, the sink and shower are standouts that make this space so fun! 

I have a list of ALL the shopping links at the end, so head there now OR I check out answers to your most asked questions about the bathroom below:

What’s the wall and trim paint color?! (all colors are Behr)
Blue Metal – The bottom of the bathroom walls are painted this beautiful shade of deep blue. This color is a little tricky to take pictures of because is some lights it’s super blue and in others it looks a little more green. I would definitely suggest testing it on your walls to make sure you like how it looks in your space. I got it in a matte finish, because the deep color looks so rich without a shine.  

Swiss Coffee – The ceiling and walls outside the bathroom are painted with my favorite white, Swiss Coffee. The finish is matte. 

Cotton Knit – The door trim is the smidge darker Cotton Knit. The finish is Eggshell.

What is this AMAZING sink? I KNOW! It’s so good right? It’s the Farmstead from Kolher, and it can be used in a kitchen, laundry room, bathroom…anywhere! You can mix and match with different legs and accessories, I used these:
Farmstead Free Standing Enameled Cast Iron Sink w/Black Underside
Transitional Legs
Farmstead walnut cutting board
Farmstead utility rack
Artifacts deck-mount bridge faucet
It’s an investment, but a total statement sink that would be a showstopper in a kitchen!

Thoughts on the shower enclosure, and did the spray painted base hold up? I love this corner shower! It fits perfectly in the space. And I will be honest, I have not showered in it, but my hub has and said it’s a comfortable space and not claustrophobic. The doors are plastic, not metal, and the grids and sandwiched between the glass, and it opens at the corner. I got a white base, but immediately regretted it, and wish I got the black, so researched how to fix it. I got some black appliance spray paint, and taped off the outer curb and sprayed it black. I was SO HAPPY with how it turned out, and it has held up amazing. I *think* it would have held up on the inside too, but was nervous that the water might cause it wear it away.

How did you finish off the edge of the tile in the shower? I bought subway tile for the shower, and at the last minute has them switch it to run horizontal, just for something a little different, and I am super happy with the change. To finish off the edge I used a metal L-angle tile edging trim in matte black, check out a bunch of options here.
More info about the DIY light fixture!
The Schoolhouse Ceiling Light I got on Amazon is sold out, but there is still a nickel version, that could be spray painted. I created the stripes using Black  Whiteboard Grid Art Tape(3mm).  It’s been a few months and the light is on regularly, and the tape has held up great!
ispydiy_barmhouse_woodsybathroom2 ispydiy_barmhouse_woodsybathroom
Where did the little signs on the door come from?
I bought them both from boutiques, the WC one from Orange & Blue in Milwaukee, and the Laundry one from In The Moment Restorations in Manitowoc. Give them a call and see if they can mail them 🙂

What the deal with the tile/wood floor? And are you worried about a wood floor in the bathroom?  These are the original hardwood floors from 1875! If you want to know a little more about how they were re-finished, head this way. I’ve received some questions about the hardwood floors in the bathroom, and honestly, if this would have been the main bathroom we shower in, I might have considered running tile through the whole room, but this is the main floor bathroom and guests only shower here occasionally, so the floor does not get wet often.
This is a new entry to the bathroom that used to be a closet, and sadly the original hardwood floor was not in the closet, so I made the decision to patch it in with the same porcelain tile from the kitchen/entryway. The washer/dryer is in the closet next to the bathroom, and the built-in office in behind me in this photo. Check out the image below!ispydiy_barmhouse_woodsybathroom6
Is that removable wallpaper? And is it ok to put it up in a bathroom? YES! I love Chasing Paper Tree Toile Wallpaper adhesive wallpaper and have put it in two other bathrooms and I am so impressed at how easy it is to install and how well it stays up (you can remove it with no harm to the walls). We don’t take a ton of showers in the bathroom, but the one in my Airbnb gets used NONSTOP and the wallpaper has not peeled anywhere. I could not recommend it more!
ispydiy_barmhouse_woodsybathroom2 copy
What the deal with the black toilet? I am pretty surprised at how often I get asked this question. Toilets are not the chicest item in the bathroom, so why not make it extra fancy… while also disguising it a bit. Ha! This is my third bathroom designed with a black toilet and I plan on putting one in my next bathroom!  ispydiy_barmhouse_woodsybathroom7
Shopping credits after the break…  (more…)



AS SEEN ON | Rachael Ray Show – DIY Dog leash & treat holder


A while back (before I painted the back door pink, ha!) the people at The Rachael Ray show reached out to see if I could share a couple doggie DIYs. Of course! I crafted up a personalized leash holder and treat container for Big Papi and Griffin, and sent in an At-Home video. It just aired yesterday! If you missed it, the supplies/steps are below and the segment is a the end of this post! 
Personalized Dog Treat Container
What you need:
Plastic bones

What to do:
Spray paint the plastic bone in a well-ventilated area outside.
Super glue it to the top of the canister.
Personalize the canister with letter stickers.
ISPYDIY_RachaelRay_Dogleash_treats2 ISPYDIY_RachaelRay_Dogleash_treats3
Personalized Leash Holder
What you need:
Slice of wood (which you can get at a craft store)
Double hooks
Paint pen
Pen or pencil

What to do:
Trace your dog’s face with a pen or pencil on the piece of wood. (You can free hand it or find an outline online as a guide.)
Fill in the outline with paint pen.
Attach a double hook with a drill and screws.
Mount to your wall and hang leashes!

WATCH THE RACHAEL RAY Segment Below! Or watch it HERE! 





  • » DINING ROOM REFRESH | Breakfast Bistro
  • » BAYVIEW BARNHOUSE | Wooded Bathroom Renovation Reveal
  • » BAYVIEW BARNHOUSE | Wooded Bathroom Renovation Reveal


DIY happiness straight to your inbox.