Designing a Bohemian Lounge

It was only a month ago that I revealed the new downstairs space, but it has already undergone a makeover—in a new design style!

For my fourth Wayfair assignment, I was asked to update a room with a specific lifestyle theme in mind, and when “traveler” was suggested, a visual immediately popped into my head. Since returning from Asia, I’d been dreaming about incorporating some of the patterns, textures and decor in my home so I could feel (almost) as if I were there again.

Click below to watch the video Wayfair and see how it all came together:Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.35.51 AM

For this makeover I focused on the daybed lounge area in the back of the downstairs space, which wasn’t bad to begin with but it was on the neutral side and could use a bit more personality.

I always like to start these posts with a before, so here’s how it looked, circa four weeks ago…



And now, with a bit of accessorizing and styling…

IMG_8511 IMG_8512IMG_8505

Existing pieces like the black carved mirror, crystal chandelier, woven blinds and gauze curtains were a solid starting point for the look I was going for, so it didn’t take much to fully commit to the theme.


A leather moroccan pouf epitomizes casual boho style. It was a must have.


More color was necessary, so I layered shades of blue onto the neutral palette. This tassel pillow cover adds tons of texture and pattern, and it’s only $19! My favorite.


Ceilings are often ignored, but I used it to play up the height of the room by hanging faux ferns (in DIY macrame plant holders)…


Along with this gorgeously detailed hanging metal candle lantern:


A second side table was added and tucked behind the garden stool.


A wall of abstract city map art provides a clean lined, modern contrast to the cushions and accessories below and emphasizes the traveler motif.


On the coffee table lies an interesting mix of shapes and materials—a hammered metal tray, woven baskets, succulents, glass lanterns and vintage books.


Variety is the spice of life!


On the back wall, a fun textured wall hanging softens the hard lines while adding a laid back vibe.


Designing this space was all about playing with patterns, color, shape, texture and style. A whole lot of mixing and matching make a room feel lived in and cozy.


I know it’s not the typical modern/farmhouse/vintage look you’re used to seeing from me, but it looks like I’m adding boho to my style lineup. I love this space.


What do you think? Do you like branching out into different styles, or tend to stick to just one? Looking back to my first house in 2008, my taste has changed so much and I know it will continue to evolve through the years, as different life experiences shape the environment I choose to spend my time in. That’s the fun part of design, we can reinvent ourselves as much as we want and it’s all subjective :)

Here’s a list of sources used in this room refresh:

Wall color: Kelly Moore’s Laguna Beach

Rectangle jute rug: Ikea

Daybeds: Ikea Brimnes

Gauze curtains: Ikea Lill

Wood coffee table: DIY

White garden stool: TJ Maxx

Metal & wood side tables: Ross

Crystal chandelier: Overstock

Woven blinds: Amazon

Black frames:  Ikea Fiskbo 16×20″

Art prints: Jenna Sue Design city maps

Black mirror: Borrowed

Bali Wall hanging: Wayfair

Moroccan leather pouf: Dwell Studio/Wayfair

Faux ferns: Wayfair

Hanging candle lantern: Wayfair

Blue tassel pillow: Wayfair

Blue/white damask pillow: Wayfair

All other pillows: Ikea, old or borrowed

Small lanterns: Joss & Main

And that wraps up another makeover! I’d love to hear any questions, thoughts or comments below—and if you liked the video, please do me a favor and give it a thumbs up on Youtube & leave a comment to let Wayfair know as well :) I really appreciate all of the support you’ve given so far.

Another vlog with new projects is up next! If you’re looking for more content, don’t forget to check my instagram, facebook and snapchat @ jennasuedesign where I post daily updates. See you there…


Decorating for Spring: Vlog Episode 17

Summer doesn’t officially begin for another month, but it sure feels like it here in the foothills of Northern California!

For the past several weeks I’ve been focusing on my design projects for Wayfair, wrapping up my parents patio reveal with Joss & Main, and you know, working. Now that the weather is nice, I’m balancing my free time between weekends in the city and getaways in nature.

