Meet six local women transforming their homes and sharing how to do it yourself

The Nilson family's custom backyard treehouse. - KAT SKYE PHOTO
Kat Skye photo
The Nilson family's custom backyard treehouse.

Forget Pinterest. Instagram is the go-to for home and lifestyle inspiration when it comes to everything from budget-friendly, do-it-yourself renovations to the most high-end interior design.

No matter your personal decor tastes, budget or era of your home, the following six DIY-savvy women of the Inland Northwest (who've collectively amassed tens of thousands of followers) are bound to spark inspiration to change at least something in your home. What better time to do so than now, while we're all still stuck there?

DANIELLE LOFT
@themindfulhaven

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From teaching herself to lay tile or transforming a thrifted table with scrap wood, Danielle Loft isn't daunted when the next DIY project calls. The creative wife and mom has been in the process of transforming her family's 1980s-era home in North Spokane for three years. When they moved in, she says, "it looked the same as the day it was built — blue carpet, wallpaper on every wall with pink, blue and brass all over."

INLANDER: When did you start sharing on Instagram? I found with the craziness of life and being a mom I needed a creative outlet that would help balance the chaos while staying at home with my kids. I've always loved decorating, but it wasn't until three years ago I started using tools. I was instantly hooked.

Biggest DIY success? Our kitchen. It challenged me much more than other room makeovers because it involved projects I had no prior experience with (framing and tiling). I taught myself how to tile a backsplash, build floating shelves and spray paint our cabinet doors.

Easy project for a new DIYer? Anything involving paint is a great place to start because it can always be easily fixed. Color blocked walls are trending, and are an easy, impactful look to achieve with just paint and tape.

Favorite local resources? There isn't much of our home that isn't thrifted, or a DIY, but when I do shop local I really love Abode Spokane and Spokane Hardware Supply, which was fantastic to work with for our kitchen hardware.

ERYN WHALEN
@eryn_whalen_online

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The Whalen family makes their home in the foothills of Green Bluff, where they enjoy an urban farmstead lifestyle alongside a St. Bernard, three cats and 12 chickens. The family's 1991-built home had never been updated when they moved in three years ago and is a fulfilling work-in-progress for her and her husband.

Biggest DIY success? I'd have to say my favorite project will always be our upstairs hallway. It reminded me of something out of a '90s horror film. We picked a pretty gray patterned wallpaper, installed crisp white faux wainscoting (super budget-friendly), trimmed the doors, painted them all white and replaced a light. It was a night-and-day difference.

Next on your project list? We really want to tackle the kitchen this year. I'm thinking tile to the ceiling and open shelving.

What's your decor style? I know farmhouse is overplayed, so I'll just say "cozy." I want my home to be inviting, warm, bright and happy. Maybe that's not a style, per say, but I'm going for more of a feel than a look.

Advice for fellow DIYers? Don't overthink it. Try something and if you don't like it, try something else!

Favorite local DIY resources? There are so many amazing shops in the Sprague Union District: The Tin Roof, Two Women Vintage Goods and Blue Cat Vintage!

GIANNA CAPUTO
@indie.boho.nest

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The before and after photos Gianna Caputo occasionally shares of her family's midcentury rancher in Spokane's Shadle area never cease to astound her 76,000 followers. Since moving in about two years ago, the wife and mom of two has completely transformed their home from drab, dark and outdated to crisp, modern and full of light. Most recently, she and husband Mark tackled the installation of peel-and-stick floor tiles in their sunroom, one of Gianna's favorite transformations to date.

When did you start sharing DIYs on Instagram? Right about the time we moved in, so just about two years ago. I wanted to have a place where I shared all the renovations we were doing, and that's what started the whole thing.

Easy project for a new DIYer? Start with something like painting, or simple furniture projects like sanding something down to reveal the true wood tones, and maybe changing out hardware. Even upholstery; if it's a simple piece, you can easily put something new on with a staple gun.

What's your decor style? My style is definitely still boho, but it's becoming a little more traditional and a little bit more rustic farmhouse, so I'm just starting to incorporate those themes.

Advice for fellow DIYers? Expect it to be way more time consuming than it's supposed to be, expect to make mistakes, and expect to get very frustrated. But in the end, it's so worth it and you learn so much each time.

SHANNON MORSCHECK
@livingwithlady

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Over the six and a half years they've lived in their 2000-constructed Five Mile home, the Morscheck family has completely transformed the space. While Shannon and her husband have done most of the work themselves — including building a large back deck, custom built-in shelving and more — the family of five recently celebrated the completion of a full kitchen remodel done by a local contractor, as it involved removing load-bearing walls.

When did you start sharing your DIYs on Instagram? I switched from a personal to more of a business account about two years ago. I really love sharing the improvements and projects of our home, as well as random shenanigans to help bring a smile, and somehow it has become a dream job.

Biggest DIY success? While we did hire a big portion of our kitchen renovation out, designing it was something I poured my heart into. Turning our main level into a space that serves our family better has been an absolute dream come true.

Advice to fellow DIYers? You can always get the look for less. Whether that's making it yourself or finding a dupe; you can still achieve the look you're after without emptying your pockets.

CHELSEY NILSON
@currentlymod

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The Nilson family's residence is the second midcentury era home they've owned; this one was built in 1964 and is in southwest Spokane Valley. Chelsey Nilson, her husband and their three children have lived there just over two years. Their DIY projects aim to maintain the original architectural style, with cohesive, modern updates. A custom backyard treehouse built for the kids was recently featured on the design website Domino.

When did you start sharing your DIYs on Instagram? I started sharing after our kitchen renovation. I had so many fun pictures of the kids being involved in the process, and I wanted to document these memories, paired with a creative outlet for myself.

What's next on your project list? We're adding some fun and functional aspects to our very bland basement bonus room: wood paneling, terrazzo tile, paint, furniture and decor, and, once the price of lumber settles down a little bit, I'd love to replace the old acoustic ceiling tiles with tongue-and-groove boards.

Advice to fellow DIYers? It's totally OK to fail, especially if you're experimenting on your own home. I'm still learning this myself.

KELLI BATEMAN
@myhouseof8

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If Kelli Bateman, a wife and mother of six, can find the time to DIY her family's entire central Coeur d'Alene, craftsman-style home, the rest of us have zero excuses. Bateman's Instagram feed showcases truly magazine-worthy images of each room and nook of the family home, from her kids' uniquely personalized bedrooms to the magical results of peel-and-stick tile, painted cabinets and custom hand-painted "wallpaper."

Biggest DIY success? Our kitchen renovation is probably one of my favorite projects so far! We had a boxed-in kitchen that felt really cramped and small. We decided to knock down the walls which were blocking it in from the surrounding living areas. It instantly opened up the space and made it feel huge.

Easy project for a new DIYer? Start with paint. Paint an accent wall in your bedroom or living room to give it a little pop. Or create a funky wall using a sponge and paint. There are so many fun patterns and designs you can create.

Advice to fellow DIYers? Don't be afraid to learn something new. Go for it! If you've been thinking about it, today's the day! If you're not sure how, YouTube can pretty much teach us anything these days. ♦

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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's food and listings editor. She compiles the weekly events calendar for the print and online editions of the Inlander, manages and edits the food section, and also writes about local arts and culture. Chey (pronounced Shay) is a lifelong Spokanite and a graduate of Washington State University...