Fishers DIY HomePhotos by Chris Whonsetler
It’s a series of tough calls walking through Jessica Greenshner’s home. “What did Jessica buy and what did she DIY?” With the help of her Cricut cutting machine, gift for repurposing thrifty finds and innate design sensibility, Greenshner has transformed her home into a character-filled space that’s beautiful and durable — perfect for the boys she shares it with.
She and her husband, Andrew, along with their two sons, Blake (6) and Harley (3), moved from Florida two years ago. At the top of her wish list was a century-old farmhouse she could put her touch on. The compromise was a home built in 1999 in a good school district. Room by room, Jessica has found plenty of spaces to personalize, with an eclectic, rustic style and earthy neutrals.
With a niche for finding hidden gems, Greenshner frequents flea markets, antique markets, garage sales and Goodwill. So much so that her son Blake said, “Mom, why do you like everything so old? Why can’t we ever have something new?”
ACROSS THE TRACKS | Greenshner found these railroad maps, circa 1904, at a Noblesville weekly flea market. During the early 20th century, state maps of rail lines were common. She scored them for $30 apiece. One map’s nails and strings are still intact.
DIRTY TRICKS | To make the new glass milk bottles from Target match the vibe, Jessica tossed in some dirt to dust them up.
PEACE BY PIECE | Greenshner cobbled together this restful bench using legs found at an antique fair ($12), a simple apron and tufted, upholstered pallet wood.
FAMILY TREE | The old shoe trees pay homage to the shoe store her relatives had owned.
STAG FOR A STEAL | Greenshner found the fake deer head for $3 on holiday clearance, and then painted it white. She glued the leaves onto the wreath and hung it all together on weathered shutters.
RIDING THE BENCH | She scored this bench from an old high school. The teal color was original and beautifully antiqued, and it’s a perfect repository for a tray of accessories. A vintage olive bucket sits underneath.
FINE ART ON THE CHEAP | A series of inexpensive frames from Target display pages from a Leonardo da Vinci coffee table book — love this gallery wall.
When the Greenshners moved in, their hallway bathroom was basic and bland. It now has lots of personality, with a patterned tile floor that will make you swoon. With the exception of a plumber and the marble countertop installers, Jessica did everything herself. She says her sons pitched in on the tile work. (Their future partners can thank her later!) It was took her one and half months with a final budget of $1,600 but it was so worth it.
SHAPE UP WITH SHIPLAP | Shiplap turns walls from overlooked canvases into areas of textured interest. Greenshner bought plywood at Home Depot, where they cut it down into 8-foot strips. She painted it white and used a nail gun to nail to the wall.
FLOOR EXERCISES | Jessica wanted a clear focal point, but didn’t want to stray from her color palette. Using her Cricut, she cut out a pattern and painted over the existing white tile. The process: three coats of primer, followed by two coats of white chalk paint, then black chalk paint for the stencil, and finishing with four coats of sealant. It was no easy task, but the payoff is showstopping.
VANITY FAIR | Don’t be afraid to paint your vanity. This two-sink piece was originally white. Greenshner painted it with the same black chalk paint she used on the floor and then sealed it with a matte polyurethane.
DIY DETAILS MAKE A DIFFERENCE | A few bucks and some stain was all it took to make a standard metal shower rod fit with the overall bathroom design. Greenshner bought $5 in wood at Home Depot and stained two pieces the same shade she used on the mirror frame. She installed them right at the ceiling, and then pushed the rod between the two pieces of wood. To further put her touch on the room, she sewed trim on a simple $7 bed sheet from Target.
BATHROOM HUMOR | Use simple frames with mats to create a grid of bathroom art. Greenshner found “That’s How I Roll” for $5 on Etsy. She made “Get Naked” using PowerPoint, and the girl and boy icon image was free on Pinterest.
The living room is just off of the entryway. It introduces the character of the rest of the house with its neutral colors and a happy pop of artwork on the wall.
CHILDREN’S ABSTRACT | The little Greenshner boys can take credit for this cheery painting. Their thrifty mother bought the canvas for 70 percent off its original price. Greenshner mixed different shades of blue, green and yellow, with a touch of white for tinting. Her kids painted one color. Once dry, they moved on to the second color; after that dried, they moved on to the final color. The result is a sentimental piece that’s a great conversation starter. The entire project was $50, including paint and the wood used to frame it.
FLAME-FREE FACADE | The “fireplace” is actually an antique fireplace facade that Greenshner found in Fountain Square at an annual flea market. She put scrap wood on the back and painted it black, and then bolted it to the wall.
COMMITMENT ISSUES | Greenshner has rules for herself. One is that she must love a piece before splurging, but rules can be bent. While you can’t typically test and return items from flea markets and antique stores, you can from stores like Target and Home Goods. The bar cart shown here was being tested out for size. It was actually a steal at 70 percent off, but the jury was still out on whether it had found its permanent home.
LOVE LETTERS | Jessica’s grandfather wrote these letters to her grandmother while he was serving overseas in WWII. Her grandmother saved every single one, and now Jessica has the sentimental heirloom.
HAVE IT BOTH WAYS | Greenshner’s grandmother had this chair in her home as far back as the 1950s. A pale gray fabric with rural detail on the back gives its traditional lines more of a farmhouse style.
MANTEL DRESSING | Greenshner snatched up the mirror hanging over her mantel for $60 on Craigslist and then antiqued it a bit. The other items were Goodwill finds, with the exception of the branches — credit goes to Mother Nature.
There is no shortage of DIY projects in the dining room. We love how Greenshner mixed sentimental (her grandmother’s china), new and repurposed pieces.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK | Salvaged wooden fencing, a stencil, paint and some inspiring words speak volumes.
A SEAT AT THE TABLE | The two wingback chairs were a splurge on Wayfair at $200 each. The others were from Greenshner’s childhood home. She painted, distressed and upholstered them to match the decor.
DROP CLOTH DRAPES | You would never guess it, but Greenshner made these drapes from a drop cloth! After bleaching them in the bathtub, she cut and hemmed them to luxuriously puddle on the hardwoods. A fringe of tassels adds polish.
LIGHT (ON YOUR WALLET) LOOK | Jessica liked a $400 chandelier, but it didn’t fit her “must love it” splurge rule. To replicate the look, she bought a wooden chandelier for $135, whitewashed it and added crystals she had from another project.
Most of the kitchen is untouched, but some of Greenshner’s amazing influence can be found.
PANTRY DOOR REDUX | Two doors from an old high school in Franklin open up to the Greenshners’ kitchen pantry. At just $40 for the pair, plus “new” antique knobs for $10, this otherwise standard necessity becomes a point of interest.
ONE THING JESSICA DIDN’T DIY | This lighting was a splurge at Pottery Barn. Greenshner loved the look and started to source a DIY project. After realizing she couldn’t make it for much less, she splurged. Good for her!
CHAIRS + BENCH | The kitchen table came from World Market, and the chairs were a Craigslist find ($35 for all three) that she refinished. The bench, from Wayfair, was plain when it arrived. Greenshner painted it using her Cricut and painters tape.
LAUNDRY ROOM | Using scrap wood and a stencil, Greenshner dressed up her laundry room with a vintage-look sign. She made the hanging ladder, used for drying clothes, with two-by-fours and dowel rods.
A CHICK AND A HAMMER | Jessica priced out this custom shelving. A contractor would have charged between $800 and $1,600. She went to Home Depot and made it herself for $250.
COMMAND CENTER | Greenshner keeps her family on the same page with a two-month calendar. She made it using an $8 window, cutting out the months, days and grid, and sticking them on the backside of the glass. On the front, they write in dates and activities.