This week’s vlog includes a dining room makeover I’ll be revealing in 11 days, shots from Monday’s patio reveal, a fun weekend in San Francisco and an outdoor adventure at a nearby lake:

Now that my house is sold with no work in progress for the first time in 5+ years, I’m posting more than ever before. Funny how that works. I’m still not sure how the pace will evolve, but I need to be creating like I need oxygen, so blogging helps fill the void when the DIY projects are gone. And with what I have planned for the rest of the year, I have a feeling the content will increase :)

Up next I have another makeover for you—this time it’s the downstairs lounge area. I explored a decorating style I’ve never tried before and am in love with the results. The reveal (complete with video footage!) will be posted Monday, but in the meantime I’ll be sharing previews on instagram, facebook and snapchat @ jennasuedesign (along with other upcoming projects).

I hope you have a wonderful & warm weekend!


Hosting a Wine Tasting Party (with free printables!)

If you know me at all, then you know I love to throw a good party. My house was designed with entertaining in mind and I’ve been able to make so many fun memories with friends and family over the past couple years.

When Wayfair asked if I could host a wine tasting party, I did a happy dance because this was right up my alley! Click below to watch the video of how it all came together:


A few weekends ago I had some friends and family visiting from out of town, and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to gather everyone together for a fun evening. I’ve never hosted a wine tasting before, so I browsed Pinterest for inspiration and began the planning process.

Fortunately I had a handful of supplies and decor ready to use, and Wayfair let me choose a few more items to execute the look I had in mind.

Having just returned from Napa the weekend before, I visualized a rustic, old world type setting and used lots of neutral, rich colors, and natural materials like wood, stone and jute to pull it all together.


The premise of the evening was to blindly taste six different wines, give each one a rating and guess the varietal, and reveal each bottle at the end. The winner of the game received a small prize to make things more interesting.

I found a couple printable wine scorecard sheets on Pinterest but none of them quite suited my needs, so I whipped up my own instead, along with simple wine bottle tags (download the PDF at the bottom of this post!)


I chose six different varietals of red, and the bottles were placed in jute bags tied with twine, and displayed on a scrap of wood I found in the garage.


For a personalized touch, I used a plain set of matching wine glasses, spray painted the bottoms with chalkboard paint (found at Lowe’s), and wrote the guests names in chalk:


A mix of marble, wood and slate serving platters, bowls and baskets were used for my presentation:
IMG_8406 IMG_8401

And filled with a wide range of snacks like bread, crackers, salami, veggies, olive, nuts and my favorite—cheese:


The guests arrived, music turned up, bottles popped and the sun began to set…


Even the self proclaimed wine connoisseurs had a difficult time identifying the different types of wine.


After a few glasses, some peoples’ answers started getting weird…


The highlight of the night? Reading everyone’s ratings and descriptions aloud as each wine was revealed. It helps if you get creative with your scorecard 😉

My personal favorite turned out to be a Tempranillo, but wine that scored the highest was this 2014 merlot from Grandfather Clock…


By the end of the night, we all left with a new favorite wine and stories to remember. It turned out to be one of my favorite gatherings, and even more special to me because it’s one of the last at this home!

If you’re thinking about hosting a dinner party or small celebration soon, I highly recommend a wine tasting party. It was even more fun than expected (good company and wine go a long way!) and it doesn’t require elaborate planning, supplies or decorations.

You can start with these free PDF printables—click on the image to download them:


And here’s a source list if you spotted something you can’t live without (some items shown in the video):

Jute Wine Bags

White marble cheeseboard

Round acacia wood platter

Driftwood platter

Pizza paddle board

Slate tray

Gold cheese knife set

Tapped Wine Aerator

Wine Glasses

Gem Wine Stopper & Charms

That should cover it! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, and if the video was helpful please make sure to give it a thumbs up and let Wayfair know what you think as well! This assignment was one of my favorites to date and I’m looking forward to sharing more with you. I hope you’re inspired to host your own party now :)

Be back soon with another vlog!


Spring Patio Makeover Reveal

For the past several weeks I’ve been working on a special project for some very special people—with the help of Joss & Main as part of their #10days10patios tour featured by Country Living!

Today marks Day 8 of the event, and I’m joining these other talented bloggers for a patio makeover:

Summer Patio Makeover Tour

Ella Claire | French Country Cottage | Love Grows Wild | Rooms FOR Rent | My Sweet Savannah

Craftberry Bush | City Farmhouse | Jenna Sue Design | Dear Lillie | Kindred Vintage & Co.

When given this opportunity, I knew that my parents deserved (ahem, needed) it more than anyone else. They purchased their original 1962 country cabin 1.5 years ago after falling in love with the outdoor space. Previously owned by a master gardener and surrounded by over an acre of lush fruit trees, plants and flowers blossoming year-round, my parents spend the majority of their time outdoors in the warmer months.


