MY DIY | Gold-Dipped Side Table Stump


My family cut down a tree last summer, and I volunteered to take the stumps because I knew I wanted to try to make gold dipped side tables using spray paint from my amazing longtime sponsor Krylon® Brand! I honestly thought this was going to be a huge undertaking, I’ve seen the high price tags of stump side tables in stores, so thought they had to be impossible to make, right?! Not at all! I was blown away at how quickly we were able to strip the bark and sand with the right tools and some elbow grease. The key is drying out the stump as much as possible, I had mine sitting in the basement all winter, but since we are in Wisconsin, I still saw a little dampness when we took off the bark. I sat the stumps in front of a couple electric heaters overnight once the bark was off, and it was good to spray paint the next day with Krylon ColorMaster®Paint + Primer – 25% More Metallic Gold and Krylon ColorMaster® Paint + Primer – 25% More Matte Greige.

Tips for taking off the bark: We tested a couple different techniques, the chisel and hammer worked great, just be prepared for an arm workout, ha! And the hand guard was a game changer because you can hammer away without smashing your fingers. After we got the big chunk of bark off, I used the putty knife as a chisel to take off a thin layer of wood to really clean it up, and it worked great (note that under the bark was damp, and a putty knife might not work as well on dry wood). Next experiment was using an electronic grinder with a flap disk attachment, which just blasted all the bark off (power tools are cool!) If you have a grinder or want to make a bunch of these, this way was quicker, and made the sanding process faster.

Tips for sanding: I used both an orbital and palm sander, and the orbital with a rough 60 grit worked great for smoothing down all the bumps, and then finished up using a palm sander with a 220 grit to smooth it out before painting. The stripping of the bark and sanding took about an hour and a half total (less when using the grinder), and the spray painting about 15 min. So it is a totally  doable project!! I wanted to use this stump in my bathroom to hold my shampoo and conditioner, and thought spraying the bottom part gold would make it look super luxe, and I am SO happy with how it turned out! I love that some of the original stump is peeking out creating a cool contrast between the metallic and wood. The top was not cleaning up a nice as I hoped, so tried out the Matte Greige (Grey/Beige) and LOVE the neutral color! We have a few more stumps and I think we might spray one entirely Greige.


Project Time: 2.5 Hours

What you need:
Chisel (with hand guard)
Putty Knife
60 Grit sandpaper
Safety glasses and mask
Painters tape
1 can Krylon® ColorMaster® Paint + Primer – 25% More Metallic Gold
1 can Krylon®ColorMaster® Paint + Primer –  25% More Matte Greige

Check out all the steps and supplies after the break! (more…)



DIY EATS | Salmon Avocado Toast


I have been having a lot of fun making more meals in the Barnhouse kitchen! I have to admit, I was spending way too much at the coffee shop every morning, so started brewing coffee at home, but the bigger bummer was not having the smoked salmon sandwich to go, so I set out to make it myself. I used one of Martha Stewart’s recipes (because she is a domestic queen) and put my own spin on it.


What you need: 
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
juice squeezed from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 avocado
1 slice whole-grain toasted bread
Smoked Salmon
What to do:  
1. Combine the onion, lemon juice, capers, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a bowl. Let stand until the onions soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
2. In another bowl, mash the lemon zest and avocado with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
3. Spread half of the avocado mixture on one slice of toast, layer on Smoked Salmon, and top with the onions and capers. Garnish with Dill.

And to make it even more fun I used a bunch of kitchen utensils and dish-ware from Martha’s line at Macy’s. Yes! Everything in this pic is from MARTHA!

Wood Cutting board – Bread Box – Salt holder – Mortar & Pestle  – Champagne Silverware  – Avocado Slicer – Napkins– Baroque Dinnerware Set– Hammered Copper Salt and Pepper Grinder set



BARNHOUSE RENOVATION | Master Closet makeover


I was SO excited when I saw this little alcove in the Barnhouse because I knew it would be PERFECT for a master walk-in closet! Once the door was closed up and all the drywall was done, I was not quite sure how to design the space to work for the joining of mine and my hub’s clothes in our first closet together. I was wandering around The Container Store and LOVED how the Elfa closet system looked and functioned, so I reached out, and they offered to help me design and install the space, and I am OBSESSED with how it turned out! Then, taking some tips from Marie Kondo, I moved in all my clothes (and a few of my hubs) in a super organized way, which is making life so much easier. Let me take you along the process!  

Closet design: The process was so simple, I measured the closet space, then set up a meeting with a designer at my local The Container Store. We walked through all the sample closets and I told her about our needs and budget. She sent me off to walk around the store for 20 min, and I came back to a completely designed the closet rendering. The designer talked me through what she did, and then we adjusted it until it was perfect! I loved how they could totally customize it, I got to pick the wood tone, bracket color, the pulls, and they even factored in my height so I could hang long dresses without touching the floor.
ispydiy_closet6ispydiy_closet8 Install: The Container Store was nice enough to send over someone to install, but I watched the whole process and it’s totally DIYable if you are looking to save the install cost. They screwed a rail into the studs, then all the vertical tracks hang on the rails. Then you add and adjust your shelves. My favorite finishing touch was the plugs that snapped into the tracks to cover up the holes and make them fade into the background. The Shoe Rack is a gamechanger! It can be mounted on wall or hang on a door, and it is AMAZING for seeing all the shoes I am wearing in one, visible place. It claims it can hold 36 pairs! I don’t think I will push it to the max, and instead keep the off season pairs up top in the canvas baskets, and display the one I am currently wearing (plus my prettiest heels!)  

ispydiy_closet7 (more…)




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