Interiorssneak peeks

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags

by Garrett Fleming

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Handywoman Racheal Jackson says, “A little paint and creativity can completely shift the feeling of a room on a tiny budget.” And the home she and her husband Garrett have put together in Vancouver, WA is proof. Full of dramatic DIYs, the 1950s-era Mid-Century farmhouse they share is a visual feast the likes of which we rarely come across.

The space’s symphony of color and pattern came about after a previous rehab left Racheal feeling uncomfortable in her own home. She explains, “When I first renovated, I painted all the walls grey. I planned out this super neutral, ‘mature’ home. After living that way for a year, I finally stopped fighting my instincts and let the freak flag fly.”

Once she gave herself the freedom to throw out the rule book, Racheal didn’t waste any time. She gutted the bathrooms, created a “living” plant wall in the dining room, used Legos to amp up the kitchen and even built her children a treehouse in their bedroom. “Now I feel empowered and energized when I’m in my home,” Racheal says.

These custom elements are outstanding in their own right, but the touches that frame her designs truly highlight Racheal’s creative prowess. Using $3 paint samples from the hardware store, she’s given her family’s living area a rainbow, the media room a kaleidoscopic look and made a trendy bed frame feel custom.

With so much happening on the home’s walls, Racheal and Garrett didn’t need to do much accessorizing. Instead they’ve relied on simple plants and functional furniture that complement the real star of the show: those aforementioned DIYs. Scroll down to see how they pulled it all together, and enjoy. —Garrett

Photography by Racheal JacksonNanette Dalton

Image above: The media room was so uninviting that Racheal often avoided hanging out there. Fed up with its mediocre look, she finally painted this abstract mural onto its main wall. It took her 70 hours to complete and is complemented by a sofa from Salvation Army.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

The house’s eccentric design details are so bold that at night – if all of the lights are on inside – they are visible from the street.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Throughout the long-term renovation, Racheal learned a lot about her approach to creative challenges: “I realized that when I get into a project, I have serious tunnel vision. Every other room in the house [becomes] a disaster.”

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Racheal fully renovated this home two years ago for her mom and dad. By the time it was complete, she had fallen so in love with the space that her parents let her rent the house from them.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

To make the entryway’s furniture feel “anchored,” Racheal came up with this geometric painting technique.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Racheal created this bookshelf out of cubbies from a local grade school. They are filled with a collection of secondhand novels. It’s taking time, but she and Garrett are chipping away at reading the entire collection.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Garrett and Racheal are “the nerdiest of board game nerds,” so their living room had to have a table and chairs. The addition makes family game nights a breeze. “My husband and I have a personal tally of who is winning between us. Spoiler: It’s always me,” Racheal says.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Racheal would love to say the living room’s rainbow stripe was arduous, but she already had the paint on hand and the project took little time.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

The rainbow design was inspired by a 1970s-era bed sheet Racheal found at a thrift store.

The colors she used to make the rainbow are:
Glidden “Red Geranium”
Behr “Top Tomato”
Behr “Blazing Bonfire”
Yellow craft paint
Behr “Grasslands”
Behr “Sapphire Sparkle”
Behr “Dynamic Magenta”

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Racheal replaced all of the bathroom cabinetry throughout the house with birch plywood. All in all, the materials cost her $17.


Paint is the cheapest way to change a room.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Projects like the living room’s rainbow revamp were quick and easy, but other areas of the couple’s home took time to design. Take their bedroom, for example. The process of getting its look just right was much more steady and organic. By giving the conceptual phase some breathing room, Racheal was able to come up with ideas like painting the edges of the door to match the throw pillows — a clever touch.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Garrett’s mother came across this wooden plank in rural Oregon.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

Racheal says the mural in this bathroom reminds her of “carnival stripes.”

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

This wooden ceiling will eventually be painted white, but for now Racheal is enjoying the texture and depth its whitewash treatment adds to the dining space.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

“What I love most about my home is the creativity it inspires. Aaand the chocolate chips hidden in the cupboard.” – Racheal Jackson

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

The end of the kitchen’s peninsula is covered in Legos.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

“This was the first mural I did in our home. My husband sketched it out on a piece of paper, and I transferred it. I love how graphic it is, and he loves working in this space that celebrates his work.” – Racheal Jackson

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

The couple’s children share a room, so Racheal built them this “treehouse” out of scrap in order to give them some extra space to play.

When Others Zig, This Washington Homeowner Zags, Design*Sponge

The farmhouse’s floor plan.


Media Room
Sofa – Joybird

Paint – Glidden “Deep Onyx”
Green cabinet – IKEA
Mirror – Target

Living Room
Paint – Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”
Couch – Room & Board
Art – Elle and Indi, What Phil Sees, Lady Noel Designs

Paint – Glidden “Olive Green”
Hanging planter – IKEA
Bedding, lights, nightstand – Target
Art – Lady Noel Designs, Paulina Archembault

Lighting – IKEA

Dog art – Paulina Archembault

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  • This home and the love that went into it is absolutely AMAZINGBALLS! Thank you for highlighting such a delight. The hard work and imagination show.

  • The home is cool, but that family is the cutest! More about them please! How do all the kids share a room without waking each other up? How do you store all their stuff? Many readers like myself have 2 kids in 1 room and could use advice on how to make it work!