Between planting in their vegetable garden, tending to the chickens, grilling on the deck and stargazing from the hot tub, the yard has become an extension of their living space as they slowly update their forever home.

My parents also love to entertain (wonder where I got it from?) so this opportunity came at the perfect time to prepare for summer gatherings and dinner parties.

The area needing the most help was this side patio just off the back deck:

IMG_2122 IMG_2128

Between the uneven and overgrown sloping ground, the outdated dining set and rusty fire pit, this neglected space was not exactly the setting they’d envisioned to welcome guests:

IMG_2127 IMG_2121

They’d been meaning to tackle this project for a while, but between full time jobs and a never ending to-do list, a swift kick in the pants was necessary to get the ball rolling.

That’s where I came in.

After reviewing the budget and deciding on a game plan, they agreed to contribute their own efforts by investing in a new patio set and hiring a landscaper to fix the sloping ground:


Labor began immediately as we were on a strict blogger’s timeline, and the old bricks were reset onto the newly level surface while my dad worked with an electrician to string up the new lights.

My mom and I focused on the details as I channeled her love of blue, interesting patterns and vintage country style into a cohesive, timeless look.

Here’s how it all came together (hover over this first image for product links!):

Two separate seating areas were created for dining and relaxing, and lighting was introduced in the form of cafe string lights and lanterns. We love the pop of color these hanging glass candle lanterns add to the background:


My parents were fortunate in that they had a beautiful backdrop to begin with, so all it really needed was a bit of planning, new furniture and pretty accessories to create the outdoor oasis they’d always wanted.

IMG_8832 IMG_8815

Styling this shoot was my favorite part. I found some pretty dishes in the cupboard and brought in napkins, a woven tray, and fruit & flowers clipped from the yard:

IMG_8807 IMG_8836

Pretty pillows in shades of blue, green, and yellow/gold add comfort and tie everything together.

IMG_8790 IMG_8816

You can mouse over this image for more direct product links:

An all-weather bench provides storage and additional seating,


While a portable metal tub keeps champagne on ice for easy guest access:


As the sun sets, the lights come on and a natural ambiance is created by sounds of crickets and frogs.


A setting worthy enough to host a special celebration, but also practical for every day life.


A bit of creativity and spatial planning is all it takes to add value to both your home and life.

Want to recreate this look for your own patio? Here’s what I used:

Dining table set (in Sky blue)

Patio Umbrella (beige)

Adirondack chairs (Blue sold out apparently)

Garden stool (cream)

Party tub (steel)

Cafe lights (we used two sets)

Storage bench

Hanging candle lanterns

Reeva lumbar pillow

Daganya pillow (indigo)

Hanna/Hayely pillow (canary)

Odyssey lumbar pillow

Carmela throw (ivory & taupe)

Monique throw

Serving tray (honey brown)

Amalia napkin (blue)

That should cover it! Let me know if I missed anything in the comments, or if you have any general questions/thoughts to share! It’s fun to makeover spaces that aren’t my own… something I’ll have more opportunities to do once my house is gone :)

If you missed yesterday’s beautiful reveal by Jen at City Farmhouse, make sure to go back and check that out, and stay tuned for Dear Lillie coming up tomorrow!

I also shot plenty of video during this photoshoot, so make sure to check back Wednesday for more in this week’s vlog. Happy Monday!


Mother’s Day in Yosemite: Vlog Episode 16

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend! It was cool and a bit rainy here, but that didn’t stop me from spending it outdoors, wandering around Yosemite and capturing some breathtaking footage:

If you need a 3 minute meditation break, this video is perfect. Even after exploring some of the most beautiful and exotic parts of the world, Yosemite remains at the top of my list for pure, natural splendor.


I’m so fortunate to call this place my backyard, and am taking advantage of the short drive while I can.


Each time I visit the park it looks different, but spring is one of my favorite seasons here with the waterfalls at full strength, everywhere you turn.

IMG_8646 IMG_2579

The valley is especially alive and green this year, after the El Niño winter helped relieve the drought.

IMG_8630 IMG_8641 IMG_2578

It was a nice little break from all of the DIY/decorating projects, but I’ve been right back at it this week, working on a ton of new content for you guys.

