“Happiness starts here.”
The heartfelt sign hangs near the basement stairs in this cheerful and imaginatively decorated ranch-style farmhouse. And downstairs is the roomy workspace where most of the homeowner’s DIY projects take shape.
“Several years ago, I started a DIY list of things I wanted to do, and now I’m getting to the end of the list. I’m really the queen of Pinterest, except I only pin what I really love,” says the homeowner and mother of two young children.
You’ll find her projects displayed throughout the home. In the master bedroom, for example, she upcycled a used wood pallet into a headboard by sanding the wood, securing it to the wall and using a transfer to print the word “forever.” Then she turned a piece of leftover wood into a jewelry wall hanger for her necklaces. In the downstairs family room, she painted another used pallet in soft colors for the wall behind the sectional sofa.
“I’m third-generation farmer, and my husband is sixth-generation. I love the farmhouse look, but the colors are sometimes too neutral for me. I’m an artist, so I’m not afraid of color,” she says, confessing a love for chalk paint.
She’s also a graphic artist and former copy editor, so words and letters figure prominently into her decorating, as does the color soft teal – “and birds … you’ll see lots of little birds here and there.”
After painting a salvaged storage cabinet, she created colorful animal appliques for match storage bins, and turned an old potting bench into a place to display some of her collection of family keepsakes and dairy-related memorabilia. She also enjoys making tiny furniture and accessories from found objects for her daughter’s dollhouse.
An avowed DIYer, she has worked on both of the home’s renovations, the latest a major reno in 2014 that added square footage and included relocating the basement stairs from the kitchen to the addition.
“We needed more space with having two kids. Our family lives in close proximity, so we frequently share meals with the nieces and nephews,” she says. “Having a big kitchen and an island is useful space.”
Her father-in-law acted as the general contractor, while she supplied some of the labor. She also installed a luxury vinyl plank floor throughout the kitchen and the basement.
“This is a working dairy farm, so everything has to be durable, forgiving and easy to clean. We laid the floor out ourselves, and it was my job to make sure the planks flowed right.”
One of her biggest – and most Pinterest-worthy — project — was decoratively painting the basement stairs. Using an idea found on Pinterest, beadboard was cut to size and installed on each riser, and the treads were painted in duck egg blue. “But it looked so boring. I decided I had to do something different.”
So she grabbed the chalk paint and started over, building on the original idea. Now the treads are painted soft white with blue stripes on either side of blocks of espresso, and crisp numbers are attached to each tread.
“It’s a statement piece in the basement – and turned out to be a fun way to teach the kids how to count,” she adds.