    • THank you so much! I’ve had our kids sharing a room since they were young, so they tend to be heavier sleepers. Often though, we end up with a random kid in our bed overnight. All the kids share a dresser (again, they’re small, so their clothes are too!) and we keep minimal toys. I feel like we go through every few months and get rid of the ones that have just become clutter. Here’s hoping it works for a bit longer!

  • Sooo much JOY!!!! I love that she re-wrote ALL the rules, and made absolutely EVERY room shine with paint, wood, and hard hard work. Brava!!

  • Holy macaroni and cheese WHAT A SPACE!!! How Racheal has managed to incorporate so much graphic colour and design while still making the house feel welcoming and homey is #DESIGNGOALS. One of the best ever on DS. Thank you for sharing!

  • Love the energy of this! Commenting because I’m hoping for details on this magic – replacing the bathroom cabinetry (i guess door fronts?) with birch plywood for $17? Please share more about this! It looks beautiful.

  • What a fantastic place for the children to grow in. I had those rainbow sheets in the late seventies and am loving the revival of rainbow everything. Your home is fab and persona;. You should be very proud.

    • My family had those exact same bedsheets in the 70s too. I’m Australian, so they must have done the rounds internationally!

  • OMG this is absolute perfection! A lot of homes that have this much color can come off as cheesy or trying too hard, but boy does this WORK! Wondering how you did the living plant wall in the dining room, was super exited about that but didn’t get the deets! How did you install it? What plants are those? Thanks!

    • They are the plastic kind, lol. I bought s large box of faux boxwood panels on amazon and just installed it by stapling them onto the wall. It took 30 minutes. I’m sorry if this is disappointing, but I will say that it still looks so good and provides a super interesting texture. With the added bonus of not being able to kill the plants 😂

  • I agree with a previous commenter, more info on the the pretty plywood bathroom transformation!

  • Beautiful home! But I have questions. Is that a mural on the lower wall in the adult bedroom? It looks amazing. And is that a wall of plants (or fake plants) in the dining area? Tell me more….like how are they attached to the wall? It’s a great texture. Are the Legos glued down? Do you think my kids would mind if I did this with their Legos?! :-) (yessss) I would love painting tips from Racheal on getting all those gorgeous crisp lines! I’m in awe!

    • Thank you! That “faux living wall” is made from faux boxwood panels that I bought from amazon and just stapled them up! The legos are just wedged between two pieces of trim, but I would have used 3m tape to secure them to the cabinet. They’re not glued. I couldn’t blaspheme like that 😂. And I have a lot of tips on my instagram @banyanbridges about getting crispy lines! It just takes patience and technique! Thanks for the feedback!

  • Rachael is such an inspiration to everyone wanting to “find themselves “ at home! So happy to see another one of my insta buddy’s featured on this awesome platform. Bravo👏

  • High five on this house. From the paint, to the bathroom renos, to the living plant wall it is all so good. I’d love to know more about how you did the plant wall. We need a webiste or at least an IG with stories on different DIY etc.

    • Thank you! You can check me out on IG as @banyanbridges it on my mediocre blog at banyanbridges.com! More details there, but that wall was a piece of cake! Faux boxwood panels on amazon that are just stapled to the wall. If I could, that texture would be everywhere!

  • To see her paint the first room brought Terror into my heart. LOL. But as the house came together room after room it became apparent she knew what she was doing pretty much the best thing I could do is get out of her way. She is incredibly talented and has a great I feel for working with the wood and the paint and the kids and OMG what an imagination.

  • I saved up money to buy those rainbow sheets in 1979 from Macy’s in San Francisco. I’d buy them again without hesitation.

  • I have questions:
    1. HOW did you install the “living” plant wall? Is it one of those new fake lawns?
    2. Will my husband allow me to do this in my house?
    3. I’d love more detail about the plywood birch cabinets–Did you keep the original cabinets and just reface or replace the doors?
    4. Was the wall paneling already there, or did you install planking on the walls and paint it?
    I love every room. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • I have a very “mature” very white, black and gray house right now and this is majorly inspiring me to cut loose!! Love it!

  • LOOOOOVE! I would totally do something like this if my husband wouldn’t think it was too weird. Maybe I can start with stripes on ONE wall somewhere…? ;)

  • The stripe mural in the dark green bathroom is the coolest! I love how it pops. Now I need to find a room to do that in…

  • Holy crap, I love this. My partner and I have a super colorful decorating style as well, and it is so so hard to find good design like this! This is seriously inspiring. Amazing job!

  • WOWZA. I am SO impressed by the personality and joy (and slick craftsmanship and all around technical skill and patience) that went into this home. Following you on instagram now and look forward to coming back to this post for more inspiration!

  • I’m actually obsessed with this house, it’s just brilliant! The idea of painting the edges of the doors has blown my mind, my partner and I are excited to do the same in our house!

  • LOVE! I have a huge bare wall in my apartment and hope to do something like this in the future. I take it ALOT of blue painters tape was used? How did you paint around the round mirror? It’s perfect!

  • What a creative couple! Usually I am not a huge enthusiast about primary colors, but this home is an art itself! Thank you sharing!