On Monday I’ll be sharing a patio makeover I completed for my parents, and I’m still planning and executing a few different Wayfair video tutorials which will be released in the coming weeks. I think you’re going to love what I have planned 😉

And if two posts a week aren’t enough, you can find me snapping away on snapchat @ jennasuedesign, or daily updates on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be posting early previews of every post before they hit the blog!

Happy May…




Thrift Store Bookcase/Nightstand Makeover Tutorial

I didn’t expect another DIY furniture project in my future for a while, but when Wayfair asked me try out their peel and stick wallpaper on a bookcase, I went into all out makeover mode.

Today, Wayfair released my second video for their new Inspiration Insiders series, and this week I’m taking you through the process of transforming an old bookcase using trim, paint and wallpaper. Click on the image below to watch, and if the video is helpful it would mean the world to me if you gave it a thumbs up or left a comment!

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.24.55 AM

For those who prefer written content, I’ll be elaborating a bit more on the steps below.

After finding out my assignment called for a bookcase and realizing I didn’t own one, I did what any other budget-minded woman on a mission would do—thrift store! Habitat for Humanity Restore, to be exact. I knew they’d have something there.

And they delivered.


Ah, the unmistakable feeling of potential at first sight.

Okay, so the $5 price tag is really what sold me but I knew it could make for a pretty dramatic “After” with a few magic touches.

I drug the poor mess of a thing into my garage, cleaned it off and evaluated my options for beautification.


There were major blemishes that had to be addressed, like the chunks of fake wood missing and peeling veneer. I remembered back to one of my personal favorite makeovers to date—my “Ikea to vintage” mirror project—and knew I could use trim again to cover the front, add detail & interest and make it feel more substantial.

First, I removed the wood back that was nailed on:


The top of the bookcase was uneven and damaged, so I found a scrap piece of smooth 1/4″ plywood, measured and cut it to size:


The bottom face piece was uneven with the sides, so I cut another small scrap to fit and nailed it in place:



Part 1, done.


I found this 1.25″ vintage style wood trim at Lowe’s and decided the size, style and price were right so I grabbed two pieces to frame the entire front perimeter of the bookcase.


This involved a bit of measuring and mitering:


A few finish nails later…


These $3 wood legs from Lowe’s also caught my eye, and I thought they’d be a nice touch and great way to create additional height.


After a scrap piece of trim was added to the center shelf and the legs installed, the nail holes were filled and a bit of caulk added to the mitered trim seams.


Then it was time for paint! I pulled out my stash of Maison Blanche and settled on one of my favorites—White Pepper french lime paint:


I found that a smooth roller for the flat surfaces and a short handled brush for the trim details/corners worked the best.


This paint is different than most in that it goes on dark and lightens when dry. It’s a muddy gray in the can but finishes to a soft greyish white, and the finish is thick and rich like velvet. Oh, and it covers over the veneer with zero prep work or problems unlike traditional latex paint.

The legs were painted black for contrast and I let the piece dry overnight.


To protect the surface and give it a subtle aged/patina look, I finished it off with a coat of lime wax:


See the difference?


With the wax curing, it was time to focus on the back. I chose this pretty grey & white woodland design from Wayfair:

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 5.03.09 PM

I had planned on reusing the original wood back piece, but being a first time wallpaper-er, quickly learned that you need a completely smooth surface.

So, after another trip to Lowe’s for some smooth hardboard, I was able to successfully peel and stick my wallpaper into place (refer to the video for a demonstration)


For reference, here’s how it looks next to my first attempt using rough wood. Not the best idea… unless you prefer a textured look, I suppose.


The last and final step was to nail my new backing into place:


Let’s revisit the before, in all its thrift store glory…


And here she is now, after a little TLC…


Who’d have guessed this was the same bookcase?




For an inexpensive weekend project, I can’t complain with the results! I like how it’s versatile and can easily be used as a side table or nightstand as well. So many possibilities. What do you think?

How to turn an old thrift store bookcase into a custom night stand using trim, paint and wallpaper... on a DIY budget!

Next week I’ll be sharing a summer patio makeover, plus all the details of my first wine party hosting experience, including another video and free printables. I’m super excited about this one!

In the meantime, you can check in with me as I tackle the never ending list of projects every day on snapchat (@jennasuedesign), instagram and facebook. See you back here in a couple days with a new vlog!


A reason to Celebrate: Vlog Episode 15

Between a new month, warm weather, friends and family visiting from out of town, Monday’s announcement and finally, the good news I’ve been waiting for… this past week was full of reasons to celebrate. Wait until the end:

Spoiler alert:

Yep, my house is officially under contract as of Monday! I don’t have a specific closing date yet due to contingencies but I’m anticipating a smooth escrow and most likely somewhere in the range of two months or so from now. Which is ideal for me as I still have projects I’m working on with Wayfair and don’t want to feel rushed packing and moving things into storage.

What a relief to know that the first hurdle has been cleared, and now it’s really all happening. I’m anxious to share my plans with you, but have decided to wait until closer to my move date to spill the details. Thanks for hanging in there 😉

This vlog episode also includes previews of a couple upcoming Wayfair projects. One is a wine tasting party I hosted (one of the funnest nights I’ve had in a long time) and a room refresh completed and shot just yesterday. Those videos (and blog posts) will be released in the next few weeks!

Even with the house finished and under contract, my days are as full as ever and the to-do list will only continue to grow as I organize and pack up years of belongings. One step at a time!

Coming up Monday is a pretty dramatic bookcase makeover with Wayfair, including a tutorial post and video. My snapchat friends were the first to see the transformation and behind the scenes process, so if you’re active there, find me @ jennasuedesign for more surprises and new projects before they hit the blog. And as always, you can catch up with me on instagram or Facebook.

I hope you all get a chance to celebrate and relax this Mother’s Day weekend! See you soon,



DIY Pipe Leg Desk & Rustic Wood Bench Tutorial

I have some exciting news to kick off this week! I’ve been working with Wayfair on a video series called Inspiration Insiders, where each Monday a new video will be released on their YouTube channel covering a range of design & decorating topics. The series will run for eight weeks and I’ll be sharing new inspiration from party hosting to room refreshes and styling tips, along with a handful of other bloggers.

This new venture has been so much fun for me and the timing couldn’t be more perfect as I focus more on video. It’s also a great opportunity to stay busy with DIY and decorating projects now that the house is finished.

Today the first video was posted, and it’s a quick introduction to my home and design style. The upcoming videos will focus on a specific topic, and they’ll be accompanied with more in depth blog posts.

This is just the beginning, friends, and there’s more big news to share over the coming months. Thanks for coming along on this crazy ride with me!

Now, onto the tutorial…

You may remember spotting this desk and bench in my downstairs reveal post:


You also might recall watching me build them in Vlog Episode 10, which I’ve pulled some screen shots from for this tutorial.

After coming up with a design plan for the sitting area, it was missing one important element that is required in all of my rooms—natural wood!

I decided that a narrow desk and bench under the big window would be a nice addition to provide both function and style. I wanted thick/substantial boards to work with and old, aged wood for character so I skipped Lowe’s and went straight to the local lumber yard.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.09.27 PM

There was acres of boards to choose from, and I selected two 8″ x 7′ boards for the desk top, a couple 2×4’s for the wall brace and bench cross piece, and a single 11.5″ x 7′ board for the bench.


Can you believe all of that beautiful wood cost only $40? My frequent shopper discount didn’t hurt, of course…

I wanted to try something new for the legs and have always loved the look of metal piping, so I headed to Lowe’s and chose a 3/4″ x 60″ black pipe for $16, along with four flanges (this was cheaper than buying two smaller pipes).


The associate cut the pipe down to two 25″ pieces and threaded the ends for me.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.10.14 PM

While the metal is painted black, there was also labels and surface scuffs & scratches, so I gave them a few light coats of black spray paint in satin for a cleaner look.


The desk build was super simple—I used a miter saw to cut my desk boards to the exact width of the window/trim (78″) and set them to the side. For the bench, I found these plans:


Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.11.35 PM

I modified them slightly by making my bench 4′ instead of 5′, but everything was also really straight forward. Since the 11.5″ width was too large for my sliding miter saw, I had to make two cuts by flipping it over and realigning the blade:



For the sides, I measured and traced a V-shape like so:

IMG_1872 IMG_1873

Then I used my jigsaw to cut out the triangles. Doesn’t have to be exactly perfect as they will get sanded down and stained to where it blends in with the rest of the imperfect nature of the wood.


Once my pieces were cut, I used my trusty mouse sander along the edges…

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.10.58 PM

And a belt sander to smooth down the flat surfaces, since this wood was very rough and splintery.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.11.21 PM

To bring out the saw marks and give the wood a richer finish, I pulled out my collection of stains in various colors…


I always experiment during this part because each different type of wood produces different results, so I can’t give you an exact formula. It was a little bit of everything until I found the coloring I liked.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.11.53 PM

After the pieces were stained and had time to dry, they were ready for assembly!

For the bench, I propped the center 2×4″ on a couple paint cans up against a step, and lined up the first side piece:


Using wood glue, I drilled two 3.5″ screws into the side. I didn’t bother counter sinking, filling the holes and staining it since it’s hardly noticeable anyway.

I spun the bench around, repeating the process for the second side, then inserted two more screws on each side for the top.


All done—hardest part over!


Next I brought all of the wood downstairs and began working on the desk.

Since I only used two front legs, the back needed to be supported by a wall brace. I wanted the desk to nestle up right to the bottom of the window trim so I had to carefully measure to leave the right size gap above the top of my 2×4.


Then I had to find the studs, which proved to be near impossible. Usually my stud finder is relatively accurate but my readings were all over the place, so I ended up inserting 10+ screws to hit just a few of the studs.


Once the board was in place, I aligned my top boards and used a scrap piece of wood down the center to attach them, along with a metal bracket on each side for extra support.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.12.11 PM

I also screwed each leg to the wood through the flanges.


Then it was just a matter of lifting the desk assembly and sliding it into place!

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.12.26 PM

For stability, I drilled long screws from underneath, into both the brace and the wood top. This thing is solid and not going anywhere!

The bench was topped with a sheepskin rug from Ikea to break up all the wood and soften the space.


They might be one of my favorite things in the room…


Another weekend project crossed off the list!

Between the wood, pipe and flanges, screws and stain, both pieces ended up totaling around $120—not bad for a custom setup with tons of character, right?

Next week I have yet another DIY furniture project to share along with a video tutorial courtesy of Wayfair. Spoiler alert: it involves a $5 thrift store bookcase, lime paint, wallpaper, and one of the most unrecognizable facelifts I’ve done to date.

If you’re following me on snapchat @ jennasuedesign, you’ve already seen a glimpse of the before and after and I’ll be showing behind the scenes look at more upcoming projects throughout the week. And of course I’m still posting on instagram and facebook, so reach out to me there as well or in the comments and let me know what you think of today’s tutorial!

Wishing you a very happy first week of May,



Turning 31: A very special Vlog Episode 14

Sorry for the late post… these past couple days have been full of challenges and technical difficulties. Normally this would result in overwhelming frustration and mental breakdown, but with the end of a monumental year comes strength, growth and a new sense of peace. Watching this week’s vlog puts things into perspective and makes me realize just how lucky I am to have another year on this earth. Gratitude changes everything.

Last weekend I celebrated the 10th Anniversary of my 21st birthday… and what a celebration it was. Better than my 21st, better than my 30th—in fact it was one of the best birthdays I can remember.

IMG_8198-2IMG_2341IMG_8232 IMG_8237Screen-Shot-2016-04-25-at-10.44.07-AM Screen-Shot-2016-04-25-at-11.34.53-AMScreen-Shot-2016-04-25-at-11.20.29-AM Screen-Shot-2016-04-25-at-11.30.50-AM

From a sunrise hot air ballon in Napa to wine tasting in a castle in Calistoga, to picnics and sunset cruises under the Golden Gate Bridge… it was pretty magical. The perfect way to kick off what will be another year of personal growth and milestones.

This week’s vlog is very special—it was hard to narrow it down but I put together over five minutes of my favorite moments to immortalize the past several days. Video captures the feeling much better than I can through words and images…

I’ll be back Monday with another house project update! As promised, I’m sharing how I built the reclaimed wood desk and bench from the downstairs reveal a few days ago.

And even though the house is done, there’s still multiple projects I’m working on and I’ll be able to share a bit more about those on Monday as well. I’ve been posting behind the scenes looks on snapchat @ jennasuedesign, so follow me there and be the first to find out!

See you soon,




The Downstairs Reveal!

Today I’m celebrating the first day of my 31st year of existence. It’s bittersweet knowing that the most challenging, heart breaking, beautiful and defining year of my life has officially come to an end. I can only hope this year will bring half as much joy and clarity as my 30th. I feel good about where it’s headed, and am looking forward to taking you on this new adventure with me :)

Anyway, back to the reveal. This post has been a looong time coming.

The downstairs level of this house was rarely (never) shown or discussed on this blog, and for good reason. It looked like this for nearly all of the 2.5 years I’ve lived here:


I didn’t know what to do with this area. It was long and narrow and awkward, and there’s more than enough living space upstairs that I never even had to come down here.

So I ignored it.

But then it came time to sell the house, and that meant it was time to address the last room standing—the final frontier.

Before the reveal, let’s do a recap of the full evolution. Going back to the one major change we made in the very beginning… my long time followers may remember this:


We separated that space on the left by converting it into a home theater. You can read all about that process here.



But then for two years, the rest of the downstairs remained forgotten. Until now.

Because I was working with a very limited timeline and budget, the goal wasn’t to create a dramatic transformation as I’m normally inclined to do—but rather, a simple facelift. That meant using what I already had, ordering affordable furniture, and DIYing the rest.

First, I gave the room (and adjoining hallway) a fresh coat of Kelly Moore’s Laguna Beach, which is a warm antique white.

Then the sliding double DIY Barn doors were installed over the home theater entrance, which you can see a couple shots of back in Vlog Episode 8.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.45.21 AM

Next I had to plan the layout. There were already two Ikea Brimnes daybeds in the back of the room (originally from the sunroom in our Florida home), along with a jute rug and DIY coffee table so I decided to leave those as is, and divide the room into two sections by creating a separate seating area in the front.

Because the width of the room is only 10’9″ with doors on one side and a window on the other, this required a little creativity. A standard couch would be too large but chairs were too small, so I found a happy medium with these settees from Overstock:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 8.58.19 AM

I love how classic and versatile the look is and knew I could use it in future homes, so I bought two to place across from each other.

Then, my favorite rug source was having one of their biggest sales of the year, so I jumped on it and picked up this 8′ round jute rug for just $130 shipped:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.01.24 AM

Now that I had my basic seating area layout, it was missing one essential piece—a DIY wood project!

This window (on the right) would make the perfect spot for a built in desk ledge.


You can watch me building that along with a bench in Vlog Episode 10, and I’ll also be posting a full tutorial next week!

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.08.04 AM

After the basics were in, it was all about the details. I picked up curtains, a tree and a few accessories at Ikea, a coffee table at TJ Maxx, hung woven shades, and brought in pillows, blankets and artwork I already had for the finishing touches (full source list at the bottom of this post!)

And here she is today…

IMG_7844 IMG_7846IMG_7847

Pretty cozy, right?


This desk and bench were built in less than a weekend for under $120… can’t really beat that! Looking forward to sharing the process with you next week.

IMG_7872IMG_7878 IMG_7875 IMG_7874IMG_7994

The daybed seating area was divided from the front of the room using gauze sheers and a curtain rod hung from the ceiling. I love the breezy romantic touch it adds…

IMG_7865 IMG_7867IMG_7862

By using what I already owned and sourcing inexpensive options, this space cost very little to put together. That’s my kind of makeover.


Source List:

Wall color: Kelly Moore’s Laguna Beach

Rectangle jute rug: Ikea

Round jute rug: Rugs USA

Daybeds: Ikea Brimnes

Gauze curtains: Ikea Lill

Window curtains: Ikea Lenda

Loveseats: Overstock / Toulouse French Seams Gray Loveseat

Wood coffee table: DIY

White trellis coffee table: TJ Maxx

White garden stool: TJ Maxx

Metal & wood side table: Ross

Crystal chandelier: Overstock

Woven blinds: Amazon

Black frames:  Ikea Fiskbo 16×20″

Art prints: Jenna Sue Design city maps

Canvas art: DIY

Woven floor basket: Ikea (old)

White coffee table tray: Kirklands

Pillows & blankets: Ikea, Etsy, gifted, thrifted, etc

Black mirror: Borrowed

Plants & pots: Ikea & Ikea

Barn doors/hardware: DIY

Desk & Bench: DIY (coming soon!)

Sheepskin rug: Ikea

Lamp: Lowe’s


And that should cover it! If I had more time and funds for this room I’m sure it would look quite different, BUT, given the constraints I had to work under I really am quite pleased with the results and hope the future homeowner will be able to really enjoy this space.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments or if you have any questions/clarifications/thoughts. There’s a full week of projects ahead including shooting a DIY furniture makeover, a backyard patio transformation, hosting a wine party and working on that desk/bench tutorial—all coming your way within the next couple weeks! You can catch all the behind the scenes action by following me on snapchat @ jennasuedesign, or frequent updates on instagram, facebook and twitter.

Enjoy this last week of April!